Did I mention how much I love baking?
I find myself in an unusual place in life. I lived in a small community in Tennessee for 5 years and was building a good clientele for cake orders. Unfortunately, I was so busy with my 24/7 job the last few years that I didn’t have the time to fill all the orders I was receiving. When we found out we were moving to Texas earlier this year, I was so excited to get a normal 8-5 job and have all these free evenings and weekends to explore my baking passion. Of course, as with most things, now that we are here the reality isn’t quite living up to my idealistic imagination. Baking is expensive, especially when you’re on a tight budget (even more so after exorbitant moving expenses). Usually, I do my cakes at cost to help the client, to cover any expenses we simply can’t afford on our budget, and because I want an excuse to make things without having the temptation to eat them all! Building a new clientele here is really challenging. I don’t have the same broad circles of interaction as I did in Tennessee and it is proving difficult to find an opportunity to showcase my work.
My life is calmer and quieter than it has been in a few years and I am loving the low stress levels. However, when you have free time, your first instinct is to fill it with all the things you love to do and so I find my desire to bake and decorate so overwhelming, it’s almost like a physical urge. At work, when things are very quiet in the office (which is often), I have been watching videos about cake decorating and scouring through Pinterest for inspiration. This weekend I finally broke down (almost in floods of tears to be perfectly honest) because of the frustration of not being able to unleash all the creative energy that’s been building up over the last couple of months. Through my budgeting and planning savvy, I was able to save some extra money on groceries and immediately knew how I wanted to spend the money. Cookies and Royal Icing are fairly inexpensive, plus they are easy to give away! In my decorating frenzied research, I became obsessed with cookie decorating and decided that this weekend I would begin a new avenue in my beloved baking hobby. Apart from the odd childish endeavor I have never actually tried this before, so I found a reliable recipe from one of my books (which I, of course, adapted…hey come on it’s me….when do I ever just follow a recipe?!) and then watched a couple of tutorials from a decorating master, Amber Spiegel, from SweetAmbs.com ( if you haven’t heard of her, you need to check out her blog She is incredible! )
And these are the results:
This brush embroidery is my favourite design (on cakes and cookies alike) and it was my first attempt. (next time I need to use a darker base colour to highlight the brush work and slightly thicker icing to really show the brush effect.)
This was my third attempt! I would have shown you the progression but the hubby wanted some tasters and I only let him eat the mistakes from this cookie batch!!
This was just my experimentation with swirls.
Overall I was very pleased with my first attempt and can’t wait to try them again soon now that I know what I am doing and can rectify some of my novice errors! These were fairly simple to make and I managed to get out all my creative energy… for now!