Tami Trahan (New Orleans Cookie Company) always makes the most beautiful, detailed cookies! And this week she's rolled out a series of heart cookies that are so outstanding that we had to share one! We heart her!
We got spirit, yes we do! We got spirit, at McGoo U!
At this hallowed institution of higher cookie learning, we make friends, we learn the art of decorating, and we cheer on our football team when they're up against our rivals at CakePop Tech. "Go McGoonicorns!"
As a professor and the chancellor of McGoo U, I wanted to show my love and appreciation by introducing a brand new way to say thank you; for being loyal McGoobers, for supporting McGoo U, and for being awesome.
As many of you know, there is a varsity letter. There are a couple of ways to earn them and we have recently added another. See Mixer patch. (You can see the original post here)
These letters look fabulous on sweaters, cardigans, or this letterman-style jacket from amazon, and others have framed them. Whatever you choose to do with it, the great news is that the McGoo U varsity letter has some new additions to the family! I am rolling out the first 3 in a series of fun new little patches that you can earn as a thank you for doing stuff you already do as an A+ student.
Piping Bag Patch
How to earn:
Do your "homework" for 3 consecutive current months (ex: August, September, October). Use the hashtag #mcgoouhomework and post your work on Facebook or Instagram or send an email with pictures to email@example.com
Yes. Receive a patch for each consecutive 3 months (starting August 2017).
On your 4th earning, receive a special "Year of Homework" patch. (Year does not have to be consecutive).
How to earn:
Refer a friend to be a new McGoo U annual subscriber. (Make sure they put your name in the "How did you hear about us?" section when they register.)
Yes. Receive a patch for each friend who joins. (Not for renewals)
If you do not have your letter patch, you will automatically receive your letter with this patch.
How to earn:
The apron patch is given at Arty's discretion. It can be given for anything from being innovative to being encouraging to others. In other words: anything goes. tip: participating on the McGoo U Student Body Facebook page and using hashtag #mcgoou helps me see what you're up to.
hmmmmm... anything goes!
"Doing your homework" means following along with the monthly McGoo U tutorial, and creating the cookies made in class (usually 3). They can be customized, embellished, or modified, but it needs to use that month's techniques and basic designs for patch earning purposes.
Patches are based off of my illustrations found in the Arty McGoo Activity Book.
Patches in general are not earned retroactively. This is a new and exciting program! Beginning in August 2017 means it creates an even playing field. We can't wait to show you the rest of the series and can't wait to start sending these out.
Make sure your address is current in your McGoo U account so we can get them to you.
Kim Knemeyer is a Las Vegas cookier who has graced me with her presence on several occasions. On one of those occasions, she brought me the most delicious cinnamon swirl bread. So, because I am sometimes a genius, I asked her to write a blog post about bread baking! So no more loafing around this summer, let's bake bread!
Hello my fellow cookiers and hopefully bread bakers too!
You may know me from Facebook as Kim Huston Knemeyer or by my cookie name, Kim’s Confections. I was so excited when asked to do a blog post about bread! Not only do I love eating bread, I really enjoy making it. I’m one of those weirdos who eats something and thinks “Hmmm, I wonder if I could duplicate that.” I love the challenge of bread because there are so many types ranging from the very simple to the very technical. And because I like to share my love of baking bread, I also occasionally teach a beginner bread baking class in my home.
Was I a natural at bread baking? No! My first attempt was a whole-wheat loaf and let me tell you, it made a better door stop than sandwich. But that didn’t stop me, because I love a challenge. I immediately did an online search which led me to the King Arthur Flour website. It really opened my eyes! Years before, I had received the catalog and perused its amazing products, but I didn’t realize they also hosted this amazing community of bakers who were more than willing to help with any baking issue (kinda sounds like another wonderful community we know and love). The bakers were amazing, and taught me about the science of baking bread. Think about all of the forms bread takes throughout the world. When you realize that most start with flour, water, salt and yeast, it boggles the mind!
Now, do you have to get up at the crack of dawn and toil over your bread all day kneading and shaping? No, you don’t. There is a bread for every type of baker. I’m lucky because I run my cookie business from home, so my bread baking can take any form I’m in the mood for. But if you aren’t in my position, there are recipes and tools to help with that. How many of you have owned a bread machine? How many of you have baked a few loaves and then never used it again? What if I told you I never bake in my bread machine? Crazy, huh? Don’t get me wrong, I love mine so much, I got it a sibling! I am the proud owner of two Zojirushi Home Bakery Supreme Bread Machines (fondly known as the Cadillac of bread machines). But I never bake in them. I use my machines on the dough cycle for mixing and doing the first rise. I then take out the dough, shape it, let it do its final rise and then bake it in my oven. I like doing most breads this way because it easily allows me to schedule my bread baking around the other things I have to do. I know that in that 1 hour and 50-minute time period, the ingredients will be slightly warmed, mixed, punched down and risen in a perfect environment. I also know that simple rolls and basic loaves, can be completed in about 3 hours.
The recipe I’m sharing with you today is the one I used for my first successful loaf. It’s also the recipe I teach in my classes. Although created initially as a burger bun recipe, it adapts to many forms such as rolls, hot dog buns, bread loaves and cinnamon swirl bread. I know I spoke of my bread machines, but you can also do this recipe by hand or in a mixer (preferably using a bread hook). This recipe created quite a buzz when first posted to King Arthur Flour’s baking community and soon became a favorite. It’s soft, slightly sweet and very forgiving! You can also customize it by adding spices. My favorite is adding some herbs de Provence when making rolls. Just a hint of flavor, but not too overwhelming. I hope my post has inspired you to make a loaf or rolls soon. Now excuse me, I have a roll that needs a slathering of butter and orange blossom honey!
You can find me at kimsconfectionslv on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest!
Ellen's Famous white bread
1 cup water
2 tbsp. butter, softened
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 1/2-3 tsp. instant yeast
Ellen's Hawaiian Bread
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tbsp. butter, softened
3 cups flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp. instant potato flakes
1 tsp. salt
pinch of ginger
3 tsp. yeast
Bread Machine Method: Place wet ingredients in bucket first. Next, place flours, sugars and other ingredients next, except for salt and yeast. Then place salt off to one side and yeast in an indentation in the center. Select dough cycle and then run.
Mixer Method: Place dry ingredients in mixing bowl except for salt. Combine with paddle attachment. Add salt and combine. Add remaining ingredients and combine until dough starts to leave the side of the bowl. Switch to dough hook and knead for around 6 minutes on low-medium, scraping the dough to the center of the bowl once. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl or large measuring cup, and cover the container. Place in a semi-warm spot away from drafts and allow to rise to double it’s size, about an hour.
For Sandwich Loaf: Preheat oven to 350º. Gently deflate dough and press into a rectangle. Fold over top third if dough and press seam with heel of palms. Fold over another third, press and repeat again. Place dough in loaf pan sprayed with nonstick spray. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise until doubled, about 30 minutes. Bake for 20 minutes uncovered. Bake for another 10 covered with foil to prevent over-browning. Remove from oven and immediately remove from pan onto a cooling rack. Allow to cool completely before slicing.
For Cinnamon Swirl Loaf: Preheat oven to 350º. Gently deflate dough and press into a large rectangle. Combine cinnamon filling mix and water with a whisk until no lumps appear. Spread over dough leaving a 1” border around edges. Tightly roll dough and tuck under ends. Place dough in loaf pan sprayed with nonstick spray. Cover with plastic wrap loosely and allow to rise until doubled, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately remove from pan onto a cooling rack. Allow to cool.
For Hamburger Buns: Preheat oven to 375º. Depending on the size you want, divide dough into 10-12 pieces. Slap each piece into a bun shape. Usually 4 or 5 slaps will do it. Place on greased cookie sheets or bun pans and cover loosely with plastic wrap; rise until doubled, about 30 to 40 minutes. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes till golden. Remove from pan and cool completely on wire racks.
