As fields are harvested round me, I begin writing vacation to-do lists. I’ll by no means get all of it completed however but lists really feel therapeutic to me. One merchandise I used to do with my mother however now by no means get completed earlier than Christmas is cookie adorning. This 12 months, I wrote it down as an exercise to do with my nephews and teenage daughters. I share fond recollections of piping and flooding cutout Santa sugar cookies my mother baked with royal icing. They had been the fanciest Christmas cookie we might create, I assumed.
Fb web page piqued my curiosity in early October when Katelyn Engquist, 29, who lives in West Fargo, North Dakota, shared she is providing two courses of Christmas cookie adorning on Dec. 3 in her hometown of Chokio, Minnesota.
Apart from my love of Christmas cookies and baking, once I see an agriculturist carving out a aspect hustle or new enterprise area of interest, I rejoice. I reached out to Katelyn to be taught extra about how this aspect hustle cookie enterprise happened and extra in regards to the courses she is providing.
Katelyn attended North Dakota State College the place she earned bachelors levels with majors in public relations and promoting and in agricultural communications and a minor in animal science. Right now she works from residence for Ag Administration Options in market improvement and communications. AMS relies in Mankato, Minnesota, and manages a number of agricultural organizations. Katelyn labored for North Dakota Corn Utilization Council and North Dakota Corn Growers Affiliation after her time at NDSU.
I share her schooling and work expertise to notice cookie baking and adorning or meals science isn’t part of her schooling or work expertise. But her interest changed into a enterprise.
Like many people, baking was part of Katelyn’s childhood.
“I’ve at all times beloved baking and baked with my grandma rather a lot rising up,” she stated. “I’ve a number of photographs of my brothers and I adorning Christmas cookies with my grandparents once we had been younger. I keep in mind we would make so many cookies, bake them for too lengthy, and ice them with knives and powdered sugar frosting. Then we’d find yourself throwing a number of the cookies away after the vacations as a result of they did not actually style all that good.”
Fairly than persist with the previous Christmas cookie methods, Katelyn determined to carve out a brand new means for herself to find out about cookie adorning.
In 2019, she began following the social media accounts of a number of bakers and studying about royal icing. Following her January 2020 wedding ceremony to husband, Kelly, she took a cookie adorning class from a baker close to her hometown in February 2020.
“Cue the pandemic and I had a number of additional time on my fingers,” stated Katelyn. “I began baking rather a lot, possibly an excessive amount of, and experimenting with adorning cookies. I posted photos of my cookies on my private Instagram and took my first order in July 2020. I’ve taken customized orders and held pre-sales round varied holidays since then. I took a break earlier than I had my daughter, Kennedy, now 15 months, after which did not bake in any respect for the primary few months of her life, however by winter 2021, I used to be itching to brighten once more.”
Katelyn continued growing her interest right into a enterprise as extra buddies positioned orders and her enterprise grew by phrase of mouth. She added extra basic cookie adorning abilities by taking on-line courses after which a specialised course from a lady who created “wonderful florals with royal icing.”
Within the hustle of the vacation season forward, what pushed Katelyn to carve out an early Saturday in December to supply her first public class?
“I’ve been desirous to host a cookie adorning class for some time. I’ve completed some smaller courses for some teams, each on-line and one in individual. My Christmas courses in Chokio on Dec. 3 can be my first courses open to anybody,” she stated. “Lots of people make adorned sugar cookies across the holidays so now is an ideal time for folks to be taught the fundamentals of royal icing. Royal icing is made with meringue powder (or egg whites) which makes the frosting set and dry properly.”
Katelyn defined that every participant will get six cookies and tipless piping luggage stuffed with icing in numerous colours and two consistencies: a thicker icing for particulars and a thinner one for “flooding,” which she defined because the act of icing a cookie with a thinner icing to fill bigger areas in a easy layer.
“There’s undoubtedly a studying curve with royal icing and the consistency of the icing is so necessary,” she stated.
She additionally needs to make cookie adorning one thing anybody can do.
“My purpose is to show methods that anybody can replicate at residence with out having to purchase different tools or provides,” she stated. “I exploit some particular tools, like a pico projector, which helps me hint phrases and complex designs onto cookies. I don’t count on anybody on this class to purchase their very own projector so I would like them to have the ability to make fairly cookies with issues they have already got at residence.”
Whether or not you make it to rural Minnesota for Katelyn’s first Christmas cookie courses or not, she shared perception on anybody contemplating taking a interest right into a enterprise or aspect hustle to your full-time occupation.
“Begin small and discover a area of interest that matches you and your loved ones,” Katelyn stated.
Pinke is the writer and basic supervisor of Agweek. She could be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or join along with her on Twitter @katpinke.