THE DAY I WAS SO PROUD OF MY COOKIES I BUILT AN EASEL FOR THEM.

Cookie-Display-stand

A couple of years ago at Christmas I made a bunch of gingerbread cookies that were all in the shape of my favourite farm animals. Which would be all farm animals except the rat.

They turned out beautiful and I loved them.  They were perfect for me and I was sick of making my usual Gingerbread men wearing a thong.  But when I put them out on a plate or even a platter they didn’t look nearly as impressive.  Therefore I didn’t look as impressive.  Now, when you have everyone over for dinner there are two things you want to accomplish in the small amount of time that people are in your  home. 1) You want them to feel at home and welcome.  2) You want them to be insanely jealous of you, your life, your home, your food and how effortless and impressive you are all at the same time.  Also it’s nice if one of your guests who lives really far away in a place that doesn’t have mail service accidentally forgets their beautiful scarf at your house.

I put a lot of work into these stupid farm animal cookies that summed up my whole life into 3 delicious bites.  I’m traditional but untraditional at the same time, I can cook delicious gingerbread and I’m way more fun than any of you.  Without those cookies looking their best I was just another schmo having a Christmas Eve dinner.  So 10 minutes before everyone was supposed to show up (they actually showed up an hour after they were supposed to show up which is pretty much the way in my family) I ran downstairs, found a length of 1×4 piece of wood and some trim and made a cookie stand.

Cookie-Stand-construction-2
I cut two triangles and screwed them into the back of the wood so it would act like a really, really long cookbook stand.

 

Gingerbread-City-cookies

And then I glued a thin piece of trim to the bottom of the front of the board so the cookies would have something to rest on and stand upright.

Depending on how long you make it, it can either run all the way down a dining table or in the corner of a kitchen counter or wherever.

This particular board runs the entire length of my dining room table which is where it’ll be for Christmas Eve when I have everyone here for dinner.  And cookies. And snowglobe à la modes.

 

Cookie-Stand-construction

The angle of your triangles should be somewhere just less than 45 degrees. It doesn’t really matter. As long as your two triangle supports are the same angle and stop your board from falling over, your cookies from falling off, and incite a crowd of people to applaud cookies for the first time in their lives.

 

Cookie-Stand-2

This year I went with Gingerbread houses and as you saw a couple of photos ago, a few Gingerbread apartment complexes. Because not everyone lives or wants to live in a house.  I made them quickly with the leftover gingerbread dough from making my Snowglobe à la modes.

ginger-house-cookies

They’re not my best work but guess what?  People will still applaud and give each other knowing glances that they came to the RIGHT house on Christmas Eve, because of the kick ass stand.

cookies-stand2

Many years ago Martha Stewart told me (O.K. she was on TV so she told everyone) that “You should feel good about making your home nicer for your family and your friends. And if they secretly hate you for it you should feel really, really good about it.”

I might have added that last bit in myself, but we all know it’s what she really meant.

If you’re going to do something, DO IT.  Don’t half ass it.  Kick ass it.  Always.

112 Comments

  1. Mark says:

    That cookie display rack really complements your decor. Fantastic!

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Mark. Yes, it does look pretty good in the room doesn’t it? But you mentioning that made me realize it would look ridiculous in other homes, lol. But painting it would solve that problem pretty quickly. 🙂 ~ karen!

      • kidneybean says:

        It blocks what should be there – the wine glasses. Also Karen, your humor is so self-aggrandizing that it can be a bit irritating. If you could just tone it down hon, I’d be ever so grateful.

        • MaryJo says:

          Kidneybean, you need to see a doctor–obviously your nose is out of joint and your funny bone is broken.

          • ” Tone it down, hon” ICCKKK! Or am I the only one who had her little back getting way up on this one. I felt so protective of you Karen!

