Cookie Parties & Workshops

Menagerie Cookie Workshop and DIY Birthday Cake

I had the pleasure of hosting a fantastic birthday cookie workshop yesterday that included decorating a very fun birthday cake as the finale. Lucy, the birthday girl, decided on our animal menagerie theme for cookie decorating and narrowed it down to icing the elephant, the ostrich, the alligator and giraffe. Check out the fun we had…

Lucy decided on a menagerie theme for cookie decorating and narrowed it down to the elephant, the ostrich, the alligator and giraffe.

Once the girls watched me demo each cookie, they went on chatting about school and other fun stuff without missing a beat! It was really fun to ice with girls of this age- and they were really, really good at it!

Everyone did such an amazing job decorating. At the end of cookie decorating, a few of the girls decided to eat one of their cookies. It seemed like the ostrich was the most popular choice for eating on the spot. My guess is the extra allure of the coarse sanding sugar bird body!

Everyone did such an amazing job decorating. At the end of cookie decorating, a few of the girls decided to eat one of their cookies. It seemed like the ostrich was the most popular choice for eating on the spot. My guess is the extra allure of the coarse sanding sugar bird body!

Amazing icing work!

Amazing icing work!

Next up, time to decorate the cake. Lucy's Mom ordered a "naked cake" from a bakery nearby. I was thinking it looks gorgeous as is!

Next up, time to decorate the cake. Lucy’s Mom ordered a “naked cake” from a bakery nearby. I was thinking ‘it looks gorgeous as is’ but I knew we’d make it even more amazing.

After spreading a thin layer of cream cheese icing on top, the girls took turns adding grass to the top using my new favorite tip!

After spreading a thin layer of cream cheese icing on top, the girls took turns adding grass texture to the top using my new favorite tip!

All the girls did an amazing job adding grass icing.

All the girls did an amazing job adding grass icing.

While a few of us we were icing away, Lucy's Mom was showing the other girls how to roll fondant and make gumpaste flowers.

While a few of us we were icing grass, Lucy’s Mom was showing the other girls how to roll fondant and make gumpaste flowers.

The flowers looked so cute on the grass! The girls decided some of the flowers needed colorful centers so they added them with food doodlers.

Once the grass was all filled in, we added four cake topper cookies that I iced the night before so they would be dry. They added the flowers which looked so cute on the grass! The girls decided some of the flowers needed colorful centers so they added them with food doodlers.

Here's Lucy's Mom, Veronique, adding the finishing touches- long strips of ribbon with different textures to the cake sides. She made this look easy- even with a broken thumb!

Here’s Lucy’s Mom, Veronique, adding long strips of fondant ribbon with different textures to the cake sides. She made this look easy- even with a broken thumb!

The final delicious and adorable looking cake! I know it must have tasted even better considering all the love that went into making it!

The final delicious and adorable looking cake! I know it must have tasted even better considering all the fun that went into making it!

Everyone was full from eating cookies so they decided to save the cake cutting for after some sledding and other activities.

Everyone was full from eating cookies so they decided to save the cake cutting for later…

A couple of selfies and they were off!

A couple of selfies and they were off- on to the next adventure!

Happy Birthday, Lucy! I hope you enjoyed your cake. I certainly enjoyed working on it with you, your sisters, your Mom and friends! What a lovely afternoon- Life is Sweet! Xo Dani

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Thanksgiving Day Parade Workshop

When the kind people at Time Inc. contacted me about hosting a cookie workshop at their Thanksgiving Parade Viewing Party on Thanksgiving day I thought “wouldn’t that be a fun and different way to spread the love this year?” So, the day before Thanksgiving, when most people were preparing to brine and baste, I baked 130 gingerbread turkeys, 130 sugar candy corns and made 8 batches of royal icing. Here’s the behind the scences of the fun we had at the Time Inc. Parade Viewing Party…

Good morning Thanksgiving! On this chilly morning in NYC, it was beautiful to watch the sun rise between the buildings.

Good morning Thanksgiving! On this chilly morning in NYC, it was beautiful to watch the sun rise between the buildings as I arrived at the Time Inc. building around 7 a.m.

