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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 Women's Concern

posted Thursday Apr 28, 2011 at 10:46 AM by Anne Yorks — 1 comments

I made these cookies a little while back as a donation for A Women's Concern annual benefit. I have been so busy with Easter, and other projects, that I never had a chance to post them. 


I wanted to make pink and blue cookies. The pink is the AWC logo.

The blue cookie is an image from their website...a parent's hand with a child's hand. 



I heard through the grapevine that a friend bid on these cookies and gave them as a gift to one of the women that shared her story that evening. I think that is pretty cool.


I have been busy, busy working on a few other projects in addition to the Easter orders. Here is a sneak peak of a blog post that will be coming soon...a carnival themed set of cookies. Here are my sketches and the icing colors : )


Also, in addition to my Little Red Riding Hood cookies being featured on the Hostess with the Mostess website, Flour Box Bakery was also featured on the WPSU Local Food Journey. I'll be posting a behind-the-scenes blog post on the interview and the making-of-the-cookies - which were themed 'April Showers bring May Flowers'. 

Here is a photo of my demonstration set-up. It took me a little bit of time to get everything organized just right!


In non-cookie news, our family had a wonderful Easter. We dyed lots of eggs, first at home and then again with my family. Gotta love our mug collection!!


My family had 8 dozen eggs to dye and so many different kits!



Then on Easter we enjoyed a great church service and a wonderful Easter dinner with Topher's family. Grace got to do the biggest egg hunt ever.  I think we had enough eggs for 15 kids, but we only had three. Grace had so much fun. Plus, she tried her very first piece of bubble gum...and then swallowed it. Oops.


Did I mention that we have a new renovation to our house? Last spring, a friendly robin took to building a nest next to our deck light. A normal bird's nest that became the home to four adorable babies. 

This year, the nest has been remodeled and has now doubled in size!


The nest is so high that I can't peek in to see if there are any eggs. But, Easter morning I angled my camera into the nest and took this photo...which shows four beautiful blue eggs!!


I've already started picking names of course!

That's all for now...looking forward to the April Showers post for this Sunday. 

Until then, have a sweet weekend,

Anne

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Hostess with the Mostess Feature {Little Red Riding Hood}

posted Wednesday Apr 27, 2011 at 08:31 AM by Anne Yorks — 2 comments

On Monday, Flour Box Bakery cookies were featured on a dreamy dessert table created by One Sweet Party on the HOSTESS WITH THE MOSTESS website. Click here to view the HWTM post with all the party details.

I was so honored to be asked to make custom cookies for a Little Red Riding Hood themed birthday party.

This is the feature cookie, Little Red herself. This cookie took 9 icing colors and a little bit of patience to put together.  The designs were based on the party printables from One Sweet Party. 

I also made a special personalized cookie for the birthday girl, Daisha. 

I used the same font as the party stationary, placecards, bags, etc. I liked the little daisy flowers in the grass. Two little white and yellow dots, so simple, yet so cute.


Here are the photos from Partyscape set-up...these were taken by Karen Lisa Artistic Photography. I just happen to think she did an amazing job!


The party set-up was created by Yadira and Johanna of One Sweet Party. All the party supplies, bags, tags, and stationary are available through their website/etsy shop. 

They assembled a great crew of vendors to contribute to the project. I have listed the vendors at the bottom of this post with links. 

See my cookies in the mix? They look super cute next to those cupcakes on the left. And how about those adorable ones on the right? In the little flower pots? I wish this was my party!


I love how every detail is attended to. Even a paper wrapper for the plasticware!

And little flags on the straws.


Doesn't this cake from The Dream Cakery look gorgeous?


I also made little daisy cookies, which were adorned with a cute leaf 'enjoy' tag and hung beautifully on a tree branch.

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I like the polka dot accent paper behind the cookies. I usually just photograph cookies on a white plain platter, but this gives me some new ideas for photos!


One last dreamy shot of the dessert table...


Here are the vendor credits and links...check out these amazing businesses. Many have blogs and facebook pages!


