One of the most amazing things about Cookie Connection is that it allows us the wonderful opportunity to connect with cookiers from all over the world! It is here where we can learn about members through clips, videos, posts, and comments. I love getting to know the people behind the cookies, and have always found it so interesting to see such diversity in each person's cookie style. No doubt, where we live plays a big role in the cookies we create.
With this in mind, I knew that a Practice Bakes Perfect challenge would be the perfect opportunity for us to share and discover a little more about each other, including our traditions, culture, and heritage, and anything that might influence and inspire our incredible cookie creations!
But before I mention the details of this challenge, let's talk about our AMAZING PRIZE! One lucky entrant will be chosen at random from among all of the challenge entrants to receive a $100 gift certificate to the online store Country Kitchen SweetArt, generously donated by Cookie Connection Founder and Host, @Julia M. Usher.
Wow! And now on to our challenge . . .
What is Heritage?
According to the Collins dictionary, "A country's heritage is all the qualities, traditions, or features of life there that have continued over many years and have been passed on from one generation to another."
- festive events and celebrations, and the traditions they embody;
- traditions that are a part of everyday life, or are unique to a particular country or people;
- handicrafts, foods, clothing, fabrics, and costumes; items with motifs and other cultural designs;
- archaeological sites, monuments, historic buildings, and cities; and
paintings, sculptures, and artifacts.
These things are just a few of the ideas from which to draw inspiration. Now, it's time to turn the focus on YOU. What part of the world do you live in? Are there any cultural traditions or celebrations that are special to you? Are there historical places that have special meaning for you? Perhaps there are traditions in your everyday life that we might find interesting. Let us know all about you and your heritage in cookie form!
Here are some great examples of heritage-style cookies from our own Cookie Connection members:
Brazilian Cordel Cookie Set by Elke Hoelzle
Iran Set by Elke Hoelzle
Osaka Castle by salon de Masyu
Indian Bride for "Indian Culture Competition" by Galletas Artesanas Pilar
Travel China by Ewa Kiszowara MOJE PIERNIKI
Ancient Greece by Yulia Bunnell
Sardinian Traditional Dress by Magadiuz
As you can see, these cookies depict wonderful stories of tradition, culture, and heritage, and should give you a good idea of part of what I am hoping to see in your entries.
With that in mind, the goal for this challenge is for you to share a bit about you and your heritage with us in cookie form. Let us know about any special traditions, celebrations, places, or events that are an important part of your culture or daily life. We also want to know how these things have shaped you as a cookie artist and the cookies you create, including the recipes, ingredients, colors, media, techniques, types of cookies, and even the occasions for which your cookies are made.
Hopefully, by the time this challenge closes, we will have learned much more – not only about the cookies that adorn this site, but also about the people behind those wonderful creations!
PLEASE READ THEM CAREFULLY. I would hate to disqualify an entry because someone failed to read ALL of the rules.
1. Create a set of cookies, with a minimum of three (3) cookies, that reflects you, your culture/heritage, and how that culture/heritage has shaped you as a cookie artist. This set can include special events and festivities, cultural traditions, or even an historical landmark or special place that has meaning to you. It can also include a depiction of daily life (work, family, leisure time, etc.). Tell us your story through these cookies! And remember to let us know the country where you live.
2. You must use a minimum of three (3) different techniques or three (3) different media, or a combination thereof, when creating your set. Make sure to list those techniques and media in the comments under your post.
3. As always, we ask that you make a brand new cookie set for this challenge.
4. Again, as always, your set must be original, and not a copy of any other artist's set or cookies. You may draw design motifs from another artist, but, if you do so, that artist must be credited and linked back to in a comment under your post. You must also seek permission to use that person's art for this challenge, and post that person's granted permission under your post. This rule is in accordance with general Cookie Connection posting rules.
5. And because Cookie Connection is all about learning and sharing, I would love for you to share in the comments section under your entry the background behind your entry, as well as anything else that helps us learn more about the culture and traditions – including cookie decorating traditions – that have shaped you and inspired your entry.
- Please post an image of your cookie set to the site under the Practice Bakes Perfect clip set no later than April 25 at 5 pm central.
- Because these challenges are ongoing, we ask that you put "Practice Bakes Perfect Challenge #45" in your photo caption AND in a tag, so that we can tell the challenges apart from month to month. Please use the main title field to uniquely name your cookies as you normally would.
- Please also assign other relevant clip sets and tags to your images, as you normally would (meaning don't just use the Practice Bakes Perfect clip set and leave it at that, or your photos won't easily be found with keyword searches).
- You can enter more than once, but please post only one clip of each distinct entry. Multiple clips of the same entry are not allowed unless added in a comment beneath the one primary clip.
The prize is given entirely at random. This means that everyone who participates in the challenge has an opportunity to be rewarded with this month's terrific prize!
After the challenge has closed on April 25, we will announce the winner in the Saturday Spotlight on May 1. The next challenge will be announced about a week after that Spotlight.
And, remember, these challenges are NOT a competition. They are intended to inspire and motivate you to step outside of your comfort zone, to experiment and be creative, and to try something new. The goal is for you to challenge yourself artistically and technically, and to develop your skills so that you may reach your full potential as a cookie artist. And, of course, the goal is for you to have fun along the way.
I can't wait to see what you create. If you have any questions about this challenge, or if you are looking for ideas, technical advice, or creative help - or if you just want to talk cookies - I would love to chat. You can leave me a comment below, or you can send me a private Cookie Connection message.
Christine Dutcher's journey as a cookier began in early 2013 when an online search led her to the amazing world of cookie decorating. After spending countless hours learning all that she could, Christine decorated her first set of cookies in October 2013. In 2016, she decided that she would begin to focus on perfecting her skills, challenging herself each time to create more detailed and progressively complex pieces of cookie art. In 2019, Christine became one of the very first sugar artists from around the world to be named as an "Honourary PME Five Star Sugar Artist" by Knightsbridge PME. You can learn more about Christine's work here on Cookie Connection, and by following her Facebook and Instagram pages.
Photo credit: Christine Dutcher
Note: Practice Bakes Perfect is a bimonthly Cookie Connection blog feature written by Christine Dutcher that poses inspiration or challenges to get you to stretch as a cookie artist - for practice, for prizes, and for fun! Its content expresses the views of the author and not necessarily those of this site, its owners, its administrators, or its employees. Catch up on all of Christine's past Cookie Connection posts here.