You are currently viewing The Delightful Side Bust of BU Staffer Karen Griffith |  UB today

The Delightful Side Bust of BU Staffer Karen Griffith | UB today

The delicious side hustle of BU staff member Karen Griffith

Karen Griffith makes cookies that are almost too pretty to eat. When she’s not at work as a project manager with BU Campus Planning & Operations, she bakes and decorates colorful, Instagramable icing sugar cookies for all kinds of events. This video gives you an idea of ​​his artistic talent.

Karen Griffith makes cookies that are almost too pretty to eat.

Outside of her full-time job as a BU Campus Planning & Operations Project Manager, Griffith is known as “the cookie lady”, baking and decorating exquisite, colorful, Instagram-worthy icing sugar cookies for events. such as baby showers and weddings.

To celebrate the recent birthday of an active octogenarian, Griffith baked cookies illustrated with the birthday girl’s favorite pastimes: a wide-eyed diver, a crossword puzzle with a little “happy birthday” message spelled out and a putting green with a marked hole in one.

Griffith is creative in all areas of her life. She earned a BFA in interior design from Syracuse University and later worked for several furniture companies before taking her current role three years ago as a project manager at BU, where she helps design new spaces on campus, creating the look and selecting fabrics. and materials for projects like the new Questrom School of Business MBA program lab. Dogs are another of her passions and she volunteers with several local rescue organizations.

“I’ve always loved to draw, and growing up, I loved trying to recreate things as cookies because it was fun,” Griffith says of his delightful scramble. “I have sold to friends and family for years. A lot of people said, “You should do this and open an Instagram account.” So that’s kind of where it happened. She officially launched her Simply Homemade by Karen business and Instagram page from her home in Wellesley a year ago. The business took off: today, it produces up to 10 dozen cookies a week for customers throughout the Boston area.

Griffith grew up cooking with her mother, whom she compares to June Cleaver, the mother of the 1950s TV show leave it to the beaver. “She made homemade desserts all the time and she really encouraged us to cook,” she says. His mother’s framed rolling pin now hangs on the wall in Griffith’s kitchen.

When a customer places an order, Griffith first asks if the event has a theme, or she asks for a photo of the invitation or centerpieces. Then she asks them to send her examples of what they like on Instagram or Pinterest. Finally, she will sketch a drawing. It can create up to four different models per command; for a recent baby shower, she made a batch of cookies resembling onesies, rattles and a storybook.

Sunday is baking day. Griffith uses Martha Stewart’s famous sugar cookie recipe, which she knows by heart, although she uses a little less baking soda than Stewart requires to prevent the dough from getting too thin when it’s baked. spread it. She uses cookie cutters bought on Etsy to execute her creations, then it’s time to bake. In the rare event that a batch gets a little too brown, she has a voluntary disposal service – her husband. Griffith typically fills 20 trays of cookies, and she recently purchased an industrial-style cooling rack so there aren’t trays spread across counters and the table.

Early riser, she usually decorates in the morning before going to work. She first prepares a batch of royal icing, carefully mixing different amounts of food coloring to achieve the desired color. Getting the right frosting can be a struggle. Too much moisture in the air, for example, can wreak havoc on icing and make it too sticky to work with. “Last summer, I became obsessed with the humidity in the air,” says Griffith. “When it was really hot I had my husband turn up the dehumidifier and we ran it in the kitchen until it got to the right temperature and then I decorated after that.”

If a design is complicated (like the cheerful groundhogs she drew for a Groundhog Day party), Griffith will place her pre-drawn design in her projector, then trace it onto her blank sugar cookie with frosting.

Her first step when decorating a cookie is to quickly outline it with royal icing, then go back and “flood” the rest of the cookie to give it that signature smooth look. “Flat icing is kind of like self-leveling concrete,” she says. “It works the same way.” She uses tipless piping bags, a recommendation she learned on Instagram. The Cookiers, as they are called, are a fervent community. YouTube tutorials, for example, often get millions of views. Once a cookie is frosted, Griffith lets it dry overnight before bagging it. Her sugar cookies have a crunchy texture, giving way to the crunch of hardened royal icing on top.

Mistakes happen from time to time, she concedes. When stray air bubbles occasionally appear, she uses a special tool to pop them. If she makes a mistake while drawing, she tries to quickly wipe off the excess glaze with a damp cloth. If the icing has already dried up and the cookie needs to be thrown away, then again it’s her husband to the rescue, who eats the leftovers.

And although cookie-making started out as a hobby, a way to keep busy during the pandemic, Griffith says her business has brought her a lot of joy.

“I’ve loved being part of different family celebrations over the years, from engagements to weddings to baby showers,” she says. “It’s like a stress reliever for me because I like to be creative. And it’s fun, you know, to make people happy.

Join the conversation

Explore related topics:

Leave a Reply