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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!!

 

 

The details!!! 

 

 

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. 

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My First Cookie Cutter Design: Peacock and Princess

posted Monday Mar 10, 2014 at 04:27 PM by Anne Yorks — 11 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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Some Bunny Turned Two!

posted Friday Aug 30, 2013 at 09:26 PM by Anne Yorks — 4 comments

 

My sweet little one turned two last week! What a fun day. We kept things low-key and easy and it ended up being one of the best and most relaxing birthdays in a long time!

We started the morning with a few friends and a cereal bar...yum! She loved playing princess dress-up and making cupcakes with her big sister!! 

There is one thing she loves the most...her soft, cuddly bunny, Poppy. Here she is playing peekaboo and poppy is sitting on her left.

Poppy is practically a family member. Do your kids have a stuffed bunny or animal like that?

 

So, when planning her special birthday cookies...I decided to go with a bunny theme and turn her Poppy into a cookie!

Here is a sample of the different cookies I made for her birthday. 

 

I loved making these special cakes for her. The pastel colors really complimented the gray of the bunny fur. These just turned out so pretty (much to my surprise since I didn't sketch them or plan out the design. I didn't have time for that, so I winged it!)

And did you notice the candles? They are CARROTS. That cracks me up!

 

I used a little black pearl candy for the eyes. I think it made the bunny's face look just right!

 

 

Here is the whole set together again with the dreamy, swirly cupcakes - so simple and pretty! I'm so glad I could make my little one's day just a little sweeter!!

As always, thanks for reading, and have a sweet week!

Anne

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Secret Keeper Girl Crazy Hair Tour

posted Friday Aug 30, 2013 at 07:40 AM by Anne Yorks — 2 comments

 

Did you know that I'm a mom (and an aunt)? Yep! I am. I have two little girls. And, I take my job as mom even more seriously than my job as baker, so that's pretty serious. 

And so today's blog post is a recount of when those two worlds collide...cookies and girls!! Kaboom. It's gonna get a little crazy right now!

I was recently invited to make some very special cookies for my friends at Secret Keeper Girl. They are kicking off a new tour called the CRAZY HAIR TOUR. (and yes, the show lives up to it's name!) You may already know about Secret Keeper Girl, an idea created by speaker and author Dannah Gresh. There is an amazing, energetic show that is currently traveling around the United States that teaches girls about the true meaning of beauty. 

I think the name, Secret Keeper Girl, is catchy. But if you haven't had a chance to read one of the books or attend a show, you might be wondering what it means. This is from www.secretkeepergirl.com (their site full of resources for girls and moms):

"What is a Secret Keeper Girl? Well, she’s a lot of things. And she’s NOT a lot of things. She’s NOT a mean girl. She’s a girl whose friendships are full of kindness. She’s NOT boy crazy. Moms, can I get an Amen? She a girl who knows she can share all of her heart-secrets with her mom at any time. She’s also a girl who embraces modesty. Why? Because she knows that she is a masterpiece created by God. She strives to keep the deepest secrets of her authentic beauty a secret! A normal girl takes her cues from fashion designers that dress her like she’s seventeen and take relationship cues from normal boy-crazy friends. But a God-crazy girl takes her cues from the Bible, her parents and…well, maybe even our crazy fashion show that dares her to be different." 

Here are the cookies I created for Secret Keeper Girl...

I haven't had this much fun making cookies in a long time. I looked at a ton of crazy hair ideas created three girls: 

The blue-and-yellow-haired girl with curly hair.

The adorable fro girl with pink highlights and sparkly blue headband! This girl was actually created using a cupcake shaped cookie cutter - special thanks to my girl Andrea from Cupookie for the design idea on this cookie!

And, the girl with pink hair that is standing straight up and out!

The logo cookie was a total blast to create! I loved the bright colors! 

 

And, since the SKG crew seems as crazy for daisies as me...I made some polka-dotted, dizzy daisies!!!

These cookies were featured at a reception for the show sponsors and participants. Here are the platters ready to be set up for the guests!

But what is a party without cake? Julia Child said it's just a meeting. So, to make sure this event was kicked up to party status, I had to whip up a few tasty cupcakes with colorful daisy cookie toppers.

Once the cookies were delivered, I raced home to get my daughter and niece ready for the show. We had some hair to do!

For my daughter, I made two French braids and then we added a million bows. She was looking bowtastic for the show.

And for my niece, I made a winding French braid. I've always wanted to do one of those.

We were ready for our special girls' night out! Well, we thought we were ready, but we had no idea what was in store for us ...

When we walked into the show, the first thing we noticed was the gigantic stage set-up. It's amazing! And, I loved the crazy balloon thingys! Where do you even find something like that? 

The show features a pre-concert with girl group, 1 Girl Nation. This awesomely talented group of girls offers music that is not only tons of fun, but is also filled with a positive message. We didn't get their cd that night, but I'm hoping to get it as a surprise for my daughter's upcoming birthday. The last SKG show was full of fun music and dancing, but having the live music of 1GN mixed in with the show made it feel like a concert! 

The show is fast-paced, never boring, and totally interactive. Author and speaker Suzy Weibel is the main emcee of the event. She is a teacher and entertainer by nature, and since we also happen to be friends, I feel confident in saying that Suzy is one of the most genuine and authentic people I have ever met. 

I think that is why I enjoyed the show so much. Any performer can get up and put on a good show, right? But with Suzy, it's different. She lives what she teaches. She's honest and easy to relate to no matter what age you are. As a mom, she is exactly the kind of role model I want for my daughter. And her shoes were flippin' cool.

But let's not overlook her hilarious, pink-lovin', sidekick Charmaine.

Charmaine is just a ball of crazy, fun energy and it's super obvious that she was born to be on stage. She had all of us cracking up, especially me. And when I say cracking up, I'm not talking about a dainty, lady-like giggle. I'm talking about a full-blown guffawing. I really couldn't help myself.

The show is interactive, encouraging participation from the entire audience. At times, some girls are invited on stage for special activities like a totally cute fashion. 

And there are also many times when mothers and daughters are encouraged to discuss a topic or pray together. 

 

The tour already has 50 stops booked in the US and Canada. Jump on their website to get the schedule and get tickets. www.secretkeepergirl.com. They also have books, a show dvd, cds and more for your Secret Keeper Girl!

And, thanks again to my friends at SKG for including Flour Box Bakery in such an amazing event!!

 

Have a CRAZY, sweet day,

Anne

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