Saturday Spotlight: Practice Bakes Perfect Challenge #34 Recap

 

Unbelievable. That is the only word to describe the entries we received for Practice Bakes Perfect Challenge #34 - Inside the Box. Cookie creations that are 3-D take an extra level of planning, an extra level of skill, an extra level of patience, and, yes, an extra level of luck to pull off. Despite struggles with uncooperative weather conditions, unstable molds, temperamental isomalt, too-soft cookies, and inaccurate templates, you all created 38 unique 3-D challenge entries. I am truly humbled and overwhelmed by the amount of effort, time, and care that every single entrant put into his/her entry. Anyone who even casually flips through the Practice Bakes Perfect clip set can see what a talented bunch of cookie artists we have here in this Cookie Connection community!

I will get to the spotlighted entries in a moment, but I want to personally give a shout-out to every single person who entered this challenge. It was nearly impossible to choose only 10 entries to highlight, so even if your entry is not featured here, please know that you ALL did an amazing job!

OK, now for some (fun) business to take care of . . . awarding the prize to one of our lucky challenge participants! As always, one lucky entrant was selected at random from among all of the challenge entrants to receive this gigantic set of 50 AmeriColor Soft Gel Pastes™ (called the Nifty Fifty Kit) generously donated by Cookie Connection owner and founder @Julia M. Usher!

AmeriColorBorder3USE%20OR%20GET%20SHARPER%20IMAGE

And our winner is . . . @GinkgoWerkstatt! Congratulations, Anne! I KNOW you will put all of those AmeriColor Soft Gel Pastes™ to good use! 

Not only did Anne win our random prize drawing, but she also made one of our very favorite entries:

Cookie Cake by GinkgoWerkstattkekstorte_1
There was no lack of praise for this entry from our judges: "Amazing! I wish I had this idea!" . . . "I would never have known this slice of cake was a hollow box. It's super creative and summery and perfectly executed." . . . "This slice looks so real - the colors and textures of the layers are awesome." To look at the finished product, you would have no idea that Anne struggled with cookies that were almost too soft to file and miter, or that she created the "watermelon"-like design on the fly. In any event, we thought this cookie cake was a tremendous success. Congratulations, GinkgoWerkstatt, on this incredible entry AND your prize!

Now, on to the rest of our spotlighted artists! In no particular order, they are . . .

Sweet Storage Chest by Sofiya20190608_165221
I cannot overstate how technically difficult it was to pull off this entry by Sofiya. As one of our judges noted: "The precision required to get all of those cookies to line up perfectly to make the drawers that then slide perfectly into the chest - it's mind-boggling." I mean, just look at those super clean, perfectly square corners and smooth edges! And not only is this tiny, edible dresser fully functioning, it is also exceptionally beautiful. The colors and patterns are just captivating. I could continue gushing, but, in short, this entry checked every single box (pun intended)!

Fun Music Box by Ryoko ~Cookie Ave.music_boxThis entry by @Ryoko ~Cookie Ave. takes the humble 3-D cookie box to a whole new level and fourth dimension with its moving parts! As @Julia M. Usher commented, "I think she [Ryoko] took 'inside the box' VERY literally and really explored that aspect of the challenge to its fullest!" I couldn't agree more. The whole concept of a zoo animal jack-in-the-box is beyond delightful. I hardly know where to begin with the technical aspects of this entry, but I think the side of the box with the mandrills and the sliding "cage" overlay is genius. I love how Ryoko cleverly hid the ends of the interior rods with the spinning bananas and wafer paper pinwheel. But let's talk about the interior mechanisms of this box ("inside the box," if you will)! The mechanism for the pop-up monkeys is similar to what my son built for an intro to mechanical engineering class last year, and Ryoko went ahead and built a "cranky box" out of COOKIE! I implore you all to check out the step-by-step process photos and videos that Ryoko included with this entry to see it in action! 

Vintage Baroque Cookie Box by Cookies by jossIMG_20190111_155819
I seriously did a double-take when I first saw this entry, as I was not entirely sure it was made of cookies! In this entry, Joss utilized black dough, which allowed him to avoid covering everything with icing and really showcased the clean edges and tight corners of his box. Furthermore, as one of our judges noted, "The gilded piping against the black is perfectly opulent and dramatic." I strongly recommend that you take a look at the additional pictures of this box in the comments to this entry to fully appreciate how elegant and well-constructed it is.

