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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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Never say Never

posted Saturday Sep 10, 2011 at 09:04 AM by Anne Yorks — 7 comments

WARNING: The end of this blog post contains cookies that may not be appropriate for young audiences. These cookies are intended to be fun, not offensive. So please enjoy the humor. 

Cut-out sugar cookies are so versatile. There are thousands of cookie cutters that can each be decorated in thousands of different ways. As a result, hand-iced cookies make amazing cookie favors and gifts. They are just so personal. I've done a million animal cookies, baby cookies, and birthday cakes. Those traditional shapes are great. But, throughtout the past few years I've received quite a few fun cookie requests. Below, are some of my favorite requests (although, I think you'll agree the cookie featured at the bottom of this post probably takes the cake as far as unique requests go)

I've made a speedo cookie to go with a swimmer cookie collection. I normally used that particular cookie cutter for bikini bottoms and it worked nicely for the Speedo as well.

The Converse sneaker was fun. I actually used an ice skate cookie cutter and cut off the blade. It made a perfect hi-top sneaker.

Then there was the salamander cookie. Sal. He cracked me up! He was a writer which is why he has a writing implement in his hand.


I personally love the Penn State cookies, especially the Nittany Lion and Joe Paterno cookies. Those are my favorites. Of course, no one makes a JoePa cookie cutter, so these were hand cut. These cookies weren't for a customer. I made them for the camera crew that works the football games.  

Then there was the time a customer requested a giant cookie/cake of Elmo. This was a first for me - a giant cookie. I sketched a big Elmo on cardboard and then cut him out and used it as a template. The eyes, nose and mouth were separate cookies sitting on top of the big Elmo head cookie. I used buttercream icing for the red fur and royal icing on the the rest.

The West Point graduation cookies were a challenge. Those golden helmets were tough to pipe and then they all needed a coating of gold luster dust.

The 50s housewife bridal shower. At the time, I could not find an apron cookie cutter. So I had to hand cut each apron myself. Time consuming, but worth the effort.

Braille Cookies. What? You don't read Braille? Neither do I. My customer had to work out the dots. These cookies say "Beyond Sight" and were ordered for a blind artists' first exhibit/showing.

And hot dogs with all the fixins. I think these are so funny. Wouldn't they be perfect for a tailgating party? I prefer my dogs with kraut and mustard. I would eat the cheese dog or the dog with ketchup. But never, never, never would I eat relish. Just doesn't turn me on.

The cookie of the leader of the free world. Just a little pressure the get these right. Thank goodness for my Kopykake!

Little Red Riding Hood - this cookie required nine different icing colors.

The tax return cookie...nuf said.

I've even made a fish wearing a diaper for a baby shower. (unfortunately I don't have a photo of this one).

So with all these special requests, I have always had one rule - NO BODY PART COOKIES. I just don't do them because I feel weird about icing one of those or two of those or whatever. I also didn't want my little girl asking, "Mommy, what is that cookie?" Awkward.

But then, my most special customer asked for a body part. She is fighting liver cancer and each month she gets a very painful treatment shot in her tuckus. Some months the shot goes well and other times it hurts - a lot. Her nurses and doctor are amazingly caring and supportive and have helped her through every uncomfortable procedure.

So when you're dealing with cancer it seems to help to keep your sense of humor. You know they say laughter is the best medicine. I'm sure that being an oncology nurse or doctor has a high level of stress as well, so finding a moment to smile or laugh would hopefully be welcome.

And this, my friends, is why I decided to break my body part rule, just this once. I figured a dozen butt cookies wouldn't be a big deal.

Since my customer is Irish, I dusted the cheeks with a little pink luster dust to give them a rosy look. It's a little tough to see this effect in the picture, but in real life, it was just enough glow for a bum.

I used my heart cookie cutter to get the butt shape, I just flipped it upside down and trimmed off the point of the heart. Bingo, Easy Peasy (this is what my little girl says when she's accomplished something grand). The band aid was added after the bums dried. I used a food marker to add the dots.

