By day, we’re marketing geeks. Computer nerds. Quirky writers and artists. And damn proud of it!

But after hours, our team members shed their marketing capes – and pursue all kinds of cool Hobbies, Interests and Talents (we call them HITs for short).

Here’s what Natalie Vanderbosch, Haley Marketing Front-End Developer, is into:

HIT: Cookie Baking & Decorating

Back Story

I grew up helping my mom in the kitchen, so I’ve always loved to bake and cook – particularly cookies. Every year, my sister and I join our mom at Christmastime to create cookie trays for family and friends. We craft over a dozen different kinds, some of which are extremely time consuming, but it’s lots of fun!

About 5 years ago, I started baking cutouts and decorating them with royal icing. Initially I was into cupcakes, but recently I’ve found the cookies give me more practice at piping and learning new techniques.

When the cookie is your canvas…

In the beginning, I researched and learned about the science behind what goes into baking cookies to get a better understanding of how it works and why. I’ve perfected my recipe by omitting certain ingredients and adding in others for the best taste and shape possible. I definitely don’t want my cookies to spread out into blobs inside the oven!

Now my favorite part of the process is enjoying the decorating process. Once all the blank cookies are baked and ready, I get to pipe on some colored icing in fun designs to create the finished product. Personally, I prefer simple designs that let the icing show you the story, as opposed to the cookie shape doing it for you. For example, this past Easter instead of making egg or bunny shaped cookies, I used circles and squares and piped bunnies on them.

Covert Confections

Now that I have two kiddos under the age of 3, I have to hide my hobby! I bake after they go to bed, and not just because that’s when I have the time. If my toddler sees cookies on the counter, he’ll think they’re finished and want to eat them! I’ve had to get pretty creative about hiding the evidence so he doesn’t know what I’ve been up to… Of course, once they’re decorated he’s allowed to eat them. I love sharing my treats with others, whether it’s for my kids, family parties, teachers, or even the team here at Haley Marketing Group!

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