luv2bake6 Posted 22 Jun 2009 , 2:30pm
post #1 of

I'm constantly being asked to conduct a cookie decorating class for kids, and teens.
I would really like to do this as i do not sell my cookies yet and it's a great way to make some extra money.
My problem is that i am not great with planning this correctly. I really need sort of like a play by play of what i need to do in advance, what to teach, and how long it should run. I'm the type of person that has ideas galore but no idea how to execute them. I also don't want to end up losing money by having to supply things and not charging enough.

Anyway, i'd like to hear from anyone who has done this and was successful with it.
Thanks so much.

31 replies
JGMB Posted 22 Jun 2009 , 2:41pm
post #2 of

I'm so glad you asked this!! I, too, have been asked to teach a cookie decorating class to kids at my church. It's 3 mornings in a row, 1 1/2 hours each. There will be 10 kids, between 2nd and 8th grade.

I've been trying to think through a schedule. I'd like to show them how to make the cookie dough, cut them out, bake them. I thought I might just do one batch, letting them help with each step. Then, I'd provide a bunch of cookies that I'd baked beforehand.

I also want to show them how to make and tint glace and fill a piping bag. Then, we'd thin some glace and put it into squeeze bottles.

After they outline and flood the cookies, those would have to dry and they'd pipe on details the next day. Then, they would have to dry again.

So, I know it can be done. I just have to take the time to work it out in my head and commit it to paper.

I'm anxious to hear what the experts on CC think!!!

luv2bake6 Posted 22 Jun 2009 , 5:55pm
post #3 of

That's exactly what my problem is. It's hard for me to work it all out.
I guess that 3 sessions would be suffice. One to make the dough and cut out the shapes (but older girls may be bored of this step cuz they may have done this at home or other baking courses already).
The next session would be how to make icing, outlining and flooding cookies (is that enough of a session for older girls who pick up faster?).
Next would be decorating i guess (which decorating techniques are ideal to teach as there are too many to cover in one session.

cylstrial Posted 22 Jun 2009 , 8:54pm
post #4 of

I think it sounds great. How much are you going to charge though?

luv2bake6 Posted 22 Jun 2009 , 9:07pm
post #5 of

That's yet another question i need answered.

playingwithsugar Posted 22 Jun 2009 , 9:17pm
post #6 of

Depending on the age of the kids, you might consider having them cover the cookie with fondant, then color with edible markers, or with food color paints.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

luv2bake6 Posted 22 Jun 2009 , 9:22pm
post #7 of

I would have an older crowd (like ages 10-15) so they could definately handle decorating bags and tips.
Can fondant be it's own class? I mean is there enough to fill, let's say, and hour and a half?

Amifsud Posted 23 Jun 2009 , 5:50am
post #8 of

I did not teach a class but at christmas I had my nieces and a couple of their friends and the moms also over on a Sunday afternoon. I baked all the cookies in advance in all different shapes. I made up all the icings before they came. for the little ones I put icing in squeeze bottles. then I just showed them how to out line and fill and away they went. It probably took us 2 hours to get all the cookies done. I did not decorate that day I used my time to make up colors that they ran out of but it was fun. so I would suggest to have the cookies made up,a couple of batches of icing and some decorations like sprinkles, sugars etc.

GeminiRJ Posted 23 Jun 2009 , 11:50am
post #9 of

The perfect person to answer your question about classes would be yankeegal, but she's been absent from CC for a while. I know she's done a number of classes, and I envy those lucky students!

I'll be doing a class this fall with mostly experienced decorators. I'm thinking about giving some quick decorating tips, then letting them start on the cookies I'll be bringing. There will be many times during the sessions (there will be (2) four hour sessions) that the icing will need to set. During those times, I will delve more deeply into various tips and hints for baking, decorating, and assembling my 3D cookies. As I said, I'll be bringing the cookies already baked (there won't be a reliable oven at the venue). I'm going to have most of the icing mixed up, but will mix some on-site so they can see exactly what consistency to shoot for. I'm supplying the disposable bags and boxes for the cookies. I'm having them supply decorating tips and an off-set spatula. The cost for the eight hour class will be $50 per person. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they'll leave the class feeling that they got their money's worth!

JGMB Posted 23 Jun 2009 , 12:50pm

Oh, GeminiRJ, I seriously wish I could take your class!!! I just dabble at cookie making, so I would gladly pay much more than $50. Everything you make is wonderful! icon_smile.gif

Amifsud Posted 23 Jun 2009 , 2:24pm

Oh me too Gemini, Iwould love to come to your class. Maybe you should tour the country and give classes.!!!

GeminiRJ Posted 23 Jun 2009 , 4:59pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amifsud

Oh me too Gemini, Iwould love to come to your class. Maybe you should tour the country and give classes.!!!




