Decorating Cookies Book Review and Sweepstake

October 18, 2012

NOTE:  THE CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED  AND THE LUCKY WINNER TO RECEIVE A COPY OF BRIDGET’S DECORATING COOKIES IS…..

 

Pick Giveaway Winner

Your 1 winners on “Decorating Cookies Book Review and Sweepstake” are:

1) NanaBread (Jeanne):

CONGRATULATIONS JEANNE and thank you all for visiting and taking the time to enter!

*****

Like many of my fellow cookiers, I came to be a part of the wonderful world of sugar cookie decorating and blogging through Bridget’s Bake at 350.  In fact, the very first blog post I did back in 2010 was not about the first sugar cookies I ever decorated but rather about this special lady who, through her appealing, light-hearted, easy to follow and wonderfully photographed instructional blog posts made me feel that I too could decorate cookies.  Bridget very graciously helped this newbie to the blogging world of cookie decorators launch her site.  Fast forward a little over two years since I initially *met* my first decorating instructor and she has successfully launched her first book, Decorating Cookies!

To tell you that I was honoured, flattered and excited when contacted by Beth at Sterling Publishing to see if I would care to review Bridget’s book would be a massive understatement.  IT’S BRIDGET’S BOOK!!!  YES, I’D LOVE TO READ IT AND REVIEW IT.

Well, read it I did, from cover to cover and believe me, if you ever just once in your life looked at a cookie and said, *Oh how cute, I wonder how they made that?* then you will want, you need to have this book.  Believe me when I tell you it IS the next best thing to having Bridget rolling and cutting the cookie dough and decorating them right along side you in your own kitchen.  I can’t help but feel that Decorating Cookies is going to do for the cookie decorating world what Bakerella’s Cake Pops did for that area of edible art.

When Bridget first announced on her blog that she had a book deal she told her readers that she was expecting and that *this bundle of joy* was due in the Fall.  Well *the baby* arrived on October 2nd and what a beautiful baby it is!  It’s a family celebration to be sure with with many members making an *appearance* within its pages.  Kiddo’s (her son) cookies (pg. 88), cookies for her sister Molly (pg. 74) and opinions (pg. 24)  from her husband (Mr. E) on one of her two brand new cookie recipes.  Even her beloved Uncle Mike makes a cameo appearance!  This is a cookie decorating book that will encourage families to bake together as inspiration for every occasion and ideas for cookies for every season and  are included.  Among the 160 beautiful photographed pages you will delight in 60+ cookie designs.  You can’t help but notice that every cookie tutorial page has been carefully and artfully colour coordinated with the showcased cookies right down to the *You Will Need* notes to the easy to follow Numbered Instructions and Lettering Guides.

From her eye-catching 2-page cookie Photo Index to her Free Templates and Resource guide Bridget has covered every crumb of basic cookie decorating from start to finish.  If you ever thought that you couldn’t possibly decorate cookies Bridget helps you to think again and shows you that you certainly can.  Each of the tutorials take you step by manageable step and while most have 5 to 6 steps, not one tutorial has more than nine steps to a beautifully finished cookie.

Bridget has added personal notes in her introduction to each cookie that reflect her gregarious wit and warm sense of humour (see page 100 and 140 for just some examples) while also providing you with additional ideas/occasions for baking and decorating the cookies.

For those just entering into this ever-growing realm of cookie decorating, Bridget ensures that they won’t get overwhelmed.  From her Equipment and Supplies items, to her Speciality Ingredients, Techniques and Helpful Hints she shows you that with just the Basics you can be off and baking and decorating like a Pro.

True to her natural warm and giving personality Bridget has opened her book just as she would open her home and invited some of  fellow cookie bakers/decorators to share some space in her decorating kitchen.  Readers will be treated to and learn valuable tips from Gail of One Tough Cookie NYC, Marian of Sweetopia, Callye of The Sweet Adventures of Sugarbelle, Meaghan of The Decorated Cookie and Amanda of I Am Baker.