And my punny heart. Get it? Bottom? I just couldn't resist.


So in the future, I will keep to my body part rule. But it's nice to be a little flexible once in a little while. I hope they made you giggle.

Have a very sweet week,



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Welcome Little Songbird, Baby Cecelia

posted Monday Sep 05, 2011 at 09:41 AM by Anne Yorks — 7 comments

It's hard to believe that one week ago today my sweet baby Cecelia was born. It seems like she's been here longer than a week because she is already so loved and fits right into our little family! I promise not to drone on and on about how cute she is, but I will post a few extra photos at the end of this blog post for those of you that enjoy baby photos.

Thank you to everyone that has sent me congratulatory messages and posted notes on facebook. Your love has made this moment in my life even more special! So many family and friends have been helping us out, especially our church family. We have been showered with lots of delicious dinners and it's been a huge blessing :) We have enjoyed everything from country pie to meatloaf to homemade chicken pot pie to lasagna to baked ziti with homemade sauce. Tonight we are expecting loaded baked potato soup - Wowza!! Our hearts and tummys are so full!! I'm slowly working on the thank you notecards. They should be in the mail soon, just trying to maximize my cuddle time with both of my girls.

When I had my first baby, I was overwhelmed by the amazing care at our local hospital - The Mount Nittany Medical Center. Everyone made sure all of our needs were met during labor and delivery and recovery. And by everyone, I mean the nurses, doctors, food service people, and housekeeping. Everyone!

I really didn't think it would be possible to top our experience the second time around, but I really think it was just as good if not better than the first time. Expecting nothing but the best from MNMC, I planned a special little cookie platter ahead of time to express my thanks. 

I decided to make pink and green songbirds, the theme of Cecelia's nursery.

I really enjoyed making these cookies, but at 9 months pregnant, it was a challenge to sit comfortably at my decorating table. My big belly kept me from getting close to the table and I had a hard time bending over the cookies when piping the detail. But the reaction from the nurses was priceless and it really was worth the effort. 

I actually baked and decorated these cookies 2 weeks before I had Cecelia. I decided to try out the freezing instructions on Sweetopia's website. This was my first time freezing decorated cookies. Here is a link to that blog post in case you're interested in trying it yourself. The cookies looked perfect after they were thawed and they tasted great too!


I found the songbird cookie cutter on the www.ecrandal.com website. There are a lot of bird-shaped cutters out there, but this one was exactly the shape I wanted.

The 'thank you' cookie was decorated to match the bedding set in Cecelia's nursery. I am planning a separate blog post on the nursery. It's simple, but cute. I found some really fun ideas and tried to replicate them in the room. I collected all my ideas on my new pinterest page. That website can be a lot of fun, but definitely addicting. I don't think I'll have too much time on there in the next few weeks, but I love being able to save my good finds in one place and come back to them at a later time. My boards are under my name, Anne Yorks (not under flour box bakery).

Since coming home from the hospital, we've been trying to get into our routine. We've had lots of visitors. My big brother and sister spent the day with us Sunday.

We are taking time to give Cecelia lots of kisses.

Of course we spend most of our time cuddling!

Grace is an amazing big sister. She loves to hold Cecelia.

She brushes her hair.

And she is a great helper at bath time. She is in charge of cleaning legs and feet!

We are still working on a good picture of the four of us, but this one of us leaving the hospital. It was taken by the nicest volunteer in the world (have I mentioned I love our local hospital)! 

That's all for today. I promise not to bore you with too many baby updates. But I can promise there will be one more post about the nursery. Then it's back to cookie business as usual. I have some great cookie photos to share, plus Grace's 4th birthday party is coming up soon. We are planning a very special ballerina themed party using adorable paper goods from Berry Town Baker - you can check out her facebook page here.  

Thanks for reading and have a sweet day!