Don't tempt me! It would be a far sight more fun than my "day" job!

luv2bake6 Posted 23 Jun 2009 , 11:27pm

I would totally take your class!! Especially to see how you do the 3-D cookies! You are so creative and artistic and i love to see your work!!

There is a woman i know who is teaching a cookie decorating class for 7-10 year olds and she is charging $75 for 2 2-hour sessions. You may want to think about that especially since you are supplying the bags, cookies, and boxes for them.
BTW, are you making the boxes or are you buying them?
That is a very good idea for the students to have to bring their creations home.

GeminiRJ Posted 23 Jun 2009 , 11:47pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by luv2bake6

I would totally take your class!! Especially to see how you do the 3-D cookies! You are so creative and artistic and i love to see your work!!

There is a woman i know who is teaching a cookie decorating class for 7-10 year olds and she is charging $75 for 2 2-hour sessions. You may want to think about that especially since you are supplying the bags, cookies, and boxes for them.
BTW, are you making the boxes or are you buying them?
That is a very good idea for the students to have to bring their creations home.




It was originally suggested that I charge $65, but I thought that $50 would be better...given the state of our economy. The plus is that I will be able to bring my stash of 3D cookie cutter kits and sell them. Now I just have to decide exactly how many cookies to make for each student. I'm thinking enough for 4 or 5 completed 3D cookies.

I'm looking at getting the boxes from BRP or Papermart. Both have some very good prices.

luv2bake6 Posted 24 Jun 2009 , 12:26am

That's an excellent idea to make more money! I'm sure everyone would want to order those set.......i would!!

What is BRP?

GeminiRJ Posted 24 Jun 2009 , 11:33am
Quote:
Originally Posted by luv2bake6

That's an excellent idea to make more money! I'm sure everyone would want to order those set.......i would!!

What is BRP?




Big River Packaging. They have some REALLY cool individual cookie boxes.

luv2bake6 Posted 24 Jun 2009 , 2:36pm

Thanks.

I'm still sort of 'all of over the place' in my head about what and how to teach, how many classes and how much to charge (also what i should provide in supplies or what to charge for).

auntbeesbaking Posted 24 Jun 2009 , 2:46pm

Okay Susan,

As President of your fan club, I think I NEED to come and take your cookie class! It will be good background and research in getting your cookie cookbook published! icon_lol.gif Martha Stewart has NOTHING on you!! If we get enough people from CC, maybe we can do it in a hotel and just rent a banquet hall! icon_smile.gif

Shannie13 Posted 24 Jun 2009 , 2:54pm

Luv2bake6,

Best way to price it out is to take the cost of your ingredients, and supplies and divide that amongst the kids that you will have in the class. Then add an hourly wage for yourself including your time for set up and clean up. For a 4 day course of 3 hours each day it is $225. It is an amazing idea and teaches children/teens the basics they need as well as giving them the chance to express their creativity in another form. I wish you lots of luck in this endeavour...and remember that your time is worth every penny so charge for it!
Shannie

GeminiRJ Posted 24 Jun 2009 , 3:23pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by auntbeesbaking

Okay Susan,

As President of your fan club, I think I NEED to come and take your cookie class! It will be good background and research in getting your cookie cookbook published! icon_lol.gif Martha Stewart has NOTHING on you!! If we get enough people from CC, maybe we can do it in a hotel and just rent a banquet hall! icon_smile.gif




LOL! As president of my fan club, you wouldn't be biased at all, right?

Amifsud Posted 24 Jun 2009 , 3:49pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by auntbeesbaking

Okay Susan,

If we get enough people from CC, maybe we can do it in a hotel and just rent a banquet hall! icon_smile.gif




Yeah seriously Susan, start a thread, see how many people are interested and go from there. I will sign up!

luv2bake6 Posted 24 Jun 2009 , 4:22pm

Count me in!

and thank you shannie for your good advice. I just need to figure out what to teach and how long i can stretch it. I don't think i want more than 3 classes but 4 hours is definately too long too.

bobwonderbuns Posted 29 Jun 2009 , 5:00pm

I'd take the class too! When I teach my cookie class it's three hours long and we cover outlining, flooding, flocking, chocolate transfers, fondant, impression mats, textured rolling pins, etc. I have everyone from housewives to teens -- it's my most popular class! icon_biggrin.gif

JGMB Posted 8 Jul 2009 , 5:06pm

I just wanted to report back that I did it!!! Seven girls and four boys, from 2nd thru 6th grade, learned how to outline and flood, how to get the tie-dye effect and how to pipe designs. I can't tell you how engaged they were the whole time (2 mornings, 1 1/2 hours each) and what gorgeous cookies they all made! I am so proud of every one of them!!!