For Dinner Rolls: Preheat oven to 375º. Divide into 12 to 24 pieces (I do 16), depending on the size you like. Shape into balls and spray pan with nonstick spray. For 12 rolls, place in a 8” x 8” square pan; for 16 rolls either 2 8” round cake pans or a 9” x 13” pan; and for 24 rolls in a 9” x 13” pan. Cover loosely with plastic wrap let rise until doubled, from 30 to 45 minutes. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from pan and allow to cool on a wire rack.
Just in case you haven't heard, I have a new set of Mix & Match Dress cutters. I love them so much, and I'm so excited to see what all of you will do with them! I posted this video to Instagram, but thought I'd share it here too...so you can see just some of the possibilities!
Don't have the cutters yet? You can get yours here.
Today I want you to meet my friend Kris. I first met Kris at CookieCon and the last time I saw her... was at CookieCon 2017 with some fun encounters in between. I was lucky enough to get a quick Kris fix in between CookieCons when we decorated cookies last Christmastime. She makes outstanding cookies and I'm always impressed with her talent and her thoughtfulness. Her business name reflects her style perfectly: "So Cute Cookies". Seriously, look at some of her cookies below and try not to say it:"SO CUTE! I dare ya. So here, without further ado, is Kris:
Hello! I'm Kris from So Cute Cookies. I was so flattered to be asked to write a guest post for Arty McGoo's blog.
The power of a cookie is amazing. I love being a part of people's special events and bringing a smile to people through cookies. I enjoy delivering random acts of cookie kindness to people as I go about my day. Whether I bring treats to my favorite checker at the grocery, my husband's office staff, or my mom's nurses, the reaction is always the same! People get so excited over a cookie.
I began my cookie journey when I took a cookie bouquet class with a friend at my local Michael's store in 2010. I had always been crafty: loved scrapbooking and stamping cards, so decorating cookies was another creative hobby that I thought would be fun in retirement. We used fondant in our class and I went online to find another type of icing that was more like frosting. I found the Karens Cookies blog and website and stumbled into a whole site full of recipes, tutorials, videos, and an online forum where I could talk with other people who shared my passion. I experimented with Royal Icing, Glaze, and Royal Glaze but ultimately fell in love with Karen's Meringue Powder Buttercream Icing. Over the years I've tweaked it to my liking using less shortening and more flavorings but this is basically how I still make my icing today for all my cookie orders. Https://karenscookieblog.com/category/recipes/. Meringue Powder Buttercream does not dry hard and crunchy. It has a more frosting like texture but it dries firm enough to stack and package once dried overnight. I realize most cookiers use Royal Icing but my family and customers love my icing so I will stick with it.
In 2012 I went to a cookie retreat in Louisville, KY and it was so fun to meet and learn from other cookiers. I met so many people I still call my friends today. I have attended every CookieCon in Salt Lake City and have taken some fun classes along the way with Arty Mc Goo, Oh Sugar, and SweetTCakes.
I would define my cookie style as simple and cute. I avoid complicated orders and characters. One of my favorite things to do is package cookies. I love wrapping gifts and showing up to the party with the prettiest package, so it's only natural that I love adding big bows and cute packaging to show off my cookies. I want my customers to have that WOW factor when they walk into an event bringing my cookies.
When I am not busy baking treats my husband and I love to travel. Our 2 kids are grown and we try and vacation as often as possible. I have even combined my love of baking and traveling by visiting a few cookie friends in the UK, Greece, and Arizona. Cookie friends are the best people!
Follow me on Instagram, Facebook (So Cute Cookies) and my website. Www.socutecookies.com. ~Kris
Hey everybody, it's Kim again. Why has it taken me so long to write this blog post? I don't honestly know. It could have been spring break, the 2 week illness that followed, the fact that my computer died, or my inherent laziness. Any one is probably a valid choice. Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, losing my CookieCon virginity! (It really was everything they said it would be!)
