Starting An In Home Bakery

Baking By HeidiCrumbs Updated 28 Jan 2009 , 12:20pm by TracyLH

HeidiCrumbs Posted 26 Jan 2009 , 8:29pm
post #1 of 21


I'm Heidi and I just found this forum! I am opening an in home bakery specializing in frosted cut out cookies. However, I realize I need a LOT of practice after browsing all of your cookies. I'm not an artist really, just crafty. I have been selling my Christmas cookies to family for the last four years. Small buttercream, one frosting color with sugar sprinkles, for $8 a dozen. Everybody that buys them tells me it's too low so when I open I will have to up the price. I will also sell the fancier RI cookies but that is where I need practice. I am so freaking excited to have found all of you! I have only been looking for the last 20 minutes and have already found a bunch of different answers to my problems that I couldn't figure out! Yeah!

One question though, when I use RI it tends to spread into the color it is next to. I know that it's probably because it's not totally dry, but sometimes when I'm using a bunch of different colors on a cookie I don't have a few hours inbetween when I use a different color for it to dry. And for my RI I have always used the pasteurized liquid egg whites. I didn't like the meranguine powder because I thought it gave it a bit of a funny taste. Was that just my imagination because I see that you all use MP for your icing.

Again, I am so glad that I found all of you! When my boys are in bed for the night I'm going to come back and look through each and every topic, I'm so excited!!


20 replies
GayeG Posted 26 Jan 2009 , 9:27pm
post #2 of 21

Hi Heidi! Welcome to CC! I too have been here a short time ... but I promise you, you will feel like you've been here all your life in just a very short time! Everyone is so willing to help with any or all your questions! So I hope you enjoy your new "home". and again WELCOME! party.gif

As for your questions ... I usually let one color dry b4 another ... but not 2 hrs. Usually 1/2 is all I need ... depending on the weather here to though ...

As for the MP - Have you tried adding flavors to them? Vanilla, Almond, etc. I like Butter flavoring ... yummy ...
Anyways, Im sure someone else her has way better info than me ... And again, WELCOME HOME! icon_lol.gif

TracyLH Posted 26 Jan 2009 , 9:55pm
post #3 of 21

Welcome to our little addictive world! icon_biggrin.gif Going through the forums is exactly what I recommend, so you are on the right track! As for RI, I use Antonia74's RI, which has the MP. It is simply excellent IMHO. I add pure van. extract as her MP that she gets in Canada already has a vanilla taste to it. I also like to do almond extract, adding either in the last minute of mixing.

To help colors not run, try mixing them the night before so the colors will deepen with less color used (I suggest Americolor for how vibrant it is and I have been told the taste is better than the Wilton colors).

SweetDreamsAT had a great suggestion regarding black. Add a bit of cocoa powder to your white before adding the black (I like the Americolor Super Black). Get it to a deep grey and let sit overnight. I have found that my black never runs when I do it this way. I also let the black dry overnight or all day before adding the next color though.

Congrats on starting an in home bakery! thumbs_up.gif SO excited for you! Again, welcome to our world!

HeidiCrumbs Posted 26 Jan 2009 , 10:26pm
post #4 of 21

Thank you so much! Here are a few more things about me.....

This past Christmas I made 110 dozen frosted cookies. These were only the buttercream icing with one color per cookie so not difficult at all. Time consuming but not difficult.

I just started using the AmeriColor gels and LOVE LOVE them! I was using Wilton paste before and hated how it always got specks of really dark color in random places in the frosting.

I live in Wisconsin and have two boys, two and three years old, and am a SAHM. I'm so tired, lol.

My bakery will be in a 550 square foot garage that is being renovated into a state liscensed bakery. Currently it is lavendar and lime green and pretty funky if I do say so myself! My next big step is waiting for the ground to thaw so that we can put in a holding tank for waste water.

As for getting to know all of you, is there a forum with our personal info anywhere? Not too personal, just where you all live, what got you started making cookies, favorites of yours, if you do it for personal or business? I would like to know all of that!

Thanks again for the nice welcome and I look forward to meeting the rest of you!


cookiemookie Posted 26 Jan 2009 , 11:23pm
post #5 of 21

Welcome and congrats on starting your new business!

Where in WI are you? I am in southern WI, and do cookies mostly just for the fun of it and for friends and family.

I have learned so much here.

yankeegal Posted 27 Jan 2009 , 12:03am
post #6 of 21

Just wanted to welcome you to CC!! You will love it here.

stephaniescakenj Posted 27 Jan 2009 , 12:17am
post #7 of 21

Hi Heidi! Welcome. My middle daughter's name is Heidi Eloise icon_biggrin.gif

I'm not too good at RI cookies but have you tried flooding? Making the outline with stiff RI and then thinning it out and filling the design in? Definitely recomend checking out Antonia74... she's a genius!

riSHEL Posted 27 Jan 2009 , 12:36am
post #8 of 21

Welcome Heidi! Before you know it... you will feel like this is family. I always refer to them as my CC Sisters. This site is EXTREMELY addicting and at the beginning, you can easily find yourself popping in during the day and before you know it, it's dark outside! It's so nice to find a group of people that share the love of baking. A lot of people just don't understand how we have the need to perfect the recipe, the design, the technique, the packaging.... here, you are among your kind. Welcome CC Sister! oh, and I don't think there's really a way to get everyones personal info. Just kinda bits and pieces from what you see in Gallery & Forums. hmmm.... you should start a thread for that

HeidiCrumbs Posted 27 Jan 2009 , 4:31am
post #9 of 21

Cookiemookie, I am in central WI, Wausau.

