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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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Puppy Love - a quick look video

posted Sunday Jan 18, 2015 at 07:00 AM by Anne Yorks — 0 comments

When my oldest daughter was 3, she got the cutest Henley shirt with Dachshunds wearing sweaters and scarfs. It's so silly and fun and was her favorite shirt that winter. Now, it's now been handed down to my youngest daughter, who also loves to wear it. She was wearing it the other day when I was brainstorming new cookie ideas. I had a big list and I just kept coming back to the Doxies :) And I'm so glad I did...these guys were a lot of fun to decorate!

You can take a quick look at how I decorated these dogs (start to finish) on the timelapse video. The video is sped up...so it's only 1:20 long, but in real time it took me about 6 minutes total of decorating time for each dachshund. (the video also does not show the drying time. I allow 1-2 hours of drying before flooding neighboring colors, especially when dark and light colors are next to each other. This reduces the chance of color bleeding) Happy Watching!

To create these cookies, I used this cookie cutter and it is available in the Flour Box online shop here.

 

To create the small lines and dots in wet-on-wet pattern the sweaters, I used these 2oz bottles with couplers with a #1 tip. I like these bottles because I can change the tips to fill large icing areas (using a larger tip) or accent small areas and details (using the smaller tips). These bottles are sold in pairs and are available here in the shop.

 

That marbling technique on the blue sweater is so easy to do with the scribe tool. A toothpick would do the same thing if you don't have a scribe. I like the scribe because of the thinner point and longer handle. It's in the shop here.

 

We have been getting a lot of requests for more videos and tutorials and we are working on it! We will be slowing down these videos and offering a step-by-step explanation of the decorating process. Once they are available, we'll put them online in the tutorial shop. 

Thanks again for watching and happy decorating!

 

 

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Penguin Cookie - a quick look!

posted Friday Jan 16, 2015 at 08:16 AM by Anne Yorks — 0 comments

January is a cold month for Pennsylvania. I bundle up my girls each day before school with a hat and scarf! So, I thought I'd bundle up this cute penguin cookie, too!

Watch this timelapse video of me decorating a cute penguin cookie from start to finish. The video is sped up...so it's only 1:20 long, but in real time it took me about 7 minutes total of decorating time (the video also does not show the drying time. I allow 1-2 hours of drying before flooding neighboring colors, especially when white and black are next to each other. This reduces the chance of color bleeding) Happy Watching!

Since I wanted a chubby penguin, I used my ladybug cutter for the design, available in the Flour Box online shop here.

I used a round #2 tip for the outlining and details available online here. And a #7 star tip for the scarf. 

 

The tool used to wiggle and bump icing into place is the Scribe tool. The thin tip is also great for creating the marbled look on the knit hat! A toothpick will do the same stuff, but I like the thinner tip of the scribe and the longer handle!

I hope you enjoyed the video and tips for creating this penguin cookie!

Happy Decorating!

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A look back at 2014

posted Sunday Jan 11, 2015 at 04:21 PM by Anne Yorks — 6 comments

Last year proved to be the best yet for Flour Box Bakery! Thank you so much to my family, friends, and customers that supported and encouraged me in my cookie adventure. So, before I move forward to see what 2015 holds, here is a quick look back at the best moments of 2014:

1. Attending and teaching at CookieCon in March in Salt Lake City. CookieCon, organized by Mike and Karen Summers of www.karenscookies.net and www.cookiecon.net, was an amazing opportunity to meet other bakers, learn new techniques, and try new products. I taught a decorating basics seminar and was fortunate to meet decorators from coast to coast and internationally! You can read more about my CookieCon Experience on this blog post. 

 

2. Making cookies for Jim Parsons, Sheldon of the Big Bang Theory, to celebrate his 4th Emmy win for best actor in a comedy. It was a really thrilling experience to make cookies for the funniest guy on TV! After he Instagrammed a photo, the news was out. Check out the full story and the full set of cookies here!

