Mingling Dessert, Art and Inspiration: Art & Style Baking

It’s almost Thanksgiving and I’m writing this post with a lot of gratitude.

I made this! It’s a cookie bouquet, just in time to be a centerpiece for Thanksgiving dinner.

I’m grateful for cookies and I’m also grateful for the cheerful inspiration that surrounds Christine Yocum, owner of Art & Style Baking.

Christine is a baker, painter and teacher. I’ve only met her a few times, but in my life she’s also a role model and mentor.

About a year ago, while I was figuring out what to do for a living, I happened to interview Christine as part of a volunteer writing assignment.  Always gracious and thoughtful, she had set out a beautiful assortment of cookies for me to taste.

Here we have painted almond cookies, a double chocolate cookie and a blueberry-cranberry cookie. Every one of them has distinct, well balanced flavors. I could eat them all day long.

Ever interested in the people around her, Christine asked me about myself as I interviewed her.  She asked me what I thought I’d do with my business and I blandly talked about writing technical manuals.

“What are you doing now?”, she asked.

I started to talk about my volunteer work interviewing local business owners.  I had written a dozen stories for the Gotta Love It! Market and a few for the Gazette.

“Wow!  You really lit up the whole room when you started to talk about that!  Why don’t you do that with your business?”, she wondered.

Really?  A person could do that?  Until she said it, it seemed impossible.  It didn’t occur to me that I could take what I loved doing and make a living with it.

And yet, thanks to Christine’s solid belief that it could be done and planning assistance from everyone’s favorite local business coach, Kevin Gifford, here I am today, helping local businesses tell their stories.

Hard work has its rewards.

But I haven’t told you much about Art & Style Baking and we’re 300 words into this post!  In addition to offering logo cookies, hand-painted cookies and cookies just for eating; they also host cookie painting parties.  I attended one last night, the latest DivaDOM event.

A sample hand-painted puppy cookie

We painted the leaf, acorn and pumpkin shaped fondant with Christine’s patient instruction, and we even got to use some edible glitter to make them sparkly!

Autumn, in fondant.

“How will we get the leaves on the cookies?”, asked a ten year old participant, when we finished painting.

“We’ll glue them!”, replied Christine, mischievously.

“Glue them??”, our young friend repeated, incredulously.

We did indeed glue the fondant to the cookies using a tiny bit of corn syrup.  And then Christine handed out candy dishes with foam to arrange them.  The dishes surprised me.  We sure did get our money’s worth and more!

Check out the amazing logo cookie on this box of a dozen!

We got to taste several different cookies and though I would happily eat my arrangement, I’m saving it to bring to Thanksgiving dinner for everyone to see.  I’ll order a few dozen to share instead.  I’m keeping the arrangement as a reminder of the abundance of good people, goodwill and good fortune I’ve been blessed to have in my life.

And good cookies too.

(And good cats).

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