Tomorrow morning, they're going to put their masterpieces in individual cellophane bags. Then, they'll receive a certificate and the cookie/glace recipes with an ice cream cone-shaped cookie cutter attached. Finally, we'll all celebrate with a glass of cold milk and some graduation cap cookies that I made.

This was a free class that I did at my church, and I'd do it again in a heartbeat!

bobwonderbuns Posted 8 Jul 2009 , 5:15pm

SWEET!!! I'm soooo glad it worked out for you!! I always did like teaching the tye dyes, they're soooo easy and everyone loves them. Cool!!! Thanks for sharing that! icon_biggrin.gif

nadine_n Posted 8 Jul 2009 , 5:37pm

I really liked reading this. I'm teaching a class for 5th -8th graders through the local community college. I am a teacher during the school year and do a few weeks of various other summer enrichment classes there. I am clearly not the accomplished decorator like many of you, but I think I can pull this off and it will be a lot of fun.

I proposed this one last November, and it was added to the schedule. The class will be five days, three hours per day (no other options - it's part of a uch larger program). It will be held in the Demo Kitchen, which is really nice. Local chefs come in and teach community ed. classes some evenings - kind of like a live version of the Food Network. I have 7 already signed up, and the class is capped at 10 kids.

The first day, I plan to bring in two 8" layers. I will show the kids how to make buttercream and demonstrate icing and decorating the cake. I ordered the Wilton Icing Fun kits for them, so they will each have 4 tips - I will just be using those 4. With the kids help, I will mix up more icing and they will fill their own bags and start playing. I am making practice sheets, like the ones that come in the back of the Wilton course books, with basic things like shells, ruffles, stars and drop flowers and having them laminated. Before making the icing, we will make brownie batter and place it in the oven to be ready for the next day. Of course, the class will end with sampling my demo cake.

The second day, we will make cupcakes for the next day. We'll mix more icing, color it and practice some more. I will provide a few cookie cutters (not too many choices) to make shaped brownies, and let them decorate them with borders, flowers, etc.

Third day, we will make sugar cookies. I'm a little bit concerned because this will be more time consuming than the other days' baking. We'll mix more icing and decorate the cupcakes. I'll show them how to make balloons, easy monsters, and I'm not sure what else.

Fourth day, we decorate the cookies. I'll show them to make the BC really thin and flood the cookies. We will also make small layer cakes, I have some 4" wide pans ordered.

The last day, we will practice more with borders and drop flowers and decorate the layer cakes. I'll have them wrap 6" cake boards to make them look really nice. I will also probably make some cupcakes with the leftover batter, so we can decorate those if we have time and have something to eat - since they'll want to take their fancy cakes home uncut to show off.

I'm going to be doing all of the baking using mixes, even though I'm usually a scratch baker. I think it will be much less hassle, and the main focus of the class is decorating and not baking.

If anyone has suggestions, I'd be thrilled to hear them.

Thanks!

JGMB Posted 8 Jul 2009 , 5:54pm

Wow, Nadine, that sounds like fun!!! It sounds like you have a great lesson plan already. Being a teacher by profession, you'll do just fine -- you'll have the time management skills, you'll know how to get the kids over hurdles they encounter, etc. Hopefully, there won't be any behavior problems but, if there are, you'll be able to deal with those, too! (I was a teacher 26 years ago, but all of those skills came back to me this week -- just like riding a bike. icon_wink.gif )

The only hint I have is, because you're concerned about the time needed for making the sugar cookies, you might try using a rolling cutter instead of individual shapes. Just roll the dough out in one big slab, and cut the whole thing into squares, using a fluted wheel. It would reduce the cutting time immensely, then you could start explaining the rest of the day's activities while the cookies baked. The cookies would be just as fun to decorate, and the prep time wouldn't be as tedious.

bobwonderbuns Posted 8 Jul 2009 , 9:12pm

Hey Nadine -- I'm curious about flooding buttercream -- I've never heard of that being done before. I flood with royal icing and I know glace icings are very popular in that regard also. Have you ever flooded with buttercream before?

nadine_n Posted 8 Jul 2009 , 9:31pm

Flooding with BC is the same idea as flooding with royal. I stick with really simple designs, and don't outline them. I think the outline wouldn't dry very well because it would be so thick (but I have never tried, just assumed).

The results don't look as good as with royal (when I do it, but many of you have better techniques than I do). With this class, I don't want to take the time to teach them to make a second type of icing. Also, with kids I think they would have trouble keeping the royal covered so it doesn't dry out.

bobwonderbuns Posted 8 Jul 2009 , 9:40pm

Okay, I was just wondering. When I teach the cookies with the royal icing I put it into the plastic bottles used for chocolate -- it helps for those students who have never worked with a pastry bag before and I don't have any problems with the royal drying out. Cool! icon_biggrin.gif

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