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Flour Box Cookie School Recap

posted Monday Jul 21, 2014 at 08:51 AM by Anne Yorks — 3 comments

"I saw the projects posted before class and thought 'I will never be able to do that," said a recent cookie school student. "But, we took it step-by-step, and I am amazed at how my cookies turned out! I am leaving feeling so confident about my cookie decorating!"

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! 

The Flour Box Cookie School has been a source of great joy these past few months. Meeting so many new decorators (local and beyond) has really been thrilling. Located in Zion, PA (10 minutes from Penn State), I've had many local friends join the class, but have also had students come from Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, New York, Delaware, and Virginia!

The 2014 class registrations is almost full. Only three spots remain in the November 8th intermediate class. To register, click here. A new schedule for 2015 will be announced this fall. So if you're interested in taking a class...stay tuned!! Updates will be posted on www.flourboxbakery.com and on the Flour Box Bakery Facebook Page.

 



Here is a recent photo from the Intermediate wedding favors class. The students created these projects, practicing brushed flowers, lace borders and details, scribble roses, designs and text with the kopykake, ribbon roses, royal icing stenciling, and more!

 

These classes would not be possible without the generous support from our sponsors! 

I use the products from Ribbon by Design, BRP Box Shop and the Cookie Countess in my business and it is a honor to partner with them to share their products with the cookie school students! The Notta Cookie (available from Karenscookies.net) has been an invaluable tool both in class, and for practicing cookies designs for clients. 


MORE ABOUT THE CLASSES:
The classes are small, 8-9 students in each class. All materials for the projects are provided.

Here are the examples from the May decorating details intermediate class  - students practiced several wet-on-wet techniques, airbrushing, basketweave, brushing flowers, ribbon roses, creating characters and more!

The classroom is a friendly and relaxed atmosphere where students can come to learn, share ideas, and decorate. Every technique is demonstrated live.

 

And, there is lots of one-on-one instruction, with valuable tips given out during the class!

 

 

Some people have taken the class together.

 

    

I've had best friends, husband and wife, mother and daughter, and father and daughter!! That has been lots of fun!

 

Students get a copy of the Cookie School binder, box samples from BRP Box Shop and product samples from Notta CookieRibbon by Design,and the Cookie Countess.

 


(first-time decorator!!)


If you're interested in more info about cookie school, visit http://www.flourboxbakery.com/pages/cookie-school.  I hope you'll join me for a class soon!

 

Have a sweet day,

Anne

 

 

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April Cookie School Recap

posted Wednesday Apr 30, 2014 at 09:03 AM by Anne Yorks — 11 comments

 

Last weekend, I hosted the Flour Box Cookie School decorating basics class. What a lot of fun! Here's a sweet recap of the class! Flour Box Bakery is located in Zion/Bellefonte, PA (10 mins from Penn State). For more info on cookie school, the 2014 schedule, our sponsors, and to register, click here!)

 

 

Meet the students!! These ladies were awesome! Many were decorating cookies for the first time and jumped in feet first and created some really great projects!

 

 

But before the students arrive, there is a lot of prep and set-up work! I love getting the room ready. The class size is small 8-10 students per class. Which is great because there is a lot of one-on-one attention and a fun class dynamic that happens with the small group.

 

 

Each decorating station is set and ready. In this class, we used the Notta Cookie (order yours here)! It's a pretend cookie that is great for practicing without the pressure! We tried a few techniques on the Notta cookie before moving to the real thing!

 

 

In the basics class, each student receives a Cookie School binder. It has my basic recipes, tips, resources and a few helpful practice sheets.

 



Plus, students get a goodie bag with a few special surprised from the class sponsors! See those awesome white window boxes? I used the BRP boxes for my students to take their projects home in style.

Actually, we chatted a bit about cookie packaging.

 

 

One of the best ways to dress up a beautiful cookie is to add a ribbon. I like the ribbon from Ribbon by Design! I ordered ribbon with my Flour Box Bakery logo! Isn't it so cute!?

 



The class is hands-on! I explain and demonstrate the cookie design and then it's show time for the students! 

 



Students have the opportunity to use my tools and supplies to make their masterpieces!

 



There is lots of hard work and concentration. 

 



A mother and daughter registered for the class. They worked so nicely next to each other and it was fun to have them in the class!

 

We did an airbrush project in this class. Thank you Cookie Countess Stencils for providing samples for the students!!

 



Airbrush practice making gingham cookies! Do you see the practice on the Notta Cookie?

 



Meet Sarah, a first-time decorator! She did awesome and is coming back for another class!

 



Can you believe it was her first time decorating!?! She's a pro! Lovely cookies, Sarah!!

 

Special thank you to the Cookie School Sponsors! This class would not be possible without your support! And thanks to the awesome students! I can't wait to see the cookies they create in the future using their new skills!



Flour Box Bakery is located in Zion/Bellefonte, PA (10 mins from Penn State) for more info on cookie school, the 2014 schedule, our sponsors, and to register, click here!)

