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Live Chat with Teri Pringle Wood

Welcome, Teri! First, congrats on being a 2015 Cookier of the Year finalist - that's clear testament to how much everyone on Cookie Connection loves your work! I can't wait to learn more about you today!
And, hello, everyone!
Before we jump into Q&A, just a few housekeeping notes for newbies to our chats: questions are answered in the order received, but they will not post to the public/viewable area of the chat until Teri reads and answers them. We'll work through questions that were logged in advance first; then start working on questions asked live during the chat. That said, please be patient and do not re-post the same question. It may take some time to answer your question, depending on where it sits in the queue. But I will personally make sure every question gets answered before we're through!
Please also ask just one question at a time - it's easier for our guests to keep track of questions and for others to follow the dialogue this way. So, let's get started!
Regrettably, I wasn't able to easily fit Teri's head shot on her chat banner, so here it is - just to put her lovely face to her name!
Teris Headshot
And to kick things off, and hopefully stimulate some questions, here's Teri's favorite cookie that she made in 2015 - the one she submitted to the Cookiers' Choice Awards judging team. Just fantastic, isn't it?!
Heart Cookie - Teri Pringle Wood
Hi Julia and Teri!
Teri, I just love your beautiful artwork. Your hearts are special. It is amazing to see the many different variations you are able to produce and their amount. They are perfect from their shape, to the way they shine, to the decoration. One thing I like is the balance you are able to give them in terms of details, space covered by the icing, needlepoint or handpainting, lace, colors, dimension of flowers, etc. I think this harmony is your hallmark. It is a pleasure to look at your work and there is a lot to learn.
Good morning
First, I would like to say thank you Julia for creating this quality site for all of us to share our passion for cookies, decorating and learning. Not often enough do we thank you for the many hours you spend making this site so successful. Again, thank you.
Thanks so much, Teri! My pleasure!
Second, I'm somewhat shy and not a real chatty person, but I will say I am excited to visit with my cookie friends. Thank you for the opportunity.
First comment from Manu . . . Thank you, Manu. A lot of effort you put into gathering all those hearts together . . . I'm amazed I do so many myself . . . I must have a thing for hearts?
LOL - I think you do!
Good evening ladies from Greece! Glad I could be here.
I noticed that you have been experimenting a lot recently and have made lots of cute animals, nice rose and colorful butterfly RI (royal icing) transfers, beautiful daffodils, over-piped borders, moss, cute bees and beehives, etc. One thing that you always write in your comments is the fun that you have while decorating your cookies and how much you are practicing. Your passion and enthusiasm are contagious. Is it from this "fun" that you get the inspiration for new projects and the energy to keep practicing?
First question from Manu . . . Yes, I have only been decorating cookies for two years, so I have a lot to learn. I truly like a lot of different styles so I play with one for a while and then move on to the next idea. No shortage of things to practice and learn. I always manage to slip in a heart here and there, I see . . . I do have fun decorating. I love what I'm doing and it seems working on a project gives me fuel for three more . . . Just need more hours in the day . . .
Looking at your outstanding work, and at the number of cookies you post, it looks like your day lasts more than 24 hours. Anyway, reading also about how much passion you put into practicing with RI (royal icing), I assume you have become very fast at decorating . . . I was wondering how much time you spend decorating one cookie? And what is the average size of your cookies?
Second question from Manu . . . Again, thank you, Manu. I have and I do practice with a passion. The more I practice, the more comfortable I feel and that makes it FUN. As far as time, I work on a cookie or set until I'm happy with it. If it's an hour or two or more, it's okay. If I were doing this for my income, I know I'd have to change my ways . . . My large hearts and ovals are 9 inches and the average of others would be 4 inches.
I was wondering if you prepare your RI (royal icing) from scratch or if you use meringue powder? (By "from scratch", I mean if you use fresh eggs whites.) Have you tried both kinds of icing, and why do you choose one or the other? Also which one do you think is better for piping your exquisite lace?
Good question - BTW, we have a great survey on this topic going on now under the Surveys section!
Another question from Manu . . . Yes, in the beginning, I tried many different RI (royal icing) recipes. It didn't take long for me to see that I wasn't going to find one that was magic. Experience and practice would be the key ingredient. I eventually felt that the recipe from Julia Usher with egg whites seemed smoother and rarely produced a clogged tip . . . I have been using that recipe (maybe tweaked slightly) for most of my decorating time.
