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Finding Beauty In Your Cookies

A few weeks ago I participated in my first cookie swap. I was so nervous to send another cookier my cookies. I have sent cookies in the past to some of my cookie friends but they were simply to taste and were decorated very simple. This was my first time making cookies based on a questionnaire someone filled out. I had to make cookies specific to that person’s likes. Why was I so nervous?

The answer is that just about all of us are very critical of our work. We see all the flaws in what we do and we make ourselves crazy thinking about whether the recipient of our cookies will see the flaws and not like them. The truth of the matter is that probably 9 out of 10 times we are the only ones that see these flaws. The recipient sees the meaning in the cookies. They are not inspecting them with a magnifying glass or with a critical eye. They simply look at them in awe of how we captured what they wanted for their special event.

I spoke to a couple of my closest cookie friends and discovered that I wasn’t alone. They had similar thoughts. “Will they like my cookies?” “Will my cookies meet their expectations?” “Will they think is this it and be disappointed?”

After speaking to friends it gave me the idea for a post like this. A post to say that no matter how awful we think our cookies are to find beauty in them. Instead of seeing everything that went wrong with them start seeing everything that went right. I’ve had meltdowns and so have my friends but at the end of the day we have to tell ourselves “it’s not the end of the world, it’s just cookies”.

I’d like to show you the first cookies I ever made back in February of 2011. I became obsessed with cookie decorating when the office building I work in was having a cookie decorating contest. I wanted to enter but I had never made decorated cookies before. I Googled and came across Sweet Sugarbelle. That’s all it took for me to get the cookie bug. I spent hours and hours looking over her blog and knew that I wanted to learn how to do this. It was so fascinating. My friend’s birthday was coming up and she’s a huge UT fan so instead of starting off with just cookies I had to go big and try a cookie bouquet. What was I thinking? Look at the size of that pot. I cried and cried because one of the longhorn’s horns broke. I had to glue it back on with royal. I don’t even know how I knew to do that but I just did. I tried it and thankfully it worked. I can look at these cookies and see all that’s wrong with them but I can also look at them and see that for my first cookies they aren’t all that bad.

I dont’ know if I’ll ever stop being critical of my work. It’s in my nature. I’m a perfectionist but I’m trying real hard not to be.

Recently I made this cake for a friend and I was so upset about crumbs being in my icing that it never made it to the blog.

I’m not purposefully keeping lack luster work off the blog so that people only think I make great stuff. That’s not my intention at all. If that was the case I wouldn’t have a blog at all because I see flaws in everything that I do.

As a blogger that does tutorials I feel like people have come to expect certain things out of me and I’m afraid to disappoint them. I’m constantly searching for ideas that will have that “wow” factor. I put a lot of pressure on myself. I need to let this go and just have fun with what I do. I enjoy teaching and coming up with ideas for cookies and want to continue doing this for as long as I can but it needs to be fun and not stressful.

If you read my post where I looked back at some of my favorite work then you can see the progression I’ve made in my decorating from this first cookie bouquet. I’m proud of how far I’ve come.

If you’re new to cookie decorating or cake decorating and you struggle with finding the beauty in your work you are not alone. We all go through this. Don’t give up. Try to find the good in what you created and just keep at it. I’m proof that someone who has no artistic ability (I’m a stick figure drawer) can make pretty cookies. It just took practice. I’m still learning everyday.

Thanks for stopping by today. Happy creating!

Comments

  1. Beatifully said Melissa! Sometimes it is hard to remember “It’s just a cookie”, but at the end of the day, that is exactly what it is, A COOKIE! I think we all need to remember WHY we do what we do, is it for the oohs and ahs from other decorators, or is is about our customers and our blog readers?

    Thanks for the wonderful post…and just for the record…I think all your cookies are great..even those first ones!
    Hugs

  2. This is such an inspiring post! In a lot of ways, I could have been the one writing this! I too, started with a cookie bouquet for a very good friend and mine had very similar designed cookies (minus the Longhorn).

    I am, without a doubt, my own biggest critic and strive for that elusive perfection! That rarely, if ever, works out, lol! Thank you for pointing out that we are after all, only human and these are only cookies! I guess we should learn not to sweat the little things in life!

    Have just recently found your blog, but so glad that I did!

  3. What an excellent post! You have stated what every baker/cookie decorator has felt at one time or another and personally, I feel it a lot. I think we are all our own worst critics but in the end, if our customers and all others who receive our creations are happy with not only how our product looks but tastes, then that is all that matters.
    Your first cookie bouquet looks great and that cake is wonderful! Every time we decorate, be it a new design or one we can almost do with our eyes closed, we are creating a gift from the heart and though at times, they may not be *perfect* in our eyes, we have to remember that the thought behind the cookie is what counts.

  4. How funny, I just wrote a blog post similar to this today. We are sooooo hard on ourselves. That is what my goal for 2013. Im going to relax. I am not going to try to create crazy cookies. Just make cookies and have fun doing it. I love your post Melissa. You have a beautiful way of writing.

    • Awww thanks Melissa. I love challenging myself but sometimes it’s easier to just relax, have fun and do simpler designs. I will probably try some doozie designs here and there but I hope I can stick to my plan to be less stressed & simplistic.

  5. I so needed to read this today as I am about to decorate a cake for someone at my husband’s job. I get so stressed when my cakes and cookies are for people I do not know. I will remember to relax and just have FUN!

    • Awww glad I could help. I’m not gonna lie cakes stress me out and I’ve said a few choice words while making them. I have to remember to calm down because if you have bad energy while decorating it will show. Put your favorite song on and dance. You’re right have fun :)

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