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Sunday, March 9, 2008

Living on the Edge!

Taking risks and boldly trying new things, I used my new (used) Berkel 20 qt. mixer today without reading the owner's manual or receiving proper training! I'm happy to say, the kitchen and I are still in one piece and the cookie dough that I made tastes fine. Phew!

Meanwhile, I've been making more gumpaste flowers for some anniversary cookies a friend asked me to make. I couldn't wait to start working on these cookies. I love making pretty, wedding/shower /anniversary cookies, and the colors she requested really appeal to me.

I kept track of how long it took me to make the gumpaste flowers and it averaged around 1 1/2 min./ flower. Hmmm…a pizza place in town advertised a $10/hr. wage for a driver. I figure I deserve to make at least as much as that guy for my time. So with that in mind, each flower is worth about 30¢. In the previous post, I listed how long most of the other steps took. So, my time + the cost of the ingredients, packaging and a tiny bit for overhead = about $40/dozen ($3.35/cookie) to make what pizza delivery guy makes. I haven't seen many places that charge more than $30/dz. so I must be doing something wrong. I suppose with more experience working with gumpaste, I might be able to work a little faster, and I'm sure I can get my supplies a bit more cheaply when I start buying them in bulk, but still, I don't know how I'm going to speed this process up enough so that I can charge $30/dz and still make a living. I'm hoping to get in touch with other bakers to find out how they do it. I would like to start posting some interviews here soon.

Just in case my friend reads this post, I have to say, I wanted to make these cookies. They will be fun to work on, look good in my portfolio, and help with my research. She is a very talented crafter so I told her we would do some kind of a trade or something.

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