VENDOR CREDITS:

- Photography:  Karen Lisa Artistic Photography

- Event Styling, Graphic Design & Printables:  One Sweet Party

- Custom Hand-iced Sugar Cookies:  Flour Box Bakery

- Floral Arrangements:  Forget Me Not Flower Shop

- Custom Cake: The Dream Cakery


Have a sweet day,

Anne

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Be Audit You Can Be

posted Friday Apr 08, 2011 at 01:55 PM by Anne Yorks — 2 comments

Have you hugged a CPA today? It's that time of year when accountants are going nuts trying to meet the biggest tax deadline of the year. 

I had the honor of making a set of Tax Day cookies. Definitely a sweet way to say thank you, right?

I started working with my client a few months ago on this order. We had a ton of ideas for the cookies, but in the end, we settled on pencils, calculators, coffee mugs, and calculators. 

The most difficult cookie in the bunch to design was the tax return. And I had to make 50 of them. This cookie is 2" x 4" and so there is just no good way of replicating an exact 1040 tax return form. So I went for a 'likeness' of a tax form. 


It included a special message from the sender and the most important party...the refund!! I decided to make the refund the same as our year. 

    

My favorite cookie of the order was the calculator. 

The buttons were raised white icing. After letting it dry completely, I added the numbers and symbols. Again, I used the tax due date as the screen number ... April 15, 2011. I wonder if any of the CPAs noticed before they took a big bite of their cookie?

    

This was the first time I made a pencil cookie. I will be using this design for another order for Teacher Appreciation Week in May. I found it online at www.CopperGifts.com. If you love cookie cutters, you really need to check out their selection. It's the best!

I know a few CPAs and they totally don't fit the nerdy stereotype. As a matter of fact, they are some of the funniest and personable people I know. So I guessed a there are lots of CPAs with a good sense of humor out there. That's why I included the 'Be Audit You Can Be' coffee mug. 


Topher had a little fun with these cookies. Wouldn't it be great if taxes were as simple as using a cookie pencil and filling in 5 lines to get a refund. If I were President, I'd make this law. 

And if you make an error, no problem, just erase it and start over.


Or just eat it all and call it a day!


Have a sweet week...and if you still have to do your taxes...keep calm and have a cookie. I had a few cookies while prepping my taxes and then I brought a few extra cookies to my tax lady. She was so excited. A little sugar rush to get through the busy season.

Anne


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Easter Parade of Cookies

posted Wednesday Apr 06, 2011 at 08:03 AM by Anne Yorks — 1 comments

Is anyone else excited for Easter's arrival? I am! It's one of my favorite times of year.

I love celebrating Jesus, spending the day with my family, cute floral dresses, egg hunts, and Easter baskets full of candy and surprises! What's not to love? It's a bright time when everything feels new again. 

Here are a few cookie options for Easter 2011. Order by April 18th. Cookies will ship between April 19-21 unless you contact me. Last year, Easter orders sold out. I'll be making more this year, but it will be a fixed quantity, so order while the cookies are still available. 

Chicks and Bunnies click here to view order info

    


Spring Fever click here for order info


   


Egg Hunt click here for order info


  


Easter Parade click here for order info


  


Are you planning an egg hunt this year? Here are a few ideas for great egg hiding places.


Outdoor egg hunts
  1. Flower Arrangements or Flower Pots
  2. On top of a car tire or car muffler (just don’t start the car!!!)
  3. Bury an egg in the backyard (leave the dirt messy as a clue for kids to find this egg)
  4. Bird or Dog House (watch out for the birds and dogs!!)
  5. In the mailbox
  6. Under leaves
  7. In a drain spout 

Indoor egg hunts
  1. In a bookcase
  2. In a shoe
  3. In a paper towel roll
  4. In the egg carton
  5. In a vase
  6. Behind picture frames