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Forty and Fabulous

posted Sunday Aug 28, 2011 at 09:08 AM by Anne Yorks — 5 comments

Maybe sometimes there are points in our life when we need a little encouragement to tap into our inner-fabulous. I'm 39 weeks and 4 days pregnant. I'm gigantic. I have entered the uncomfortable stage. I'm getting cranky. And on top of that I had a marathon doctor's appointment. Lots of waiting and an unexpected test. Everything with the baby and I are still great, but at 39 weeks + is anyone really comfortable? Then Toph surprised me with an Izze and a People magazine.

Izze is my favorite drink.

After one sip of Izze and a review of Star Tracks, I could feel my inner-fabulous again. It's just the little things in life, right?

I hope this cookie set really helped my customer's sister with the 40th birthday hurdle. Birthdays never seem like a big deal until you're facing a big one. My customer told me she needed special cookies for her sister who loves pink and everything girly! I made a pink and black collection with shoes, purses, a little animal print, and fabulous 40 cookies!

I'm not sure if you can tell from my blurry photo, but I added a drop shadow to the number 40. I think it added a little extra dimension to the design and was super pleased with how it turned out. The word fabulous is just piped, but the 40 was outlined and flooded.

I have a favorite pair of pink shoes. They are pink Mary Janes with bows on the toes. I got them years and years ago and they are totally worn out. But I can't find a suitable pair of replacements. If you come across a pair of cute pink shoes, please email me! I've been hunting for the right pair for years.

I don't think I'd wear these neon pink high heels, but really only because I like flats.

I would however carry a Birkin bag. In pink, or any color for that matter. 

I thought this Birkin would make an adorable cookie.

Too bad I'll be stuck in diaper bag land for the foreseeable future. Hermes does have a diaper bag line, but $500 is just a tad out of budget. Think about how many diapers that would buy! I think I'll settle for an Izze and the cookie version of the Birkin Bag :)

So long for now. I hope the next time I post on my blog, it will include an adorable photo of my new bundle!!

Have a sweet weekend!


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Gone Fishin'

posted Tuesday Aug 23, 2011 at 08:55 AM by Anne Yorks — 3 comments

FLOUR BOX BAKERY UPDATE: The stork is visiting Flour Box Bakery this summer. As a result, I am not currently accepting new orders. My baking schedule is booked through the summer until my due date. I will continue to update my blog with my summer cookie projects. I hope you'll continue to follow my cookie adventures until I'm back to work! Thank you to all my wonderful customers - I look forward to baking for you when I return from my 'cookie-in-the-oven' leave!!

Hi! I'm so excited to be finally posting on my blog!! After a hard drive crash, my computer was out of commish for almost a month. No email, no blogging, nothing. It's been a little tough. I'm still getting files and programs loaded back onto my computer. Not fun! On the bright side, this crash was a good lesson in unplugging from technology!

The timing of the crash wasn't all that bad either. I had a ton of things to do before the baby arrives. We did lots of house projects, worked on the baby's nursery (which I'm hoping to share in an upcoming blog post since it turned out sort of cute!), stocking up on groceries and toiletries, cleaning and assembling baby gear, doing lots of lots of laundry, and most importantly - I have had time to spend with my 3-year-old and Topher. We have been enjoying our weekends together before the chaos of a newborn hits the house!

Did I mention I made a few great dinners and popped them in my freezer? What fun! We have Mac & Cheese, Veggie Lasagna, Pulled Chicken BBQ, Chili, Meatloaf, Doggie Stew, Tajin, and Sheppard's Pie. Plus, I baked 3 loaves of zucchini bread for the freezer. I wanted something tasty on hand for our visitors after the baby arrives.

And I did manage to do a few cookies during my tech hiatus. I will definitely be sharing the photos from those projects. They turned out as well as cookies can when you have a HUGE belly bumping the table every time you try to pipe a straight line. 

So since I was out of computer land for a little while, I have a few cookie projects that I never got to share. Like this 'Gone Fishin' set I made for a special 50th birthday. I especially enjoyed this collection because I had the freedom to design the cookies any way I wanted. 

Here are my sketches of a few of the cookies.

This is the fly fishing lure sketch. As you can see above, I did not like my fist attempt and scratched it out.

Here are the individual photos of the cookies from this collection.

