March 2017

Illinois Cottage Food Laws

Forum: Legalese
Cookie Lovin Mom
Hi! I am new to site and thought I would ask if anyone is from Illinois, and working as a cottage baker? I am running into confusion. The cottage law says only farmers' markets up to $36,000, but my county passed a cupcake law (home baked goods ordinance) allowing just $1,000 a month from home. I am wondering if anyone is familiar with Kendall County in regards to this? When I called, one person told me I cannot do both the farmers' market and home baking; then the city said they did not...Read More...
Last Reply By Cookie Lovin Mom · First Unread Post

Colors Bleeding - Please Help! I've Tried Everything!

So take a look at the terrible bleeding in the picture. I've tried everything to stop this problem. In the example, the eyes were wet on wet, so I kind of expected some bleeding from the black into the white (although I'd love to know how to fix this), but then the eyes were left to set for 24 hours before the orange nose was done. After the nose was added I put the cookies in a dehydrator for 15-20 minutes and then left them out to set again. The picture you see is the cookie two days after...Read More...
Last Reply By Econlady · First Unread Post

Meet Our April Site Artist

Julia M. Usher
Wow! Can it really almost be April? I've accomplished a small fraction of what I set out to do this year, and it's already one quarter of the way over. Yikes! I don't know how everyone here does all that they do?!! It's truly incredible to view the volume of wonderful work that so many of you produce, day in and day out. And our monthly site artists are no different - they continue to impress and delight with each of their monthly posts. If you have even a shadow of a doubt, just take a look...Read More...
Last Reply By Dulce Mundo de Yami · First Unread Post

A Bittersweet Goodbye and Happy Hello!

Julia M. Usher
Hi, all, I'm not sure if you've had an opportunity to catch @Dolce Sentire's recent tutorial ( here ), but I encourage you to do so for at least a couple of reasons. First, it's a great tutorial, as always. But, second (and this is where the "bitter" part of "bittersweet" comes in), she reveals in it that she'll be leaving her position of site contributor, effective immediately. The "sweet" part is: she's got lots of other great cookie opportunities awaiting her! While I'm...Read More...
Last Reply By swissophie · First Unread Post
Hi all, I bake for the military in my spare time. I have a friend who helps and we crank out the cookies. Right now we are getting 2500 Easter cookies ready for an AF (air force) base in TX. My question is: is it ok to freeze after baking and again after decorating? Does this affect how long the cookies will be fresh? I ship flat rate, and it's usually 3 days, but I'd like to ship overseas and that can take 8-21 days. Doing large volume as we do, it kills us to do 4 days of 8-12 hour...Read More...
Last Reply By Homemade for Heroes · First Unread Post
Attention: Cookie decorators in Texas! This bill (more info below) never made it out of committee two years ago. It has been introduced again this year and needs your support. Please call your representatives and tell them you support this bill. Here is a list of representatives in Texas: Chair - "Four" Price , Amarillo (512) 463-0470 Vice Chair - J.D. Sheffield , Gatesville (512) 463-0628 Diana Arévalo , San Antonio (512) 463-0616 Cindy Burkett , Garland (512) 463-0464 Garnet Coleman ,...Read More...
Last Reply By Buffy Gwyn · First Unread Post

Big Cookie Order Tips

Hi, cookie decorators, I have an order of 1800 cookies; the due date is in 9 days, & I am trying to figure out the most effective way to do it in right time, without spending my nights awake LOL. Earlier, I did 600 pieces in only 3 days but I was late in the delivery. I really don't want that experience again. Please give me your advice.Read More...
Last Reply By Nawal · First Unread Post

Live Chat on Saturday, March 25 with Dany Lind

Julia M. Usher
If you weren't fortunate enough to hang with Dany at CookieCon last weekend, well, you're in luck - we're hosting her for a live chat this coming Saturday! Please mark your calendars. And, if you can't make the chat, please hop on over to her chat room and enter any advance questions now. Dany will answer all advance and live questions during live chat time. Thanks! Hope to "see" you there! P.S. And here's that link to Dany's chat room again: http://cookieconnection.juliau...lind-of-dany-s-cakesRead More...

Saturday Spotlight Update

Julia M. Usher
Hi, all! Just a heads up that it's taking me longer than envisioned to write the CookieCon 2017 Sugar Show recap, the subject of this week's Spotlight. (There were lots of awards categories, and thus there are lots of great photos to load!) It's unlikely I will finish it tonight, so stay tuned for a release later this weekend.Read More...

Great Time at CookieCon 2017!

Big Cookie Dream
I'm a newbie cookier and this was my first CookieCon. It was a lot of fun. The sponsors were very generous. I've learned so much and now I need to figure out which techniques to practice first. I did purchase some of Julia's stencils so that will be at the top of the list. I made two cookies for CookieTown. My first attempt at something like this.Read More...
Last Reply By Julia M. Usher · First Unread Post

Julia's March Stencil Release!

Forum: Tools
Julia M. Usher
Yes, it's mid-March (my, how time flies!) and once again the occasion for the grand reveal of my latest Prettier Plaques TM stencils . If you haven't yet heard about my new line, introduced at the end of 2016 and designed in partnership with Stencil Ease , you can read all about it here ! This month, I'm adding four new five-stencil sets, including my March Stencil of the Month , to my growing line. All sets are also sold as separates to give you maximum purchasing flexibility. As a...Read More...

