The cookie baking started today. Forty-five of the 160 cookies I’m baking and decorating for Thing 1’s wedding are baked. The butter for the next batch is on the counter warming to that perfect consistency that makes it dreamy when creamed with sugar. This would have been my life if Food Network had existed when I was teenager. Instead I teach for a living and I’m a cookier in my free time.
While cookie decorating is a new found hobby my interest in decorating started years ago as a teenager. My younger sister has a Halloween birthday and being the youngest of five children my mom didn’t really have the energy to put a lot of effort into birthday desserts so I delved into cake decorating around the age of 12 or 13. Her Halloween birthday provided many opportunities to practice and maybe helped me land my first job at a local bakery. Not long after, I traded my decorating bag for an ice cream scoop when I was offered a higher paying job at our local Friendly’s restaurant and my cake decorating waned.
Once I became a mom I reignited my interest in decorating and upped my game from icing star covered cakes to fondant. Thing 1 had my first ever fondant cake complete with a family of three bears on a picnic for his 1st birthday. His next birthday brought a return of the icing star covered cake in the shape of Winnie-the-Pooh. I was actually decorating that cake while I was in labor with Thing 2. I distinctly remember finally coming to an agreement on his name between contractions with a decorating bag in hand. Thankfully, my mother-in-law arrived and finished the Pooh cake for me so it was ready for Thing 1’s 2nd birthday party the day I came home from the hospital.
After countless birthday cakes and one Easter lamb cake disaster that has forever been referred to as the “Spam Lamb”, I realized no one in our family really likes cake. Our birthday dessert tradition has expanded to include a peach/blueberry pie, cheesecake and a dessert my family calls Peanut Butter Stuff.
The decorating bags and tips had been packed away for years until this winter. Thankfully, I didn’t get rid of my supplies during the big move of 2015. I knew the decorating bug might hit me again and I wanted to be prepared. When Thing 1 and Thing 2 both got engaged last year I decided it was time to pick up my decorating bag once again and jump into the cookie decorating craze I had been admiring from a far.
I’m now hooked and while many around me express their concern about the daunting task of making 160 cookies for the favor for Thing 1’s wedding next month, I can’t wait to get to the decorating stage of things. I’ve been practicing since my first class back in January with Goody Two Chews and I’ve watched a lot of cookier videos. Thankfully it’s summer and my time is my own. So while many of you may be reading professional development books, attending workshops or taking summer classes I can be found in my kitchen with a decorating bag in my hand once again just like it has been for many other milestones in my life.