Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Visit me on Facebook!

Hi everyone.  I have neglected this blog TERRIBLY.  So much to do, so little time.  Visit me on Facebook to see what I'm up to in the cookie world!

Baked By Rachel Cookies on Facebook

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Weddings and Bridal showers and anniversaries, oh my!

And again another month has gone by in between posts . . . I always have the best intentions to keep this site up to date, but between working and cookies and summer with my kids it hasn't happened!  I really want to share a couple of wedding, bridal shower and anniversary platters I've done in recent weeks.   I have done these types of platters for a while now and just love how they are evolving.  It's so fun to take the same general concept (bride & groom, cakes, flowers, champagne, etc) and customize for the couple!

This first one was for a bridal shower for Lindsy.  Kathy sent me swatches of the bridesmaids dresses, photos of Stephen's linen tux and Lindsy's dress, and even a photo of the cake!  Her attention to detail really brought this platter to life as a cookie representation of the wedding to come.  What a lovely color combo!

I was so excited to make this platter for my former co-worker Jimmy and his fiance Natalie.   It was a treat to make it for the surprise "groom shower" the office threw for him.    Their colors of navy blue and magenta made for a vibrant cookie platter.    I have been enjoying using the "Mr. & Mrs." cookie stencil from the Cookie Countess on these platters, and this time I added a coordinating "Mr. & Mrs." round cookie.

I made this most recent bridal shower platter last weekend.  The bride's mom Tracey told me the wedding would feature lots of sunflowers with marine blue accents.  She also told me they would have pie instead of a traditional wedding cake.  It was a lot of fun to make pie cookies for this platter!   I really loved how this one turned out!

In keeping with the wedding theme, I was asked by a dear friend to make a platter for their family celebration of her mom and dad's 50th wedding anniversary.    This platter featured the schools the couple attended together and separately and where they worked for years and years.  They are also both bird lovers and flower lovers so I included lots of those!  I also made a second platter celebrating the family their union has created:  4 daughters and their husbands and six grandchildren!

Friday, July 4, 2014

I'm alive, really! Graduation 2014 cookies!

As my friend Susie  recently pointed out, it has been a looong time since I blogged (like, since VALENTINE'S DAY!). . . I really wish there were more hours in the day!  I do keep my Facebook page up to date with all my current cookies, I just don't get back here very often.  I will try this again!  

The past few months have been really busy in my cookie world.  Graduation season was so busy!

The platter at the top of this page was for a friend whose son just graduated from Brentsville High School. This one was especially meaningful to me because my own son is headed there as a freshman this fall.  Guess I better stock up on orange and black food coloring!

My niece Nicole graduated from the University of Delaware a few weeks back and of course we had a big party! Nicole decorated her grad cap with a cute chevron design, so I made her some cookies to match!

Nicole's party was also a good excuse to try my new chocolate covered Oreo molds.   They turned out awesome and I can't wait to make more of them!

Ansley and Caroline are good friends who graduated from high school together and are off to JMU together this fall.  Ansley's mom Lori was a high school friend of mine, and I hope these two are still friends 25+ years later like we are!

Here are the rest of the grad platters I made this season:

Cookies for Bailey, who graduated from Osbourn HS and is headed to Christopher Newport to play basketball!
Cookies for Brianna, who graduated from Patriot HS and is going to Shenandoah University this fall.

Cookies for Connor, who graduated from Patriot HS and is headed to Marymount University to play baseball!

Cookies for Dayna, who graduated from OPHS and is headed to Liberty University this fall.

Cookies for Josh, who graduated from Battlefield HS and is excited about being a Kansas Jayhawk!
Cookies for Nick, who graduated from Oakton High School and is headed for University of Toronto this fall!  This platter also included the three musical instruments he plays, and recognized his EMT certification!  

Cookies for Travis, another OPHS grad, who is headed to Old Dominion University this fall.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Valentines Day

I had a very busy Valentines season this year!   In addition to my kids' classroom parties, I made cookies for a local photographer to use in her "sweet shop" shoots, did a Valentines charity fundraiser, and made a few orders for folks to give their loved ones.