          • Kelly says:

            How un-Canadian not to more self-depracating! This is WHY I read your blog, Karen…love it! 😉

          • Karen says:

            Hey Maryjo. Thanks for having my back! 🙂 Don’t worry. Kidneybean is just a troll that’s been on the site for a while. I usually spam her but everyone seemed to be having a good time replying to her today so I’ve left it up. ~ karen!

            • martina says:

              I actually find you irritatingly modest. You should toot your own horn now and then. 😉

            • Kiara says:

              Seconded… I’m going to fan-girl for a sec. You’re good-looking, talented, and moderately well-off but you come off like everyone’s homegirl. Very genuine and humble. Like if I saw you in person we could have snacks and talk about cats and chickens. You keep doing you.

            • Karen says:

              Thanks Kiara! I think “moderately” is the operative word in that sentence, lol. And yes. We’d definitely have snacks. ~ karen!

        • Laura says:

          There is always room for both wine glasses & brilliant cookie displays with a lot of good humor thrown in besides.

      • Mark says:

        Karen, I don’t think it would look ridiculous anywhere with those amazing looking cookies on them! Unless you are in line for a humour transplant (not mentioning anyone LOL).

  2. Pam says:

    A standing ovation!! That is a kick ass cookie easel if ever there was one!

  3. Kathleen says:

    I am impressed, as will be your family!
    That’s a nice idea that can double up as a place card setting… you can pop the names on card in between the cookies!
    Have an awesome day. (When you wake up!)

    • Karen says:

      I’m up! I’m up! And thanks. I love your idea of a place card setting!! You could also do tiny little individual ones for each place setting. It would be fantastic. Just enough room for a cookie with someone’s name on it or a place card. Good thinkin’ Kathleen! ~ karen!

    • jaye says:

      Or, the cookies could be the namecards — the names in icing !

  4. Tiredoldwoman says:

    Love your cookies , they look like a soft to eat cookie- not like my teeth breakers ! Have you still got the recipe for the dough ?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Tiredoldwoman. 🙂 They’re actually pretty crispy because I overcook my gingerbread a bit. I like a really crunchy gingerbread. But if you bake them the proper amount of minutes they are soft. You can find the recipe in a link in this post. It’s from The Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. ~ karen!

  5. If I make Christmas cookies, they are naked. Yes, both men and women, anatomically correct gingerbread people, stark naked cookies. I’ve been making them since high school and no one has ever refused one. Merry Christmas! That is a perfect cookie easel.

  6. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    I like the Gingerbread Camper the best…your Gingerbread looks really soft and good…are we sharing the recipe? Also the cookie rack looks so nice on your table…nighty nite Karen…..

    • Nancy Blue Moon says:

      OK..I just saw the recipe link above…I think I will try some soft and some crispy to see what I like best..Thanks Karen…

  7. Becky says:

    I love this. It makes something simple into something important. Could you add another board down the backside of the triangles and make it double sided, so both sides of the table can ooh and ahh over your genius?

    and if the cat jumps up and eats the cookies, you could always use it display Christmas Cards– although I’ve gotten two, only two, this year. I wonder if they are a thing of the past.

    I want to make a shorter one, and use it to hold crackers for a cheese platter.

  8. Denise says:

    I just think you’re pretty kick ass all the way around. Have a great holiday and Merry Christmas to you Karen. Thanks for always entertaining us while teaching us!

  9. Milton says:

    “If you’re going to do something, DO IT.
    Don’t half ass it.
    Kick ass it.
    Always.”

    -Karen Bertelsen

    I just added this to my collection of favorite quotes by famous people.

    • Karen says:

      Milton – I have always, ALWAYS wanted to be someone that someone else quoted. I have fiercely wanted this. Thank you! ~ karen

      • Milton says:

        Along with your cleaver logo, it would make a nice T-shirt or maybe a coffee cup for those of us who need caffeine and positive inspiration early in the morning.