Painted Jewelry Box by Elke Hoelzle20190608_173632
This entry was another one that caused us all to shake our heads - we had to convince ourselves it was a cookie and not an actual jewelry box! Elke posted pictures of this box before and after it was painted, and our judges were somewhat divided as to which version we liked best. Ultimately, we thought the painted version was a bit more unique, and that the piped and then painted designs added a whole other stained glass-like effect to the project. Still, I would happily have either version sitting on my dresser!

A Secret Place by PUDING FARMpf__2019__a_secret_place_00
This picture does not tell the whole story of this entry. You see, through some very precise fitting, the top of that front box was made as a sliding panel that opens to reveal a hollow "brick" (presumably for hiding all kinds of secrets)! In addition to the masterful construction of this box, we also very much like the realistic color/texture of these bricks and what a creative spin this entry was on the "inside the box" theme. (Be sure to see how this secret box works by checking out the extra photos in the comments under this entry.)

Chameleon by Sofiya20190608_183005
Needless to say, this box was one of the most eye-catching challenge entries. That colorful chameleon is absolutely stunning, but what stood out the most to me was how Sofiya approached the curved sides of her box. Rather than trying to bake large curved pieces over molds, Sofiya used over 40 small cookie pieces to follow the curved lines of her design. This technique is one that contractors often use when setting ceramic tile around curves. I thought the use of that approach in the context of a curved cookie was just so clever.

Magic Lantern by Sofiya20190528_145322
I love the shape of this lantern - how the sides of the lantern taper, and how the top comes to a peak. All of the sides of the lantern fit very cleanly together, and the molded cookie feet add extra dimension and interest. It's also kind of unbelievable, but all of the piped royal icing decorations on the sides are intricate white royal icing transfers that Sofiya painted and then affixed to the lantern. The process photos in the comments under this entry are really instructive, so please check them out!

[AUTHOR'S NOTE: @Sofiya not only has THREE entries spotlighted here in this post, but she also submitted a total of NINE entries to this challenge. NINE! You can see all of them in the Practice Bakes Perfect clip set. Brava, Sofiya!]

3-D Mexican Vintage Vitrine by Petra FloreanFotoJet - 2019-05-20T203435.160.jpg1.jpgpp
Petra was another participant who submitted multiple entries to Challenge #34, and, of all of those entries, we thought this vintage vitrine best showcased her serious box-making skills. Petra did a wonderful job of designing and fitting her box pieces together. I also think that all of the special decorative touches - the floral wafer paper sheets on the inside back of the cabinet, the lace on the shelf edges, and the diamond-pattern gelatin sheets for the door glass - make this entry "extra".

Two Aquariums with Goldfish by IcingsugarkeksP1230136b
I really like this entry for two reasons: first, it is completely delightful, and, second, @Icingsugarkeks showed a lot of progress in this single entry from beginning to end. From the "delightful" standpoint, I love the idea of an aquarium as a box, and I think the lighting worked really well. The smaller aquarium was made using the "leftovers" from the first aquarium, and since Icingsugarkeks did not have a second cookie frame for the front wall of her smaller aquarium, she improvised and used wafer paper, which I think is actually an improvement over the first cookie frame. Overall, I was struck by Icingsugarkeks' imagination and spirit of experimentation.

Piano Box by radicaledwardPiano
I love the smooth curves and clean lines of this baby grand piano. @radicaledward says he made the curved sides using a mold he created out of Play-Doh(!) covered with aluminum foil, which I thought was a really clever way to utilize the materials many of us just have on hand! If you want to see how this piano was actually assembled and hear some of Edward's trials and tribulations along the way, definitely check out the great process pictures and comments for this entry.

On that note (again, pun intended), Practice Bakes Perfect Challenge #34 comes to a close. I hope you will all join us for our next challenge, which will post on or around June 22, 2019. Be there, or be square! (Ok, ok, I promise, no puns next time!)

Christine Donnelly began her professional baking career at 16, when she was hired on the spot at her local bakery to work the counter and decorate cakes. After detours to college and law school, she worked as a trial lawyer in Chicago for many years, ultimately leaving that career to become a stay-at-home mother to her two children. In her “retirement,” she continued to bake at home, at last finding her preferred artistic medium in decorated cookies. In February 2013, Bakerloo Station was born with a presence on both Facebook and Instagram. Christine makes cookies to balance her left brain, to inspire and share creative ideas, and to feed those needs that only art can satisfy.

