When she’s not drawing realistic portraits and landscapes, artist Amanda Hansen practices her art by painting icing on sugar cookies.
Her late mother-in-law had a holiday tradition of making sugar cookies, and Hansen has decided to continue the tradition.
“I saw these beautiful cookies on Pinterest and I really wanted to make them look good, and so I just tried it for Christmas,” Hansen said.
With each holiday batch of cookies, the demand for Hansen’s artistically designed confections grew from a hobby into a business: Cookie Concepts.
“I was just kind of doing it for friends and family and neighbors at first,” said Hansen. “I did not expect the response that I got.”
With virtually no experience in cookie decorating, Hansen learned how to perfect her icing style by watching YouTube tutorials and reading cookie-decorating blogs.
“I do have a background in art,” Hansen said. “I was always encouraged to use my talent growing up.”
Cookie Concepts is operated out of Hansen’s Clearfield home, which is a licensed Cottage Food facility.
With only a year in business, Hansen’s repertoire includes designs for housewarming gifts, LDS church missions, emoji cookies and puzzle-piece cookies, as well as on the “Star Wars” theme.
She also creates custom holiday design sets that can be pre-ordered and shipped.
“I like when they leave it open-ended so I can be creative,” Hansen said.
The cookies are decorated with a royal icing that Hansen has modified to create a more edible firmness. She uses piping, stamping, stippling and air-brush techniques to create the edible designs.
“It dries hard enough so that you can stack your cookies or that I can ship them, but it’s soft enough that when you bite into it it’s not crunchy.” Hansen said.
Hansen’s former neighbor, Deborah Cope, says she was not a fan of sugar cookies, but was converted after ordering cookies from Cookie Concepts for Thanksgiving.
“They were just gorgeous and they shipped perfectly,” Cope said. “There was no smudging with the frosting and not a single cookie was broken.”
Although Hansen’s decorating talents could convert to other baked goods, she says she plans to stick with cookies.
“Having more of a focus on (cookies), I feel like I can be an expert in that area rather than diversifying, so I haven’t had any desire to do cakes.” Hansen said.
Cookies are sold by the dozen, the cost depending on size and decoration detail. Orders can be made on the Cookie Concepts Facebook page.