 

3. Starting Flour Box Cookie School. This was the first full year I have taught cookie decorating in my garage bakery. After getting several requests, I decided to the take the leap and set up a few classes. I would really like to thank the 2014 sponsors for making it possible: Notta Cookie, Ribbon by Design, BRP Box Shop, the Cookie Countess. I have met dozens of other decorators through cookie school and have appreciated these new friendships that have formed with decorators locally and beyond. Here's a fun look at what we do at Cookie School . So far, the 2015 Cookie School classes are all full. But I will be adding more dates for the Summer and Fall in the next few months.

 

4. Meeting Bernie from Tender Hands India. One of the greatest highlights of the year from Cookie School was meeting Bernie, the co-founder of Tender Hands India. She traveled from Mumbia, India to take a cookie class while she was home in the states visiting family. Bernie helps train women rescued from human traffiking. Her program offers training in baking and decorating cakes, cupcakes and cookies!! My husband and I were able to give her dozens of supplies to take back to India to help with training. We are also now financial supporters of Tender Hands, too. We are dedicated to helping Tender Hands can't wait continue helping in 2015. Here I am with Bernie after class. She looks normal, but trust me, she is so amazing she might actually be a super hero in disguise!

 

5. Keynote speaker at the Penn State College of Ag Springboard dinner. A good friend of mine is a entrepreneur professor at Penn State. He has been very encouraging to me throughout all phases of my business. This past spring, he invited me to be the keynote speaker at their annual dinner. I spoke to a crowd of about 100 students and business owners/alums about the crossroads and trials of setting up a small business. We had a fun night meeting other budding entrepreneurs!

 

 

6. This year proved to be an amazing year of giving back - a founding principle of Flour Box Bakery. I get dozens of donation requests a month. And, while I can't do them all, I do as many as my schedule permits. In 2014 Flour Box donated hundreds of cookies to local organizations and events, gave thousands of dollars in charitable donations, and hosted several girl scout and student group tours in the bakery to discuss goal setting, running a business, and dreaming big. It has been a pleasure giving back to a community that supports Flour Box throughout the year! Here is a special donation created for a local police barracks during National Police Week.

 

 

7. This year I designed and had produced my very first cookie cutter design. It's available in my online shop here. I designed it to be both a princess and peacock, but has also been a bee, a hot air balloon, a bride, and I have a fun list of more designs to come in 2015!

 

 

8. Making cookie videos! We dabbled quite a bit in the cookie video world this past year and are super excited to say that more videos will be coming in 2015. There are a handful of informative video tutorials now available on our website. We also did several fun Instagram videos. And we are working on start-to-finish 'timelapse' videos like the making of the Santa cookie that was posted at the very end of the year on the Flour Box Facebook and YouTube accounts. Check it out ...

 

9. This probably goes without saying, but a huge highlight of the year was creating thousands and thousands and thousands of hand-iced cookies. At times, the schedule felt grueling, the but the results were incredible. Here are some of my favorite projects.

 

10. To top off an amazing year, Flour Box Bakery was so honored to be the Jan/Feb Penn Stater Magazine Cover Article. A pdf file of the full article can be downloaded here. Coming from a long line of Penn Staters, this was truly a honor for me, Flour Box Bakery, and my entire family!!

 

That's it... au revoir 2014! Bring on 2015!

 

 

 

 

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Blue and White Wedding Favors

posted Friday Oct 10, 2014 at 08:45 AM by Anne Yorks — 2 comments

It's no secret...I love making blue and white cookies!! Especially if they are for a wedding! Check out these adorable cookies made for a special blue and white wedding!'

This request asked for an assortment of blue and white wedding and football cookie favors!

 

A paw print with a favorite cheer "We Are ... Married!" Of course, I had to add a diamond ring to one of the toes!

 

Beautiful monogrammed cookie favors with a quarter-foil pattern airbrushed on the background. 

 

These jerseys were super fun to make! B for bride and G for groom!

