Going to the Chapel

Last December I made a bunch of diamond ring cookies for my sweet friend who was getting married.  I managed to fly them home, decorate them, and take turns at about 5 miles an hour all the way to the party!  They were my first go at a diamond ring cookie.  There are so many others out there (there’s really only one cutter that EVERYONE uses), but I thought the swirls were cute.Since it’s wedding season, I’ve been testing out a few other cookie ring looks!  I’ll share those soon!

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Let the Good Times Roll

A while back, I made a batch of Bunco cookies for a family friend.  They turned out very cute and would work well for a casino night!

I’ve had a couple of people weary of black icing.  I read about it and have tested a few different things.  The easiest way to make black icing is to use a high-quality, black coloring.  It doesn’t have the strange taste, and gives you a nice color.  I’ve also tried mixing left-overs from all of my other colors to make black.  It taste exactly the same (which is only like almond!).

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Consistency

A beautiful cookie comes down to talent and ingredients.  My biggest challenge is getting the icing to the exact right consistency.  Since this is a look at my journey to cookie perfection, I figured I’d share some of my “practice.”  I’ve been re-creating some of my first cookies as I have “leftovers” from other orders to master the consistency.  Here are my original Colorado “C”s:

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The outline icing was so thick it almost didn’t spread.  Here’s my latest attempt (though the photo is only iphone quality):

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It’s hard to see but it’s much smoother.  No cracked corners and a more professional finish.  Slowly but surely, I’m getting better!

Luck of the Irish

This time last year, I was getting ready for the wedding of two of my favorite people!  This year, I worked up a St. Patrick’s Day cookie collection for a family friend.   It was my first shipping adventure (a post to come on that soon!) and was the largest order I’ve made to-date.  I decided to build my confidence with a tutorial from Sugarbelle on these little leprechauns!  They had so much character and personality!  I really enjoy making “people” cookies.  The Eskimos were so cute and now these guys make me chuckle!

Here are the lucky little lads in all their glory:

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And every leprechaun needs a rainbow to follow:

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Saturday I will post what was waiting for the Leprechaun cookies at the end of the road!

Raving Mad

Since this is a cookie and small business diary, I figured I would share the truth about starting my own business.  It’s not all sugar and sweetness…

I guess one of the perils of starting your own business is realizing it’s still possible to be let down by someone.  I am a perfectionist.  I know that, and so when I work for myself, I have a standard that, though high, is reasonable for myself.  So when the only part of the process of cookie making and delivery that involves someone else is the shipping, and that gets screwed up, I’m obviously livid.

I shipped two boxes of cookies (three dozen) on Monday to be delivered by Wednesday evening via UPS.  I sent them at Staples, a UPS retailer, on Monday morning.  I was there so early, as to not lose any time, that they unlocked the door for me.  On Monday the tracking codes were not working so I followed-up at noon to make sure they were going to send the boxes, and they said there pickup was around 5pm.  Then this is where there’s absolutely no explanation.  They say they gave the boxes to UPS, UPS shows no record of them until 10pm Tuesday evening.  They are each blaming one another.

Net, net: the cookies are late, will not be there for the event and I’m sick about it.

I’m so frustrated because this reflects poorly on me as a brand. I’ve worked so hard to start something that wasn’t a joke.   So the answer to the “Do I ship cookies?” question, is, “Maybe.  Just not from Staples and not via UPS.”

Packaging and Branding

I started this blog on the WordPress platform because there are a couple of designers who make beautiful blogs and websites that I could upgrade to if Spoonful really took off.  I was pleasantly surprised that the designs WordPress offered to fill the interim, were lovely, simple, and fit my vision for Spoonful well.  In that vein, I designed my business cards and packaging to follow the Tiffany blue, white, and gray found in the blog.

I’m surrounded by graphic designers everyday at work, but I figured I would do this one on my own.  I made a simple spoon graphic and kept the business cards basic, yet unique.  Since these cookies take a while to make and are priced higher than Girl Scout cookies or Oreos, it was important for me to establish a package that made the cookies feel special.

Here’s a look at the box all packaged up:

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The business card:

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In each package I wanted to include a few extra business cards to increase word-of-mouth referrals.  Here’s the package I plan to include in each order:

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