Google Sugar Dot Cookies: August 2015

Monday, August 31, 2015

Tutorial - How to Decorate Oriole and Robin Sugar Cookies

Tutorial - How to Decorate Orioles and Robins with Royal Icing

I love the plump shape of the body for these birds!

Would you like to make these birds with me?

Outline the birds.  Allow to dry for a few minutes before flooding.

Flood the head area with one color and the body with another.  Use a toothpick or boo boo stick to feather the icing colors together.

Pipe a beak.

Immediately drop a black pearl onto the wet icing for an eye.
Pipe a dot of white icing then drop a black pearl into that for the eye.

Once the base icing has had time to dry, pipe wings on top.
To make the feathers:
Pipe lines across the wing.
Using a toothpick or boo boo stick, drag the icing in an upwards direction, through the lines.

Pipe lines for the tail feathers.

Cookies are available for order through my website.

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Sunday, August 30, 2015

Interview with Sweet Naomi Cookies on Cookies as Business

 Cookiepreneur Interview with Amanda from Sweet Naomis Cookies

How many ways can you have a cookie business?  Let us count them!  Here's the third installment of Cookiepreneur Interviews.  Let's hear about Amanda's cookie business!


How long have you been in business?   Is it part-time or full-time? 
Unofficially started in 2013 and finally got all my paperwork in order to be 'legit' in 2014.  Technically, I'm part-time but it really depends on the week/season.  :)  I suppose the best answer to this is that I try to be part-time.  

Tell us about the Health Department laws in your area?  Do you have to use a commercial kitchen or is there a Cottage Food law?
For sugar cookies, a state inspected kitchen is required or you can operate under the Cottage Food laws (with restrictions).  That is my understanding anyway!  I use my home kitchen which is state inspected.

If you use your home kitchen, please tell us about that.  What did you need to do to get it approved?  How do you manage your kitchen when it involves both business and family?
I use my home kitchen and getting it approved involved getting a zoning permit from my county then getting an inspection from the VA Dept of Agriculture and Consumer Services. 
How I manage our kitchen for both the business and family....hmm, is that a trick question?  ;) Honestly, there's no good answer to this.  Just really late nights and lots of coffee.   

Do you ship cookies?  If so, please tell us about that.
Yes!  I started selling on Etsy, so I started out shipping most of my orders.  Only once I started getting more local orders did I realize how much more work shipping entails (because decorated cookies aren't labor intensive enough....ha)!  We've tried different ways of shipping and found that using copious amounts of bubble wrap and shipping them upright (not flat) works best.  I don't always do that though as I've found that it sometimes depends on the cookie shape and amount I'm shipping.

Does your business include anything else other than taking custom decorated cookie orders?
Just decorated cookies for us, for now.   

What is your most enjoyable business task?

Does anyone help you with your cookie business or are you a one-woman-show?
I definitely have help, I couldn't possibly do it myself.  My husband does deliveries and helps make the dough and baking and my oldest son helps with packaging. 

If you could delegate one task, what would it be?
Clean up!  I didn't even have to think about that one...  :)

Best tip for those starting their cookie business?
Make sure your business works for you and not against you.  If you do quality work, you will get busy fast so don't be afraid to invest in whatever will make the business more efficient.  

How did you get the word out about your business in the beginning?  How do you do it now?
Honestly, I've never done much with marketing.  Starting on Etsy helped me get initial orders in but after about a year I took my listings down as now most of my orders are local through my website, referrals, and repeat customers. 

Have you raised your prices since beginning?
Yes.  And this is an area that I'm still adjusting to see what works best. 

Any tips for efficiency – in making dough, decorating, shipping, invoicing….anything!
I don't, actually.  I wish I did, I could use it!  My best tip for efficiency is to keep your inner perfectionist to a bare minimum.  Remember that most (not all!) customers aren't going to scrutinize and judge the cookies the way you do.

Do you have minimums on number of cookies per order, number of designs, number of icing colors?
Yes, sort of, and yes!  12 cookies is my minimum, I don't mind different designs so long as they use the same colors, and I try to keep it at 2 colors (plus white) per dozen.  If I get an inquiry for something that I know will be a lot of colors, I'll either up the minimum cookie order or charge extra.

What are your cookie dreams?  If you could, would you hire employees, buy a larger mixer, move into a larger space, etc?
My cookie dream is to decorate cookies in a super cute, sunny kitchen with cookies already baked, icing bagged/bottled in perfect consistencies (and they never separate!!), they magically bag and ship themselves, and my kids clean up the mess.   It's nice to cookie dream.  :)    


Thanks so much for sharing Amanda!  I hope this post has encouraged you or given you some new things to think about regarding your business or soon-to-be-business!

