Thursday, June 28, 2012

London 2012 - GO USA!

We are having a wonderful summer at the Rose home.  Thank you for your patience and encouragement as I took some time off to be with my family, teach Bible at VBS, and celebrated my birthday week! ;^)

We are excited about working on badges for American Heritage Girls (Reader R., my sweet over-achiever, approval-junkie, picked out 19 badges that she wants to try to earn this summer), and we have been having fun participating in Focus on the Family's Olympic Fitness Challenge  trying to squeeze in a little bit of daily fitness despite the heat.  
Reader R. with the first cake she decorated herself,
for her Cake Decorating  badge, of course!
Of course, what we would rather be doing is baking cookies...
 or sitting around watching countless hours of other people exercising!
Less than one month until the OLYMPICS!  Go USA!

Olympic cookie created with extra frosting... ;^)
(Yes. I baked the cookie more than a month ago, and then sat on the photo to share it one month from the Olympics starting, and missed the date.  Man! Oh well!)


Choo, Choo, Braxton is Two!

Recently, a cute little boy celebrated his 2nd Birthday at Fritz's Railroad Restaurant, a local Kansas City restaurant that delivers your meal by train!  

His sweet Momma really wanted Royal Icing for the cute details, but knew that the two-year old crowd would prefer the Fluffy Frosting.  I was so pleased to be able to provide super-cute, detailed cookies with fluffy frosting!  ;^)

For Braxton's "Special Extra" cookie, I was trying to coordinate with the theme and these adorable invitations created for the event by Mikaela Garret at  (You can reach her at 913-626-1100 or, if you need any cool designs for your next special event.)

Thanks Laura for letting me share this special day with you!  Thanks Mikaela for the adorable inspiration!



Oh Baby! How Sweet It is to Love You!

Earlier this Spring, one of my dear church friends had a beautiful baby girl.  The Women's Ministry at our church had a baby shower for sweet Lila Margaret, which happened to be the day before her baptism.  At the time, I also happened to be short on cash in the gift-giving budget, but long on ideas for beautiful cookies to celebrate the birth and baptism of this special baby girl, so Momma and Daddy got a gift basket from Sarah's Sweet Shoppe, filled with yummy cookies! ;^)

These "sign" cookies were my first attempt at using a "#1" tip for icing decorations.  Even with that small of a tip, it took several tries to squeeze all of those words on the big cookie! ;^)

 My wishes for their sweet family!
The "Daughter of the King" onesie is my favorite!
 I baked some of the cookies on sticks, so that they would "stick" up at the back of the basket. ;^) That backfired on me when one of the sticks broke out of the cookie while I was putting it in the bag.  No problem.  I just took another cross cookie and used Royal Icing to "glue" the stick back in place and covered it with the extra cookie. ;^) Extra cookies save the day (again)!
Top Right Cross reads: "Lila Margaret ~ Fearfully and Wonderfully Made"

In the final gift basket, I ended up hiding the small hearts down inside the basket to hold the other cookies in their places better.  After this photo was taken, I put the whole thing in a gift bag and tied it with a bow.  It was a beautiful gift (if I do say so myself...;^)) and Rachel appreciated the time and effort that went into creating such a personalized gift of love.  Besides, who really needs more baby clothes anyway, right?
The finished Gift Basket with the Hearts tucked inside!

I also made these baby hands and feet, but they didn't make the cut for the basket.  It was fun to try my new cutters, but I wasn't completely happy with how they turned out, this time. ;^)

Congratulations Rachel and Johnny!
Happy Baptism Lila!

Mrs. Rose


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Are you Curious about Allergies? Just Ask!

Good Morning Sweet Shoppe Friends!

Do you have a loved one with food allergies?  Is it hard to find the perfect treat for him/her?  Are you "Curious" about whether Sarah's Sweet Shoppe can help?  Just Ask!

As a home-based bakery, we to do NOT have the protections in place to be able to accommodate a SERIOUS allergy.  That said, I am happy to speak with the customer (I would prefer to also speak with the person with the allergy or their parent) to see if I can make treats that are safe for you or your child.

Dairy-Free Curious George Cookie and Personalized Man with the Yellow Hat Special Extra

For example, I recently, was asked to make a dairy-free cake and cookies for a sweet little boy's 2nd Birthday Party.  While it was a little challenging, to learn what would be safe for him to eat, I was able to create both, with only a small added expense for special supplies.  The cookies didn't taste exactly like my standard cookies, but they were still adorable and delicious.  Because the birthday boy was small enough not to be helping himself, with the Mom's "blessing," I was even able to put the dairy and non-dairy cookies in the same box.

Dairy-Free Cookies are Marked with the Birthday Boy's Name "Tate"

For these dairy-free cookies, I was able to use "Earth Balance" as a butter substitute.  (I found it at the Walmart Supercenter, for about $5.) It worked pretty well. The cookies were not quite as soft and fluffy as they usually are.  They were more the consistency of a thick pie crust and flakey.  They also had a bit of a "nutty" taste to them, however several taste-testers said that they were yummy! ;^)

However, a preschool asked me about baking nut-free cookies for their graduation program, because several kiddos had serious nut allergies.  I had to decline this opportunity, because I do have nuts and nut products in my kitchen.  I also usually use pure Almond extract in my cookies.  Without being able to speak directly to the person with the allergies, I would not be comfortable labeling my cookies as nut-free for a buffet line.

Dairy-Free Curious George Cake~
Dark Chocolate with Dark Chocolate and Caramel Frosting
& Royal Icing Transfer Eyes

That said, a mother ordered "nut-free" cookies for a preschool class party last fall.  No one in the class had an allergy, they just had to be nut-free to meet the requirements of the school's nut-free policy.  I made those cookies with  vanilla extract, and they were OK for that class.  So, it really is an order-by-order deal.

I have also been asked about glutten-free cookies.  I have not tried them yet... but would be happy to if I had a customer who needed them.  Again, it helps me to talk to the person with the allergy challenge, so that I can save time (and expense) in researching what products work and do not work for the particular customer.  I do also have to add a small fee to cover my additional expenses, since I do not buy allergy-free products in bulk.

Dairy-Free "Tate" Cookie (right) with "Regular" cookie (left)

I have heard that it is difficult to get gluten-free cookies to taste good, but truthfully, even cardboard cutouts would decorate-up super fun! And everything tastes better with icing!  ;^)

Please do not hesitate to ask!


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Happy Birthday To ME!

Thank you friends for your encouragement and patience with me over the last year as I have enjoyed this cookie company endeavor!  I am looking forward to what the next year may bring.  I am enjoying my short break from baking, but am looking forward to jumping in again for the Forth of July.  One of my projects this past month has been to update my photo book and catch up on my blogging.  Over the next couple of months, you will see quite a few catch up posts (including today's).  Hooray!  So if you have been worried that I created a cookie that you missed... worry no more!

SO... since today is my birthday, I am going to post some birthday cookies.  I love cupcake cookies... they are so cute!  I baked these for some dear friends whose daughter was turning one.  They were going to be traveling to celebrate with family, and cookies do hold up for travel way better than cakes or cupcakes!  I made them to coordinate with the paper goods.


~ Sarah