Guest Post: Hockey-Mom turned Baker Babe!

Arty: The first thing that comes to mind when I think about Sandy is her beautiful sparkly eyes.  Seriously, if you ever get a chance to meet her just bask in her eyes for a moment.  Sandy is the type of person who immediately makes you feel warm and fuzzy.  Part of the fuzziness is possibly due to the fact that she offered me some of the tastiest truffles at a point of starvation at CookieCon that not only tasted heavenly, but helped fuel me until dinner.

She is so friendly and generous and she's generously sharing some of that life-sustaining truffle magic below.  Read on to meet the fabulous, sparkly eyed Sandy...

Who would have thought the ultimate Hockey Mom would become a Cookier? I sure didn’t!

family.jpg

My youngest son Ryan was playing Ice hockey in Fresno, CA, and living with a billet family. I wanted to do something special for them and made a tray of gourmet chocolate covered strawberries. I brought it to a game and presented it to them. Other parents saw this and asked me to do something similar. And my little business, "Goodies by Sandy", began.

Sandy's gourmet chocolate-covered strawberries!

Sandy's gourmet chocolate-covered strawberries!

I slowly started adding more items to my repertoire, and one day a sweet friend asked me to do sugar cookies. I had never heard of “royal icing”...and what in the world was “meringue powder?” I became a frantic fanatic web searcher and stumbled upon Karen’s Cookies, which was amazing! I ordered, asked, created, burned, threw away and started over so many times! I then found that if I added a bit of this and a pinch of that, my recipe did what I wanted – I found it, my sugar cookie!

Luckily, I had a built-in target audience - my weekly bingo group. I was allowed to sell cookies while I played bingo. It was a great way to test out what did and didn’t work and what people liked and didn’t. My cookies back then sure weren't too pretty, but they always tasted good.

I began trying lots of recipes and watching videos. I talked to other local cookiers (many that I met through a local competition) who even got together a few times to talk about business and share ideas. I shared my cookies with friends and started to have a small following on FB. Cindi from "Flour and Faith Bakery" shared information about CookieCon – WHAT?? – I needed that! I attended my first one and overload happened. I was not prepared, both mentally and financially, lol! I had the most amazing time, but realized I needed to figure out what I wanted to do with my business.

After the 1st CookieCon, I knew that I wanted to improve my skills but I also wanted to give back. I started baking for charity. I went back to my roots, incorporated chocolate covered strawberries, and added that element in all “goodies” that I created. Now I make chocolate covered strawberry cookies (similar to chocolate chip cookies), chocolate covered strawberry truffles, custom decorated sugar cookies that look and taste like chocolate covered strawberries, chocolate covered strawberry cupcakes and I always offer gourmet chocolate covered strawberries.

I am passionately working with charities close to my heart – most of them cancer related, as I am a uterine cancer survivor. I participate in an annual wine event as the dessert provider for The Ronald McDonald House; as the dessert provider for The Childhood Cancer Foundation of Southern California; sit on the Board of Directors of The Beloved Foundation (a local organization whose mission is to ease the burden of families who are struggling financially as a result of caring for a loved one with terminal cancer); sit on the Board of Directors of my family's charity in Colorado, "Joy’s Kitchen" (a food rescue and food bank) which honors my mother who passed from cancer.  

Sandy's goodies at the Ronald McDonald charity event

Sandy's goodies at the Ronald McDonald charity event

I enter competitions, just to make sure that I stay sharp and with it (also I am a competitive person – lol)! In our local Cakewalk (the local supply store) competition, I placed 2nd the first time I competed in cookies; I placed 1st in the second competition and won overall (over cakes, cake pops and cookies). I even met Chef Charity, one of my idols in the sugar world! When she came to my booth and asked for more of all of my cookies (I did a fruit stand theme with all sugar cookies tasting like their fruit) I was so honored! I also placed 1st in our local Orange Show cookie competition.

I do offer some custom orders, mostly for friends and family. I post specialty orders for holidays if I am feeling creative and my time allows.

When I went to my 2nd CookieCon, I wanted to share one of my other “goodies” and brought my snickerdoodle truffle. It is a super easy and a best seller of mine. I must admit to you, my sweet friends, I love to have this as an order, as I can whip it up quickly and always have the ingredients on hand.

I am going to share this recipe with you all but please …. promise me that you will give me credit and tag me in your posts (My Instagram: @Goodies by Sandy)

I will close with, follow your heart, do what you love, always give back and make it a SWEET day!