Photo credit: Christine Donnelly

Note: Practice Bakes Perfect is a bimonthly Cookie Connection blog feature written by Christine Donnelly 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.

Attachments

Photos (13)

Add Comment

Comments (34)

Newest · Oldest · Popular

Congratulations to @GinkgoWerkstatt  winning AmeriColor Soft Gel  and your yummy strawberry cake! (how could you make that curved part perfectly?!)   Congratulations to all featured artists who can make flawless and beautiful boxes. All those attractive designs, perfect structures and curved cookies are what I really want to learn.  Needless to say, all participants make very unique and pretty 3D box cookies, and they let me notice many things.  

Thank you for choosing my cookie.  I am really glad I didn't give up, oh I gave up making some monkeys I had planned to make, though. To celebrate my happy day with my animals, I am going to give some more bananas to monkeys and to elephants, put down the pinwheel to lower level so meerkats don't need to look up all the time, give some more cookies to panda bears and key to mandrill.    Thanks to Practice Bakes Perfect Challenges, I am really learning many things by trying what I have never done before.    Thank you, @Bakerloo Station who lets us move forward and @Julia M. Usher who gives us chances. 

Oh, WOW! All entries are total masterpieces!!! What a feast for the eyes! This cookier community is just bursting with creativity!

Congrats to you, Anne @GinkgoWerkstatt, for winning this awesome price, and all others who so bravely entered this challenge! You all did such outstanding and totally amazing jobs ❤️❤️❤️!!!

Christine @Bakerloo Station, you are one brilliant lady to always come up with these challenges! And your comments to every single entry are always so thoughtful and encouraging. I hope to be able to take part in your next challenge. Can't wait to see what it will be . Thank you so much for all the time you invest in these challenges❤️❤️❤️!!!

I think this is one of my fav challenges so far. When you look at all the fabulous entries it's clear that everyone enjoyed doing something for this one! 
Congratulations to everyone being featured here and to those who created something for this challenge!

And thank you everyone for your kind words on my cookie cake. Makes me really happy and I didn't expect that the cookie cake would be liked that much ♥♥

And yes... even said a few times already...  but thank you @Julia M. Usher and @Bakerloo Station for these challenges. I truly love them, because they push you further and are always so much fun! ♥♥ I don't make many cookies anymore, but participating in these challenges is still a must!


Ryoko ~Cookie Ave. posted:

Congratulations to @GinkgoWerkstatt  winning AmeriColor Soft Gel  and your yummy strawberry cake! (how could you make that curved part perfectly?!)   

Thank you! @Ryoko ~Cookie Ave.
All cookies have been baked flat. When I took them out of the oven I immediately pushed the curved one in shape by leaning it against a round box that had a similar curve like I needed.

Haven't baked curved cookies yet, so that was the best way to get it done for me.

GinkgoWerkstatt posted:
Ryoko ~Cookie Ave. posted:

Congratulations to @GinkgoWerkstatt  winning AmeriColor Soft Gel  and your yummy strawberry cake! (how could you make that curved part perfectly?!)   

Thank you! @Ryoko ~Cookie Ave.
All cookies have been baked flat. When I took them out of the oven I immediately pushed the curved one in shape by leaning it against a round box that had a similar curve like I needed.

Haven't baked curved cookies yet, so that was the best way to get it done for me.

Oh, that's how you did, thank you.  I am going to try that way next time.  

AMAZING!!! I, too, am overwhelmed at the incredible talent, ingenuity and cookie engineering skills required to make each and every one of these "boxes" (a limiting word in this instance ). As Christine mentioned in her introductory comments @Bakerloo Station, "...what (my word) a talented bunch of cookie artists we have here in this Cookie Connection community!" I couldn't agree more!!!

All of the entries totally blew me away. Congratulations to each and every one of the cookie artists who are spotlighted here. And also to every entry into the challenge .

Congrats to Anne @GinkgoWerkstatt for winning the prize ❤️❤️❤️

Congratulations to all to all who took part of this challenge, you were all amazing!! As they kept coming in I thought none would be able to bear The previous presentations, but each and every entry surprised and left me in awe! You were all so creative and original. 