Have a sweet day!

Anne

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CookieCon 2014

posted Friday Mar 28, 2014 at 07:15 AM by Anne Yorks — 7 comments

 

Last weekend, I went on an amazing cookie adventure. I traveled from my little bakery in PA to Salt Lake City, UT to attend the most amazing cookie event ever - COOKIECON 2014! Everything was amazing...the friends (new and old), the seminars, and of course the SWAG BAG full of goodies from all the sponsors and supporters!! 

 

I was honored to be a presenter, teaching the basics of cookie decorating.

 

 

Here are the other ladies that presented too, from left to right: Me (Anne of Flour Box Bakery), Georganne Bell of LilaLoa, Angela of Oh, Sugar! Events, Liz of Arty McGoo (she was the keynote speaker and was AMAZING), Amber Spiegel of SweetAmbs, Myri of Chapix Cookies, and Susan of The Painted Cookie

Friday was dedicated to the vendor show and a few cookie classes. I love to teach, but teaching at a big event is a big challenge, especially since the audience had a wide range of decorating experience. Some had been decorating less the a year and others more than 20 years. I did my best to share my techniques and hoped that each person picked up a new tip or at least thought about how they did things and why!

 

 

I included some videos and a few live demos. I had to do my presentation 8 times. I think I can do it in my sleep now! :)

My presentation also included some cookies I made using new cutters (see them on the table - the blue ones?) from Whisked Away Cutters. Tracy (the cookie cutter creator) also made me a cutter called 'The Anne' and gave me a copy a CookieCon. Since I returned home I already used it!!

 

 

I LOVE this fancy circle...makes a pretty cookie, no?

 


 

Saturday offered a handful of seminars. I really enjoyed the laser-filled presentation from BRP Box Shop. Who knew boxes could be so fun!? They offer great box options and good people are making them.

 

CookieCon also featured a sugar show - open all weekend. I was not permitted to enter this year since I was a presenter, but I didn't want to show up empty handed. So, I made a fun little project to honor my fellow bakers!

 

 

Here's Mrs. Baker and her sweet little bakery!

 

 

I made a few mini desserts, like these tiny cookies and cupcakes.

 

 

I also made a mini cake and some cute donuts on a cake platters. These were all an inch or so big.

 

 

And here is Mrs. Baker...holding her tray ready to share her sweet delights!

 

 

I loved making this set!!

But, if you thought my project was cool...you should see these. The level of skill and decorating was beyond what I could imagine. I wish I had photos of each amazing project!! As you scroll through these photos, keep in mind these are made by hand with lots and lots and lots of love!!  Each project in the Sugar Show was number, so I'm sorry I don't know the artist for each of the amazing creations. If one of these belongs to you, please message me at anne@flourboxbakery.com and I'll credit the photo!!

 

This gazebo was made by Nancy Paine of www.SeasonsOfJoy,Etsy,com. The details!!! Her Etsy shop is amazing, too!

 

 

This project was from Monica of the Cookie Cowgirl. My crappy cell phone pic does not even begin to do this project justice. Visit her page for hopefully much better photos!!

 

 

As I looked at the rows and rows of cookies, I shook my head in amazement that these were all created from flour and sugar and a whole lotta love and creativity!

 

 

Love the lace!

 

 

The depth of these designs had me staring and staring and staring! Made by two sisters know as SugarBliss

 

 

There are COOKIES! So great! Also from the talented sisters of Sugar Bliss!

 

 

These are beautiful and that little egg, #81, was made by a wonderful gal (Karen of Sucre Coeur) that traveled all the way from Scotland to attend CookieCon!

 

The only things sweeter at the show than the cookies...were all the people!!

My airport buddies, in front: Heather from SugarNosh, jean jacket: Amanda of Sweet Bella Bakery, and in back: Kate from Sugardayne (the button enabler).

Dinner with friends Liz and Angela!

I got to spend a good amount of time with this awesome lady - Georgie of LilaLoa. She is just as sweet in person (maybe sweeter) than she is on her blog!

 

This is the talented Mike from Semi Sweet! I am a huge fan of his cookies! And, this was his entry in the Sugar Show. 

I got to pick one project for a 'presenter award' and little did I know...my favorite was Mike's cookie!!!! It was such a surprise when his name flashed up on the screen! What a fun moment of CookieCon!

 

 

Mike and Karen Summers were buzzing throughout the weekend and I was so happy to get a photo with them!!

I finally got to meet the sweet mastermind behind the book Glorious Layer Desserts (and bought a copy too! Get your copy here!), Glory Albin.

 

 

I loved chatting with Glory and learning about the process of writing her first book! What an inspiration.

Glory was part of the vendor show, a room filled with all things cookie - cutters, food color, boxes, ribbons, stencils, and more! I picked up several new products that I'm excited to try!

Did I mention the decorating day? Tables and tables and tables of supplies available all day on Saturday to test and learn!! I got to make some sweet little fondant flowers!