I love Bridget’s Decorating Cookies for so many reasons beyond the adorable and creative cookies.  I love that it stays open no matter what page I have it turned to.  I love that it has both front and back cover flaps that I can use to mark my place!  I love that it is truly a pretty book packed with lots of useful, easy to understand information and instructions.  I know you will love this book too and thanks to Bridget and to Beth at Sterling Publishing I have been afforded the opportunity to give you a chance to have your own copy of Decorating Cookies.  Beth has graciously offered to ship one of my readers their own copy of Bridget’s book!  All you have to do is read the Sweepstake’s Rules at the end of this post and then leave a comment.  On Monday, October 22nd I will announce who the lucky Sweepstake winner is.

You know, since discovering Bridget’s site and starting to do my own decorated sugar cookies, I don’t think I’ve turned my oven on to 350° without thinking of her.  So, when given the opportunity to review her book, I knew that I had to make a special cookie in honour of the talented lady who got me into cookie decorating. The first thing that came to mind was to bake a cookie stove.   I wanted to build Bridget’s stove that I see in her videos but it’s black and I didn’t think big black cookie stove would look so good.  So, I made a cookie stove in white and added a *little* something that I know Bridget loves.  I also added something I often see in Bridget’s videos and you will notice it early on in one of the pages of her book too!

Something’s missing from this isn’t it?  Of course…here we go…

Thank you Bridget for writing this book.  I know it will inspire so many to enter this wonderful realm of cookie decorating while encouraging those of us already in it that there really is no limit to what one can create on a cookie.  Thank you Beth for giving me the opportunity to have someone else enjoy it.

Good luck to everyone who enters and if you don’t win today, I will be giving away another copy of Decorating Cookies later this year…it will make a great Christmas present!  For those in the Woodlands, Texas area on Saturday, October 20th you have the chance to purchase your own copy of Decorating Cookies and have it signed by the author herself.  Bridget will be live and in person at Hubble and Hudson from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.  Decorating cookies is also available for order on-line.

SWEEPSTAKES RULES, ELIGIBILTY, Etc. (please read before leaving a comment)

  1. Entrants must be 18 years of age or older.
  2. Only one entry per person permitted.
  3. Open to residents of Canada (excluding Quebec) and to residents of the continental United States. (sorry but the province of Quebec has rules I can’t comply to for holding sweepstakes and due to shipping costs, I have to exclude the rest of the world.)
  4. Immediate family members of The Vanilla Bean Baker are not eligible to enter.
  5. No purchase is necessary.
  6. Sweepstake entries are open from Thursday, October 18, 2012 to Sunday, October 21, 2012. Deadline to enter is midnight EST October 21st, 2012.
  7. To enter the Sweepstake entrants must leave a comment on this post.  I am not on Facebook so obviously, you do not have to follow me there.  If you are following me already on Twitter, thank you but if not, you do not have to start following me to enter nor do you have to tweet about this Sweepstake.  If you already subscribe to The Vanilla Bean Baker, thank you.  You do not have to subscribe to enter, just simply leave a comment at the end of this post and if you live in Canada (outside of Quebec) or in the continental United States, your comment will be entered into the random draw for the prize.  If you don’t already subscribe to Bake at 350 or if you are not following Bridget on Twitter @bakeat350tweets I do highly recommend that you do both!
  8. The winner will be determined by a random draw performed by Pick Giveway Winner plugin
  9. The winner will be notified via email from The Vanilla Bean Baker. Please do not publish your address in the comments section, just know that you must have a valid email address or some others means of contact (i.e. Twitter) to enter.
  10. The winner will have 48 hours in which to respond and claim their prize.  Failure for the winner to respond in the allotted time will result in the prize being awarded to another entrant.
  11. The winner’s name will be posted at the top and bottom of this post on Monday, October 22, 2012.  A tweet announcing the winner will also be sent by The Vanilla Bean Baker
  12. Odds of winning are based on the number of entries.

Total prize value is $21.95 (Cdn.) $17.95 (U.S.)

