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“My blog is a collection of tidbits about the things I love... sugar cookies, baking, great food, cute stuff, and life in Happy Valley. Check back often for updates!!”

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SMART COOKIE - new Craftsy class now available

posted Monday Nov 21, 2016 at 06:53 AM by Anne Yorks — 0 comments



NEW Online Craftsy class now Available!! 

Hooray! My NEW online Craftsy class, Smart Cookies, is now available! Smart Cookies is all about navigating the cookie process better, faster and more efficiently! It covers so many topics including: designing cookie sets, creating a cookie timeline, planning for icing, saving time with quick techniques, all while keeping the JOY in decorating! Plus, it is packed with lots of fun cookie demos!!! Read more below for a sneak peek into a few of my favorite class lessons!
 
Check out the video trailer to get a sneak peek at the class!


Here's a breakdown of the class by lesson: 

Lessons 1 and 2

The first two lessons focus on designing and planning cookie sets that not only look great but take less time to complete! I'll walk you through my design process from brainstorming to sketching. Then in Lesson 2, I'll show you how I set up my cookie timeline, whether I'm making a few dozen cookies or 200 cookies!

Lessons 3 and 4

After I walk you through the planning process, lesson 3 will focus on some of my favorite time savers for decorating all while keeping designs consistent. Lesson 4 is all about the icing. I'll review icing consistencies, how to plan how much to make by color, and drying cookies! 

Lessons 5 and 6

Lesson 5 is one of my favorite lessons of the class. I review airbrushing and royal icing stenciling and show how it can save you time and add beautiful, yet easy, projects to any cookie collection. Then, once the cookies are complete, lesson 6 focuses on packing and presenting your cookies, including my best tips on how to ship your cookies anywhere!

Lesson 7 

Cookie demos are mixed in as I move through each lesson. But Lesson 7 is JAM PACKED with cookie tips as I finish showing how to create each cookie from my three class sets!

How Craftsy works!

If you haven't taken a Craftsy class yet, I think you're going to love it! Both of my classes are organized into 7 lessons, each broken down by topic. The Craftsy platform allows you to watch, stop, re-watch and make notes as much as you need! Plus, you can ask ME, the instructor, questions. I'll be checking in frequently to make sure all questions are answered.

The class also features my icing and cookie recipes, templates for several of the projects, icing practice sheets, and a materials list. 

Save 50% on registration - click here!

About Me

I left the "real world" in 2007 to be a stay–at–home mom. As a self–taught baker, I spent years decorating cookies and tweaking my recipes for loved ones' weddings, parties, baby showers and beyond. All that practice finally paid off when I opened the successful Flour Box Bakery in my home town of Bellefonte, Pennsylvania. Now, I'm happy to share my tried–and–true tips and cookie techniques with you, right here on Craftsy.

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Happy Dog Video Tutorial (and Veterinarian cookies!)

posted Wednesday Sep 07, 2016 at 06:13 AM by Anne Yorks — 0 comments

Last week, we celebrated my youngest daughter's 5th birthday. Five is a big deal, so I had to make her cookies of course! She loves to play veterinarian and requested Vet cookies and happy dogs and cats for her big day. This was a fun set to create! 



Check out the video on how to create this cute happy dog cookie!



I used the dog cutter from the new amazing mix and match animal set available in our online shop! 



Master cookie decorator, Autumn Carpenter, designed this animal cookie cutter set so you can decorate dozens of adorable animal cookies at an affordable price and just a few cutters. I love it!


You could also use the cat face cutter from the mix and match set to create this pretty cat design. Remember this design from Valentine's Day? I did this same design above in gray :)

Check out the video of the Happy Cat cookie!

 
Here's the rest of the Vet cookies...



For the Vet cookies, I turned my daughter into a cookie! That's her with her purple Vet glasses next to the dogs and cats. Do you recognize the dr. bag cutter?? It's the CAKE from the new Sugarbelle Shape Shifter Set!


And this cat...is actually the cute fox cutter. 



Just in case you're wondering if my daughter liked her cookies...


 


Happy Birthday, sweet little one!! 

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Back to School Cookies with Sugarbelle Cutters!

posted Tuesday Aug 30, 2016 at 01:06 PM by Anne Yorks — 3 comments

It's Back to School week in our house. After two Meet the Teacher events...we are ready for another sweet year! 

I had a blast exploring with my new Sugarbelle cutters to create these fun collections. Can you pick out all the cutters? How about in the set below?

Pictured above is the pencil, bus and apple. Easy!

In this collection, I used the snow globe to create the world globe. And the large rectangle from the nested set.

Check out the new video that shows a start-to-finish look at the Happy School Bus!

Wishing everyone a BRIGHT new school year! These crayons were super easy to make using the stencil from the Back to School cutter set!

Did you know we offer a bundle deal....

Back in stock just in time for back to school is the Sugarbelle Bundle. Bundle your savings with this Sugarbelle set. Regularly priced at $48.94, buy as a bundle and pay $44.05! The bundle includes: Shape Shifter Set and 6 specialty sets. No substitutions.  Check out the bundle deal here!

