Sunday, August 05, 2012

Sweet Success

Last February I started my first independent graphic artist job with some trepidation. I've been a graphic artist for years but am new to the book publishing part of it. I knew that I had the skills and the savvy and the eye for the job but I'd never even though about a children's book and that is what the client wanted as the end product. It helped that I love to read to children, so I had a feel for the flow that you want when your read to youngsters, but this book is meant for children at about the third grade level and they are often reading to themselves.

It is a charming story but also has a good dose of science included. One of the challenges was to make it more eye catching and colorful so that the science sort of sneaks in while the story carries you along. The result is called Saving Walter.

Saturday I was presented with a copy of the just-delivered book, fresh from the printers. It really is a beauty, reads well, has lots of color and a beautiful look and feel, and was worth the many hours spent making it as perfect as anything can be in this world, which is to say just a bit imperfect, but nothing that anyone but the author and myself would notice. Sweet success!

To celebrate the arrival of the book I made a Party Cookie shaped like the book and iced in white and blue, just like the background of the book cover. I even added blue and white sparkling sugar. Then I printed the logo on best-quality photo paper and cut it out and sort of glued it to the top of the cookie with more of the white icing. It was a big hit with Paula and her hubby...and delicious, too.

Congratulations to Paula Cumming Pearce on the completion and publishing of Saving Walter, Every Drop Counts, a book about the water cycle and water conservation. Walter is a fresh raindrop and, after learning about the water cycle,  he evaporates with his Dad, ending up in a cloud where he meets other water drops. He hears how they have been wasted and how people can change their ways to prevent future waste of water. The water drops all have their own personalities and problems, plus solutions. It's a fun book!

If you would like to purchase a copy of Saving Walter, e-mail Paula: glenoaks at sonic dot net.

Giant Party Cookies
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
¾ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup brown sugar, light or dark, packed
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs
½ cup quick rolled oats
2 cups (12-oz. package) semi-sweet chocolate chips
½ cup chopped nuts
For book shaped cookie:
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons hot milk
blue food coloring, or whatever color(s) you need
more confectioners' sugar as needed

Combine flour, salt and baking soda in a small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl and beat until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape bowl and beaters. Gradually beat in flour and beat until mixed. Beat in oatmeal. Mixture will be stiff. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.

Line a 12” pizza pan with foil. Spray with cooking spray. Put 2 cups of the dough on the foil. Using floured fingers, shape dough into desired shape. Make shape about 10” in diameter. Exaggerate the shape since cookie will spread. Square or rectangular shapes can be made on foil lined rectangular cookie sheet (although I used a silicon mate lined one).

Bake one sheet at a time in middle of oven for 15 - 18 minutes until golden brown. Let sit on sheet for 10 minutes, then slide shape on foil onto a cooling rack. Continue to bake the rest of the dough. You can make regular drop cookies with the remainder of the batter if desired.

Once the shaped party cookie has cooled, decorate for a party! Mix the confectioners' sugar and milk and drizzle over the cookie in a random pattern. While it is still wet, sprinkle cake decorations over as desired. Extra confectioners' sugar can be added to make a thicker icing if desired.

For the book shaped cookie, I took a teaspoon of the icing and put it in a zip top bag. I added a drop of blue food color and zipped it closed, then kneaded in the color. A small snip off the corner allowed me to squeeze streaks of blue over the white icing. I took a small spatula and pulled it along the blue lines to mix them in a bit, then sprinkled blue sparkle sugar on the blue parts and white sparkle sugar on the white parts. The logo finished it off.


  1. Wow Elle! Congratulations, the book looks awesome!

  2. Wow - what a fun application of graphic design skills. And the cookie looks plenty tasty, too!