Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Koala Blue, Where Are You?

Remember Koala Blue? You know, Olivia Newton-John's venture, where she had clothing stores and this cute little koala with rainbow colors? Well, that Koala Blue is no more. Now, Koala Blue is the branding for wine, fine chocolates, and water. Talk about switching up the business plan!

In any event, making these little guys made us think back to Koala Blue and those Suh-uhhhhmer Niiiiiiiiiiights. Our business plan remains the same, although we will happily indulge in wine and fine chocolates. Oh, and we guess water, too.
Rated R: Naked koala waiting to get his base tan on.
Based tan achieved.
Less artsy shot.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Baking for Pleasure

The hard thing about when you make something you love (like baking cookies) into a job is that it becomes exactly that -- a job. So every once in awhile, it makes sense to go back and remember why you love what you do so much that you do what you (a doo doo doo, a da da da, is all I want to say to you -- woops, sorry, couldn't resist).
So Dina, after baking cookies and icing them, found her zen moment baking some Apricot Muffins. She got a pound of organic apricots in her produce box, and since her boys don't love the tart taste of apricots, decided to bake something that would be a little easier on their newby palates.

Here's the final product.
P.S. The sad part of all of this is that although baking muffins was a nice reprieve from cookies, her boys still didn't want them!!!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Learning by Mistakes

We remember when we were kids and our moms used to tell us that you can learn through your mistakes. We didn't know how right our moms were until, well, until we started dating, but apparently, this applies to our kookies as well! Photo montage now:

Our little kookies, all piped with blue.
Lesson 1: You need to pipe with a bigger pastry tip.

Our little kookies, flooded with blue.
Lesson 2: Don't be lazy. Don't use the icing you have; use the icing it needs.
Lesson 3: The blue from yesterday is not the blue from today (Ok, we already knew that, but that was a previous lesson learned!).

A house can't be built on a cruddy foundation.
Lesson 4: aka, You can't put lipstick on a pig.

Our poor little elephants. They didn't deserve this. We promised we've learned and will try harder (i.e., with good lighting, proper consistency icing, and more patience) next time. Incidentally, when we say "we," by the way, we mean Dina.

And the final lesson:
Lesson 5: When you muck it up, you must try try again!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

What's Up with "Kookie"???

Mmm...yes, terribly annoying, isn't it? That purposeful misspelling. You might think it was because we wanted to be cute. Not. You might think it was because it was a play on the word "kooky" (like, look how kooky we are naming our business Hello Kookie). Nope, not it either.

Instead, the reason why we are not Hello Cookie is because there is a domain squatter sitting on Hello Cookie. These domain squatters like to sit there and sit there until people decide they want that name and then guess what? Oh, they'll sell it to you for a measly fee of 2000 bucks (pretty good margin they're working, eh? Maybe the cookie business isn't the right business to be in...). In any event, since we're not backed by any venture capitalists (the Valley just doesn't seem to be interested in a little cookie company), we came up with some creative solutioning and Hello Kookie was born. And look, now we're the squatters until we can get our website up and running.

So maybe C isn't for cookie...maybe K is for kookie...and that's good enough for us! (And we're putting dollars to donuts that the Cookie Monster would gobble our treats up despite the misspelling).

P.S. For the interested, here's the definition of kooky.

P.S.S. We will now officially refer to our cookies as kookies. But don't worry, we're just branding. A chocolate chip cookie is still a chocolate chip cookie!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Test Batch Bonanza Part 2

We lied. We had to test one more time. This time, Dina forged ahead alone (no kids, woot! woot!). Just another flour tweak because of fun things like gluten and protein and flakiness and crispness and all that stuff that you shouldn't think about when you eat our cookies (but that we should).
"Take another little piece of my heart now, baby;
Break another little bit of my heart now, darling."
(Janis Joplin is telling you to eat our cookies!)
Dina's just reward for another day of baking.

If it means anything at all, baking, which led to the beer, then led Dina to think "hmmm...chili sounds good for dinner." You can bet this wasn't the only beer imbibed that day (which is why, again, no icing yet).

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Organic Schmorganic: What the heck is this?

So like we said before, our cookies are organic. But what is that, really?

Here's a quick and dirty definition:

USDA Organic"Organic agriculture is an ecological production management system that promotes and enhances biodiversity, biological cycles and soil biological activity. It is based on minimal use of off-farm inputs and on management practices that restore, maintain and enhance ecological harmony.

‘Organic’ is a labeling term that denotes products produced under the authority of the Organic Foods Production Act. The principal guidelines for organic production are to use materials and practices that enhance the ecological balance of natural systems and that integrate the parts of the farming system into an ecological whole.

Organic agriculture practices cannot ensure that products are completely free of residues; however, methods are used to minimize pollution from air, soil and water.

Organic food handlers, processors and retailers adhere to standards that maintain the integrity of organic agricultural products. The primary goal of organic agriculture is to optimize the health and productivity of interdependent communities of soil life, plants, animals and people.

From the Organic Trade Association, www.theorganicreport.com

Without any attempt to preach (seriously, we're not the preachy type -- ok, well, Dina can get on the soap box now and then, but Wendy is definitely not preachy), we just think of it this way: Eating organic is eating cleaner, knowing what you eat, and eating without worry.

P.S. Here's some extra credit reading about what Organic means.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

From Concept to Kitchen

The designs for our little treats were really important to us and even though we could see them in our head, no one else could (a la Beautiful Mind -- Go New Jersey! -- sorry, we digress). Thankfully, we were lucky enough to collaborate with a fantastic artist who we commissioned to help us design our characters. So from her pen to our our pastry tips.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Test Batch Bonanza (and 1st Post!)

Welcome to Hello Kookie! We're just a couple of pals who, aside from raising our boys (2 for each of us, thank you very much testosterone gods), love love love cookies (and well, ok, almost any food, too). Our little company is dedicated to organic cookies -- fun to see, fun to eat, and for us, fun to make!

We're still in our infancy (although thank goodness our youngest boys have turned that corner), so it's time for us to make what we hope is our last test batch in the home kitchen before we move to the big leagues, a commercial kitchen! Juggling the 4-kid schedule, we finally got together to see what would happen with a tweaked recipe (now being armed with a little science behind the flour -- yes, that's what we said -- science).

Getting ready:

Butter + Sugar = Yum, already!
Our precious little monkeys...

Storing up for the winter (aka, the icing).

Ok, if we must, we'll taste test! You can stop twisting our arms!

Next post, prime-time icing time!


We don't like to get dirty (unless it's in flour), but our art is copyright protected. Dina will drop the apron and throw back on her attorney suit if need be. Just ask!