So Thursday morning began VERY early with preparations for the McGoo U Sock Hop! We had a special pre-CookieCon social for all of the McGoo U subscribers, and it was a BLAST! Elvis (Mr. John in his sexy white jumpsuit) made a special appearance and serenaded the adoring crowd, we played a rousing game of "speed-friendshipping", had a decorator's challenge, and my son came and served as "bartender", mixing up our signature drinks! Everyone had a great time getting together and socializing before CookieCon officially began. I made a slide show so you can see how awesome it was!
After the party we took a few minutes to check out Cookie Town and the Sugar Show entries. Oh my gosh, it was AMAZING! Cookie people are so clever and talented! Here's a little peek at Cookie Town:
And here are just a few of the cookies that were entered into the Sugar Show! Aren't they so impressive? I couldn't get over it. I must have gone back into that room 10 times over the course of the weekend just to ooh and aah.
And then CookieCon OFFICIALLY began! People started arriving in droves, lined up to get their swag bags, traded pins & cookies, and the excitement level was through the roof! You know how people talk about "finding your tribe"? Well, that really happens at CookieCon. I don't know about you, but when I talk to my friends about royal icing consistency, where you can get Everclear, and the latest cookies I've seen on Instagram, their eyes glaze over. BUT NOT AT COOKIECON! At CookieCon, there are hundreds of other people who speak your language; and let's face it, it's nice to be understood.
Ooh, and then I got to go to First-timer orientation! That's where they divide all of the newbies into groups & give them the lay of the land. It was fun to meet a bunch of other CookieCon virgins, find out where they had traveled from, and have a someone with real experience tell you what to expect your first time!
Thursday night ended with an OUTSTANDING keynote speech by Katy Metoyer (Sugar Dayne). Her presentation was EVERYTHING: sweet, sassy, funny, touching, and incredibly open and honest. If you've seen the hashtag #mycookiefriendsarereal around the interwebs in the last few months, it's because of Katy's talk. Tears were shed, people were moved, and it ended in a standing ovation. Katy is a cookie goddess.
If that weren't enough, I then got to dine with some of my cookie idols. I was still wearing my sock hop outfit, so I got some pretty funny looks walking through Salt Lake City, but who cares when you're taking that walk with Arty McGoo, Lilaloa, Andy Kay, and the Hungry Hippopotamus? Not me!
By Bailey Adams:
I always hear teenagers my age saying, "OMG, my mom is soooooooo lame! She's so embarrassing, and she never does anything fun." Everytime I am faced with this obnoxious statement, I have no idea how to respond. I can't relate to the individual at all, because my mom is absolutely wonderful. Putting the word "lame" by "my mom" is something so unfathomable to me that when I was younger, I thought all moms where this cool. Being a bit older now, i realize that my mother, Elizabeth Kessinger Adams, is basically the raddest person on the face of our planet.
I don't know if you guys have noticed, but my mom is flipping hilarious. I can't think of anyone else who makes me laugh harder than she does. A few months ago, my siblings and I where on the couch with my mom. She decided she would see what this "Snapchat" thing was all about. she had downloaded it onto her phone around 7:30, and we were on the couch till 2:00am laughing hysterically at the ridiculous face swaps we made. We laughed till tears streamed down our faces and our stomachs hurt from laughing so much. Oh, and by the way, my mom's laugh is more contagious than a yawn. Once she gets going, there is no turning back. my mom and I are similar in many ways, and one of those similarities is that when we are tired, we get really hyper. When we go to Disneyland, we always try to stay till 12:00am. Nothing compares to that feeling at midnight as you stand there in the park, your tired sore feet are still damp from splash mountain 6 hours ago and your clothes smell like bubbles and churros, and you can't help but smile a delirious smile, and do some weird dance that has not yet been discovered in our universe. At least, thats what my mom and I do. We will do these weird dances and faces and it is hilarious. it could be 3:00am or 12:00pm and it will always be hysterical to me.