XOXO

Sandy

If you would like, please follow me

www.facebook.com/goodiesbysandy

www.instagram.com/goodiesbysandy

 

Sandy's Snickerdoodle Truffles. I had one at CookieCon, and they are AMAZING!

Sandy's Snickerdoodle Truffles. I had one at CookieCon, and they are AMAZING!

Snickerdoodle Truffles:

Truffle:

½ C salted butter

1 C brown sugar

1 ½ t cinnamon

1 1/3 C All Purpose Flour

2 T milk

2 T cinnamon vanilla coffee creamer

In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar; add the cinnamon. Stir in the flour and mix until well incorporated. Add in the milk and creamer and mix well. If it is still too thick, add a bit more creamer – use sparingly until the dough pulls away from the bowl. Use a small scoop to roll into balls, and set on parchment covered cookie sheet and place in freezer. Freeze for about 30 minutes.

Topping:

8 oz white chocolate (or if you can find cinnamon white chocolate I use that)

2 T white sugar

2 t cinnamon

Melt the chocolate until smooth using whatever method you like. While that is melting mix together the sugar and cinnamon.

Take out the truffles and dip each one in chocolate and tap off excess chocolate and place on wax paper - lined cookie sheet. Immediately sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar mix. After they have set, place truffles in Tupperware to store in refrigerator. These will keep for about 4-5 days refrigerated (but they never last that long in my fridge lol).

 

Guest Post: Details, Details, Details....

Arty: Tammy... how do I love thee?  Let me count the ways:  I love that your cat has his own wardrobe complete with hats and outfits for every season and holiday.  I love that you call yourself shy, but you open up to people immediately and are so loving.  I love that you have a style that I can look at for days and STILL find new things to be awed over.  

If you are lucky enough to be Tammy's friend I bet these are things you love about her too.  If you aren't Tammy's friend... give her 2 seconds.  She'll fix that!  I think you need to prepare yourself a little to see her creations.  Imagine crazy details, gorgeous colors and textures, add edible and throw in some magic and you have Tammy's creations.  Go ahead... but you've been warned:

Tammy Trahan of New Orleans Cookie Company

It’s great to be featured here. Thanks Arty. Wow, what an amazing and fun cookie journey this has been thus far! A few years back I was so inspired as I would watch videos of a couple of my favorite cookie idols, who make the most amazing cookies in the whole world. I was blown away and fascinated with what I would see. Being an artist, a graphic/corporate designer, and a jewelry designer, I was excited about trying out this new medium. I had enjoyed baking for many years, decorated a few cakes here and there, and was now ready to give cookie decorating a try.

IMG_6582.JPG

 

It all began in October of 2015 when I made cookies for my daughter-in-law’s baby shower, for my precious grandson George! I loved working with royal icing! Holiday after holiday I continued decorating and playing with cookies. I was in love with my new adventure. Then, one day I laid my eyes on the most beautiful and darling cookies that I had ever seen! They were the sweet little hand painted Dolly Dingle Paper doll cookies by our beloved Liz Adams (aka Arty McGoo). Oh my, hand painted cookies! I found my way to Arty’s blog, and McGoo U! The inspiration was off the charts! As I learned more tips and techniques, I developed and continue to develop my own style. I love trying new things, and we all know that each month we have access to many new things.

IMG_7524.JPG

 

It was early 2017 that New Orleans Cookie Company was founded. I have designed a line of cookies that depict the warmth, celebration, and nostalgia of my fun city. I have also designed several ongoing sets of cookies such as angels, hearts, fun at the circus, etc. As far as my style goes, IT’S ALL IN THE DETAILS!! I have always loved details! It ‘s about celebrating my love for art, design, color, and life itself! I love whimsical and fun details. I love my miniature toy collection!

 

My favorite decorating techniques are hand painting on cookies, rubber stamping, and making those adorable little fondant embellishments. My angel cookies are so much fun to do using these techniques. It’s funny, that the set of angel cookies were never planned. I needed a cookie to post for Valentine’s Day on my New Orleans Cookie Company Instagram account and I didn’t have one. I grabbed an angel cookie that I hadn’t decorated for Christmas, and just began stamping, etc. I was blown away with the cookie love for this angel, that I then did one for Mardi Gras. The love for these whimsical angels continues to grow, so as I indulge in my cookie therapy I have a blast making them. They are always spontaneous and never planned.

 

I mostly decorate cookies as a form of art, and for family and friends. I only seldom take cookie orders, although I would love doing cookies for film and print jobs. I have a couple of cookie related ideas, and I look forward to the cookie future. Thank you so much for your cookie love and support!

