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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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A Little Bling on the Ring

posted Friday Jul 02, 2010 at 04:05 PM by Anne Yorks — 2 comments

I think these cookies are the closest I'll come to fireworks this year. With so many custom orders on the schedule, I decided not to offer a 4th of July cookie collection. I will make sure it is a priority next year : )

So here is a cookie that has as much sparkle as fireworks thanks to my friend, Disco Dust!



This diamond engagement ring cookie was from a custom order for a bridal shower. I sprinkled rainbow disco dust on the diamond and painted silver luster dust on the ring band.

It's hard to get the full effect of the sparkle on the ring. Can you see it? In person it looks much glitzier (yes - this is an official word).



Edible glitter is just so fun. But it does get all over. I always try to contain it, but after 30+ diamond rings, disco dust manages to migrate! 

This is the same stuff I used on the ruby rings...



It comes in a variety of colors. I also have, but have not yet used, hot pink and silver. I think I'll be using the hot pink very soon for a special surprise birthday project. Stay tuned : )

Have a wonderful holiday weekend! I'll be working on the rest of my site updates and by the time you are all back from the long weekend - there will be some very exciting new summer collections to drool over.

Anne

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I Scream, You Scream

posted Tuesday Jun 29, 2010 at 02:24 PM by Anne Yorks — 1 comments

Anyone out there watching The Next Food Network Star?

Toph and I have been sucked in. We really don't watch much TV in the summer...but this show is the big exception. We watched the latest episode last night on TiVo and loved it. I'm a huge Aarti fan. Huge! I just love all her food and I want to make it too. As a matter of fact, I'm planning to make these kebabs SOON. Check out her amazing recipe by clicking here. It got rave reviews from the chef's panel of judges. In case you're wondering, Toph is a Herb fan. I think he picked him as a joke, but after last night, Toph is legitimately routing for the guy. He seems to be a huge success story in the making.  

Speaking of summer...I can't believe it's almost July! We celebrate my mom's birthday this week and I have a super yummy cookie surprise for her. It's a secret, but I'll post pictures after her birthday dinner party!

I love making special cookie projects for my family. Recently my sister-in-law asked me to make a special batch of cookies for her aunt as a thank you gift. Her aunt gave her son a special sleepover party!


Since the highlight of the sleepover was her son's first ice cream cone, she asked me to include a few ice cream cone cookies with the order.

Don't these look so fun? I love colorful sprinkles!!

Topher loved this cookie so much. I was glad I had made extras for him to enjoy.


I know most people think vanilla is boring or *gasp* plain. But not me. It's actually one of my favorite flavors (and scents too). I just love vanilla ice cream with colored sprinkles and a pretzel cone. That is my ultimate summer treat. Simple and delicious!

Here is my nephew's cookie...he is one of those cool toddlers that has a little spiky hairdo.



In case you're wondering why Father's Day is still on the site - I'm working on several website updates this week. Specifically, I'll be adding three new collections for summer, plus my Day at the Beach collection! Stay tuned :-) They are super cute. AND I'm adding a new cookie flavor to one of the collections - yep, that's right! A special flavor just for summer. I think they are also super tasty!

Have a sweet day!

Anne

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Ruby Wedding Anniversary

posted Monday Jun 28, 2010 at 04:01 PM by Anne Yorks — 5 comments

One of my sweetest customers planned a beautiful party for her in-laws 40th Wedding Anniversary. She contacted me months in advance to commission a special set of wedding themed cookies for the event. Because the 40th anniversary is the 'ruby' anniversary she decided she wanted everything with red accents...including a very sparkly ruby ring! {enter the Disco Dust - Yippee!!}

I met my customer to deliver the cookies and got to meet her face to face after months of email communication. Of course we exchanged a big hug because it seemed like we knew each other for a long time. Funny how planning cookies can be such a bonding experience.

This collection was also exciting because I used a new cookie cutter (the rosebud) and I got to use *Disco Dust* for the first time!! I love it so much! If it wasn't so dang expensive I would put in on everything! Even my mashed potatoes. I love lots of sparkle!!!

Here are a few pictures of the individual cookies from the order.

The tuxedo heart cookie. I put a red bowtie on the cookie instead of the traditional black bowtie.


My customer selected the full wedding gown to go with the tuxedo cookie. 


She could have chosen this bride heart cookie, but in the end she wanted the full gown so that we could incorporate more red accents into the design.


Here is the *new* red rosebud cookie. 

This was the first time I used this cookie cutter. I really love this design. So sleek and pretty. Since this ruby anniversary order, I have used the rose a few times. I like the red, but I also really like it in yellow too...


The yellow rose is a symbol of friendship. Wouldn't this be a sweet way to let a friend know you are thinking of them and that you appreciate their friendship? 


