Good Monday morning to everyone! I'd like to introduce you to my sweet, talented, adorable friend from Cristin's Cookies. Cristin is my own first Cookie Crush. I completely fell head over heels with her cookies and their gorgeous glazed icing. I have even had the chance to co-produce a cookie cutter with her, but I'll tell you more about that story later this week.
I was terribly honored when she agreed to answer my burning questions and I know that you will love her as much as I do!!
1. How did you fall in love with baking and how old were you?
My daughter and I started baking and decorating cookies for Christmas only. I had bought a 1995 Better Homes and Garden magazine featuring Christmas Cookies and my mother had given me a couple cookie cutters. The cookies were basically just shapes with sprinkles on them. Then in November of 2009, I saw a penguin cookie cutter advertised in a magazine. I hunted it down and found it at CopperGifts.com. That was the first cookie cutter I ever bought and I loved it. My cookie journey really began with that first cookie cutter. Then I found Susan of The Painted Cookie and picked her brain about cookies. I started my Cristin's Cookies blog on January 23, 2011 and joined Facebook shortly after on March 10, 2011. Finding so many friends on Facebook that enjoy decorating cookies helped to grow my current obsession.
2. Just for my own survey, did you ever have an Easy Bake Oven as a child?
Yes, I had an easy bake oven. Being able to make baked goods with a light bulb is a very good thing.
3. Name your top five cookie artsist that you swoon over in no particular order.
Oh gosh that's a hard one. There are so many that I not only swoon over, but completely admire and want to be like.
*Of course the amazing Callye of Sugarbelle's. I was lucky enough to meet her and she's just as nice in person as she is on her blog. I was nervous as can be - as in SHAKING, but she is warm and kind and makes you feel very welcome, even though she is the top celebrity in the cookie world! Her cookies are just beautiful and she provides easy to follow tutorials on every cookie she makes. The time that she dedicates to helping the cookie community is amazing.
*And one of my all time favorites is Jill of Jill FCS. Her cookies make my jaw drop every time. My favorite style is with an outlined design because I think it makes the design pop and almost all of Jill's designs are outlined and they are always so creative and unique. And she rally's us all together in the fight against Leukemia for the Go Bo foundation and she pulls it all off with a smile.
*And Anita of Sweet Hope Cookies. Her cookies are beautiful and YUMMY (yes, I've had them) and she's funny as heck and down to earth and real. She comes up with tons of recipes and shares them with the cookie world. She fights against ALS and gives us the opportunity to be a part of the cause and she inspires us all to do nice things for other people. Random Acts of Kindness. She is the gal.
*Georganne of LilaLoa. Have you tried her chocolate cookie recipe? I don't even like chocolate, but I LOVE those cookies. She makes gorgeous cookies, shares her tutorials and for a long time she was doing it from the other side of the world. When I said that I'm incompetent at making eyes, a large container of different colored royal icing eyes showed up at my house Air Mail from Korea! She's a sweetie and an incredible designer of cookie cutters.
* Pam of CookieCrazie is such a complete sweetie and she responds to blog comments too. I was a glaze gal from the very very start, but Pam made being a glaze gal COOL. I felt like a complete outsider in the beginning especially when I saw the amazing designs and puffiness of the gorgeous cookies that others were creating. You know the kid that's different from the others and feeling out of place? That was me. Then I found Pam. All her cookies are made with glaze icing. She showed me that whether cookies are decorated with royal icing or glaze icing or fondant, or whatever, we're all part of a loving cookie community and see the talent in each other's work.
I also love the gorgeous creations from Shannon of Artfully Delicious and Laurie of Cookie Bliss and Kim of The Cookie Puzzle and Melissa of Simply Sweets by Honeybee and Laura of Laura's Cookies and April of April's Sweet Boutique and so many that I could go on forever.
4. What is your favorite and least favorite thing about working in Glaze Icing as opposed to Royal Icing.
Taste, taste, taste. Glaze icing is just plain yummy. I tried to make the switch to Royal Icing a couple years ago so that I could have those beautiful puffy creations that I drool over, but my kids rebelled. Glaze icing does not stay where you want it to stay. It doesn't ever get puffy. It takes longer to dry. Can't use a dehydrator. It gets craters if you're not careful. Lots of difficulties with working with glaze icing. But they're yummy and once you figure out what works for you with designing them, they can be beautiful.
5. What was your favorite dish from your Thanksgiving feast.
I laughed when I read that question. I'm a vegetarian. I ate a muffin and mashed potatoes for dinner on Thanksgiving. We go to my in-laws for dinner and there is normally also salad and corn, but not this year. We brought the dessert. It was wonderful to be with family and friends though.
6. You're an avid cyclist, what is your dream ride?
I've actually done my dream ride. Several of them. My first century was one of my favorites when I rode in Napa alongside grapevines and flowers and beautiful hills and then down to the coast near the beach. My other favorite ride is a triple century that is down South in Malibu. You start at 4am in the pitch dark and can hear the ocean waves near you, but can only see what your bike light ahead shows and then the sun comes up and you have a glorious day of cycling and rest stops with energy bars to keep you going and then it gets dark again and the ending of the ride has these killer hills and descents and you have to finish before 4am to get credit for completing the ride. In the last 2 years of running Cristin's Cookies, I haven't had the time or strength to participate in those extra long endurance rides, but they are my favorite and I hope to get back to that strength.
7. If you could send cookies to any celebrity, who would it be and why?
Hmmm I've never thought of that one. In all honesty, I'm much more star struck with our cookie gals than television or movie stars. I guess I have to pass on that one. I spend so much time on my cookies, I'd rather send them to someone that I know will appreciate them or to lift someone's day. It would be really fun to bring them to a children's hospital or a retirement home instead.
8. You make the most awesome cookie cutters, how did this come to fruition and where are you hoping to take this aspect of your artistry?
I'm a cookie cutter addict. I've spent more money on cookie cutters than I care to divulge. Thankfully I don't buy shoes or get my hair done or shop. When I started making my own cookie cutters, it was really just to make my own designs. When I bought a cookie cutter, I often saw things I would want to change about it. It was an extremely painful process to learn to make my own cutters (and still is sometimes). My first cookie cutter was Polly the ice skating penguin and she is still my very favorite. I squeal whenever I make those cookies. It's such a thrill when people purchase my cookie cutters and the tutorial cards. And seeing them pop up on Facebook, makes me smile huge. As far as the future, it is still very new to me. I've only had my Etsy shop open since Dec 27th of last year, so coming up on my one year shop anniversary soon. At this point, I think my goal is just to keep it up. In all honesty, it's not easy to design the cutters, make the cookies, photos, blog, ship and so on. I love it, but it's also a juggling act. I love that I'm often able to include a handmade cookie into some cookie cutter orders. I love seeing the designs come out as I see them in my head. I love the excitement of others when I come out with a new cookie cutter.
9. Are you going to CookieCon?
Yes, I've bought my ticket. I'm still super nervous to meet all these amazing cookiers that I've idolized, but I'm excited to go.
10. Outside of cookies, name 5 passions in your life.
Mellissa, Nick, Sarah, Abigail and Aidan. And my daughter just drove up, so I'm going to go soak up 3 of those favorite passions ;-)
See, isn't she just the most amazing person? She is a driving force in the cookie community and I'm glad she represents the "Glaze Girl's" with such class and elegance!