Well done, you were all incredible!👏👏👏🥰

Dear Julia, Dear Christine,  @Julia M. Usher  @Bakerloo Station
I do not know how to start ...
Today, on Sunday, I wanted to pack my larger aquarium as a gift and took it from the cardboard box in which I had stored it. I was soon hit by the blow when I saw it! The front cast gelatin layer (for the depth effect) was completely dried, was flat and tore through the drying process so to speak the framework of the aquarium and pulled inwards! It was planned by me that she stays thick and elastic ... So I had the gelatin too concentrated in concentration...

When I recovered from this shock and later sat on the PC, I saw the nomination of my aquarium and in me endless feelings made!
In one way I could not believe that my aquariums were going to get such an great award, the other way I felt like a "scammer" because my aquarium did not look like this anymore ...
I have made a picture of the current appearance, this I am attached here. It can at least be worth something for others as a experience! ...

If, as I suspect, there are better works than mine here, I would like to leave my nominated place to the better. I can not different it, I am like that. That's how I feel better!

I think the challenges themselves are great! On the long entries for each post, I see your love in this work, not to mention the endless work that is required !! Thanks a lot for this!!

Here is the example of today:

Attachments

Photos (1)

Wow, just WOW! Congratulations to @GinkgoWerkstatt for winning the big and amazing prize! 

 

I'm seriously blown away by the huge feedback my work received, and I cannot express my gratitude to be part of the featured works, and be with all these amazing cookie artists! Thank you @Bakerloo Station for the feedback and considering my work to get featured, just a dream for me! Also thank you so much @Julia M. Usher for allowing us to display our works here in Cookie Connection! 

Massive congratulations to every artist! ♥️♥️

Icingsugarkeks posted:

Dear Julia, Dear Christine,  @Julia M. Usher  @Bakerloo Station
I do not know how to start ...
Today, on Sunday, I wanted to pack my larger aquarium as a gift and took it from the cardboard box in which I had stored it. I was soon hit by the blow when I saw it! The front cast gelatin layer (for the depth effect) was completely dried, was flat and tore through the drying process so to speak the framework of the aquarium and pulled inwards! It was planned by me that she stays thick and elastic ... So I had the gelatin too concentrated in concentration...

When I recovered from this shock and later sat on the PC, I saw the nomination of my aquarium and in me endless feelings made!
In one way I could not believe that my aquariums were going to get such an great award, the other way I felt like a "scammer" because my aquarium did not look like this anymore ...
I have made a picture of the current appearance, this I am attached here. It can at least be worth something for others as a experience! ...

If, as I suspect, there are better works than mine here, I would like to leave my nominated place to the better. I can not different it, I am like that. That's how I feel better!

I think the challenges themselves are great! On the long entries for each post, I see your love in this work, not to mention the endless work that is required !! Thanks a lot for this!!

Here is the example of today:

Oh no! Though stuff always happens to cookies when they sit for any period of time. Most of the rest of us just don't have the courage to share our disappointments as you did! I recommend reveling in its former beauty and moving onto the next project! (Though the ripples in the gelatin do look very water-like and not at all bad!) 

swissophie posted:

Oh, WOW! All entries are total masterpieces!!! What a feast for the eyes! This cookier community is just bursting with creativity!

Congrats to you, Anne @GinkgoWerkstatt, for winning this awesome price, and all others who so bravely entered this challenge! You all did such outstanding and totally amazing jobs ❤️❤️❤️!!!

Christine @Bakerloo Station, you are one brilliant lady to always come up with these challenges! And your comments to every single entry are always so thoughtful and encouraging. I hope to be able to take part in your next challenge. Can't wait to see what it will be . Thank you so much for all the time you invest in these challenges❤️❤️❤️!!!

Thank you so much. ❤️

GinkgoWerkstatt posted:

I think this is one of my fav challenges so far. When you look at all the fabulous entries it's clear that everyone enjoyed doing something for this one! 
Congratulations to everyone being featured here and to those who created something for this challenge!

And thank you everyone for your kind words on my cookie cake. Makes me really happy and I didn't expect that the cookie cake would be liked that much ♥♥

And yes... even said a few times already...  but thank you @Julia M. Usher and @Bakerloo Station for these challenges. I truly love them, because they push you further and are always so much fun! ♥♥ I don't make many cookies anymore, but participating in these challenges is still a must!


