Sweet Stuff Saturday – SMART COOKIE Cookbook

As some of my regular readers might have noticed, the blog has been a little quiet lately.    Not as many posts and recipes as usual, not as much activity.    There is a reason for this…  I’ve been very busy working on finishing up my first cookbook, SMART COOKIE.   I have been up to my eyeballs in cookies, candies, frosting, sprinkles and chocolate, creating so many fun ways to transform cookies.

I started this journey back in January, and the last few weeks have been pretty wild as I’ve been gearing up to make every recipe, all at once, to prepare for the photo shoot that starts tomorrow!  All week long my agents will be here photographing the cookies for the book.  While I won’t be able to share the finished product photos, I can share a little bit of what’s been going on behind the scenes…

A few things from ABC Cake Decorating Supplies!

Love this color combo!

Just picking up a little frosting.

Just a few boxes of cookies…

A couch full of candy.

I’ve made a lot of grocery store trips that look like this.

Super cute straws from Sweets & Treats Boutique

Cute packaging supplies from Cakes And Kids

More cute packaging goodies from DK DeleKtables

Shimmer™ Gumballs by SweetWorks

I will be sharing behind the scenes photos from the cookbook photo shoot this week on Instagram.  Make sure to follow along!  Username lovefromtheoven and I’m tagging the pics #smartcookiecookbook.

So what is SMART COOKIE all about?

SMART COOKIE: Transform Store-Bought Cookies into Amazing Treats, showing readers how to leave the baking to the experts and enjoy the really fun part – decorating! – by using common store-bought ingredients like Oreos, Nutter Butters, graham crackers, and sugar cookies, along with candy like Laffy Taffy, M&M’s, and Hershey bars, to create astonishing treats in less time than it takes to make a batch of cupcakes – and without turning on the oven!

SMART COOKIE is all about taking store bought cookies and turning them into all kinds of FUN and delicious creations.   As I’ve been working on this book, I’ve constantly focused on one thing – coming up with fun and festive cookie creations that are EASY to recreate.   I’m not a cookie decorator, and I have never claimed to be (and am in awe of those that are – they are truly artists!).   I can’t make a batch of royal icing to save my life.  While I have a lovely collection of Wilton tips, hearing the word “piping” makes me nervous.   I know I’m not the only one who loves to whip up cute treats, but wants to keep it easy.  That’s what this is about.

This book is for everyone out there that wants to create super cute cookies quickly and easily, without having to figure out the perfect icing consistency to flood a cookie or needing to go buy special equipment.    If you are like me, there are never enough hours in the day, but darn it, you want to create a special class treat or dessert for that baby shower or graduation party.   SMART COOKIE will let you skip the baking (don’t worry, you can always bake your cookies from scratch if you want to, but you do not have to!), and go straight to decorating.

While I knew writing a cookbook would not be an easy process, I had no idea how hard it would be to not be able to share my creations with you along the way.  I am bursting with excitement over the projects in this book.  Every single one I want to take a picture of and post it on Facebook and darn it, I can’t!   SMART COOKIE is scheduled to be released through Running Press in Fall 2014.

For now it’s back to finishing up recipes before the photo shoot. Decorating approximately 50 different sets of cookie creations, and finding places to safely store them all has been a bit challenging!  About 40 projects are hiding in these racks…

Waiting for their time in front of the camera.

I’m hoping for a big burst of energy today to wrap it all up and get ready for the photo shoot!    Here’s my view for the rest of the day!

Cookies, cookies and more cookies.

After the photo shoot my view will be of my computer screen as I finish up the manuscript and get ready to send it off to my editor next month.  Hopefully by the end of October I will be back to blogging at my usual rate with lots of fun Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas treats for you!   Don’t forget to follow along on Instagram for more behind the scenes pictures from SMART COOKIE and our photo shoot this week!

Pics from the SMART COOKIE photo shoot…

Smart Cookie Photoshoot 5730ac421c1011e3918922000a9e5e23_7 f4cd1aee1c8811e3932d22000a9e5ae0_7


  1. JodiB says

    Oh I can’t wait for your book’s release!! I really NEED it!!! I want to see what you do with every single one of these ingredients! I’ve made four of your latest cupcake & cookie recipes this past week while home with my wounded dog. Can’t decorate to save my life, but I love baking!

    • says

      Thank you so much JodiB (I hope your pup is okay!). Honestly I can’t decorate either. I laugh that I should call this cheater cookies, it’s a whole bunch of ways for those of us who aren’t decorators to pretend that we are. :) Thank you so much for your support!

  2. Dawna says

    Christi – Thank you for sharing. I LOVE ABC Cake Decorating! I was just there picking up supplies for Angry Bird cake pops. The little star straws you’re using are a must have…very cute. I stumbled across your blog last year (you turned me onto chocolate dipped/decorated pretzels) and have had the pleasure of watching you grow in leaps and bounds – you should be very proud of yourself! Good luck with your decorating and photo shoot. I can’t wait to see the finished product!!!

  3. says

    I love this idea! I can’t wait to see it, it’s such an awesome idea! I love to make fun treats for my children, but honestly, I just don’t have the time to learn to do professional cake decorating, as much as I’d like to. Looking forward to seeing it~!

    • says

      Michelle, that’s exactly how I am. I have so little time and I need to put together things quickly, if I have to sit down and learn techniques, as much as I’d like to, I’m probably not going to. This is about putting things together quickly that still have wow factor. I’m so excited, I can’t wait to be able to share it!

  4. says

    i love the pictures of all your shopping and congrats on your book! I can’t wait to buy it even though half of the stuff in there I won’t be able to make, as half of those of delicious cookies we can’t get over here in the UK :(

    • says

      Thank you ohsosweetbaker! Don’t worry, this book is all about being flexible and using what you can get, what you do have and getting creative. Even if you don’t have the same flavors and products, I promise you’ll still be able to put things together with what you do have! :)

    • says

      Thank you so much Dorothy. I have to admit, I will be glad to have the photos behind me, the fact that I have almost 50 cookie projects decorated and sitting a few feet from me is crazy town, I can’t believe it’s almost done (well, at least this part!). Now if only I could come hang out with your great blogger group – I may just have to road trip out there to hang out with all the cool girls! I’ll bring B and she and Jordan can hang out while we eat See’s Candy. I mean do bloggy business type stuff. 😉

    • says

      Sara, thank you for being my friend, my cheerleader, my laugh factory and my legal counsel. This book has certainly come at a very challenging time in life, and your friendship has been a gift and a blessing that I am beyond grateful for. You are the best. Thank you for being you. :)

  5. says

    Woo Hoo, I can’t wait to see all the amazing creations in your book. Doing a cookbook is so much work, and trying to blog at the same time can be impossible. We totally understand it being quite around her. Good luck with the photo shoot!

  6. says

    Christi! I have been going nuts watching things unfold on Instagram! I’m sure it has been super stressful (though you look seriously organized), but I can’t help but be jealous of your creativity and your rainbow sprinkles. Good luck!! I’m sure that it is going to turn out amazing!!!!!


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