Are you sick of the same old Egg Hunt format? Here are a few Egg Hunt variations to try with your family. 
  1. For an Egg Hunt with a variety of ages: Assign each child an egg color. They are responsible for finding only those color eggs. Older kids can help the younger kids!
  2. Hide a golden or prize egg.
  3. Eggs by the moonlight. Hold your Egg Hunt at night. Set boundaries in your yard and give each child a basket and a flashlight.
  4. Hot / Cold Egg Hunt. Help the egg seekers by telling them hot or cold as they hunt for the eggs. As they get closer to an egg then they get HOTTER!
  5. Blindfolded Egg Hunt. Partner kids in teams of two. Blindfold one child. This is the egg seeker. The other child is responsible for guiding them to egg hiding places, but they can not touch their partner or the eggs. Verbal directions only!
  6. Assign each egg color a value. For example, red is 5 points, green is 3 points, and so forth. At the end of the egg hunt tally the points. The child with the most points, not the most eggs, wins!

What are your favorite egg hiding places? I'd love to know, so leave me a comment.


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Decorator's Block

posted Monday Apr 04, 2011 at 08:29 AM by Anne Yorks — 2 comments

Decorator's block is a lot like writer's block. I find them equally frustrating. Most of the time, designing a cookie for an order comes naturally - especially when the customer has a clear vision of what they want. I always try to plan ahead for orders, even emailing cookie sketches to clients to make sure we're all on the same page.

But other times, things aren't so easy. I think it over and over and over and nothing. Blank mind. Ugh. This recently happened to me when I was working on a project for the Penn State Iron Chef competition.This event is organized by a group of Nutrition Graduate Students and benefits the State College Food Bank. I donated cookies last year when the secret ingredient was apples. Apples, could it get any easier? I did red and golden apples. Then I also did a bushel of apples. I made a few chef hats and the order was finished. Success. 

This year, I had been trusted with the secret ingredient again and I really wanted to make the best cookies I could. From watching Iron Chef on Food Network, I know there are tougher ingredients that I could have to turn into a cookie. But for some reason, this year's ingredient really stumped me. Can you guess what it was?? MUSHROOMS. 

I originally wanted to make cookies of different mushroom varieties. But as I looked at images of edible mushrooms, they were mostly brown and yellow. Not my usual bright, fun cookie style. This is where I hit a road block. I kept pushing the idea of these realistic mushrooms and I kept falling short of a successful decorating idea.

Finally I decided to do the same thing I do when I have writer's block. I just sat down and started sketching out cookie ideas. What seemed impossible suddenly became possible again. I had a few solid ideas. The decorator's block started to melt. 

So in the end I decided to design my own whimsical, edible mushroom. I scrapped the realistic mushroom idea completely and went with a really 'fun-guy'. [sorry, I couldn't resist]


I love the blues in his mushroom cap. And his rosy cheeks.


And every fun guy needs a fun girl, right?


Ahhhhh. Relief from decorator's block is wonderful. And even more wonderful, the group of nutrition students raised more than $1500 for the Food Bank! So super cool!! Here's a link to the newspaper article with more details about the contest. http://www.centredaily.com/2011/03/27/2608311/iron-chef-psu-raises-money-for.html


A planned out cookie makes the decorating so much more fun. And then, even when I make the mistake of squeezing a big blob of black icing on a cookie, I'm still happy. Thank goodness for extra cookies!! This one's for the baker. Yippee. I swear I didn't do it on purpose.


I think this happy little guy looks like he's doing his Liberty Bell impression. (ps - do you like the eyelashes? Since this cookie was already ruined, I decided to test the eyelashes with my edible food pens.) 

This next order didn't cause any decorator's block. Baseballs and jerseys with the Detroit Tigers 'D'. My customer emailed me after receiving the order to let me know "They are sooooo cute!!!!!  I know someone that is going to be VERY happy!!!!" That's a lot of exclamation points. I thought I was the only one who used punctuation in such quantity.

It's so cool how a cookie of someone's interest or hobby can really make them feel special.

I am excited to share a few other special projects in my coming posts. Plus, this week, I'll have a special guest visit me. I can't wait to share all the details so soon. It is really quite exciting.

Have a sweet day,

Anne



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