The red tackle box. I used my treasure chest cutter for this cookie. It has a little more negative space than my normal cookies do, but I really liked how this cookie finished.

A pink and purple lure.

And a blue and green lure.

I looked at a million pictures of fly fishing lures and they are gorgeous. I loved all their colors and feathers. When flooding the cookie, I knew I wasn't going to outline the body of the lure, so I took my time flooding each section. I flooded the middle section first, let it dry, and then went back and flooded the outer two sections.

This kept the sections distinct.

A fishing themed birthday cake. The cake was fun to make. I flooded the light blue area with the clouds first. Then I added the waves, using a toothpick to pull the wave up over the light blue area in a nice point. Once the background was dry, I added the bead borders, fishing pole, and text.

A Gone Fishin' sign. The sign was also created in layers. I had to flood the background first and let it completely dry. Then I outlined and flooded the sign. Once that was dry, I went back and added the grass and text on the sign. The process was a little lengthy, but I like the dimension of this cookie.

And of course some fish!! In the past I have painted on silver and gold accents using luster dust. But on these fish I used a 'spray can icing color' from Michaels, part of the Duff Goldman line (Ace of Cakes guy). It was a lot faster and applied evenly. But it was very messy and almost impossible to apple to a small specific area. I guess it's meant more for cakes than cookies. I think I'll stick to my luster dust in the future.

I also made a few small goldfish. They were much easier since I just needed to spray one color.

Here is the collection all together.

I actually made 6 dozen cookies for the party...and the birthday boy loved them!

I am hoping to post again before I have the baby. Hopefully I'll have the opportunity! It's nice to be blogging again. I've missed it! Thanks for reading and have a sweet day!


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Vera Bradley GIVEAWAY!!

posted Monday Jul 18, 2011 at 05:10 PM by Anne Yorks — 75 comments

FLOUR BOX BAKERY UPDATE: The stork is visiting Flour Box Bakery this summer. As a result, I am not currently accepting new orders. My baking schedule is booked through the summer until my due date. I will continue to update my blog with my summer cookie projects. I hope you'll continue to follow my cookie adventures until I'm back to work! Thank you to all my wonderful customers - I look forward to baking for you when I return from my 'cookie-in-the-oven' leave!!

AND THE RANDOMLY SELECTED WINNER IS... Kris of FL, commenter #13!!

"Congrats! Already a fan on Facebook and a fan of your cookies! They are way too cute!"

Thanks to all that entered. I know it may seem as though some comments 'disappeared', but my blog only shows a certain amount of comments at a time. Don't worry, all 73 comments were published on the backend for me to read. Sorry if that caused any confusion!

Thanks again for reading!!

I am so excited to have reached 1000 'likers' on the Flour Box Bakery Facebook page. It's a small, but very fun milestone!

It's only be a year and a half that I've had a website and a facebook page for my cookies and in that short time I have connected with so many amazing customers and fellow cookiers. I have enjoyed these new friendships and look forward to many more in the future. I have found the cookie world to be a fun and friendly place. I just love all the sweet notes people email me, comments on the blog, and posts on my facebook page, 

And so, in appreciation of all the fun I have been having, I'm hosting a little giveaway.

One lucky winner will receive a beautiful Vera Bradley Hipster in the brand new pattern, Mocha Rouge. I searched high and low for a fantastically fun giveaway prize and after much thought I decided to go with something I myself would love to win. Isn't this pattern just gorgeous? And the hipster is a stylish and functional bag (I know because I have one in a different pattern).

You can enter the contest twice...here is how:

1. Like Flour Box Bakery on Facebook and post a comment below to let me know you did (if you are already a fan, post that in the comment area for your entry)

2. Follow @flourboxbakery on twitter and post a comment below letting me know you did so.  

That's it! It's that easy! 

The contest ends on Friday, July 22 at midnight EST. 

Winner will be selected randomly and posted on Saturday. I will also notify the winner by email.

I truly love making cookies! Thank you again to everyone for my cookie adventures so much fun!


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