C Is For (Chanukah) Cookie
Laura Rose Feld is teaching her two young children that mistakes — “oopsies” — sometimes can leave a good taste in your mouth.
With a new cookie-making business based in her home kitchen, Feld lets her kids eat the ones with decorations that do not turn out exactly up to her standards.
Now that Thanksgiving orders with turkeys, acorns and other holiday symbols are behind her, Feld has moved on to Chanukah treats while still filling requests for personal celebrations, including birthdays, anniversaries, showers or those “just because.”
“The Chanukah cookies will be decorated with dreidels, menorahs and other traditions, and there will be cookies that invite kids to fill in colors according to design outlines,” she says. “I supply the brushes and food colors.”
Feld, who launched her business, Laura Rose Cookies, last June, has made as many as 250 cookies in one week. The size of each cookie is between three and four inches wide. Early customers, family and friends spread the word as she developed a Facebook page to attract more buyers.
The business operates under the Michigan Cottage Food Law, which allows people to prepare certain edibles out of their homes.
“Although the designs are planned for each customer, the cookies are all made with the same vanilla-almond flavor,” she explains. “There are a lot of sugar-cookie recipes online, and I tried many of them out on my family before deciding on the final one, which I tweaked to get a flavor all my tasters liked best.”
Feld, a University of Michigan economics graduate who worked in the benefits banking field for 10 years in Chicago, became a self-taught baker since returning to Michigan five years ago. After starting a family, she began thinking about career possibilities to be managed out of her home and remembered that her mom, Linda Shapiro, used to bake cookies as gifts.
“I’ve always had a passion for creative projects,” Feld says. “I’ve loved to draw, and I’ve made custom greeting cards. When I started making the custom cookies, they took off really fast. Who doesn’t like cookies?”
While Feld shopped for stencils, baking sheets and supplies, she turned to her mom for help using the mixer. Her first customer was a family friend whose order for a baby-naming party had the baked goods covered with onesies, rattles and pink-and-white ruffles.
“I can make cookies in just about any shape with just about any design,” says Feld, who uses a vanilla flavor icing and often includes different applications of luster dust and pearl particles among a large range of enhancements. “I always pay attention to details, and I think that adds to any presentation.”
Packaging also is important to Feld, who chose her business name from her first and middle names. She has disposable platters for large orders, and she will put a set of two cookies in a gift box tied with a bow. She also offers individual treat bags.
“I’m not a gourmet cook when it comes to what I serve in my home, but I’ve spent a lot of time working to perfect these cookies,” she says. “I’m always looking for fresh ways to offer them to customers.”
Feld, who lives in Commerce Township, grew up in West Bloomfield and graduated from West Bloomfield High School. She had her bat mitzvah and wedding at Temple Israel, where she continues to be a member.
Her husband, David, managing director of digital marketing for a retailer, also benefits from the “oopsies.”
“David usually doesn’t take special note of the designs when he has a cookie, but he lends his opinion when I ask about new ideas,” she says. “It’s really the taste that’s most important to him.” *
By Suzanne Chessler, Contributing Writer
Photographed by Jerry Zolynsky