In addition to the bride, groom and rose cookies, I also made a personalized wedding cake with pearl accents. I place each pearl on the cake using a pair of food-only tweezers. I like to make sure each pearl is perfectly positioned on the cookie.


Here is the cookie dressed up in it's cookie bag with a red satin ribbon.

The last cookie in the Ruby Anniversary order was the sparkly ruby ring cookie.


I ordered red disco dust to sprinkle generously on the ruby part of the ring. It's a little tough to see in the photograph, but it's actually REALLY glitzy! Then I painted the ring and setting with silver luster dust. I just loved the finished product. 

My customer sent me a few great pictures from the party.

Here is the beautiful bride trying on her ruby ring cookie. 

And here is the happy couple. So sweet.


The cookies were given out as favors at the party and set at each place setting. Then the extras were placed on the photo table with a  dozen gorgeous red roses. Here are the cookies with a photo from their wedding day.

Just look at all those pictures from their 40 years of marriage!

 

So many wonderful memories.

Here is one final picture - my favorite. I set it up like a wedding ceremony. The wedding cake in the center is the officiant. The bride and groom cookies are in the middle. The red roses are the bridesmaids and the ruby rings are the groomsmen. 


Thank you, Nina, for the order and thanks for being such a fun customer. I really enjoyed making these cookies. 

Tomorrow, I have a few other custom cookies to show you, including another disco dust cookie! I'm so excited - it's a so much sparkle!

Have a sweet day,

Anne


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Time to Accessorize! (family tree part 3 of 3)

posted Sunday Jun 27, 2010 at 05:28 PM by Anne Yorks — 4 comments

I can't believe it's already Sunday! We are having the most wonderful weekend! I am glad I have a few minutes to sit down and write my final blog post about my cookie family tree. I know I went into a lot of detail about this project, but it was so much fun to do and I wanted to share every detail with my blog readers. 



This third and final post about the cookie family tree is so much fun because it's all about the accessories I made to go with each person's cookie. If you read the first two posts I wrote about my tree, you already know that I took some effort to make each cookie unique. I wanted each cookie to resemble the person. But, just make sure there wasn't any question who was who, I decide to give each cookie a mini-cookie based on the family member's interest or talent.

Each accessory cookie is about an inch big. I hand cut almost all of them to make sure they were exactly what I wanted.

Probably my favorite, and most amusing, accessory was my brother-in-law Tony's. He loves bacon. We actually gave him a bacon wallet for his birthday a few years ago. So I decided that a strip of bacon would go along just nicely with his cookie.

 

Tony was a tough cookie to make because of his hair style. He's kind of a hippie, nerdy, beer-drinkin', bookish, jogger-dude that wears Victorian shaped glasses. I could have made Tony a million mini-cookies, but I decided on bacon because it was just fun. He recently cut his hair, but at the time the tree was made, he had a huge long braid of hair. Now it's more chin-length and studly. 

Here is a quick run-down of the others...

For my sister-in-law Kate, a computer. She is one of the founding members of www.localbounty.org and has much success with her website...so a computer was her mini-cookie. She is also a mom, student, gardener, crafter, and master pickle maker. So many talents, so little time!



Here is Kate with Tony and their two girls. The girls got a soccer ball and a monkey as their accessories.

Then there is my sister, Sarah. She has dedicated her life to working in the education system. She was a teacher, principal, and now she is the curriculum director in her school district. She recently finished her masters degree in education administration. She is the brilliant one in our family. So I gave her an apple for her accessory. It symbolizes her passion for education.


Here is Sarah with her family. 



Her husband (a police officer) is a HUGE Penn State fan. I gave him a Lion's paw for his cookie. My niece (bottom right) is going to be a rock star one day. She is training on Rock Band...so I made her a microphone. My nephew is a sports hero and got a football.

My mom is one of my favorite cookies. She is a big-time tea drinker, so I gave her a mini-teacup with a cute little purple flower on the front!



My brother Andrew and his partner Anthony were tough cookies to make. If Sarah is the brainiac in the family then Andrew is the creative genius. As a film/video major at Penn State, he has produced some crazy cool projects. Right now he works for a really cool online retailer in Vegas.  Even though Andrew is a professional with a cool job, he is still a comic book lover at heart. I'm not sure how big his collection is, but I think he probably could have enough to open his own store. So his mini-cookie is of course a comic book...



Anthony is the family stylist and has been tabbed the 'Global Fashion Director' as a joke. But in reality we all know the world would look a little nicer if he was in fact the GFD. 

Not only do I have the GFD in my family, but I also got Bubba. Bubba's accessory was a big ole burger. Bubba loved burgers. I say loved because he's lost a ton of weight and now eats everything in moderation. If I were doing this family tree today, I'd probably still make Bubba a burger, but it would be a little smaller. : )



Topher's step-mom Kathy is a very altruistic person. She has so many talents and professional achievements, but the thing that stands out the most is her participation with the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life. I made her a purple sneaker and *tried* to put a Relay moon and star on the side. I must say that Kathy's cookie is one of the best for likeness. The sneaker could have been executed a little better.



Her son Justin (Toph's step-brother) and his family were also at the party and on the tree...



Justin a HUGE mega-big Cowboy fan. Kim, his wife, is one of the best cooks ever. She got a mixing bowl and spoon. Their son is a little sports nut just like dad and got a baseball bat.

My dad is a train nut. So he got a coal engine for his accessory. My stepmother runs her own marketing business, so I made another computer for her. My little brother is a great swimmer so I made him a cute little swimmer dude.



My mother-in-law is a beautiful person with a very loving personality. She is a perfect match with Toph's stepfather. They just seem like two peas in a pod. Since she is a gardener (flower and veggie garden!), I decided to make her a pea pod and a raddish.



Her husband Greg is the family photographer. We can always count on him to take lots of great pictures at every event. He is a graphic designer for a newspaper, so he definitely has the artisitic eye when it comes to snapping a great photo. He's also the nicest guy on earth. No really, if there was a competition, he would win the title!!

Here he is with his camera. He uses a Canon...but I thought this more traditional looking camera would make for a nice cookie. Also, it should be noted that I originally made his cookie green eyes. Topher insisted I change it to blue because the family always jokes about his beautiful blue eyes. I made the change and was happy to see his blue eyes when he showed up at the party. 



Last but not least is my little family. You've already seen Toph's guitar - he's the family musician. Since I love to bake, I made me a rolling pin cookie. Gracie was the birthday girl and so I added a party hat to her cookie and made her a mini birthday cake with the number 2 at the top.  Here we are...



This is the end of the tree. I can't tell you how much I enjoyed this project. I love my family so much and couldn't be more blessed. Who knows...maybe if there is addition to the family I'll have to update the cookie tree. Until then, I think I'll just enjoy the pictures and fun from this one!!

Have a sweet day!!!

Anne






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We Are Family (Part 2 of 3)

posted Tuesday Jun 22, 2010 at 08:25 PM by Anne Yorks — 1 comments

On my last blog post I showed you an overview of my Cookie Family Tree project. There are 24 different family members on my cookie tree and each face has it's own unique set of characteristics. Today (my second of three posts on this project), I hope to show you how I created the subtle differences on the individual cookie designs. 

The most obvious distinction between each cookie is hair color and style. Some of us have short gray hair or long brown hair or spikey blond hair.  Here are a few close-ups of the variety of colors in our family. 




We have lots of brunettes, silver/grays, and a few blondes. 




Eye color was the other very distinctive factor between each person. We have blue, green, and brown...





So eye and hair color were the most distinguishing features between us. But I wanted a way to distinguish children from adults and males from females. So I made a little list of guidelines...


THE MOUTHS

I had three types of mouths...

The adult females got a toothy grin...




The adult males got a 'simple' smile...




The children got a 'cheeky' smile with the little marks in the corner of their smiles.




I did make a separate category for men with facial hair (like Topher and his dad). They got a two-line smile...but not quite as girly and lippy as the woman's toothy grin...




THE EYES - 

For the eyes - everyone had a white background with an iris and pupil. 

Men and children had similar 'plain' eyes...




And all adult woman (without glasses) got luscious eyelashes...




Cookies without glasses got color coordinating eyebrows. But if the cookie had glasses, then they didn't get any eyebrows or eyelashes. This went true for both men and women. 




THE NOSE

I decided to make two kinds of noses, one for adults and one for children.

All of the adults got the longer skinny noses.





All of the children got a cute little curvy button nose.





EARRINGS:

Both my mom and Toph's mom wears earrings on a regular basis.

My mom likes the stud variety...so I gave her pearl earrings...




And Topher's mom seems to wear more dangly earrings. 





How do we look? Here are my niece and nephew with their cookies...





And here is my little family...





Did you read all the way down this far?  Maybe this is just too much detail!?! 

I guess for some it might be, but for me, I think it's those little details that makes the project so much more fun. And of course, it's the details that makes each cookie unique. I just think it's pretty amazing that we all have the same facial structure: eyes, nose and mouth. And yet, with billions of people in the world - we each have subtleties that differentiate us from each other. 

My last post on the Cookie Family Tree project will be out later this week and will focus on the accessories that I made for each cookie. You've already seen Toph's, the guitar, but wait until you see some of the other cute and funny props that went with each cookie!

Have  a sweet day,
Anne

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