I didn't know you were using my recipe! Cool! I love it too!
Another silly curiosity . . . I read that you make many cookies as keepsakes. I think that it would be a pity to eat them because they are so beautiful, but on the other hand, I have to say that your cookies also look really yummy (and this is important as they are cookies)! Just curious to know what people do, as far as you know: do they keep your cookies or end up eating them?
I love it too!
Next question from Manu . . . All of my honey gingerbread cookies have the potential to be keepsakes. I create them with the hope that they may have a future. Many of them do. Almost all of my large hearts and ovals end up being keepsakes. Many are beautifully framed or displayed in some way by their owners. That is one of the reasons the time I have invested in making them doesn't matter so much to me. This one was just framed by a client. Very hard for me to capture the beauty of the framing with my photography skills . . . lol.
It looks great to me!
Another question from Manu (I separated it from another set of her questions, as it is fairly different): And last, I was also wondering what is the amount of royal icing that you prepare/use every week?
Next question from Manu . . .That would depend on what my projects for the week will be. If I'm working on larger cookies, one batch might do; if smaller with more colors, maybe two or three batches.
BTW, one batch of my icing is about 2 pounds worth.
Hi Teri. I'd love to know how many cookies you generally make in one day.
Good question! From her posts here, it seems like a lot!
Question from Sweet Kaleo . . . Hi, LeeAnn, on average, I will say six. If I have an upcoming event or a special order, then I do as many as I can. A good day for me is about 30-36, due to the amount of detail.
Julia is awesome
On second thought I may have under averaged that answer
I can tell you that Teri's cookies taste fabulous!
this is so beautiful
What's your new answer to that question, Teri?
Thank you Barb
It really is hard to say, depends on my orders but total playing maybe more like 12
While Teri is reevaluating the average number of cookies she does in a day, I'll continue to post Q&A that were in the advance queue.
Oops, thanks, Teri. I see your answer now!
My royal icing is too spongy and doesn't dry!
Question from Arezoo . . . Hi Arezoo, I am sorry to hear about your icing. If you have made that recipe more than twice and have had the same results, I would try a different recipe. Liesbet has a wonderful article posted in Toolbox Talk about royal icing. It has a lot of valuable information you might be interested in reading if you haven't already done so. Hope it will help you.
I'll try to find that Toolbox Talk link as we move onto the next question. We are now moving to live questions!
Ready, Teri?!
I am!
im so interested in how Teri does those tiny lace designs
Diva's is the first live one! Hi, Diva!
Liesbet actually had posts on cream of tartar and meringue power, which taken together = royal icing, so I am posting both links . . .
Good morning Diva, so happy you are here. I love lace and doilies and have been collecting for many years. I really just get my icing ready look at the cookies and go to work. Seems the design is just what happens at the moment. I do work in one section at a time.
What size tip do you use for your lace work, Teri?
The size of the cookies.
Cynthia, Teri answered this question above already.
most often I work with a PME # 1
Sorry, Cynthia, I don't think Teri answered that question yet.
What is your average cookie size?
I do use my icing a little stiffer so it makes a finer line.
hi so excited
Barb, I saw your question. Do not ask it again; it is lower in the queue - there are many questions in the queue. Thanks!
My average is 4-5 inches and my larger hearts and ovals are 9" and some creations bigger...
Teri is by far my favorite cookie decorator
thank you for the link
Teri I luv your lady bugs they are my favorite - what is your favorite cookie base to use
Here's the other article about meringue powder from Liesbet:
Thank you Diva, my honey gingerbread for sure
Not only is it wonderful to work on... it has the possibility of a future...
Meaning, it lasts a long time?
thank you !
Just realized the new border on the Cookie Connection site and love it. Maybe Teri can do something special for the upcoming borders in 2017...that would look quite amazing.
I'll post the next question, while Teri answers my one above.
I have a question about transfers. Do you ever have a problem where your transfer isn't totally flat?
Yes, they stay completely fresh and edible for a very long time, I saved some from Christmas year before last and got them out last Christmas with my ornaments and decided to taste one I was amazed that they were hard but perfect taste. No stale or rancid flavor at all.
I would love it if Teri contributed some artwork for the site in 2017 - and if others did too. That would be great. The current art is by Christine Donnelly, aka Bakerloo Station!
