Most bakers will claim baking is easy and simple. Baking does not come easy for some people. They really have to work at it. Some bakers will be honest and tell you baking can be a challenge. They might even go as far as to tell you it might take endless hours and several experiments in the kitchen to perfect that one special treat.

For me, the product and presentation are a bonus. However, they are not as important as the smile that treat brings to a customer’s face. Making someone feel special is what Amy B Goodies is all about!

Today, this baker will take you behind the scenes of Amy B Goodies. Specifically, we will focus on a creation that starts with a single idea and transforms into a surprisingly beautiful masterpiece. The two newest creations are the “Orange- Ginger Squares”, and the “Chocolate Strawberry Hearts”.

Remember that your plans won’t always work out. You are bound to run in to a couple of snags here and there. When executing an idea I like to sketch out my creations using a pencil and a piece of paper. This helps me visualize and better prepare for the end product. Pencil and paper are different than using a piping bag and a cookie as a template. The pencil helps the artist sketch with control, using tight lines, and plenty of space. This is not the case with using a piping bag. The baker has some control over the piping bag, but very minimal. Since the frosting can be altered with temperature or even air bubbles, there isn’t much control.

The template is used to illustrate the bakers’ design. An example of a perfect template is paper. There are no bumps, granules or other obstacles to look out for. Well, transfer that design on a cookie and it’s a different story. My baking experience had air bubbles, and bumps. Although, you can’t erase a bump in a cookie, you can use a tool called a trussing needle. This tool will assist with decorating the cookie, making the bump less noticeable. A trussing needle is useful for fixing mistakes. I found that the best way to correct a mistake on a treat is to wait for the frosting to be at a semi-firm consistency. If it is too soft, the frosting could smear. If it’s too firm, it could ruin the design and be too brittle.

Now that we have a concept of what tools some bakers use, let’s talk about what I’ve learned through this experiment. First, I learned I piped my drawing on an orange-ginger square and realized the design filled all the space of the cookie. There was no more room for other details. I learned that drawing the square on paper is not the same as having a baked square cookie. I was not only working with bumps, and air bubbles in my square cookies, but also the shape shrunk. Maybe some of you don’t know this, but some cookies shrink and others expand. Well, these shortbread squares shrank causing less space to pipe detailed designs.

My goal for this experiment was to pipe detailed work on these cookies. I practiced different piping techniques and although, I didn’t master them I learned a lot. After endless hours and many experiments in the kitchen, I’m pleased to announce I have a frosting/icing that dries. This is a huge milestone for Amy B Goodies! Now, I can stack the cookies on top of each other without them sticking to each other. The next step is deciding what package materials to use to ship these types of cookies. In the meantime, I will be revisiting the Chocolate Strawberry flavoring and implementing it into the gourmet cake-like cookie. I can’t wait stay tuned.