 

 

Before the weekend came to a close, the awards banquet gave us one last chance to meet and greet and wear our aprons!

 

This was my favorite...an apron made out of baking wrappers!!

 

 

And when it was all over, I was sad to leave my cookie friends, but ready to get home to my lil' crumbs!

 

 

 

I love these t-shirts made by my friend of Krista from Drawn with Character. She will be making these shirts available soon, but in the meantime you can see her art in her Etsy shop!

I hear Mike and Karen have already started to plan the next event! I can't wait! I wouldn't miss it for the world!

For more info about CookieCon 2014...check out their website at www.cookiecon.net!

Have a sweet day,

Anne

Each project was numbered, so unfortunately, I don't know who the artist is that made this one. X

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My First Cookie Cutter Design: Peacock and Princess

posted Monday Mar 10, 2014 at 04:27 PM by Anne Yorks — 12 comments

I have been dreaming of this Cookie Cutter design for a long time. Can you guess what it is???

 It's a peacock cookie cutter...but, if you flip it upside down...it's also a princess!! 

 

This cutter is available here in my shop (click here to view) if you want to order it!!

 

 

I have already been using it and I love it! I used it on this 'good witch' with my Wizard of Oz.

And I used this new cutter on these Frozen-inspired cookies!

This cutter is made in the USA and it a great quality! 

And, if you're looking for a beautiful peacock feather design, check out this exclusive stencil design made for Flour Box Bakery by the Cookie Countess! 


It works perfectly with the cookie cutter! I hope you're as excited by this cutter as I am!! Both are available in my online shop http://www.flourboxbakery.com, along with several of my favorite 'decorating' things! 

 

Happy Decorating!

Anne

 

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Royal Icing Recipe and Tips

posted Friday Feb 14, 2014 at 07:57 AM by Anne Yorks — 21 comments

 

Royal Icing Recipe and Mixing Tips


(This is what I use and how I do it, but remember, elevation, humidity and other factors will contribute to the icing results. Practice making icing to learn what ingredients and icing consistencies will work best for you!)

You'll need:

1 pound 10x/powdered sugar (or 4 cups)

1/3 cup warm water, plus several tablespoons for making icing consistencies

¼ Meringue Powder (I use the CK brand - available soon in my online shop!)

1 tsp flavor (I use vanilla)

Recipe can easily be doubled in a 5 Qt Mixer!!


Here are the steps to making royal icing:

  1. Pour 1/3 cup warm water into mixer. The warm water will help dissolve the meringue powder. 

 

  1. Add ¼ cup meringue powder. 

 

  1. Mix for a minute or so on medium speed until fluffy and foamy. Scrape sides if necessary.

 

 

 

  1. Add 1 tsp of flavor and mix until incorporated. I use vanilla (brown). You may wish to use clear vanilla for an extra white base icing. Lemon and/or almond are also popular icing flavors. 

 

  1. Once fluffy and foamy, add 1 pound of powdered sugar; which is approximately 4 cups. Keep mixer on low, add slowly to avoid a powdery explosion. Using the plastic shield or putting a kitchen towel over the mixer also helps to contain sugar spills and poofs.

    To reduce lumps/tip clogs, you may wish to sift your sugar first (I don’t sift…I just switch icing tips or poke a toothpick in to break up the clog)

    If your icing seems too stiff, add another tablespoon or two of water to loosen the icing a bit.

 

 

  1. Once all the sugar is added, I increase the speed to 4 (or a medium/low speed). The amount of mixing time can vary from 4-7 minutes depending on the humidity. Beat icing until it changes from the ivory color to a white. After a few minutes of mixing, you’ll notice the icing will become stiff and it increases in size.

 

 

 

 

  1. After 4-7 minutes, pull the blade out. If a soft (or stiff) peak forms…you’re ready to starting coloring your icing.

 

 

This photo is a great example of a soft peak...perfect for PIPING!!

 

  1. Separate into containers with an airtight lid. (If left uncovered, icing will crust.) 

 

  1. Add color (I like Americolor or Wilton food gel and it will soon be available in my online shop!) and mix to desired color. Add slowly…you can always add more if needed.





  2. Remove a small portion ¼ - ½ cup for piping and use remaining for flood icing. I use a glass to hold my icing bag while I fill. A damp paper towel helps keep the tips from drying out. 


 

11.  To make flood consistency, slowly add water 1 tsp at a time, until icing thins to desired consistency. Run your spatula or knife through the icing. Count how long it takes the line to disappear. Most of my flood falls between 5-10 seconds. I like to err on the thick side to avoid a watery icing. 

 

 

 

See how this icing ribbons and sits up on top of the icing. It will eventually blend in, but this is a great example of the Flood consistency. Not too thick, but not thin/watery! I pour this icing into a squeeze bottle!

 

Here is my work space once my icing colors are all mixed!!

 

 

I hope you find this recipe and tutorial helpful! More tutorials, supplies and videos will be avialable soon on www.flourboxbakery.com!

 

Happy Decorating,

Anne

 

 

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