Saturday, August 17, 2013

Inkedibles Edible Image Cookies to benefit Bike MS!

If you read this post last week, then you've already seen the bicycle cookies I
created for the BIKE MS bake sale coordinated by my friend and coworker at
Hanesbrands, Regina Lyalls. But while the bike cookies inspired by Dani's
sweet design were a huge hit, there was also 300 other cookies I created too!
That's right... The bicycles were my idea! Team Champion requested
decorated cookies featuring the BIKE MS logo and their rider Jerseys!
But how? I was so intimidated by the process of creating edible images
that I gave away the printer I bought after seeing the cookies Bridget
created a couple of years ago. The $75 I spent on edible ink was down
the tubes too because it expired over a year ago... Worse than all that,
my friend that usually prints edible images for me also wasn't available!
Not the best position to be in when you've just said Sure, I'll donate four
hundred cookies to your very important cause! Fortunately, I remembered
this photo my reader Stefanie sent to show me the tremendous success
she's been having with her edible ink printing system from Inkedibles!
Feeling inspired to give edible images another try, I contacted customer
service for Inkedibles to discuss my project. But get this... Not only was the
representative I spoke with extremely knowledgeable about their products and
willing to assist me with a purchase... After hearing I was donating 400 cookies
to a bake sale to benefit BIKE MS, he also encouraged me to get in touch with
Inkedibles owner, Dr. Dimitris Constantinou because he said he felt quite
certain that his boss would want to be involved. Now, that's customer service!
Before I could even think about how Dr. Constantinou might offer to help me
with this project, I had an e-mail from him letting me know how delighted he
would be not only to send me their Inkedibles printer and frosting sheet
bundle to sample, but he also offered to print all the images I needed for me!
You see, Dr. Constantinou explained Inkedibles is not only dedicated to
offering superior edible ink and the best-tasting frosting sheets available
on the market today, they also offer custom printing services! This means
commercial bakeries and even hobby bakers like me can submit artwork
and have it turned into edible images without ever lifting a finger to press
the print button! Best of all, Dr. Constantinou also told me his lovely wife is
a member of the National MS Society. Talk about being personally involved!
There wasn't a question I had that Dr. Constantinou didn't personally
answer. And, when the date for the bake sale was changed not once, but
twice, Dr. Constantinou and his team made adjustments in their printing
schedule to accommodate. My new edible ink printer bundle arrived on
the same day I got an e-mail from Maria, a member of the Inkedibles
team, who offered to walk me through my template set up and printing
whenever I am ready to print edible images of my own! Oh, Maria...
I've yet to open the box of my new Inkedibles printer
bundle and, I already feel the need to apologize to you!
Before I share my experience using Inkedibles pre-printed frosting
images, I must tell you about Inkedibles Yummy Art™ edible
pens too! They come in both fine and standard tips, they were easy
to handle and the colors remained true even after the ink dried! I
especially appreciated the suggestion Inkedibles makes to use them
to write/draw on plates, which is something I hadn't thought of before!
So about my experience with Inkedibles pre-printed frosting sheets... As
you know, I've used only KopyKake frosting sheets for all my past edible
image cookie projects. Therefore, I believe I'm perfectly qualified to make
comparisons and to now recommend Inkedibles as by far the better choice!
First thing I noticed is that the Inkedibles frosting sheets are larger than their
competition. At 8.5 x 11", the extra surface comes in handy when images don't fit
into pre-cut shapes. For the text and important Hanes, Champion and BIKE MS
logos featured on these Team Champion Jersey images to show up, it was
necessary to print them a bit little larger than the pre-cut sheet sizes!
Of course, this also meant I had to cut my images by hand; however, it
was a worthwhile investment in time to achieve such perfect results!
Now, I wish I could tell you it was smooth sailing from here...
But it wasn't and, I hope my experience and how a potential disaster was
averted helps you, should you encounter a similar situation. You see, while
some of the images, like the one above, laid down flat and dried into my
icing to look as amazing as Stefanie's Inkedibles image cookies always do...
The first 41 images, such as the example above, curled up around
the edges. Even with more of the negative space trimmed away, you
can see in the example below that the images continued to lift up!
Perhaps worst of all, none of those first images I used adhered to the icing - Despite
having two full days on the drying rack! Clearly, not the results I was aiming for...
Needless to say, I panicked... As my friend Susan, of The Painted Cookie, CT
will surely confirm. Honestly, I don't know what I would have done without her! It
was after 2AM, I hadn't slept in over 36 hours, the deadline to deliver the cookies
was less than 48 hours away and 2/3rd's of my BIKE MS cookies depended on my
perfect success with these edible images. The only thing that kept me from tossing
all the undecorated cookies out the window to the raccoons and giving up totally
was Susan's encouragement that somehow, all of this would work out for me! While
we can't be sure why this occurred, there are a couple of possibilities. First, I rarely
bake cookies in the summer because although I keep our air conditioning cranked
down to 64 degrees, I'm keenly aware that I no longer live in Monterey, California
by the humidity we have here in the good-old South! Humidity has a negative
effect on the performance of royal icing and extends drying time... Not to mention
what humidity does to my mood! Secondly, while I told Inkedibles the date for
the bake sale was changed twice, it actually changed once more after they shipped
the images. Therefore, the images weren't used until two weeks after they arrived!
Thankfully, Inkedibles frosting sheets can be used a couple different
ways. And, thankfully, my new best friend there, Maria actually cares
about their customers enough to answer work e-mails on the weekend!
As soon as Maria received my S.O.S, she replied with the best news! She said that
while images can normally be set directly onto wet icing and look amazing, as
they do for Stefanie when she uses Inkedibles frosting sheets... Sometimes
conditions dictate that the images will work better if placed onto cookies
after icing is completely dry. To do this, I removed the image from the
backing and applied shortening or corn syrup to either the back of the image
or onto the icing where the image would lay. For me, it was easier to coat
the image and apply it to the cookie because it was less messy that way!
And, just as Susan and then Maria promised... It all worked out! Every image
laid perfectly flat and whether I used shortening or corn syrup, the images
became one with the dry icing. Oh, and if you're wondering how the flavor of
the Inkedibles frosting sheets compares to the taste of KopyKake, let me
just say that you'll know as soon as you open the package and the delicate
scent of real sugar escapes that Inkedibles frosting sheets are just that...
Pure, delicious-tasting frosting that compliments royal icing or any cake
frosting perfectly! After finally solving the tragedy of curling images...
All that was left was to quickly ice 300 cookies, set my
edibles images and finish drawing all of my bike cookies!
Believe me when I tell you, it was an exceedingly lonely,
very painful and sleepless sprint to the finish line!
In fact, I even missed the deadline!
Fortunately, my self-imposed deadline was to deliver the cookies the evening
before the bake sale. Although delivering them a few hours prior to the bake
sale wasn't ideal, it meant I could at least get them packaged and tagged!
My mom often tells me that when I see doves in my garden it's because she
is thinking of me and sending me peace... These two never left my kitchen
window view the whole time I packaged cookies that crazy morning!
Thanks, mom!
In the end... I made it!
And, thanks to Inkedibles and their Ink-credible frosting images, my cookies
looked just like the real Team Champion rider's Jersey hanging above them!
Although I am still out of work with a torn Achilles tendon, I heard from
many of my coworkers that the cookies I created were a huge hit. A few told
me they have them displayed at their desks because they look too cool to eat!
I told them what I tell everyone that tells me my cookies are too
cool or pretty to eat. Eat the cookies... I can always make more!
Because of the generosity of Dr. Constantinou and the hundreds of perfectly
printed edible images created by his team at Inkedibles and, the sugar that
was donated to me by Dixie Crystals to bake all those cookies, I'm thrilled
to share with you that the bake sale raised nearly $3,000 to support BIKE MS!
I hope that my overwhelmingly positive experience with Inkedibles customer
service and their products will make them your choice for printers, edible ink
and frosting sheets needed to create beautiful and delicious cookies and cakes
featuring edible images. Also, remember Inkedibles for everything you need to
create custom chocolates, airbrush designs and... They even have cookies
so please check them out here! And, if you would, please like them on Facebook
and, one more thing... I would love it if you would let Inkedibles know how you
feel about the wonderful support they provided me and, more importantly, to
the cause of finding a cure and achieving a world free of Multiple Sclerosis!