My neighbor Catherine is an amazing family photographer!  She specializes in adorably styled theme shoots with children.  When she asked me to make some Valentines cookies for her "sweet shop" theme, I couldn't wait to see what she came up with!  Look at these awesome examples of what she did!  If you are in Northern Virginia and want some creative and cute pictures of your kids, definitely look up Catherine!  Visit her facebook page for more examples of her work. 

This one is my absolute favorite! How cute is Catherine's daughter in her little Valentine baking outfit?

I was invited to participate in a fundraiser day to raise money for a team participating in the Cupids Undie Run to support the Childrens Tumor Foundation.  I had never done one before, but figured the week before Valentine's Day was a good time to try it!  I made a variety of Valentine cookies and cake balls and spent the day with some other fun vendors.     Here are some examples of what I sold at the event:
lots of message hearts

I was excited about making these - followed a tutorial from Cookies with Character - they were much easier to make than I thought!  These bunnies will be making another appearance for Easter, I'm sure.
this was the logo for the Cupids Undie Run race . . . it was so cute I had to make it into a cookie!

Boxed set of LOVE cookies

This was my favorite idea, and one I'll be using again.  Mini mason jars (half-pints), filled with mini cookies! 
These were a big hit
I also made some Valentine orders for people to give their sweethearts:
From Becky to Brandon (thanks Becky!)

From Erika to Michael (thanks Erika and Cathy!)

My favorite - from Kyle to Catherine, who is spending a few months in France as an au pair to two little girls!   One of my favorite things is seeing pictures of people enjoying my cookies.  Catherine blogged about her experience - and my cookies! - here.
Last, but not least, I made cookies for my two elementary-aged sons' class parties.   Valentines parties were delayed a week this year due to snow days, but I individually wrapped and heat-sealed the cookies and they kept just fine!

My 9 year old, Nicholas, took these minion cookies to share with his third grade class.  Thanks to an awesome tutorial by Amber at SweetAmbs, these were quite easy to make, and they were definitely a hit with his class!

My 10 year old, Ben, asked for hedgehog cookies, just like last year!  He LOVES his pet hedgehog and wanted to spread some hedgehog love and joy this Valentines Day!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Catching Up: Celebrations and Special Occasions

In my continuing effort to catch up my blog posts, this one will feature cookies I've made for celebrations and other special occasions over the past few months.   

First up, some "it's a girl" cookies for a gender reveal party.   Malia asked me to make pink hearts that said "it's a girl" . . . and left the rest to me.  I did some googling and found the incredible Melonheadz blog with tons of clipart.  I used some of her art to make these whimsical cookies!  They made adorable party favors.

These cookies were for a trio of siblings who were all baptized on the same day.

Now for an entirely different type of celebration, this platter was for a group of young women who gathered to celebrate Abby's upcoming wedding!  I had fun making the lingerie and Chippendales cookies following a great Sugarbelle tutorial. 

I also sent along a little gift platter for the bride and groom.

My friend Sabrina asked me to make a platter to share at a retirement celebration for a long-time employee at the hotel where she works.  I had fun trying a variety of techniques with this one - detailed piping, airbrushing, and "quilting".

Finally, this platter was for an eye doctors office during National Eye Care Professionals week. I loved making this one!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Catching up: Birthdays

As part of my ongoing effort to catch up on posting cookie pictures, here's a collection of the birthday cookies I have done in the past few weeks and months!   The one above is a "favorite things" platter for Kara on her 16th birthday!   Her favorite TV show, her job, her friends names, drivers permit and iPhone made a fun collection!  Thank you Tracy!   Tracy also ordered a "favorite things" platter for her niece Lauren for HER 16th birthday.  This one features her favorite stylemakers, Lilly Pulitzer and Vera Bradley, please of course her iPhone.


This platter was for Audrey's 7th birthday.  Her mom Julia asked for pink and purple girly cookies so this is what I put together.  The picture doesn't show it well, but they had a bit of disco dust sparkle on them too!

