From time to time we get last minute requests for cookies, and while we'd love to say yes to everyone (okay, I'd like to say yes to everyone, Jessica however is a little more realistic in her approach to our schedule), in these instances, there just isn't the time needed to complete the order.
I thought I'd take the opportunity to give you a behind the scenes look at what happens after you submit an order. From making the dough and chilling it over night, to rolling, cutting and baking, we're already looking at two - three days. But wait, I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's back up to the moment you send in your request. Jessica receives your email and checks our availability along with the details of the request.
If we're available, she will get a design plan together, pulling out the cutters needed (if you know exactly what you'd like) and work up pricing. If you have a theme but are unsure of what you'd like or are open to letting us design for you, she or I will look for ideas and check for the appropriate cutters. We may have to order new cutters to complete your design (this doesn't happen often though as we have a good variety of cutters).
Once a design is settled upon and price is set, Jessica will then return your email with all of the necessary details and wait for your approval of the design, pricing, and either a deposit or full payment. We do not start an order unless this process has been completed.
Once we are good to go, I make the appropriate amount of dough and chill it over night. The next day is baking day, so the dough will be kneaded, rolled out and cut using the corresponding cookie cutters. Each tray bakes for around 15-18 minutes and are thoroughly cooled (usually over night) before beginning any work with icing.
On the third day, royal icing is made to the appropriate thickness and color or colors according to the order(s). On occasion, this process can also take quite some time in order to get the correct consistency and color.
Depending on your design, this next part will go one of two ways, either with a flood/base coat or just the design/image on a bare cookie. Most designs though, start with base coat, which is simply a layer of icing that covers the cookie surface entirely, and needs to dry overnight.
Base or Flood Coat
Image on bare background
This brings us to day four and depending on the level of detail and number of cookies, the detailing can take a few days as well. Once all of the details are complete and fully dried, we can begin packaging them. If you are local, pick up can happen the day before or of the event, but in the case of shipping, we need to be ready to ship at the least, four days prior to the event.
So this is why we have to decline orders that are only a day or two out and also recommend at least a weeks notice for local and three for shipped. Truthfully though, the sooner you submit your order, the better. We can go from a blank schedule to completely booked over night and since there are only two of us we try to limit the number of orders we take on per week. I hope this gives you a better understanding of why .....