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Happy summer to all.

In my long absence from this blog, I’ve selfishly stepped away from baking and taking orders to spend time with my family. It has been a wonderful 3 months enjoying every moment with my kids, my husband, my niece & nephew. The norm of late nights and lack of sleep took a toll on my health. I needed this time to re-energize my mind and creativity. With that said, I think I’ve been re-energized because I have completely fallen in love with this new creation I made this past weekend for Courtney’s baby shower.

I met Courtney through a local woman’s club we belong to. She’s has been so giving in the community throughout the years and when I got the invitation to her baby shower, I wanted to do something special for her. Being out of the baking/decorating skills for 3 months, I thought I’d be out of sync with it, but just like riding a bike, once you learn it…you never forget how to.

WELCOME BABY!


Between her busy schedule, Courtney’s a very talented seamstress. She really wanted a nautical theme for the baby’s nursery but couldn’t find the right design, so she made it herself. All the colors and designs I used were inspired by her nursery.

3 Sailboats


Sailboat Complete Set

Friends, Karen & Julie, that planned the shower, asked if I could make cupcakes for the shower and my mind start spinning with ideas…I think I went overboard but I had so much fun!!!

Cupcake Toppers

Red Velvet cupcakes

Vanilla Cupcakes

Courtney's cupcakes

I used this sailboat clipart for the cupcake toppers.

BUT….I didn’t stop there! I made the cookies, I made the cupcakes, but I still needed to make a gift. Do you want to guess what I made?
Here’s a hint…

Floating Sailboat

I’ve made a few of these diaper cakes over the years, but I think this one’s my favorite.

Courtney's Diaper Cake


And yes, the diaper cake is all diapers. It’s a very practical gift with a hint of creativeness.

It was definitely a great baby shower with great food and good company. Thank you to Karen & Julie for giving me the full reign of making these creations. Congratulations to Courtney and her husband on the new addition to their family. Can’t wait to meet the baby!!

Thank you to all that have emailed me or check in on my blog. It’s been a very busy and hectic three month for me. I’ve taken on a side project that has nothing to do with baking or cookie decorating. I’m slowing getting back into the swing of baking and hope to create more wonderful creations.

Speaking of wonderful creations, this set of cookies has been hiding in my computer for over a month now and I thought it would be a great way to start blogging again.

My good friend, Lorie, contacted me about creating cookies for a wedding basket for her in laws, celebrating their 50th anniversary. Lorie wanted one dozen sugar cookies, any design and gave me complete creativity, which sometimes gets me in trouble.

I chose two shapes for this project. First one was hearts. As simple as heart shaped cookies can be, I wanted to reflect the symbolic golden years. Love is really what brought this couple together. Their hearts are what kept it going throughout their years.

Every cookie has it’s own unique design. Again…this is what got me in trouble. When they’re all grouped together like this, it’s really pretty.

The second shape I chose was a wedding cake. I’ve designed with this shape many times, but I wanted to create something a little different for a wonderful event.

Again, all cookies have a unique design. The word “fifty” was thought of last minute because I didn’t want to use the number 50 on each cookie.

Congratulations to Jim & Cathy!!!! And thank you to Lorie for letting me be part of their special occasion.

What a way to celebrate the New Year with a birthday celebration. My good friend’s daughter, Gianna, turned one on 12/31/10. It’s amazing how a year goes by so fast. Her party theme was a butterflies & dragonflies. Mommy, Aisa, wanted cookies as favors for the party. She picked the colors & let me design them.

Out of the 8 dozen, this design was my favorite:

Gianna's Butterfly Favors

Butterfly favors displayed on tables

Aisa’s cousin, Debra, designed the beautiful cake below. We had exchanged emails during the week about coordinating colors and I was going to make a few cookies as accents on the cake. I ended up making Gianna’s name on cookie sticks along with mini flowers & butterflies. When Debra came in with the cake, I was so amazed at how beautiful it turned out!

Gianna's cake by Debra


The cake was beautiful the way it was and I was intimidated to even add anything else to it. When Debra added the two flower cookies on the top, I was so happy with that. We went back and forth about adding Gianna’s name to it because it would cover the top layer of the cake.

Gianna's cake by Debra before cookies on the cake

We decide go ahead and add the name and Debra put lots of mini fondant butterflies and dragonflies around the cake.

Gianna's finished cake

It was a pleasure working with Debra! If you’re in need of a cake designer, I highly recommend Debra. She’s currently attending college in Las Vegas so her schedule might be a bit full, but if you email me (aileen@amastercreation.com) I’ll forward your info to her.

Me & Debra

I had to leave shortly after this picture was taken, but I know Gianna had a wonderful first birthday!

In February, I wrote a post of how many Baby Cookie Sets I made so far at that time. Now looking back, its been quite a baby boom! Babies are such a gift in life. They are reminders of how precious life truly is. Thank you to all that have let me be a part of your special day! Here’s most of 2010 baby collection set.