And they can be air dried and will last as keepsakes for display or framing
Amazing about their longevitity! Just posted another question from Barb (about two or three questions up) about royal icing transfers!
i too collect textiles thank you for sharing inspiration is every where
Hi Diane, thank you for joining in the chat, I noticed it right off this morning at 4:00 lol and it really is beautiful, I would love to do one, I just have to challenge myself in the tech area
Congratulation to Christine, it is so soft and soothing
Fun and cheery too!
Hi, all, we have about 11 questions in the queue, so please be patient if yours does not post immediately. No need to enter the questions twice - I am getting them all, just posting them one at a time as soon as Teri has answered the previous question.
Barb, when I do transfers I pipe them on plastic sheet protectors on a small plastic cutting board, that way they are easy to move around and completely flat
I make sure to pipe on acetate that is taped to a less flexible surface; this way the transfers do no bend as the icing dries - even large ones.
If you pipe on parchment paper, it can sometimes buckle as it dries . . . my two cents.
Teri, how do you control flooding? I seem to be getting way too much [icing] on the cookie.
Diva that last lavender lace collection I posted was inspired by my kitchen curtains, yes inspiration is everywhere you look, sometimes more than I can handle!!!!
While Teri is answering the next question, I'll find the royal icing/meringue powder survey link that I mentioned early on. If you haven't yet taken the survey, please do.
The idea about using sheet protectors is brilliant. I always use parchment paper, and unless I use a rather thick flood icing, my RI transfers warp too. Great idea Teri.
Julia, can I suggest that the answers are directed to the person's screen name? I don't know who Diane is but I'm now guessing it must be Cookie Celebration. Just trying to figure out which question Teri was answering.
Yes, thank you, Barb! Teri, please use the person's screen name when answering! Thanks!
Next question will be from Spopek, once Teri answers Diva's question about flooding! Hang tight!
I pipe on acetate too. I figured it might be surface tension (thanks Julia for that phrase )
Teri, that's what I do too.
Diva I am using a tip-less bag for my flooding. with a fairly small hole. I start in one areas and do c shaped strokes smoothing as I go, so it smooths its self out as I work from one side to another and most often I don't ever have to give it a wiggle it's good to dry , of course after I pop any bubbles, stinkers
But you still get warped transfers, Barb? When do you most often get them? Under what circumstances?
Thank you Diane, I just leave them on the cutting board until I'm ready to use them so mo problem with breaking
Diane = Cookie Celebration
I will , Most often that is only how I know them too. good idea Barb
Ok, while we wait to hear from Barb on the transfer issue, I am posting two questions which are very similar . . .
How did you get started selling your cookies?
How did you venture into cookies, by the way?
Posting a comment, in reference to transfers, I believe . . .
thank you for sharing this technique I will try this
I have a feeling it has to do with consistency. It doesn't happen often. I still have a problem with my icing being the right consistency every time.
Interesting, Barb. I seem to find my transfers are less sensitive to icing consistency issues, as opposed to directly piping on cookies - for instance, I rarely see craters in transfers. Not really sure why that is . . .
I'm just looking for excuses, LOL
Once I started decorating cookies my friends saw them and wanted to give them as gifts and started ordering them. I started making a supply to have on hand so if they needed a quick gift they could just stop by and pick one out, that worked well. Then the more I started practicing and had more and more of them I hard to sell out of necessity. So many cookies I make!
How many cookies per week do you sell, versus just make for fun or to give to family and friends?
I sell almost all that I make, I like to donate a lot and give as a gift to someone who needs a cookie hug
A related question . . .
Where do you sell your cookies? Or are they mainly family and friends?
Hi Teri! I just passed to say hello. You know how much I adore your work and admire you! A big hug ❤️
I am shipping them all over the USA, People are driving here to pick them up from over a hundred miles and I have a very appreciate community of cookie lovers..
Just a heads up - we still have 10 questions in the queue, but I extended time a little to allow time for Teri to get to all of the questions we currently have.
Hi Teri, so nice to get to know more about you as I love your work,...ahem...and I'm a bit of a fan of hearts myself! Do you have a background in art or were you already a craftsperson before you ventured into cookies?
Hi Evelin, thank you for stopping in and you comments. YOU know I love all your beautiful creations as well, Hugs back to you
Yes, Cookie Celebration, just click on the i icon above and you'll see a lot more background info about Teri and her painting experience!
Have you tried tipless bags yet? My next challenge as I love the very small detail some other Cookiers get from using them.
