Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Cookies and client confidence

I love cookies, and judging by her publications, so does Martha. Last year, she published a book Cookies and each issue of MSL has a cookie recipe on the last page. Even on her website, Martha has a Cookie of the Day section.

A few years ago, I got into decorated cookies and outfitted myself with icing bags, specialty tips and a rainbow of gel color. Occasionally, I get an order from a friend or a friend of a friend to make cookies for a special event or as a tasty gift. Two weeks ago, I got a call from a daughter of a friend. B was co-hosting a special shower: the guest of honor is adopting two children from Eastern Europe. After discussing several shapes and designs, B decided she wanted children's faces, 25 boys and 25 girls, to use as favors for the guests.

On Sunday night, I got to work mixing the dough. Monday was dedicated to baking the cookies (simple circles will become the faces) and making the icing colors.

Last night, I did the base coat (with a little help from DH) and made 6 test cookies to photograph and sent to my client. Keep in mind that the test cookies were overdone (read: burned. This is what happens when you step away to watch 2 minutes of that trashy "Mommy's Boys" show!) and I did not put down a base coat for the skin tone. (I'm sure most Eastern Europeans do not look as though they vacation regulary in Florida.)

I emailed the pictures to my client with my picks for the best designs, but she never got them. Upon inquiry over the phone, B said she didn't need to see pictures: she had seen and tasted my work before, and had complete confidence in me. Which filled me with pride, relief and then dread. I hope my mad cookie skillz are worthy of that confidence. But it did make me feel a bit more like Martha--the client trusts me to do my best, as Martha's clients trusted her, and I'm sure she never let them down. I'm feeling up to the challenge.

So tonight, I started adding the details. Hair first, then the whites of the eyes, then the bows for the girl's hair and big smiles. Tomorrow, I'll add the blue eyes and then the cookies will dry for approximately 40 hours before being delivered.

I've made 4 extra of each design just in case one breaks in transit or while the hosts are putting the favor bags together. As I've learned from Martha (or was it my 6 years in Girl Scouts?), have something ready JUST IN CASE. BECAUSE YOU NEVER KNOW.

I'll have pictures of the finished cookies tomorrow.

Also: special shout-out to Laura! Happy birthday to a wonderful nurse, a wonderful friend and a definite inspiration for living life on one's own terms. Have a great one!


Anonymous said...

Your cookies rock. YUM! What if I want "world" cookies, with blue and green and white icing, AND I want all the continents identifiable. Can you do that? Wait. Nevermind. Instead, I want skeleton cookies with all 206 bones identifiable. For anatomy class. Get busy, martha! Love you, L.

Tom said...

I don't think that if I were around your cookies that they would have a snowball's chance in he** of drying for forty hours.
Too tasty to go untasted.

Amanda said...

L: For you, I'd do any cookie. But fair warning, my earth cookies are always cloudy, and my skeletons would end up looking like stick people. But still delicious, so that counts for something, right?

Tom: Yeah, the temptation is overwhelming at times, but we manage. Cookies made just for us would never have lasted this long!