You can find her on facebook, instagram, and her website.

Read more.......
Posts on "Cookiepreneur Interviews"
Posts on "Cookies as Business".
Posts on " Poking Around the Kitchen".
Posts on "Commercial Kitchen"

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Friday, August 21, 2015

Beach Sugar Cookies

Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing - Beach theme

Summer cookies!  We have flip flops, fish, beach balls and sunglasses.

Cookies are available for order through my website.

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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Bake to Defeat ALS


Remember the ice bucket challenge last year to raise money for the ALS Association?  How could you not!?

This year, bakers have taken on a different challenge – “Bake to Defeat ALS”. 

My friend Amy from Clough'D 9 Cookies  nominated me to participate.  In honor of Anita from Sweet Hope Cookies and her brother Randy, I made these “Take a Bite out of ALS” decorated cookies and have made a donation. 
The ALSA provides invaluable services and equipment to people with ALS and of course they support research that will someday find a cure.   Please visit to learn how you can take part in the challenge or to make a donation.  Please help spread the word about #BaketoDefeatALS!  
Thanks so much!  

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Washington, DC Sugar Cookies

Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing - Capitol Building and Jefferson Memorial

Usually I make these DC cookies with a blue sky for the background.  This was a fun change!

Love the patriotic red, white, and blue!

 Cookies are available for order through my website.

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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Sugar Cookies for the Bridal Party

Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing - Bridesmaid dresses, engagement rings, save the date calendars, flower girl dresses

In blush and gold.  Makes for a pretty nice set!

These were individually bagged to hand out as the bride asked her friends and family to be in the wedding party.

Cookies are available for order through my website.

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Saturday, August 15, 2015

Hawaiian Sugar Cookies

Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing - pineapples, tropical flowers and "Aloha"

This was a fun set to decorate!  It's always fun to do different designs than the usual.

Pineapples, tropical flowers, and "Aloha" on small rounds.

Feels like being on a Hawaiian beach!

Cookies are available for order through my website.

Read more.......
Posts on "Cookiepreneur Interviews"
Posts on "Cookies as Business".
Posts on " Poking Around the Kitchen".
Posts on "Commercial Kitchen"

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Thursday, August 13, 2015

Tutorial - How to Ship Sugar Cookies

 Tutorial - How to Pack Cookies for Shipping

Shipping sugar cookies is possible when they're packed well!  I was terrified of shipping and resisted for quite some time.  To expand my business, I finally decided to give it a try.

Thankfully I have two cookie friends, Amy and Cindy, that answered my questions and encouraged me!

*knock on wood* I've had great success with cookies arriving to my customers intact.

I'm now offering Online Live Video Classes!  Would you like to learn how I bag my cookies for shipping?  How I fill the bakery boxes then the shipping boxes?  The supplies I use?  I have an online class on this very subject!  Check it out and join me!

Read more.......
Posts on "Cookiepreneur Interviews"
Posts on "Cookies as Business".
Posts on " Poking Around the Kitchen".
Posts on "Commercial Kitchen"

Cookies are available for order through my website.

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Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Tutorial - How to Package Sugar Cookies for Shipping

How to Bag Sugar Cookies for Shipping

All of my cookies from orders are either bagged (for shipping or local pick up) or placed on a platter (for pick up).

All of my bagged cookies are heat-sealed

I use a 12" Impulse Heat Sealer with cutter.

Would you like to learn how I bag my cookies for shipping?

I NEVER tie the ribbon prior to shipping!

I'm now offering Online Live Video Classes!  I'll explain exactly how I bag my cookies for shipping - and tell you  why I don't tie the bags.  (Not tying bags was a huge game changer for me!)
Check it out my online class and join me!

This post contains an Amazon affiliate link to the Impulse Heat Sealer. I receive a small commission on purchases through this link.  I appreciate your support!

Read more.......
Posts on "Cookiepreneur Interviews"
Posts on "Cookies as Business".
Posts on " Poking Around the Kitchen".
Posts on "Commercial Kitchen".

Cookies are available for order through my website.
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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Cookie Decorating Birthday Party - April 2015

Kid's Birthday Party - Cookie Decorating - Middletown, MD

I had the privilege of hosting a few kids' birthday parties this summer.  They're so much fun.  I love to see kids decorate!

Below are the sample cookies that I made and demonstrated for them.

Here's the table, ready for the party.

They loved wet-on-wet marbling techniques!

Pretty amazing job they did!

Blowing out the birthday candle.

For more information on birthday parties in Middletown (just outside of Frederick, MD), please visit my website.

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