Monday, December 14, 2009

Make It a Cookie Craft Christmas!

Coauthor Janice Fryer’s and my recent Christmas cookie decorating demo on ParentsTV is now up on YouTube (see below). In it we showcase some of the techniques and tips from our Cookie Craft Christmas.

Getting ready for a television appearance takes about 100 times longer than the three to five minutes of the appearance itself. With the producer’s input we have to figure out what techniques and shapes we’re going to feature, then we have to make and take cookies in all stages of the process, so we can properly demonstrate the decorating methods.

Cookies cooling for ParentsTV

Janice prepping cookies

That means we create not only finished cookies but cookies that are cut from raw dough but not yet baked, plain baked cookies, then finished cookies and some packaged ones. Transporting them and keeping them in good shape during transit (New York City cabs and bumpy roads!) can be challenging, and we have to bring equipment and ingredients for just about any question related to what we’ve planned for the segment. And of course, we always overpack!

Raw dough setup

When Janice and I get to the set, producer Tara Moncheck and host Juli Auclair weigh in about the flow of the appearance, so we all help dress the set in the proper order. Once the cameras start rolling, the taping goes by in the blink of an eye. Juli is an expert host — asking all the right questions at the right moments, and she’s turning out to be a natural at cookie decorating, too! We always leave the cookies — and bring extras — for the folks who work in the office, like intern Dana and those behind the camera, like director Greg and camera operators Iris and Kerry — who try their best to make us look good!

Cookie Craft Christmas on set!

Janice with host Juli Auclair

Cookies on set!

Juli Auclair and Valerie Peterson

Producer Tara Moncheck Daudani and intern Dana Rudnick

To see how it all worked out — and for some cookie-decorating hints — check out the appearance:

— Valerie Peterson, co-author of Cookie Craft and Cookie Craft Christmas

Photographs by Gregg Foster

Janice Fryer is a pastry arts graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City. A California native and a New Yorker at heart, she lives in Brooklyn with a crazy cat and an even crazier dog. Keeping them from eating her creations is always a lively challenge.

Valerie Peterson is a writer with over 15 years' experience working with cookbooks. She grew up in Yonkers, New York, where her second-favorite toy was her Easy-Bake Oven. She now lives in Manhattan.

No comments: