Today (Friday) was class day at CookieCon, and I have been tasked with passing along some of the nuggets of wisdom that each of the instructors shared with us. First up was Nadia of My Little Bakery, pictured above.
Her big tip . . . place several cookies around the edge of a large turntable, and then decorate part of one cookie, spin the turntable, and continue along so that you can do lots of cookies all at once.
Next up was SugarBliss Cookies, sisters Laurie Thompson (left) and Jeanette Durham (right), who live right here in Utah.
This class involved lots of details about airbrushing. A little goes a long way, they stressed, and they suggest staying within a color group for a cohesive looking cookie.
Social media was the topic of the next class, led by Bridget Edwards of Bake at 350.
She gave us lots of wonderful tips about the use of social media, considering all of the choices - Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, and more. "Find the one that works for YOU and don't feel like you have to do it all," she urged. She said that, in the beginning, she accepted all manner of compensation (even a free waffle pan) in return for blogging about something, but now she says it's important to do what she loves and and to follow her heart!
The astonishing work of Mallory Mae of ButterWinks was next, and she talked about the color wheel, and deconstructing designs into basic shapes to help figure them out. She asked for several words from the class, and back came "pug", "steampunk", "Dr. Who", and more, all of which were elements that she ultimately included in this design sketch:
She says to "let the creative process happen."
Susan Carberry of The Cake Cottage was up next with a cool 3-D cookie. Using familiar techniques we all love, and channeling Julia Usher, she baked curved cookie pieces on the back of mini cake pans. These pieces were then "glued" with chocolate and covered with fondant to create the cutest penguin ever! [EDITOR'S NOTE: LOL. It's nice to know I somehow made an appearance at CookieCon even though I was nowhere near Utah!]
Monica Holbert, the wonderful Cookie Cowgirl, then shared with us the greatest tip for dealing with a new technique, "Try it! If it does not work, just eat them [the cookies]; no one will know!"
She also shared lots of great ideas for planning orders, and creating a strategy for success! She said that we cookiers often overcomplicate things. In the photo below, she was showing us how one set of cutters could make two totally different wedding sets, and then she went on to show us sketches for lots of cookie people designs using the same cutters!
The final class of the day was with Dotty Raleigh of Sugar Dot Cookies. Dotty had a recent Cookie Connection interview all about her business, explaining her shared space, but in class she explained more about her style of cookies and her production timeline. Her style includes LOTS of the same cookies for production efficiency. No airbrush, no stencils . . . just nice, decorated cookies in simple designs. She encouraged us all to become legal, as that is the only way a business can really grow.
Jennifer Wallace, aka jennibakes4u, is a Certified Wilton Method Instructor and has been decorating cakes for over 25 years. A few years ago, she started decorating cookies, and she now ships her edible works of art nationwide. Her kitchen is registered and inspected by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. "Most of the cookies I make are gingerbread, as I love the texture and taste when paired with royal icing," adds Jennifer.
While at CookieCon, Jennifer is going to give video interviews with Mike, Karen, and instructors a go, but if the video part doesn't work out, she'll convey all the same great content in blog posts with photos! Jennifer also aims to interview others on the subject of the business of cookies.
Photo credit: Jennifer Wallace
Note: This article expresses the views of the author, and not necessarily those of this site, its owners, its administrators, or its employees. To read more CookieCon 2015 updates from our special Cookie Connection Correspondents Team, click here, and for CookieCon event photos, click here. Also, to read all of our previous interviews with CookieCon instructors (not just Dotty), click here!