Sunday, January 26, 2014

postheadericon How It's Made - Bunco Cookie Edition

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Bunco Cookies

I had no idea what bunco was.  When I was asked to do cookies for a bunco party I decided to read up on the game.  Bunco is a dice game.  There are typically 6 rounds, 1-6.  Each player rolls the 3 dice with the goal being to get as many of the 3 dice to match the number of the round.  For instance, if you were playing round 3, you would try to roll 3s on each dice.  You get a point for each dice that matches the round, and 21 points if all 3 match the round.  The player with the most points wins.  Seemed pretty simple to understand.

What was interesting about the game was its origins.  It was originally a confidence game similar to Three Card Monte, in England in the 19th century, a swindler's game.  It made its way to gambling parlors in San Francisco in the 1850s which came to be known as "Bunco Parlors."  In the 1920s during prohibition, Bunco became associated with Speakeasies.  The Speakeasies were frequently raided by police who came to be called "Bunco squads." 

It became popular as a family game in the 1980s.  Checkered past I must say! 

Decorating The Cookie

I started with my iced cookie.  

I had cut out a template onto a piece of 4x6 photo paper.  Why photo paper?  It is sturdy and resists the oils that are usually soaked up by regular paper templates.  I used straight pins to secure the template to the cookie.  I also placed the pins at points in the template where I would need to connect lines as a guide for later. 

I traced the template onto the cookie with an extra fine Wilton FoodWriter.  Here you can see where I poked holes with the straight pins as a guide for lines. 

Using the extra fine FoodWriter I connected the holes to make the dice outlines. 

I piped over the traced lines with a 1.5 tip and piping consistency black royal icing.  I then flooded the dice with white icing.  I recently started using white food color when making white icing.  I had not realized how off white royal icing is until I started using white food color.

Letters were also piped with a 1.5 tip and piping consistency black RI.

 The letters on the dice were piped with a 1.5 tip and piping consistency Electric Pink royal icing.  Dots added with 1.5 tip and black piping consistency icing.

I hear these were quite the hit at Bunco.  Bring these to your next Bunco party and be a winner!
Questions?  Leave a comment and I will be happy to get back to you!


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Sunday, January 5, 2014

postheadericon Taking a Break

So Take a Look!

Not much went on this week.  I relaxed.  Spent time away from cookies for a few days.  

I did play around a bit with stenciling and airbrush.  What do you think? 
These cookies I airbrushed the lines & dots on the background then pipped over it.

This cookie I airbrushed color on the background, then laid the skyline stencil over that.

And, just for is a post from the past to peruse!  Enjoy! Photo Cookies 101

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

postheadericon All Units Prepare to Copy a Broadcast...

Be On The Look Out for...

A female white, slim fit build, long brown hair, wearing fabulous clothes, and glowing personality.  This subject is to be considered armed (with wit) and dangerous (to low self esteem).  Subjected is known as Marie Forleo.

Have You Seen Marie?

If you do not know Marie Forleo, and you are a small business owner, you are missing out on some great vibes and views!  Marie knows her stuff and gives of her knowledge freely!  

I have been following Marie for about 2-1/2 years now.  The MOST important thing Marie has helped me learn is to be confident in myself and MY skills.  I stopped comparing myself to others and just enjoy what I do.  

Her motto is "Have a life & business you love" and I truly do now.  I have learned to set goals that are attainable, but not give up on those BIG dreams!  

Wanted For....

Marie is wanted for making my YEAR!  She gave me a shout on her weekly MarieTV episode today!  Nothing like having your idol say your name to 96,000 peeps!  Check out her video here...

Sugar Beez clear...

Sunday, December 29, 2013

postheadericon Happiness Cannot Exist Without Possibility

Something to Do

Not much is going on at the moment, and that is a good thing after the frenetic cookie'ing (you have my permission to use my cool new word) that happened in December on top of trying to do the everyday things like work, take care of hearth, home and family, AND Christmas preparations!  PHEW! 

We are enjoying the quiet slipping away of the old year.  Which brings us to thoughts of all the glittery potential of the New Year. 

The focus for Sugar Beez in 2014 is to just keep doing.  We had a lot of growth in the last quarter of 2013 because we were out there moving, learning and socializing.  The goal is to keep it up.

Something to Love

I love decorating cookies.  And it loves me back.  Nothing is better than getting an e-mail from someone who has purchased cookies from me saying how much the loved the cookies! 

