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Thursday
Apr192012

Batter Chatter: Interview with Joanie of Blossomedge

Totally not kidding. There is a blog out there dedicated to teaching you how to make cookies that look like real flowers. It's called Blossomedge, and it is freaking amazing. These delectable treats are sweet to eat, because while they may look like flowers, they're made with flour. And the website features tutorials on how you can make them, too.

If you don't want to hear more, I'm not sure if I understand you. If you do, well, you're in luck, because I interviewed Joanie, the blogger behind the magical creations. 

How did you get started making faux flowers out of cookies? My love for sugar arts started when I was a young child. I was extremely fascinated by frosting roses. So when I was 9 yrs old, my mom gave me a Wilton cake decorating set along with an instructional booklet. I was thrilled when I made my first rose but what really stuck with me was a photo on the back cover of the book! It was an advertisement for a course on making gumpaste flowers. Being a small childI thought gumpaste flowers were made out of chewing gum and imagined how wonderful they must taste! Years later, I tried to eat one and of course, it tasted terrible. I will never forget the feeling of utter disappointment when I discovered that gumpaste flowers weren’t meant to be eaten but were for decoration only! And that really bothered me…lol  From there on, I was determined to figure out a way to make 3 dimensional flowers edible. Fast forward a few decades now…I figured out a way to make realistic-looking flowers using cookies as the support for the 3 dimensional aspect but I wanted the cookie flowers to taste good as well. As soon as I put regular fondant on the cookies, they tasted bad. So I set out to discover a new way to make fondant that actually tasted good. I tried many different concoctions but nothing ever worked and I was even destroying my saucepans trying to come up with something very unique. I thought maybe there was no other way to make fondant and abandoned my quest for a new fondant… Then one day,  I was making whoopie pies and needed a filling. I was in a rush and didn’t feel like making frosting so I decided to open a can of ready made frosting and  added melted white chocolate to it to see what would happen. It seized and was a disaster – or so I thought.  I was looking at my hard lumpy mess in the bowl while absent-mindedly playing with a chunk of the frosting in my hand  -  and then I realized, it was becoming soft and clay-like. After working with the proportions, I developed Blossom Fondant, an easy to make, creamy-tasting yummy fondant that tastes nothing like any regular fondant out there.  ( Just a side note – it doesn’t work for covering cakes but is perfect for all your cookie decorating needs)   

What is the hardest flower to re-create? I think the most difficult flower to try and recreate in cookie form was the rose. I will be sharing that tutorial later on…   

As someone who combines my loves of illustration, cake, and writing in one blog, I appreciate your combining YOUR loves. Now, tell me: how did you get into them, respectively, the flowers and flour and photography - and how do they come together, for you? I love to photograph flowers. It is probably my favorite hobby besides making my floral cookies. My floral photography and cookies seemed to go hand in hand so I started my blog Blossomedge as a way to share both loves with the public. I also compose piano music. When I made my instructional cookie DVD, I was able to combine my photography, cookie bouquets and music all into one production. It felt wonderful!  I once read that creative people can not be happy unless they are creating something. I totally believe that! It was a very fulfilling experience for me…

How do you incorporate art into your children's lives?  After I make a cookie bouquet, I let my two small children play with the dough and fondant. It’s fun to watch what they come up with. But one day, when my daughter was 3 yrs old, she made a “worm family” out of the fondant. There was daddy worm, mommy worm and baby worm. She played with this little worm family for hours. I went into my office down the hall to work, while listening to her little adventures in the kitchen with her worm family. Later on, it got quiet out there. I was going to go check on her when she came into my office with tears streaming down her cheeks. I asked her what was the matter and she replied through heavy sobs, “Mommy…. I….…I ate my worm family and now they are all gone!” 

What is your favorite floral destination--hawaii for the exotic blooms? England for the lovely gardens? I love the flower gardens of Europe. When I was over there years ago, I was very inspired by the  gardens of  Germany and Austria. 

Tell me something that has surprised you about having your blog.  I guess the thing that has surprised me the most about having a blog is the lack of comments, good or bad. Sometimes I feel as if I am putting out information into a great “void” with no feedback whatsoever… I often wonder  if anyone is reading or enjoying the things I post. 

What's next? Actually, I have just started the “tour” of my floral cookie garden! It is a vastone… I hope to surprise many by the flowers a person can create out of the most simple of popular confections. 

 For more sweet deliciousness, visit the Blossomedge blog.

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