I met Akiko earlier this year at the SCBWI conference in Los Angeles and right there and then I KNEW that she would have to be in these 12 Days of Christmas. She creates illustrations with cake – YUMMY!
Here is her memory that has carried from her childhood through to today.
Every year during the Holiday Season I pull out my collection of cookie cutters. I collect the copper cookie cutters. We usually purchase them during the after- Christmas sales! I have been playing with sugary icing since I was a small girl. Growing up, I would make iced cookies for my friends and family as gifts. It can be a laborious process, but I love every moment of it.
After I had children of my own, they would join me in the fun. Most of the time the cookies wouldn’t make it past the last sprinkle before being gobbled up.
As my children get older, they make more elaborate designs and I can take my time to create my own designs too. Some years, I give my friends the baked cookies with icing and sprinkles, so they can decorate their own with their children.
Last year we made a gingerbread version of paper dolls. I used fondant to create the clothing and gave them as gifts to our friends’ children to assemble. This way they could partake in some of the fun, with little mess.
Now with Pinterest, there are so many creative ideas for cookies, and there are also many new products to use in cookie decorating. Gingerbread cookies are my family’s favorite cookie flavor. I use Martha Stewart’s Gingerbread Snowflakes Recipe. You may need to add a little more flour in the mixing process, because it gets a bit sticky. Two years ago, I posted Elf Size Cookies on my blog where you can find the recipe. The best royal icing recipe is one with a touch of corn syrup. I use the recipe from Semi Sweet Designs.
I encourage you to partake in some creative cookie fun! Your kids will enjoy it and your memories will last a lifetime.
Akiko White is the Illustrator Coordinator for the Society of Children’s Book Writer’s and Illustrators Southwest Texas Region. Akiko Paints in oils with a palette knife technique. She also paints with watercolor and makes cakelustrations (illustration using cake as the medium) for her children’s book illustrations.
She won the SCBWI’s 2014 Tomie dePaola award illustrating a poem by Lin Oliver, “Sneeze, a sneeze is a breeze in your nose”. This first cakelustration (on left) was composed of a fondant elephant sitting on top of a ball made of cake, in the midst of a sneeze with a mouse on the tip of his nose. The swirls in the background represented the action of the sneeze.
You can uncover more about Akiko in all of these places:
More on the Carolinas later but Pam Vaughan (official photographer for the New England conference last weekend) has just sent me oodles and poodles of photos … so if you don’t want to see piccies of me in action – then look away now! There are photos of me with friends, of me panelling, photos […]