The event space was decorated with festive gourds, flowers in all the beautiful shades of Thanksgiving.

The event space was decorated with festive gourds, fruit, and flowers in all the beautiful shades of Thanksgiving.

I especially LOVED this turkey decorated tree! (cookie version next year anyone?)

I especially LOVED this turkey decorated tree! (Cookie version of this tree next year anyone?)

The centerpieces in the craft room were stacked cake stands stacked with fun amd festive items- love how whimsical these are looked!

The centerpieces in the craft room were stacked cake stands piled with festive items plus craft materials- love how whimsical and fun these looked!

I was super excited to see the beautiful and fully equipt cookie room!

I was super excited to see the beautiful and fully equipt cookie decorating room!

At the center of the long tables were these fabulous IKEA bins. Each were filled with all the supplies needed for each cookie icer to decorate their cookies.

At the center of the long tables were these fabulous IKEA bins. Each were filled with all the supplies needed for each cookie icer to decorate their cookies.

Our cookie sessions filled up quick- I was so touched!

Our cookie sessions filled up quickly- I was so touched!

Everyone gathered around to watch the cookie demos and instructions

At the start of each session, everyone gathered around to watch me demonstrate how to ice a gingerbread turkey and a sugar cookie candy corn.

Then they were off! Back to their seats to decorate their own cookies...

Then they were off! Back to their seats to decorate their own cookies…

These expert icers did an amazing job on their cookies!

These expert icers did an amazing job on their cookies!

This little sweetie asked for some help with her turkey.

This little sweetie asked for some help with her turkey and I was happy to oblige!

In between sessions, I ducked out and headed over to the Parade viewing room- There goes Sonic!

In between sessions, I ducked out and headed over to the Parade viewing room- there goes Sonic!

We provided each cookie icer with packaging to carry their cookies home. This lovely lady mentioned she was going to gift her cookies to her Grandmother that day! So sweet!

We provided each cookie icer with packaging to carry their cookies home. This lovely lady mentioned she was going to gift her cookies to her Grandmother that day! So sweet!

More amazing cookie work plus a fabulous festive dress!

More amazing cookie work plus a fabulous festive dress to accent her freshly painted face. (face painting was in one of the other activity rooms- so fun!)

Woohoo! The cornucopia float!

Woohoo! The cornucopia float!

More amazing work!

So fun!

More amazing festive fashion and fabulous cookies!

More amazing festive fashion and fabulous cookie work!

These adorable brothers enjoyed icing with their Mom!

These adorable brothers enjoyed icing with their Mom!

The sweetest candy corn all day!

The sweetest candy corn all day!

I asked if she wanted to pose with her cookies, but then posed with the icing bottles instead. So cute!

I asked if she wanted to pose with her cookies, but decided to pose with our icing bottles instead. Amazing!

I didn't get to see Santa, but was happy to see this candy cane!

I didn’t get to see Santa, but was happy to see this candy cane balloon just before our last session began.

I was surprised that no one added the googly eyes to the turkey instead... until this session 5 creative expert icer came along!

I was surprised that no one added the set of sugar googly eyes to the turkey instead of the candy corn… until this session 5 creative expert icer came along!

Speaking of expert, look at this masterful execution of the toothpick drag thru technique! (AKA: marbleized icing)

Speaking of expert, look at this masterful execution of the toothpick drag thru technique! (AKA: one of our favorite techniques, marbleized icing) I bet these were delish!

As our cookie classes came to an end I thought about how grateful I am to do what I do and to be able to spread the love to kids and their families on Thanksgiving Day. Thank you to everyone at Time Inc. for including us in such a wonderful event!

After we packed up and bundled up, I thought it would be fun to take the turkey cookie to see the tree.

After we packed up and bundled up, I thought it would be fun to take the turkey cookie to see the tree. It wasn’t lit yet but still looks great!

The sun was beaming and Giving Thanks was in the air.

As we headed up 51st street, the sun was beaming, NYC was sparkling and Giving Thanks was in the air… AND Christmas is coming!

We hope you had a beautiful, delicious, gratitude-filled Thanksgiving. I am so thankful for all of you! Xo Dani

 

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