FEBRUARY

Baby Eden's Bibs

MARCH

Cousin Laura's Baby Shower

APRIL

Melissa's Baby Shower Set

Christina's Very Hungry Caterpillar Cookie Set


Very Hungry Caterpillar Cake

MAY

Teddy Bear Baby Shower cookies


Baby boy onesies & rattle


Jesslene's baby shower favors

Baby Brady

JULY

Mona's Baby Shower

Ileana's Baby shower complete set

AUGUST

Baby Samonte Complete set

Baby sprinkle bouquet

Baby Saude

SEPTEMBER

Maison's baby shower

Baby Koa cookie favors

Baby Koa Centerpiece

OCTOBER

Hazel's Baby shower-complete set

NOVEMBER

Girl Twins 2010

DECEMBER

Baby Boy Shower collection

On November 13th, I conducted my first cookie decorating class at Granita de Cafe. It was a lot of fun and a lot of planning, but overall, the participants went home with inspiration and a few yummy cookies!

Because this was a beginners class, I kept it simple. My ideas for the class were:
1) Icing consistencies.
2) Outlining and flooding.
3) Wet on wet icing techniques.
I opted not to show how to make the icing or bag the icing because the class was limited on time. Icing was prepped before the class started.

Each student was provided 3 big cookies (turkey, pumpkin & a leaf) and 3 mini cookies (2 leaves & 1 pumpkin). Here’s a few pictures.

Here’s Miranda decorating her leaves.

Millicent decorating her turkey cookie.

Millicent couldn’t believe she did this!

Here’s Madelyn’s Creations:

Here’s Ruby’s Creations:

Thank you to Granita de Cafe for allowing me to run my class. Also a big thank you to my students for teaching me the value of cookie art!

Next month, I’ll have a few more classes devoted to the Christmas/Winter theme.

In my former life (BK-Before Kids), I worked as a Sensory Food Researcher (ie, food taste tester). Not just a food taste tester, but I also worked on recipe development, data analysis, statistical reports, questionnaires, protocols…etc. It was truly a great job and learned so much about the food industry.

Now that my oldest is old enough to bake with, I thought it would be fun to change the kitchen to a test kitchen for one day. My oldest received a cookbook last Christmas and has been begging for months to try to make one of the recipes. Here’s the Camryn with the book…

The recipe she chose was called “Dory & Nemo’s Breakfast Cookies”. The day before, Camryn made a list of ingredients we needed and headed off to the local market. Now, for those that have baked or cooked with their kids, this is probably one of the best ways to teach math especially fractions, volume & weight.

I have to say she did very well. I wish I took pictures of her baking and measuring, but we were having too much fun! But here’s the final product.

While I was taking pictures of the cookies, Camryn also showed interest of styling the food herself. Here’s my version…

…and here’s Camryn’s version…

…I think she has a future profession in food styling!

And the taste testers give these cookies…
…TWO THUMBS UP!

Here’s the recipe and a few tips that could help make them more fun…

“Breakfast Cookies”
Recipe by Disney, The Magic Kitchen Cookbook

1/2 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
1 3/4 cups white whole wheat flour
3 cups multigrain cereal flakes with blueberries (we used Trader Joe’s Pomegranet & Blueberry cereal flakes)

(ADDITIONS: We also added a handful of semisweet chocolate chips because we LOVE chocolate!)

1) Turn on the oven to 350F. Coat the cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Save until step 3. (We used a nonstick silicone sheet on the cookie sheet)
2) Put the butter in the mixing bowl. Beat with the electric mixer for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar and baking soda. Beat until mixed. Add the eggs; beat until mixed. Add flour and beat until the mixture no longer looks dry. Use the wooden spoon to stir in the cereal.
3) For each cookie, pack the mixture into a 1/4-cup measuring cup. Sue the rubber scraper to scrape it out of the cup onto the prepared cookie sheet (we used cookie scoopers-a lot easier and less messy). Repeat with remaining dough, placing cookies about 3 inches apart.
4) Put the cookie sheet in the oven. Bake cookies for 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Turn off oven. Use hot pads to take the cookie sheet out of the oven. Let baked cookies stand on the cookie sheet for one minute. Use the wide spatula to transfer the cookies to the wire rack; let cookies cool. Makes 12 cookies.

Overall, this recipe is very easy to follow and pretty healthy. In the future, I think we’ll add flaxseeds, replace the butter with applesauce or some vegetable puree, add oatmeal…so many things that can be added or changed…all part of a test kitchen!

And for those that are counting calories…this picture’s for you!
Happy Baking Everyone!!

October 2009, CakeJournal.com, blogged a post about a decorating book to be published in 2010 and submissions were requested. Nervous to submit anything, I went ahead and sent my information and website. Knowing how much talent is out there in the world, I honestly thought I was going to be passed. As deadlines rolled by, I was sent emails from the creators of the book asking for pictures and more information. February was the deadline for submissions and that’s the last I heard of anything about the book.

March & April rolled by and didn’t hear anything, so I assumed I didn’t make it. In May, I got an email from the creators asking for clarification on my information. June & July rolled by. Then a few days ago, I, nervously, decided to send a quick email to the creators to see if any of my work was picked for the book. I received a wonderful response letting me know that an email was sent back in March that a few of my pictures were picked for the book.

As I think back now how nervous I was to enter, I’m even more nervous to see the book. Just being chosen to be part of this collection is very humbling and very grateful for the opportunity.

Thank you to Cakejournal for her post and, of course the creators of the book, sisters, Sarah & Gina, for letting decorators shine.

Book will be published in November 2010. Pre-order now here.

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