For more information about Team Champion riders click here
To donate to BIKE MS please click here 

8 comments:

  1. Well done Janet, these look amazing. I was beginning to wonder if you were OK, didn't realise you were under a pile of the MS Cookies. You did a great job and that is a wonderful amount of money to raise.

    Congratulations to you and your friends and colleagues - but you are right, tell them to eat the cookies after all that time you spent making them!!

    I hope that the doves continue to look over and after you and that your leg heals very soon and that all is well for you and yours after such a tremendous effort.

    Amy xx

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  2. Janet,

    This was definitely a monumental feat you completed with perfection. I love the design of every single cookie, especially those bicycles! So colorful and eye catching.

    Amazing, amazing, amazing!!!

    Now you must rest & relax in the coming weeks. :)

    bisous,
    David

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  3. How fabulous of Inkedibles to do what they did for you and how gracious of your fellow cookiers coming to your rescue with advice. This was a huge undertaking and despite all the stress, you came through with flying colours. What a great selection of cookies for a wonderful cause.
    I hope you enjoy your new printer and edible frosting sheets. Have fun with your next project.
    Best wishes for a full healing of your Achilles Tendon.

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  4. Janet these are so awesome- my husband and I do the MS walk in our area each year. I loved this post so much :) Means a lot to me and my husband (who has MS)to read about your contribution to the team. :)

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  5. They are awesome. Congrats to you all for your hard work.

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  6. Janet, you are such a good soul! Your donation and your dedication really touches me. Your plight with the cookies reminded me a lot of when you helped me with the cake just a few short months ago.

    I can't wait to try the Inkedibles and the markers. I have some Fall cookie ideas I want to try out!

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  7. Reading this incredibly enthusiastic post practically made me tear up.
    The Maria you mention is actually my mom. I stumbled upon this blog while doing a google search on her. For years now I've been watching her spend countless hours experimenting with the products and packaging hundreds of those cookies in our dining room and kitchen (as well as answering the occasional weekend email :P). She works herself to the bone with her Inkedibles team and sometimes it can get hard here, but seeing it go so appreciated makes it all worth it--especially knowing it helped such a great cause! I can't tell you how much your enthusiasm means not just to her, but to me.
    Thank you, and I'm glad my "Cookie Mom" could help :)
    - A proud son

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  8. Thank you so very much for reading along and for letting me know that you're Maria's son! Not only did your "cookie Mom" help, she was a God-send to me when I needed one the most! Although it's been a year (TODAY!) that this project for BIKE MS was completed, I'm still thinking about your mother and how she came through for me!

    You have a lot of reasons to be proud of your mom and from your note, I know she has many reasons to be proud of you too!

    xo

    Janet

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Readers who comment ROCK!

xo