Cookie Celebration - Teri mentioned she used a tipless bag above.
Teri, do you have any online tutorials or classes in the works?
Thank you for answering all of my questions, which looked like a tsunami at the beginning of this live chat! Very interesting to get to know how long your cookies last.
Thanks for posting in advance, Manu. It really does allow us to get through many more questions in a one-hour chat, as typing live can take a fair bit of time.
Cookie Celebration I use hundreds of tipless bags.... for flooding a I mentioned earlier and for my piping but NOT tip less... I like the softness of them, easier on my hand.
Oh, I see . . . thanks for the clarification!
Re-posting Donna A's question in case it got lost in the recent shuffle: Teri, do you have any online tutorials or classes in the works?
I noticed she used the tipless for flooding, but does she use it for the actual intricate piping work?
CC - answered above, I believe. She uses the bags, but uses a PME#1 in those bags for intricate piping. Teri, correct me if I am wrong.
Julia , thank you for providing this venue today and the ability to s/w Teri.
You're welcome, Diva, though I must admit, I don't know what s/w means!
Oh great, thank you Julia for the link about more of Teri's background.
speak with
Speak with?
Donna A, no i don't have any tutorials, I am working , slowly, in that direction because of so many requests. I will not be teaching, I will do one on one in my home but no structured classes and I have a debilitating spinal condition at will not allow me to travel.
I am posting two questions now about shipping that are very similar. Perhaps they can be answered at one time . . .
Good morning, Teri. Do you mail your cookies? And if so, how do you package them for the hard ride?
Can you give us your shipping secrets in order to avoid breakage?
Yes CC I use tips in the tipless bags, it works great.
Everyone, please hold off on asking more questions until we can get through the 8 already in the queue. I think we will need the remaining 15 minutes to do so. If we can't get through them all, I will post any remaining questions into the chat and ask Teri if she can answer them after the chat and I will post those answers into our forum. Thanks!
Teri, It's my case too about back and spinal conditions. I really admire you, I cant work as hard as you. Kisses, and thank you for sharing your time with us.
Hi Michelle, Yes I am shipping all over the USA and some to Canada with great success. I secure them to cardboard covered with plastic wrap and them wrap them with more plastic wrap so that they can't move , wrap in bubble wrap and tightly pack the box with bubble wrap, plastic grocery bags, noodles, whatever so that nothing in the box can move. When done if you shake the boxes there will absolutely no movement. I think I have about a 98% success rate.
You primarily work with gingerbread (I primarily work with sugar cookies) you find you sort of fell into that or was it a conscious decision and do you work with other types of dough?
Also, posting a related question about your gingerbread recipe, Teri.
Are you willing to share your honey gingerbread cookie recipe with us?
Teri, just posted this response to Cynthia, but it appeared in the wrong place so I am re-posting it for her: Cynthia, I'm sorry to hear you have them same problems, we just have to make the best of it ...And more cookies!
Hi, while Teri is answering the last two posted questions about her gingerbread preference and recipe, I am going to post the remaining questions into the chat so they are saved, and she can possibly answer them later.
Teri - can you describe your work space ?
About bright red color, when I use the red color, I have to use a lot, this makes that when the RI gets dry and I touch over the icing vanish, like foam... I dont know how to explain... But only happen with red...
You get a nice "puff" on your flooded you air dry your cookies or do you use a dehydrator or fan on them?
How long do you keep cookies on hand before selling them? Do you refrigerate or freeze and, if so, for up to how long?
So did you start selling at craft shows, flea markets, or farmers' markets? Could you tell us some of the places you started to sell besides your home?
Teri, can you let Peggy and us know if you are willing to share your gingerbread recipe? And, if so, where it can be found? That's the last question for today; we'll try to get to the others later!
this made my day it really did !!!!
Thanks so much for sharing Teri and I look forward to seeing more of your wonderful creations in the future! Thanks Julia, once again for a fantastic forum in which to share our ideas, inspirations, work and techniques.
Thanks, everyone, for participating. And special thanks to Teri for joining us and sharing her expertise!
Thank you Teri !!!!
Teri also posted this answer to CC, but in the wrong area: CC, I do work on many different cookies surfaces but mostly for special orders.
And also this from Teri: Thank you Julia and all who were here for the chat and your questions and I will get them all answered...Sweet cookie hugs to you all and let's go decorate some cookies!!!
This chat has ended.
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