I always love to sit next to my mom, whether it be in the pews at church or strapped in by her side on a roller coaster, I always feel better sitting by my mom and having her by my side. Evidently, my siblings feel the same way. This has been a real conflict in our household recently. Back when Denver, my 11 year old brother, was a baby, my mom had three sides. Sage and I would sit next to her on either side, and Denver would be in her lap. well, Denver is now a growing young man of 90 pounds, and he can't quite sit on her lap like he used to. My siblings and I will often argue over who's "turn" it is to sit next to mom every Sunday. At Disneyland, we alternate the rides we go on so we can all sit next to her equally. Ridiculous? Sometimes it certainly is. My siblings and I, we are pretty good kids. I would say we are not too terrible a trio, but I know we are definitely a handful sometimes. My mom always shows an incredible amount of patience with us, whether we are pushing each other over to sit by her or arguing over trivial little things, she is always patient with us, not to mention her keeping a calm countenance as i learn how to operate our two-ton vehicle.
My mom is definitely a mom, but she's also my best friend. Sometimes I feel like a lot of people's relationships with their moms are either one or the other, a mom, or best friend. I think that's one of the reasons why my mom and i's relationship is so unique is because we have both. My mom is my confidant, and I tell her ligit everything. Everyday, since I was about 5, I come home from school and tell her everything that went on during the time I was out of her sight. I think it is both a blessing and a curse for my mom. A blessing because I am such a chatter box that I would never be able to hide anything from her, and a curse because I literally never shut up. Nevertheless, my mom always sits and attentively listens to every weird, pointless thing I have to say. Thats another one of my moms many talents: listening. She is an incredible listener. She also gives the best advice. Sometimes I have a hard time believing my mom has problems because she is so good at solving mine with me. :)
Oh, did I ever mention that my mother, Elizabeth Adams, is a freakin superhero? Yeah, she has her alter ego, Arty McGoo, but she is also a Superhero. She possesses this special power known to man as Mothers Intuition. I don't know if I will ever be able to fully comprehend how she does it, but she can always tell when one of us kids is fibbing or hiding something. (of course, its never me...pfft. course not.) Not only is she able to tell when there is mischief about; she is also able to win every game we ever play as a family. I'm dead serious, I don know how she does it, but every time she beats us all by a mile. i know what your thinking, she cheated. Nope. I have already investigated the possibility numerous times and it is proven to be untrue. She does not cheat, but she always wins. We could be playing any game, and she will win, whether that game be Scrabble, Catan, Tetris, Blockus, it could be a flipping dice game; a game of chance, and she still wins. I'm telling you, its a special power she possesses. I hope it's hereditary...
I will be 100% honest, it's sometimes hard to share her with her thousands of followers and Cookier pals when she leaves for cookie con, or to teach classes that are away from our home, or when she has to leave to film in Kansas City. It is definitely hard to share her with the world, but I wouldn't have it any other way. I know my mom has blessed so many lives by doing what she does, and I know that she definitely has a very special light about her. I remember one time while my mom was gone on one of her many cookie-ing adventures, I happened to have a particularly rough day. I remember wanting to have my mom back home so I could talk with her and feel her hugs and ask her for advice and just to have my mom at home with me. I remember these words entered my head: "Why the crap does everyone have to love her so much?" I laughed out loud at my own selfishness, because who could blame them?! My mom is such an amazing person, how could I expect other people to ignore such a radiant and beautiful person? My mom is not perfect, but she is the closest person to perfect that I have ever witnessed in this life. My mother is the perfect example of the mother I strive to be in my future. She is the perfect example of a friend, a teacher, a peacemaker, a chef, a follower of Jesus Christ, and she is the perfect example of the person I want to become. I am so grateful that I was blessed with such an amazing woman I get to call my mom. Happy Mother's Day, Mom. I will always love you.
It's always been fun to be Elizabeth's mother. I admit that hers was the most difficult delivery out of our 6 but our cute, curly-haired baby was also welcomed by 3 older sisters and a brother that loved, doted on and helped the new baby. All 4 of our daughters were born in the 1970's.
