BAR HARBOR — Nothing says “I love you” like an original handmade work of art or a plate of cookies … or a combination of the two.
Jennifer Jones, a self-taught cookie decorator, is offering a cookie decorating class on Saturday, Feb. 8 that will result in enough artfully decorated cookies to share with those you love. The class is just in time for Valentine’s Day.
The cookie decorating technique involves royal icing, which goes on wet and dries over twelve hours to form a glaze, Jones said. It allows the decorator to make intricate designs: mixing colors, creating patterns with toothpicks, and piping frosting over dried the glaze.
However, Jones cautioned, iced cookies are a long-term project that do not have the instant gratification of frosted cookies, which can be eaten immediately. Thus, the cookie decorating class is more suited for ages 12 and up.
Also, Jones explained, because of the drying time required, each class participant will go home with cookies, extra materials, and instructions to complete them at home.
Jones got into baking and decorating cookies while in graduate school. “I had to stay up to write my thesis,” Jones remembered, “and needed something that would keep me awake. So, I started baking things.”
In addition to cookies, Jones also makes cakes and cupcakes. She taught herself decorating using books, decorating blogs, “lots of YouTube videos,” and practice, practice, practice. “I had plenty of failures,” Jones said.
Now her baked creations are recognized for their artistic flair. Jones sometimes takes orders and sells her cookies but said it’s a word of mouth thing, and as time allows. Jones’ day job is running the Bar Harbor Food Pantry and Serendipity used clothing boutique, which is a fundraising component for the food pantry.
Jones calls cookie decorating “a lot of fun. I wouldn’t have ever considered myself artistic.” However, ArtWaves Studio asked her to teach a class in Christmas cookie decorating. She did, and enjoyed it so much, she is back to teach a Valentine’s Day-themed class.
Working with ArtWaves has been a great collaboration, Jones said. The organization offers a great studio space to spread out and decorate. “It’s a great setup,” Jones said. “I wouldn’t be offering this class without them.”
The $30 charge helps cover the cost of materials, and Jones’ preparation time. She supplies the cookies, icing, and instruction necessary for each participant to go home with a dozen sweet works of art.