This "cowgirl" birthday platter was for sisters celebrating their birthday together . It was inspired by this platter and great tutorial by Glorious Treats.    Thank you Selena!

Birthday cupcake cookies for Cassandra's 13th birthday.  Thank you Kellie!

Another "favorite things" platter, this time for Matt's 40th birthday.   His wife suprised him with a casino party, and ordered this platter with his alma mater, WVU and his favorite hockey team, the Washington Capitals!  I had fun making the Vegas-style plaque cookie.   Thanks Dina!

This platter combined Jack's two favorite things these days:  Percy Jackson books and soccer!  Thanks Julie!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas 2013 Roundup

Wow, it's been a while since I've posted here!   It has been a really busy couple of months, and while I keep my Facebook page updated, I just haven't made the time to keep the blog up to date as well.  New Years resolution number 1 for 2014:  to do better with that!   Over the next few days, I'll catch up with my busy November and December cookies!

First up:  Christmas cookies - LOTS of them!  This was my first Christmas "officially" in business, and thanks to a lot of great customers, it was a great success.

The "gingerbread man" sugar cookies shown above were my first order of the holiday season 2013.    A local photographer, Catherine from CLC Snapshots, asked me to make them for a "cookies with Santa" photo shoot.   The photos turned out just adorable . . . . I love seeing kids enjoying my cookies, especially in such a cute setting!   I also found out that Catherine is a neighbor who lives just down the street . . . I hope we can collaborate again soon!  Look below for an example of her work, and make sure to check out her Facebook page for lots more!

For the third year in a row, I had the honor of making lots of gingerbread people for my neighborhood's Winter Wonderland holiday kickoff!  It really is a great event -  here's my long post on it last year - and I love making lots of gingerbread people for it.  Many friends and neighbors have told me they look forward to my cookies as part of the event's growing traditions!  Thank you for asking me to do it again Tracy! 

 Next, a really special cookie exchange.  I am a member of an online group of wonderful cookiers who chat online and share lots of cookie ideas, techniques and support.   One of them organized a fun online gift exchange.   The cookies above are the ones I made for my recipient, along with a box of cookie cutters, a dish towel, and some other goodies.  I mailed it off to her  . . . and the USPS lost it!  After a week of waiting and watching the tracking number, I called the post office in her town in Georgia.  They claimed it had been delivered correctly, but she never got it.  So upsetting!    Through a weird series of events, the package turned up across town at an acquaintance of her husband's, and she finally ended up getting it! 

I made this set of cookies for a company holiday luncheon.  It was fun to make festive cookies incorporating their wolf paw logo and non-traditional Christmas colors.   It's hard to tell from the photos, but I used lots of disco dust glitter and silver airbrushing.   The employees' children got individual personalized cookies too.  Thank you for this order, Bambi, it was a lot of fun!

 Here was another set of sparkly cookies I made for a friend's annual Christmas party.  She asked for a candy-cane themed platter and I put this one together.  Thank you Melissa!

I love reading magazines, especially holiday issues!  When I spotted the December issue of Good Housekeeping on the newstand, I LOVED the cookie tree on the cover.  I bought it and put it aside, hoping to have the opportunity to make them.  I ended up making 8 dozen assorted trees - some for an order (thank you Kathy!), some for a neighbor's cookie exchange (thank you Janet!) and some to take to my parents' house for Christmas day.  On a whim, I took a picture of them next to the GH cover and posted it on their Facebook page.  I was so excited when they shared them a short time later!

I was so excited by the success of my Thanksgiving placecard cookies, I decided to offer some for Christmas as well.    I ended up making well over 100 of these for a number of orders.  Thank you to everyone who ordered them, they were a lot of fun to make!

Last but not least, these three pictures show the cookies I took to share with my family at Grandma's house on Christmas day.  Chocolate cakeballs, oreo snowmen, more trees, and of course the placecards!  My mom added these cute candy pops along with them for a very festive table.