At Elizabeth's birth, her dad agreed to the name Elizabeth, as long as no one ever called her 'Lizzy' or 'Liz'....dream on papa (altho I have always called her Elizabeth). Her own gentle, mild-mannered & happy disposition certainly made up for that tough delivery.Four years later, Elizabeth was 'dethroned' from her baby position, when her little brother was born.
Elizabeth was always curious, quite shy, a quick learner and wanted to do everything her 3 older sisters did. As their mom I had a great time sewing 4 matching smocked Easter dresses, 4 stretchy-striped swim suits, nities, panties, slips , Halloween costumes & tons of pant & dress outfits.
She was forever a most avid reader and I would find a flashlight and 5 or more books in her bed. Our family enjoyed singing together around the piano and her natural musical talents were evident. In Jr. High it was fun to watch her play in the girls basketball games. She and her siblings would sit around the dining table with their dad giving each one a blank paper, paints, pencils etc. for an art lesson together. Through high school she continued developing her musical & artistic abilities.
Upon meeting her dear John in college and then marrying, his own encouragement & cheer-leading certainly furthered Elizabeth's creative juices. (We also adore the 3 amazing grandchildren they produced). Her dad and I continue to be amazed and delighted at her really innovative creations as a cookier as well as all she & John's great business acumen. Elizabeth is one great wife, mother, woman, friend and daughter and we cherish her.
Elizabeth, er Liz, I mean Arty here to add:
I recently found my Easter basket from this picture and had to "recreate" the look. Each of the baskets were made with a different fabric and yep, you guessed it... my mom sewed them. How did she get our hairbows so straight?!
I thought I would introduce you to my mom today. Her name is Daphne and she is rad. I met her when she was 34 years old... and I was zero... because I was born. She had a houseful of kids already but she was still excited about me! I liked her immediately because she rocked me to sleep, changed me, and I can tell that she fed me a lot because I was chunky!
Our friendship progressed through the years. She still fed and clothed me, but the diaper thing eventually went away. For lack of a better term, my mom was the original hipster. She sewed all our clothes (everything from undies to prom dresses), made tons of loaves of whole wheat bread every week (milling the wheat herself) to keep her brood in PB&js, and kept the cookie jar full (seriously, we ALWAYS had cookies). As kids we would complain about our breakfasts. What horrible things would she feed us? Oh... eggs, bacon, pancakes, waffles, oatmeal, cocoa, whole-wheat toast with loganberry jam... that she of course canned from berries grown in our backyard... gross right? We just wanted a bowl of Lucky Charms, ungrateful little miscreants that we were. I didn't know you could buy maple syrup or cinnamon rolls at the store.
Don't get me started on our Twinkie-less lunches or our homemade pizza dinners... made from, yep you guessed it... tomato sauce that she canned from tomatoes we grew in our backyard.
So with all this baking and sewing and cleaning (can you imagine the laundry 8 people produce?), she probably didn't do much else, right? Wrong! She was constantly serving others through church or as the PTA president and would you believe she taught piano lessons every day?! I think her oven had a constant rotation of brownies going through it for bake sales. She sacrificed so much for us kids; it boggles my mind. She is the kind of mom that could totally rub it in your face that she is so amazing, but she doesn't because on top of her unbelievable awesomeness she is the most loving & humble, down-to-earth person ever. When she talks to someone for 5 minutes, the next time she sees them she gives them a ginormous hug like they were her best friend. She's just like that. I'm so lucky to call her Mom and to have her just 20 minutes away to bug her whenever I want to. Hopefully I can be half the mother she is... maybe that's why I had 3 kids! ha.
This post is the first part of a little Mother's Day series. Tomorrow, for the second maternally-minded post, we'll hear from my mom and maybe see a couple of embarrassing pictures. Mother's Day we'll finish with the third generation with a post by my daughter Bailey. Hope you enjoy.