Happy Decorating!

Anne

 

 

 

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Big Bang Theory Cookies

posted Wednesday Aug 24, 2016 at 11:45 AM by Anne Yorks — 3 comments

 

Friends, this is crazy!!!! Jim Parsons (4-time emmy winner, funny dude, and all-around great guy) has a sweet friend that got to go see a taping of the Big Bang Theory this week. She wanted to bring a sweet treat for the cast and crew...and then THIS happened!!! Thanks, Pam!!!

 

 

And this!! 

 

 

I'm just flabbergasted! 

Making these cookies was so much fun! I had to do each character!

Sheldon is my favorite, but leonard is a close second!

And Soft Kitty. Purr Purr Purr.

And, the cookies wouldn't be complete without the Bazinga!!! 

I can't believe the Big Bang Theory is entering it's 10th season! Incredible! Can't wait!!!!

Happy Decorating,

Anne

 

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Don't Quit Cookies! 10 Tips to Rediscover your Cookie Mojo!

posted Thursday Jul 07, 2016 at 06:43 AM by Anne Yorks — 7 comments

I think it is inevitable that at some point the thing you love stops becoming easy. You're a little BURNT OUT or just tired. At least that is how cookie decorating has been for me this summer. It's like I have cookie block or something. You know what cookie block is, right? It's like writer's block, only for cookies. Well, I almost lost my mind over these cookies. Like, literally almost went to crazy town.

And I also needed to make cakes too (I'm not a cake girl...stressing times two!)

 

They seem innocent enough, but what that photo doesn't tell you is that I struggled for DAYS on what to make. You see, they weren't just any cookies, they were THE cookies for my mom's 65th birthday. And I wanted them to be the greatest project I ever completed in the history of my decorating career. No pressure, right? But, when I started to brainstorm cookie designs, nothing came to me. Zilch. Nada. Enter sweating and stress and that sad feeling in my tummy that I chose the wrong career path. After all, who do I think I am? Certainly not a cookie decorator.

See, I told you...Crazy Town, population 1.

Thankfully, these cookies taught me one very important lesson...'just lighten up, already'. THEY ARE JUST COOKIES THAT WILL BE EATEN IN SECONDS!! Sheesh.

In the end, I was happy with the final cookies. They weren't the end-all, be-all I was hoping for, but they were really pretty and most importantly my mom LOVED them (she would have loved anything, didn't I already know that?)

How to Rediscover Your Cookie Mojo:

1. Brainstorm ideas for your theme. Any idea counts, you can't keep them all, but make a big list so you have some choices. 

2. Decide on colors. If you're short on time or struggling with designs, make it easy on yourself and stick to 3-5 colors to keep the project manageable. I had a whole house to clean and party to set up, so I was not about to embark on a 20-color cookie project. I like to remove those colored pencils from the box and use only those when sketching so I'm not tempted to add in another color.

3. Look at google images/clipart/invitations. I'm not suggesting you copy someone else's work, but rather get inspired and get some ideas. 

4. Just start sketching. Even if nothing is coming to you. Just get started. That is the most important part. I'll say it again...just get started. Who cares if at first your lizard cookie looks more like a kitty cat sleeping in the sun. Just start with something. Then you can make modifications or tweaks later. I find it is easier to edit things, especially with a fresh set of eyes.

5. New to decorating? Find a cookie tutorial that will help to guide the design. You can ask permission to replicate a cookie design, but for the most part, if there is a cookie tutorial post, it is fair game. It is polite to tag the inspiration for your design. For this project, only the seashell was a new design. After all that struggling, I used an oldie but goodie design, the seahorse (see video below). By using a design I had already done, I felt like I accomplished something. 

6. Create an environment that is good for planning and decorating. Get out your favorite colored pencils. Put on Gilmore Girls (all 6 seasons now available on Netflix) or the Kelly Clarkson Pandora station. Get in the mood. 

7. Step back. If it is 'crickets', and you're ready to throw your cookie cutters in the yard, just take a break. 

8. Call a cookie friend. They will assure you that you're not alone in struggling with fun cookie designs. It happens to EVERYONE. And maybe they can help with a few suggestions.

9. Simplify. If you're running out of time because you stalled on getting started, just simplify. That seashell cookie is not complicated. It's easy and pretty. And I got the cookies finished in time for the party (and still managed a few hours of sleep).

10. Lighten Up. It's ok if the cookies aren't perfect or exactly what you had in mind. Just lighten up. They will be loved and eaten and maybe forgotten. And life is way to short to quit cookies because they stopped being fun. One way to overcome cookie block is to just keep decorating!

Just remember...Cookie decorating should be about making pretty cookies that are yummy to eat and are fun to decorate. I think this is my new personal cookie decorating mission statement. My mantra.

I'm not sure I am out of the woods, yet. I still feel that cookie block lurking. But, I am not giving up. 

I know I promised a video ... this is a favorite from last summer, a seahorse cookie! Have fun watching and happy decorating!!

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