 

A white wedding dress with a cascade of ruffles in the front. And just a hint of blue at the hemline and on the top of the bodice. A few silver pearls add a decadent touch!

 

Two versions of a blue and white wedding cake. One simple and modern with the bride and groom's name and the other with a simple lace pattern.

 

Of the set, this lion ring bearer is by far my favorite. Actually, it might be my favorite cookie...ever!! I just love the tux jacket and the cute pillow with ring! 

 

Here are the cookies all dresses and ready to go!

  

They were presented in a special window box! What an honor to make these cookies!! I hope you enjoyed the project!

Have a sweet day,

Anne

 

 

 

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Sports Themed Dessert Tables!

posted Monday Oct 06, 2014 at 08:14 AM by Anne Yorks — 3 comments

For months, I have been participating on a committee at my daughter's school to plan our fall fundraiser. And, after months of planning the 1st Annual Auction took place this past Friday night! So many local business, families and donors contributed to this event and made it a huge success! 

 

I was in charge of the dessert tables. It was FOUR TABLES!!! What a fun project! Thankfully, our school is FULL of bakers and dozens of families pitched in to make this the tastiest dessert display EVER! We also had a few generous local donors to help with our treats: Delectable Delights, M & C Cakery, and the Village Eatinghouse all helped us with the desserts!

 

I scoured the internet for lots of sports dessert table ideas. I even set up a pin board to collect my favorite ideas...check it out here ... http://www.pinterest.com/flourboxbakery/sports-dessert-table-ideas/. I loved the green 'field' tabletops and the black and white 'referee-style' drapes as the backdrop. There was also a pennant banner hanging across the back with our school name!

 


An awesome builder helped out with making custom 'bleachers' for our popcorn tables. I didn't make too many baked goods since I was responsible for set-up. But I did make several trays of cookies!!

A friend from the committee and my mother-in-law helped me make dozens of chocolate covered oreo pops. We really had fun with these! I made the 'sports candies' ahead of time (as royal icing transfers) and then we just popped the candies on while the chocolate was still melted and wet. Each pop was a different flavored oreo!

Do you love the pop stands!?! They are awesome!! There is actually a 2nd hidden shelf inside the box to keep the pops steady! No wiggling! They are sturdy and reusable. You can find these awesome box pop stands at BRP Box Shop ... check out this link to all the 'pop' box options ... http://www.brpboxshop.com/cake-pop-boxes.html! Thanks BRP for helping me with this awesome display!!!

 

So many bakers contributed to the tables. We had hundreds of truffles, cookies, brownies, lemon bars, cakes, cupcakes, cheesecake bites, whoopie pies, and so much more!

Here are two of my favorite projects...

This 2-layer soccer kids cake was awesome! The kids were actually modeled after the baker's children and their friends! How cute! I can't imagine the hours it took to make these figurines!! The baker is an attorney by day and a cake decorate by night! Talk about talented!!

And how about the perfection of this cake??? There were actually two of these made for the tables - made by a hobby-decorator. Maybe she needs to go pro!!!!

I also loved that the soccer ball cakes were in our school colors!

One of the most popular treats was a coconut pie donated by The Village Eatinghouse.

 

This pie disappeared within 30 minutes of our guests arriving!  Just crumbs were left on the plate!

 

There were lots of bite-sized treats on the tables...and they were most popular since guests wanted to try multiple treats! The pumpkin spice and red velvet mini cupcakes from M & C Cakery were DELIGHTFUL (I know...I tried them both!)

They might be mini, but they were packed with lots of great flavor!!

Several dozen regular sized cupcakes came from Heather at Delectable Delights! She had fun with the sports theme and decorated the tops of the cupcakes as baseballs and footballs.

 

Is your mouth watering yet?? Here are a few more photos of the amazing treats at the event!

 

 

 

 

Thank you so much to all the bakers and donors that make this amazing project possible! I can't wait to start planning for next year!!

Have a sweet day,

Anne

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