*****

NOTE:  THE CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED  AND THE LUCKY WINNER TO RECEIVE A COPY OF BRIDGET’S DECORATING COOKIES IS…..

 

Pick Giveaway Winner

Your 1 winners on “Decorating Cookies Book Review and Sweepstake” are:

1) NanaBread (Jeanne):

CONGRATULATIONS JEANNE and thank you all for visiting and taking the time to enter!

 

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{ 43 comments… read them below or add one }

SL October 18, 2012 at 10:33 am

What a beautiful book! Such great photos and so many *really* fun and doable ideas! I would LOVE to win a copy! Happy Thursday!

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Norma October 18, 2012 at 10:34 am

I love to decorate cookies and subscribe by email to both you and Bake at 350, so would love to win “Decorating Cookies”. And thanks for all the wonderful recipes you share!

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Susan October 18, 2012 at 11:29 am

Oh my goodness! I’d love to get my hands on that book. Thank you for the delicious recipes and tutorials on your blog. Thank you also for a wonderful give away.

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Paula October 18, 2012 at 11:34 am

Hi Paula,
Wow! If I ever write a book, I’m going to hire you as my publicist. You have convinced me I could actually do this if I only had this book. Would love to find out if that is true.

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Sharon October 18, 2012 at 11:37 am

This looks like a wonderful book! It would be a perfect Christmas gift for a baker that I know!!

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Stacy October 18, 2012 at 11:48 am

Looks like a great book for cookie inspiration…speaking of cookies, I should start my Halloween cookies soon!

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Baker Street October 18, 2012 at 12:06 pm

What an inspiring book, Paula! Bridget is so talented and I wait to get a copy of her book. :)

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Jenny October 18, 2012 at 12:30 pm

This is a great book – would love to win a copy!

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Hana S October 18, 2012 at 1:14 pm

Thanks for the giveaway! I would love to win a copy . It would really help to improve my cookie decorating skills!!

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Rhonda October 18, 2012 at 1:27 pm

I love your blog, just found it on twitter. Good luck to everyone!

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Annamaria October 18, 2012 at 1:38 pm

Thanks for the giveaway. Your cookies are adorable. I would love to win Bridget’s book.

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Sue {munchkin munchies} October 18, 2012 at 2:16 pm

I love Bridget, and her book too! If I win this one I will give it as a gift because I already have my own:)
Paula, Your oven cookie is just about the cutest cookie I have ever seen!!! I ADORE it! Time to pin!

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Choc Chip Uru October 18, 2012 at 2:51 pm

This book looks and sounds super incredible my friend, I love your cookies:)

Cheers
Choc Chip Uru

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Trica October 18, 2012 at 3:04 pm

Would love to win this book!!

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Jan R October 18, 2012 at 3:11 pm

I would LOVE to add this cookbook to my collection…PLEASE!

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Anne @ Have a Cookie! October 18, 2012 at 3:16 pm

Bridget is the reason I am a cookie decorator – I love her blog and would love to win her book!

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Taysha Riggs October 18, 2012 at 3:48 pm

I love your blog! Thanks for the great (and easy) giveaway!

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Barbara n October 18, 2012 at 4:36 pm

My mom always made cut out sugar cookies for every holiday….now I do the same for my kids too!

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Kathleen Reichle October 18, 2012 at 4:45 pm

The bake at 350 blog is the whole reason I started making cookies! I found her blog one day and just had to try it :) I would love to win her beautiful cookbook! Thank you for the opportunity!

~Kathleen

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Jodie October 18, 2012 at 4:47 pm

It looks like a fantastic book! Thank you for hosting such a great giveaway!

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Lorraine Russo-Harty October 18, 2012 at 4:57 pm

I love Bridget and Bake 350 and her book!!! She was one of the first bloggers I followed and someone who was instrumental in jumpstarting my cookie journey. Thank you Paula for hosting this awesome giveaway!!!!

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Rachel @ Baked by Rachel October 18, 2012 at 5:08 pm

I can’t get over how many talented cookie designers there are. My brain would explode trying to do most of the things you guys do!