I am so glad you still find it in you to participate in the challenges! I always enjoy seeing what you come up with for these challenges. ❤️

Icingsugarkeks posted:

Dear Julia, Dear Christine,  @Julia M. Usher  @Bakerloo Station
I do not know how to start ...
Today, on Sunday, I wanted to pack my larger aquarium as a gift and took it from the cardboard box in which I had stored it. I was soon hit by the blow when I saw it! The front cast gelatin layer (for the depth effect) was completely dried, was flat and tore through the drying process so to speak the framework of the aquarium and pulled inwards! It was planned by me that she stays thick and elastic ... So I had the gelatin too concentrated in concentration...

When I recovered from this shock and later sat on the PC, I saw the nomination of my aquarium and in me endless feelings made!
In one way I could not believe that my aquariums were going to get such an great award, the other way I felt like a "scammer" because my aquarium did not look like this anymore ...
I have made a picture of the current appearance, this I am attached here. It can at least be worth something for others as a experience! ...

If, as I suspect, there are better works than mine here, I would like to leave my nominated place to the better. I can not different it, I am like that. That's how I feel better!

I think the challenges themselves are great! On the long entries for each post, I see your love in this work, not to mention the endless work that is required !! Thanks a lot for this!!

Here is the example of today:

Oh noooo! I totally understand how you feel because stuff like that happens to ALL of us. Please, take the well-deserved honor of being spotlighted and the new knowledge of how those gelatin sheets do (and do not!) work, and chalk it all up to experience! Cookie art is always a bit wabi sabi. That's why we take and share pictures of them! 

Now that the weekend's Father's Day festivities are done, I wanted to properly congratulate everyone who was spotlighted or participated in this challenge. I know how very time-consuming these 3-D cookie projects can be, and I am always humbled by how many people choose to participate in spite of the great effort required. Every entry for this challenge was worthy of a spotlight, and I tried to make substantive comments on all of the entries, so you would know how much we really appreciated them. You guys are all amazing, so do give yourselves a hearty pat on the back!

Congratulations to @GinkgoWerkstatt on her big prize win!

Huge thanks, as always, to @Julia M. Usher for her help and guidance and for providing this incredible space to share our art.

Last, but definitely not least, thank you to my fellow Cookie Connection Contributors, who not only do their own blogs for this site, but also help me judge these challenges: @Manu@Aproned Artist, and @SugarDotCookies. I could not do this without their extra expert eyes and support. 

Thank you very much Christine !! I felt infinitely uncomfortable with these thoughts ... I am now more "calm" and can let the dreamlike Challenge once again pass in peace and enjoy! Have so many thanks for your kind words !! I really appreciate that !! ❤️❤️❤️ Thank you!  @Bakerloo Station

Icingsugarkeks posted:

Dear Julia, Dear Christine,  @Julia M. Usher  @Bakerloo Station
I do not know how to start ...
Today, on Sunday, I wanted to pack my larger aquarium as a gift and took it from the cardboard box in which I had stored it. I was soon hit by the blow when I saw it! The front cast gelatin layer (for the depth effect) was completely dried, was flat and tore through the drying process so to speak the framework of the aquarium and pulled inwards! It was planned by me that she stays thick and elastic ... So I had the gelatin too concentrated in concentration...

When I recovered from this shock and later sat on the PC, I saw the nomination of my aquarium and in me endless feelings made!
In one way I could not believe that my aquariums were going to get such an great award, the other way I felt like a "scammer" because my aquarium did not look like this anymore ...
I have made a picture of the current appearance, this I am attached here. It can at least be worth something for others as a experience! ...

If, as I suspect, there are better works than mine here, I would like to leave my nominated place to the better. I can not different it, I am like that. That's how I feel better!

I think the challenges themselves are great! On the long entries for each post, I see your love in this work, not to mention the endless work that is required !! Thanks a lot for this!!

Here is the example of today:

Oh my dear cookie friend...I understand your disappointment, Gabi, but stuff like this happens to EVERYONE (as Christine @Bakerloo Station said)! You put SO much time and work into creating your masterpiece aquariums and they are gorgeous works of art . Your award is well deserved and I'm so happy that you were spotlighted. You have wonderful creative instincts and I always enjoy seeing what you come up with in all your work. Receiving this spotlight is a huge honor for each and every person who receives it. Enjoy this award and post it wherever you would like to share it!!

Post
×
×
×
×