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Jul 26, 2017 11:05am

Julia Usher baking in her home kitchen
Blog Recipes and Tips From Julia Usher

My YouTube Channel Makeover and Debut Video!

Do you ever have those days where you wake up and open your eyes (I mean, REALLY open your eyes) to the unavoidable truth that any semblance of order you once maintained has devolved into complete chaos? Well, if not, let’s just say, it’s not a pretty sight.

As it so happens, I’ve had many of these days lately, ever since pulling my nose off the grindstone called “prep for the Oklahoma State Sugar Art Show (aka OSSAS).” When Cake Queen Kerry Vincent asked me early this year to do a large-scale, two-day cookie decorating demo for hundreds, maybe even thousands, at this - her - renowned cake and sweets show, I darn near fell off my chair. But teeter precariously on its edge I wouldn’t for long! Kerry’s exacting standards can be scary (take it from anyone who’s lost a Food Network Challenge that she’s judged). I hadn’t a second to waste if I wanted to avoid letting her down.

And so, I spent the better part of August and September working non-stop, designing and crafting a cookie creation (an animated cookie cake, to be exact) whose imperative was to dazzle! I’ll reveal the project in a bit, and the ins and outs of making it in another post. For now, suffice it to say: it was all consuming. In that two months of zany-fun creative time, house, other work, hubby, family, myself - even my YouTube channel - went neglected, which brings me around to the point of this story . . .

As I’ve been extreme-cleaning just about everything in an effort to restore order, I asked, “Why overlook my sloppy, li’l ol’ channel?” What I’ve realized over the course of this year is that, as much as I love decorating and crafting, what really moves me is teaching. There’s nothing like seeing people’s eyes light up when they’ve mastered a new skill . . . or igniting an interest in a young person, like my favorite OSSAS-goers, pictured right. (Even though they’re a little fuzzy :), aren’t they cute sporting their specially made cookie necklaces?) I teach in my books and at demos like the OSSAS, of course, but books only come around every so often (fingers crossed, I hope to close on a new contract soon) and demo prep and travel are hard to sustain over the long haul (both are exhausting). Video is an ideal medium for relaying the very visual work that I do. Plus, it allows me to make it in the comfort of my own home, at my own pace.

All this to say, expect to see a lot more videos from me on my revamped channel! It’s called Recipes for a Sweet Life, just like my site and business, and it offers up a range of playlists, from dessert recipes to cookie crafting tutorials and other decorating tips, which aim to make your like sweeter in many ways. I hope to release a new video roughly every other week, after an initial loading of about 13 new videos - schedule willing. I’m also proud to be partnered with Tastemade, a YouTube network with channel partners who are all equally passionate about food. Over time, Tastemade will be helping me to make the most out of my video content in order to best serve you!

So without further ado, please let me introduce you to my debut video, the dancing cookie cake, a snippet of which is revealed to the right! I hope you enjoy!

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Beautiful! Amazing! Love this cake!

I have a cookie question please. In your video tutorial re: sugar cookies, I believe i remember you saying that you make your cut-out cookies 3/16 thick. What if you want to make cookies on a stick? I’ve read where the cookies need to be on thicker side in order to add a stick. I would appreciate your advice on this. Thanks so much!

By Susan George on May 23, 2016

Thanks, Susan.

As long as the stick isn’t thicker than the cookie, it will work fine (meaning it won’t show when inserted into the cookie). I often use Wilton lollipop sticks (some are quite long) and flat coffee stirrers (shorter) in my cookies with sticks, and neither is wider than 3/16 inch.

By Julia M Usher on May 24, 2016