Blog - Superhero of Sweets - Clough'D 9 Cookies
Soaring through the sky...
We have had the tremendous pleasure of collaborating with incredibly talented cookie decorators (referred to as "cookiers") who have seemingly magical abilities to transform their cookies into works of fine art. Perhaps you've seen their creations on the Ann Clark Facebook page or within our website. These women each put a unique spin on cookie decorating, and their creations are so beautiful, complex, detailed, and elegant, we'd almost feel guilty eating the cookies!
With that in mind, we present a series of cookiers' profiles. In each "Superhero of Sweets" blog, you'll learn about a particular cookier's style, influences, favorite tool, and more. We hope you find inspiration for your current or next project within these blogs, and we hope you'll enjoy getting to know these cookiers as much we have! We're still trying to figure out if they're superhuman...
Today we want to introduce you to Amy Clough, of Clough'9 Cookies, whose pretty and elegant cookies look deceivingly simple because of their clarity of form.
How did you get started in cookie decorating?
My mom initiated me into the world of baking when I was a little girl. She taught me how to bake and decorate cakes, and I used those skills to create entries for my local 4-H Fair. My mom continued to inspire me as an adult by gifting me cookie cutters. Often, the cutter would be attached to a card that pictured a suggested way to decorate the cookie. I always thought that it was just silly to spend all that time to decorate one little cookie…until I tried it. After scouring through many blogs and videos on cookie decorating, I was truly hooked. I even left my teaching career for cookies!
What is your training in baking and cookie decorating?
I have no "formal" training- no pastry or culinary school here! Once I stumbled on the online cookie community, I immersed myself into anything I could read and watch that was cookie related. Taking the lessons I learned, I tweaked techniques to make them work for me. In addition, I've attended all of the CookieCon Conventions to date, which have provided immense amounts of information.
Do you have a signature style for cookie decorating?
This is a tough question for me, as I have yet to identify my "style". Since I create cookies for clients, many times the style of the order is reflective of the client's wishes. However, I try to have "cookie playtime" whenever possible, where I create cookies just for me. In those instances, I strive for tiny details and often attempt to mimic elements I see in the world around me.
Do you have a favorite decorating tip you can share?
Find a good royal icing recipe and get to know it well. Understand how to achieve different consistencies and how to decorate with them. If you find that your royal icing consistency isn't exactly how you want it, fix it. Take the few minutes to get the thickness that you want because you'll be much happier with the end results.
If you've used Ann Clark Cookie Cutters in projects, can you describe the shape you've used and how you've used it?
Plaques are a cookier's best friend, and the square plaque cutter (I call it my "fancy square") has saved the day on many orders. This plaque is perfect for a monogram for a bridal shower or a numeral for a birthday cookie collection. In addition, the baby onesie is a standard design for nearly every baby order.
Can you share any trends in cookies you envision in the near future?
Cookies are going to continue to be a popular item at any celebration. I cannot think of a single event where decorated cookies don't belong! I especially anticipate decorated cookies to be offered more often as wedding favors. They're perfect for this use! Guests can marvel at the beauty and personal nature of the cookie, nibble on it at the reception, and avoid having to carry home some trinket to stick in a drawer. I have a feeling that guests will remember a beautiful cookie over a stinky candle.
How has social media influenced your cookie decorating?
Social media has had a huge impact on my cookie decorating, from the very start. It was through social media that I discovered individuals who have paved the way in the cookie world. Many of my clients discovered me via social media. On a personal level, social media has given cookiers a platform to connect with other cookie people- to learn from, exchange ideas, and build wonderful friendships.
How do you get inspired for creating new designs?
I find inspiration in all sorts of places- greeting cards, wrapping paper, fabric stores, home décor stores. The inspiration is endless! I often take a picture with my phone, and file it away for one of my "cookie playtime" days.
Favorite decorating tool:
My scribe tool and cake tester. Both tools I use to pop bubbles, smooth icing, and coax icing to move where I want it to go.
Favorite cookie cutter shape:
I seem to cycle through favorite cutters. Right now, my scalloped square gets quite a bit of use.
Favorite decorator who inspires you:
I must mention the two ladies that started me on my cookie adventure: Sweet Sugarbelle and LilaLoa.
Clough'D 9 Cookies (pronounced "Cloud Nine")