 

Hintable Printable: Christmas Edition

Do you remember when you were a kid you would sit on Santa's lap; he would ask if you were good that year (of course I was!) and then he would ask you what you wanted?  You would tell him about that thing you have been hoping and dreaming and wishing for and drawing circles around in the magazines with a crayon and hope hope HOPING you would find it beautifully wrapped under the tree on Christmas morning.  

I suppose, as an adult you could go that route.  Drive to the nearest mall and track down the big guy and sit on his lap and tell him your Christmas wishes.  Sure, you might get some strange looks, but when has that ever stopped you?  

Orrrrr... here's an idea!  I made these great hints that you can casually post on the fridge, in your friend's purse, exchange it for your significant other's bookmark, on everyone's desk at work... wherever any potential gift givers lurk.  They'll get the idea and you can avoid sitting on mall Santa's lap this year and still get what you want!

image2.jpeg
image1.jpeg

Both Year and Month subscriptions are available to give as gifts and it's a great time to join because it's 30% AND Arty's 12 days of Christmas giveaway is happening right now that is only open to subscribers.  SO many reasons to get your cookie one!

Download the Hintable Printable PDF here!

Guest Post: All hail the Queen of Bows!

Arty: I've known this gorgeous and talented blonde for several years now.  The thing I love about her work is that sometimes I don't know it's hers, and I mean that as a huge compliment.  If it has incredible bows, it would clue me in, (because she is flipping' famous for her signature bows! and for good reason), but when it was revealed that her entry into the CookieCon sugar show several years ago was that sea turtle... I was shocked!  That's not Delorse!  But that is the rad thing about Delorse... it IS Delorse.  Delorse is so many things from elegant to humorous, or whimsical and cute, she is a master of royal icing and she always creates beautiful work that has such range.  She is the sweetest and a great friend. Meet Delorse Sword:

Delorse and her daughter, Megan

Delorse and her daughter, Megan

Hi cookie friends! I'm Delorse Sword from Sword's Sugars and I'm so excited to have been  invited to spend a few minutes here on Arty's awesome blog to talk cookie and give you a little glimpse into my cookie world.

See that cute, laughing girl in the picture above? That's my daughter Megan. She hates that picture, but I insanely love it.  She makes me laugh every single day and she's the reason I began my cookie journey.  She's my "mini me" and my biggest fan.  She pushes me, listens to me, laughs at me, and when I tell her I 'can't do that on a cookie', she tell me to figure. it. out.

I decorated my first set of cookies with royal icing in October of 2012 for a Mom's Weekend event with Megan's sorority.  I wanted to make something I could take to the first night's activity.  As Megan and I were searching the web for all things Chi Omega, we ran across a picture of some cute owl cookies.  I thought, 'Hey, I think I might be able to make something like that', and the rest, a they say, is history.  Little did I know then that those little red and yellow owls would lead me to an amazing cookie community full of amazing people like you!

One of Delorse's more recent owls

One of Delorse's more recent owls

I spent the next year researching the art of cooking decorating by reading cookie blogs and books, watching video tutorials, joining and interacting in FB cookie groups, building a supply cabinet (or two, or three!), and teaching myself how to ‘cookie’. I practiced what I was learning on cookies for the girls in the sorority, and their enthusiasm about the platters of cookies I made for a couple of their events made me want to perfect my skill and opened a door to a creative outlet that I didn’t realize I needed or wanted at that time in my life. And then another great thing happened. I learned about this thing called Cookie Con. What?! A convention centered around decorating cookies - is that even a thing?! Oh, it is, and I went to my first one in March of 2014! It was a fantastic experience and only furthered my interest in the cookie world and all the wonderful people in it.    

A cookie featuring one of Delorse's famous bows!

A cookie featuring one of Delorse's famous bows!

Fast forward, and that’s exactly how I feel my cookie journey has progressed, to today and I'm still amazed at where that little owl cookie has led me.  I enjoy designing and creating cookies for my family and friends and sharing those creations with all of you. I’m inspired daily by all of your work and hope that a little of what I do, inspires you back.  I will be forever grateful for people like Arty who has willingly shared her art and her love of cookies and has encouraged me to develop my own.

Here are a few of my favorite pictures of cookies/cookie sets and yes a lot of them are bows! You  KNOW I love them!!!  

If you’ve made it this far in my ramblings, thanks for reading and looking.  I’ll see you on the Facebook (as my mom calls it) and the gram and if you ever need my help or have a question about anything I post, PLEASE feel free to contact me.  I’d love it!