Tonight I made it through the first 14 pages, although I didn't look at all of the topics. Wow, what a wealth of information! I love the links to new websites I haven't been to before. So many new cookie cutters to buy, lol. I was getting so sick of looking at the same ones from the same few sites constantly.

Honeydukes Posted 27 Jan 2009 , 10:18am
post #10 of 21

Hi, Heidi, welcome.

Unfortunately, you really can't get around the drying time. There are a few things you can do to speed things up. You can ice opposing areas of color. A few people use a fan. Some have put the cookies into a cool oven with the light on -- I'd be careful about fading.

Here are the links for popular recipes and information:


MMF (Marshmallow fondant)
Rolled Buttercream

How To bake & decorate Cookies

How To Make Your Own Cookie Cutters:

Cookie Cutter sites:



All/ Misc:

GeminiRJ Posted 27 Jan 2009 , 1:05pm
post #11 of 21

Honeydukes to the rescue! No one...can put together links better than you. I LOVE reading posts and finding one from you!

Heidi, welcome! I started out on CC trying to find an answer to decorating 3D cookies, and ended up with a cookie decorating obsession. I'm serious. Unfortunately, I never did figure out how to get those cookies I designed my own cookies and now sell a 3D cookie cutter kit. All because I found this website. You could say I had a life changing experience!

Keep reading all the posts, and don't hesitate to add some of your own. The decorators on CC are so-o-o willing to help!


imakecakes Posted 27 Jan 2009 , 1:26pm
post #12 of 21

Hi Heidi! I just wanted to welcome you here, it IS a wonderful place!! Congrats on your new shop, too!! Good for you! Please keep us updated on how your doing with it! We're, I mean SUPPORTIVE, that way! icon_biggrin.gif

kneadacookie Posted 27 Jan 2009 , 1:30pm
post #13 of 21

welcome heidi,
it could take you an eternity to go through all the threads here. but, it seems just when i remember a thread i wish i could find...someone asks the question or brings it up again. there is a vast wealth of information here as well as some of the best people you'll ever find. i feel like some of them are even closer than family!!!
i wish the bio's on everyone were a little more detailed too, but you'll learn about everybody pretty quickly. i'm from michigan, have five kids and have been doing cookies for about 3 years...nice to meet you.
make sure you post pictures soon!!

GeminiRJ Posted 27 Jan 2009 , 1:40pm
post #14 of 21
Originally Posted by kneadacookie

welcome heidi,
i wish the bio's on everyone were a little more detailed too, but you'll learn about everybody pretty quickly. i'm from michigan, have five kids and have been doing cookies for about 3 years...nice to meet you.
make sure you post pictures soon!!

Only 3 years? Really? Bummer. I've only been decorating for two years and thought I had lots of time to get as good as you!

Pebbles13 Posted 27 Jan 2009 , 6:31pm
post #15 of 21

Hi Heidi!
Welcome to CC. You are going to love this site, and it will most likely become part of your daily routine (if you have time). If I'm away from it for a few days, I have to go back to the pictures and posts I saw last to "catch up" with my CC friends! Everyone here is so nice, friendly, and helpful. I started decorating cookies summer 2008 after my Wilton instructor told my sister-in-law (fellow CC'er Denyse) and I about this site. I was first looking at cakes, but when I saw the cookie galleries it really peaked my interest. That is when the addiction began.....My name is Tricia and I am a cookie baking/decorating addict icon_biggrin.gif Actually, it really is good therapy and I've never had a hobby I've enjoyed more than this. There are so many talented, experienced people here to help you out. We look forward to your input, as well, since you've been doing this for a while. Everyone adds something special to this site. Welcome, and we'll see you around!

ps. I'm also lucky to be a stay-at-home mom (w/ 2 wonderful sons!). One is in college and the other just turned 16. I live in sunny Arizona!

sudsy Posted 27 Jan 2009 , 6:50pm
post #16 of 21

WELCOME Heidi.......It is an addiction, but one you will love. Forewarned, it is hard to just log on for "a few minutes". Good luck with your endeavor.

GeminiRJ Posted 27 Jan 2009 , 7:06pm
post #17 of 21
Originally Posted by Pebbles13

I started decorating cookies summer 2008 after my Wilton instructor told my sister-in-law (fellow CC'er Denyse) and I about this site.

Summer of 2008? Seriously? Your cookies are way too wonderful for you to be a cookie "newbie". This is really putting a dent in my "practice makes perfect" mantra!

TracyLH Posted 27 Jan 2009 , 9:55pm
post #18 of 21

Pebbles13 - you just started in summer 2008??? icon_eek.gif Wow, Tricia! icon_eek.gif

HeidiCrumbs - I just saw a posting about what people do for their 'real' jobs. I saw that some cookiers are on there. Below is the link, if you want to see it. It is interesting to see what people do or have done. One of my favorite cookie designers used to be an Aeronautical Engineer (how cool is that?!) and she makes the most glorious cakes and cookies. Here is the link to the post:

As for me, SAHM in VA with two kidlets with the hope someday that when people ask me what I do for a living, to be able to say, "I design and create custom cookies!" icon_biggrin.gif

kneadacookie Posted 28 Jan 2009 , 12:46am
post #19 of 21

tracy i think you're good enough to say that already!!!!!

Pebbles13 Posted 28 Jan 2009 , 4:49am
post #20 of 21

Gemini and Tracy: You girls are too kind! But thank you, anyways thumbs_up.gif I am so lucky to have found this site, and along with it the guidance of master cookie artists such as you two and all of the other talented cookie people who are always willing to give such good advice.

TracyLH Posted 28 Jan 2009 , 12:20pm
post #21 of 21

Thanks, kneadacookie! icon_biggrin.gif That is HUGE compliment coming from you!

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