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elizabeth smithson October 18, 2012 at 6:42 pm

great way to start our cookie exchange this year!

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Claudia October 18, 2012 at 6:56 pm

This book looks so awesome. I would love a copy all to myself. The oven is super cute!

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Laura October 18, 2012 at 7:54 pm

That books looks like just what I need to continue learning how to decorate cookies.

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Jan N. October 18, 2012 at 8:59 pm

I love Bake at 350…I just started decorating cookies (Easter cookies to be exact, a request from my lovely niece). I went on-line and try to learn as much a I can in 1 week. I baked a batch of sugar cookies and made royal icing. It wasn’t the prettiest but, my niece loved it.

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Elizabeth Engelhardt October 18, 2012 at 10:03 pm

Waiting for a copy to get into Barnes & Noble, but would LOVE to win one instead

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Missy Tucker October 18, 2012 at 11:02 pm

I’d love to win a copy of this book! Thanks so much for giving one away!!

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GS October 19, 2012 at 12:10 am

OMG…such a cute book. I would love to learn how to decorate like that. I make decorated cookies every year during the holidays…for some reason my icing always look clear?

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Terri October 19, 2012 at 1:26 am

This book looks great and so does your oven cookie!

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Renee - Kudos Kitchen October 19, 2012 at 7:17 am

AhHAHA! Paula, you’re creativity in creating the cookie stove took me by complete surprise. It is simply adorable! You did an amazing job and one I’m sure Bridget is proud of you for. Being that she (Bridget) is your cookie mentor, it’s no wonder you have such a wonderful flair for amazingly creative cookies!
I’m not entering the sweepstakes however, I already have Bridget’s book and like you, can’t say enough nice things about it. Oh wait…I too still need to do a review. Thanks for the reminder :)

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Deb October 19, 2012 at 11:11 am

What a magical book! I would love to learn more about decorating cookies, especially with the fast approaching holiday cookie season!

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Jacquee October 19, 2012 at 3:21 pm

Paula, I’m not entering the contest, but had to leave a note about your cookie. It is absolutely AMAZING! YOU amaze me! The books looks like hours of fun – congrats to Bridget!

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Steve October 19, 2012 at 7:05 pm

I really like to decorate cookies and baking…I wish it was more common for men.

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Michele October 20, 2012 at 1:48 am

Love, Love , Love this book and would LOVE to have it! Thanks for this chance to win it!

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Katheryn October 20, 2012 at 9:40 am

What a lovely looking book full of wonderful

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NanaBread (Jeanne) October 20, 2012 at 11:28 am

Paula! That stove is the cutest thing ever! The tiny tray of heart cookies pushed it right over the edge for me. Love, love, love it. Bridget will be so proud of you! Absolutely adorable, and the book is too much fun. I wish I was as talented as you two.

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Celeste October 20, 2012 at 2:59 pm

I absolutely love your work. I discovered you through Google! I’m definitely bookmarking this website.

Thanks for being awesome!

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Peggy October 20, 2012 at 5:13 pm

The book sounds awesome…. I’d love to try some of her ideas!

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Clare October 20, 2012 at 7:21 pm

Love Bake at 350! I’ll have to check out the book.

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Leah October 21, 2012 at 12:27 am

As a brand new cookie decorator, I would love, love love to have this book. I am scouring the internet reading every blog, staring at every photo, so a book all of my own would be amazing.

I am adding it to my Christmas list, so one way or another it is making it’s way to my house!

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Jackie @ Just Add Milk October 21, 2012 at 11:23 am

Wow Paula, what a great review!!!! I, too, think of Bridget as my first educator in this cookie decorating world. I draw inspiration from all you ladies and your beautiful creations. Your stove cookie is genius!!! Keep up the great work. You have truly become a great friend.

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Cheryl (Grandma Coco) October 21, 2012 at 12:47 pm

Sounds like a great book. Definitely one I’d like to get my hands on.

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