Something to Hope for

My hope for 2014 is to have enough sales to support adding at least one employee, at least part time.  Small steps forward so I don't trip and fall running!


I wish all my followers, clients (past, present & future), my family, my friends and my coworkers (did I ever mention I work as a police dispatcher?) the Sweetest Happiness 2014 can afford!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

postheadericon The Story of Why We Leave Cookies for Santa

Milk & Cookies

How many of us grew up leaving a glass of milk and a plate of cookies for Santa, and carrots for the reindeer?  Then we of course passed the tradition on to our children. Obviously, Jolly Old Saint Nick enjoys the treats, but why do we do this? 

During medieval times in Western Germany what they called a Paradise Tree would be decorated with gifts of fruit and cookies.  The folks began to notice that the gifts would be snacked on, presumably by St. Nick, during the night (my guess is more likely mice).  Then with the introduction of Christianity to Europe, the Paradise Tree became the Christmas Tree but the tradition of decorating the tree continued. 

After many years (about the 1800s) German immigrants in American began to use ornaments to decorate their trees.  The Christmas tree began to catch on in America, decorated with lights, ornaments and strings of popcorn.  The cookies began to find their way to plates placed by the fire place, Santa's entrance to deliver gifts, by good children as a thank you to Santa for all his hard work on Christmas Eve.  And of course, what considerate family would not leave a glass of milk to wash down the cookies?  

It is said the tradition of leaving carrots for the reindeer began as a result of naughty children trying to bribe the reindeer to stop for a treat and Santa being so pleased with the child he would leave a gift. 

Most popular Cookie?

Did you know the most popular cookie to leave for Santa is the Oreo?  Mmmmm! 

Growing up, in my family we always left Santa cookies and milk on a paper plate and Santa always wrote us a note of thanks on the paper plate!  

What is your Christmas cookie tradition?  Do you have a special plate?  A certain cookie?  Or libation you leave for Santa? 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

postheadericon How Sharing Increased My Productivity

Colleen of Royal Icing Diaries contacted me recently to ask me questions about my photo cookies.  Colleen is new to cookie decorating and lays out all the ugly truth about starting out on the journey to become a great cookie artist on her blog...check it out!  She will show you that cookie decorating may not be for the faint of heart!  And she proves...she has HEART! 

There might be some people out there that would cringe at the idea of sharing information with other cookie decorators.  Not me.  I learned by others sharing with me when I asked questions.  There are decorators out there that do not sell cookies, and they are gracious enough to share with us what they know so that we can better ourselves.  Here are just a few of them show share whether they sell or not. 
I do sell cookies, but that does not stop me from sharing.  I make a pretty decent amount of dough, and money (ha ha ha, couldn't resist the pun) and I see no reason why I should try to keep all the business to myself.  I have seen proof time and again that sharing only brings you more success.  Callye is the perfect example of that.  A couple years ago (I have been following her a long time) she was selling cookies, and some grinch out there turned her in to the health department.  She had to shut down her cookie for profit production.  But she did not give up.  She began doing tutorials and now she is one of THE most well known and successful cookiers.  And I am pretty sure she still does not sell cookies! 

Sharing has increased my productivity because I have had more orders since I began sharing what I know.  Keeping the knowledge to myself would only make me feel anxious trying to protect by spot in the sandbox, when actually the playing field is way to huge for me to worry how many of us play on fact, the more the merrier!  

The cookies above are photo cookies I created for Fado Irish Pub this week.  

Leave a comment below and weigh in on the topic of to share or not to share! 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

postheadericon How To Bee The Center of Attention

Obvious - Bee A Cookie!

These are a 3.5 inch round cookie with a smaller 1 inch heart cookie on a pop stick.  The wedding had a black and white theme and if you look closely, the pint glasses have 2 hearts, which was the reason for the heart on the cookie pop.

To make these cookie pops I did not actually bake them on the stick.  I put them on the baking sheet and then using a pop stick made an impression where I wanted the stick to go, removing the stick after making the impression. 

Then I placed the cookies in the oven.  After they came out of the oven, and while they were still hot, I put the stick in the impression and used a fondant smoother to press the hot cookie to get a flat piping surface and deepen the impression for the stick.  I then removed the stick and let the cookies cool. 

When the cookies were cooled I used some fondant to glue the sticks into the impression and let this dry.  After drying I then flooded and decorated the cookies.  The stick was basically cemented in place with the flood icing.

If anyone is interested, the next time I do cookie pops I will gladly do a video to demonstrate my process for making cookie pops.