Celebrate Life: Baking Theme Cookies
Celebrate Life? Baking theme cookies? How do those two things go together? Weeks ago, Georgeanne, better known as LilaLoa, sent out a top secret email titled, “Project Anita”! We were charged with the mission of choosing someone in our life who inspires us, who we are proud of, and who we love. If we chose to accept this mission, we were asked to create a cookie set that honors them. For weeks, I have been wracking my brain on “who” I would chose. There were so many possibilities, but I kept coming back to the same “person”. My person is more of a collective but they are heroes, they inspire so many, and I love them dearly. Who am I talking about? We have become known as the cookie community. I can’t wait to tell you about these women. They are extraordinary women. But first, I would like to share a little about Anita.
For those of you who might not know Anita, she is the chief blogger and baking genius over at Sweet Hope Cookies. Please take time to visit her page and read about why she started Sweet Hope Cookies. She bakes to honor her brother Randy, who was taken from this world too early due to ALS. The proceeds of her cookies go to raise money for ALS awareness, the fight for a cure and to help support families who have loved ones with ALS. Last year, I had the honor of making her a set of ALS themed cookies after she won my cookie auction. The cookie auction was to raise money for the Moore Oklahoma tornado victims. This is why I chose baking theme cookies. The cookie community comes together many times during the year to help one another and to help others.
Last year, Shannon, from Artfully Delicious, organized a bunch of cookiers to auction off cookie sets to raise money for the victims in Moore, Oklahoma. This year, Tiffany, from Snickerdoodle Sweets & Events organized cookie auctions to raise money to help a young girl named Bailie. Bailie is in the process of fighting her third round of cancer. Her one wish is to go to Paris with her family. The cookie community wants to help make that dream a reality. The cookie community rallies together and bakes their hearts out to raises funds to help. Many times I have been the baker who is auctioning off cookies or making donations but this year I was the recipient of cookie love. I can’t wait to share about what these women did for my family. There are seasons in life. Some times you are the giver and at other times you are the receiver. We truly are a community. Some make cookies as hobby, others blog about their cookies and many of us sell our cookies under the cottage law.
I love aprons. I have many hanging in my pantry, but some how I never wear it during the day. Many of my friends wake up super early or go to bed super late making cookies. While decorated cookies may seem expensive to you, they are not. The amount of time and labor that goes in to creating these tasty creations is quite lengthy. Yet, this does not stop the cookie community from offering up their labors of love to help others. It does not matter the size of the gift but the attitude in which the gift is given. Many of these women give sacrificially to help others. Just remember little gifts are just as wonderful as large gifts.
This year, many things have changed for my family. It’s like the perfect storm hit all at once. My little company, The Baked Equation was born to raise money for our charity, Micah 6:8 Sudan. We were working towards building a farm in Torit, Sudan to help teach the villagers a skill. There is 90% unemployment in Southern Sudan. We were starting a farm where we could teach them how to grow foods in their seasons and sell to the surrounding areas. Over 80% of what is in the Sudan is imported in from other countries, thus making goods very expensive. In November, civil war broke out again in the Sudan. By January, most relief organizations and missionaries had been evacuated out. Permina, our farm manager is currently living in Kenya. Evey thing on the farm had come to an end abruptly. At the same time, the mortgage industry has slowed dramatically in Arizona. My husband and I had been blessed with a wonderful company that he ran for 8 years. But that season has come to a close. At the end of March, we closed our doors. I would no longer have a “day” job working for him. But I do have my small cookie business. All of sudden orders began to pour in. The orders all had familiar names. Yes, it was the baking community. They will not admit to colluding together to help our family. But they did. I remember crying as I baked batches and batches of my salted butterscotch cookies. I was so thankful that this would help pay the bills while my husband looked for a new job. But it isn’t even about the money. The gifts that they raised for my family were priceless but it was more about knowing that people cared about us. People really care.
Ahhh, the ingredients. We talk about them often in our groups. How many of us have grabbed a pan out of the oven without our oven mitts? How many of us have had those pesky eggs rolling off the counters? But every time you rollout your dough, you do it with love. In our group’s so many times I witness a passion for baking. Not only do bakers help raise money, they graciously share their knowledge. There are so many questions when it comes to baking. Why on earth is my icing not drying today, like it does every other day. Why on earth is my dough spreading? How do you make your icing so soft? What on earth do I do, my client is coming to pick up cookies in 3 hours and one of them just broke? Is Amazon Prime worth it? Many will rush to help answer your urgent questions. These things matter. Sharing your knowledge is a priceless gift. One that often goes unnoticed. I watch these women patiently answer all sorts of questions from new bakers. The cookie community is a generous bunch.
You can’t have baking theme cookies with out a discussion about piping bags, which tips are the best, icing consistency and by goodness what color mint are you talking about. If you ever want to have a barn raising conversation with a baker talk about mixing colors. If you ever want to bring my assistant to tears, tell her she has 19 colors to mix today. The next thing I love about the cookie community is we come together to laugh. We laugh about ourselves, we let off steam, and we have a good time in each others company. The cookie community can take a long day and make it seem a little brighter. Trust me there are LONG days baking. There are days when nothing goes right and one of your sisters will step in with an encouraging word or a story that makes you laugh. Laughter is medicine to a weary soul.
Thank you girls. You know who you are. You are the cookie community. Your giving spirit matters. It inspires many. Keep up all your hard work. I hope you enjoyed the baking theme cookies that were inspired by YOU! Now head over to see all the other Cookie Artist’s who created sets to honor someone they love. Enjoy
1. Lorraine’s Cookies
2. Cristin’s Cookies
3. Sugar Rush Custom Cookies
4. Sweet Shop Natalie
6. Whisked Away Cookies
7. Sweet Ree’s Bake Shoppe
8. The Cookie Architect
9. The Sweet Adventures of Sugarbelle
10. Jill FCS
11. Kookie Kreations by Kim
12. Sugar Nosh Treats
13. The Baked Equation
14. Chris’s Creative Confections
15. Sweet Ambs
16. Tami Rena’s Cookies
17. Cindy’s Cozy Kitchen
18. Suz Daily
19. TLC – Trinnie Loves Cookies
20. Yankee Girl Yummies
21. Laura’s Cookies