One-Stroke Painting

Hello Everyone! I would like to ask if there is anyone who is familiar with one stroke painting or ever tried on a cookie this technique. Last week I attended a painting course and would like to try this technique on cookies. So far I was able to come up only with this: I would like to improve with a lot of practice but cant figure out how to use food color as a paint for this special technique. On the course that I have attended we used acrylic paint, but obviously on cookies I would like...Read More...
Last Reply By Gingerland · First Unread Post

Farmers' Market Help

Cookie Lovin Mom
Hi! My state and county allow farmers' market sales, and county also now allows home baked goods. However, you have to choose farmers' market selling or direct from home. Not both. The farmers' market allows up to $36,000 in sales, however we cannot sell from home; and at farmers' market under same entity. So I am considering selling at farmers' market. Does anyone have any tips or feedback on how you do farmers' markets, since I cannot sell from home with custom orders? Would love advice!!Read More...
Last Reply By Cookie Lovin Mom · First Unread Post

CookieCon 2017 Coverage in Full Swing!

Julia M. Usher
In case you missed my previous announcements here, our CookieCon 2017 coverage is now in full swing! Thanks to @Bev Made Cookies, and other members who have posted their contributions to the CookieCon Cookie Town Collaboration, you can see a photo diary of the event in our "CookieCon Coverage" clip set here . And, thanks to @Econlady, who's been going a mile a minute so as not to miss ANYTHING, you read read her daily CookieCon journal here . Enjoy! And, once...Read More...
Last Reply By pip · First Unread Post

Cookie Order Forms

Cookie Lovin Mom
Hi! I hope this is place for this, but I have my first paid customer and I am wondering if anyone uses an order form to send to the customer to fill out, and, if so, if you are willing to share, or at least share what information you request? If someone is willing to share your order form, or what information you get from the customer, that would be great! In Illinois, customers have to pay in person in our county, so I am wondering if you require a deposit as well? Thank you! WendyRead More...
Last Reply By taradactyl · First Unread Post

Mark Your Calendars for Our March Chat!

Julia M. Usher
Hey, all! Mark your calendars for our next live chat on March 25. Over the course of the next few to several months, I'll be chatting (and conducting Cookier Close-up interviews) with all of the CookieCon 2017 instructors with whom I've never done these things before! First up, is the lovely Dany Lind of Dany's Cakes (and cookies!) in the Lewiston/Auburn area of Maine, USA. In this chat, we'll explore Dany's distinctive piped, dimensional cookie work and get the lowdown on her experience as...Read More...

Feature in Torty od Mamy

Julia M. Usher
Hi, just a little news from my neck of the woods . . . I am proud to have been featured today in the March 2017 issue of the leading cake/sweets decorating magazine in Slovakia and the Czech Republic, Torty od Mamy . My feature consists of a three-page spread, where I answer 14 questions about my background in and approach to cookie decorating. The issue is now available for sale here , and below is an excerpt. If you don't speak Czech or Slovak, no worries - I've attached my original...Read More...
Last Reply By Julia M. Usher · First Unread Post

Sneak Peek at 2016 Cookiers' Choice Awards Trophies

Julia M. Usher
Hey, all! Just a brief "human interest" post! As you all probably know, we recently announced the winners of our 2016 Cookiers' Choice Awards . They'll each receive a $500 cash prize in addition to a commemorative "trophy", which is a custom-engraved Waterford Crystal vase! All four vases just arrived today (so, winners: they'll be in the mail in a couple of days). I couldn't be happier with how they turned out, so I thought I'd share: Congrats again to our 2016 winners! Hopefully, this...Read More...

New from Illinois

Cookie Lovin Mom
Hello, all! I am so happy to have found this site, from the state of Illinois! I am a mom of 3 daughters with my youngest in high school. As two of our girls are out of the house, I have a lot more time. Many, many moons ago I studied hotel/restaurant management, as well as was a certified wedding/event planner and designer and sold cakes out of my home when the girls were toddlers. Yet, to me, I have always had a passion for, and always baked, cookies and decorated some over holidays and...Read More...
Last Reply By Cookie Lovin Mom · First Unread Post

It's Almost CookieCon Time - Please Share While There!

Julia M. Usher
Yes, it's almost time for the cookie event of the year - Cookie Con ! Sadly, I can't make it again this year due to preexisting classes and other commitments. However, I am 100-percent certain that those of us who don't have the time, resources, or good fortune to go to CookieCon will absolutely love to live vicariously, so, if you are going, please do not hesitate to share your experiences in any of the following areas: (1) If you're a CookieCon sponsor , and would like to tell everyone...Read More...

CookieCon 2017 Sponsor Surprises!

Julia M. Usher
Before you know it, CookieCon 2017 will be upon us, and while I can't be there in person, I will definitely be there in spirit - and on a couple of sponsor booth posters, as it turns out! What am I talking about, you ask? Well, in the first case, my "Julia" stencil logo (or some variation of it) will be flying high over my partner Stencil Ease 's booth (#35) , where they've got lots of great surprises planned for CookieCon-goers. Just look for the following image or proceed to our booth...Read More...