        • Miriam Mc Nally says:

          I second the t-shirt idea, Karen! The quote is super, I’m saving it in my “quotes, card inserts and nice things” file. You’re already famous, but now you’re being quoted = got it made!
          My daughter made us a bookstand in woodwork class in school, I’m going to surprise her this Christmas day by having cookies (or biscuits as they’re called here!) on it!
          Thanks for all your wonderful ideas.
          Merry Christmas Karen!

          • Karin says:

            i have to chime in right here, i so agree with you guys, this is my new motto, i would totally buy a shirt with the cleaver and the motto. where can i enter my credit card please?

  10. Ardith says:

    Brava! Ingenious idea that lends itself to all sorts of display creativity.

  11. Marna says:

    Very impressive! Love the whole display! 🙂

  12. Kim says:

    Can you be my best friend? Because I’d be okay with that. I think we would get in fabulously after a couple of bottles of wine. I also think we would get kicked out of places. But that’s okay. Then we could just go back to your house and applaud your cookies. Maybe even toast them because we would be that drunk together. That’s how I imagine imaginary us: really really drunk.

  13. TucsonPatty says:

    This is the most awesomest of the awesome! Very very kick ass.
    I’ve never before heard of a dink – thank you so much for that. I love it and will use it every time I am able, eh? I agree with the t-shirt quote with cleaver. I would buy that.

    • Mary W says:

      Don’t know where it is but over a year ago she posted something that caused the commenters to tell their naughty words and it is so funny. I really enjoyed reading what other areas of the world call their naughty bits. Wonder how to find that post in her new search “area”?

    • Karen says:

      I’ll look into getting it done TucsonPatty. 🙂 As for the dink, yep, that’s one of the Canadian words of choice for “it”. ~ karen!

  14. Penny says:

    Merry Christmas Karen. Keep on saying what we all secretly hope but would never say out loud!

  15. Rose says:

    Don’t you dare tone one thing down Canadian. You’re perfect just the way you are! Love everything you do.

    • Linda in Illinois says:

      Second that Rose.
      Karen is awesome just the way she is. Ignore the comment from Kidneybean, if they are offended by you then they don’t belong here. You Rock Karen!

      • Karen says:

        Oh cripes, my own mother can’t change me, so some troll on the Internet isn’t likely to, lol. Thanks for the support Linda! ~ karen

  16. Tigersmom says:

    Sometimes the best ideas are the ones that strike like lightning.

    And please don’t tone down your humor. It’s what keeps me coming back. Well, that and the photos and the ideas and the inspiration, etc.

  17. MaryJo says:

    Karen, yours is the best blog ever! I love your ideas; I love your sense of style; and most of all, I LOVE your sense of humor. I will also be quoting you.
    Merry Christmas, m’dear!

  18. jainegayer says:

    Clap, clap, clap, clap!!! I love it and you are a genius!

  19. Michelle says:

    Opinions can be like farts… Just because you have one doesn’t mean you should share it. -just my opinion. Lol

    You are the only blog I’ve ever read or would take the time to even browse so you caught an odd fish. And I bet I’m not the only one. So no reason to change. (Really think their wasn’t much chance of you changing anyway) ? I respect how secure you seem. Just wish people did not have to be negative and grumpy.

    Thank you for the constant inspiration. Merry Christmas!

  20. Melissa Leach says:

    Kiss ass indeed!

  21. maggie van sickle says:

    Love it but I love love love gingerbread or ginger cookies just about anything ginger except large pieces of dried ginger in my sweets. The board is a fantastic idea for displaying and it makes it easier for one to pick which abode they would like to devour, Next year one for the other side of the table so everyone gets a peek at what is available for an appetizer or dessert . Just an idea. Have a wonderful Christmas Eve Dinner Karen.

  22. Monique says:

    So cute! Great idea..and you are always funny.
    Thanks for everything you share.
    Happy Holidays.

  23. Bols says:

    I like the idea but wouldn’t it make sense to make it double-sided? I assume there are people sitting at the opposite side of the table as well.
    But, the icing on the gingerbread houses is way too sloppy for my liking. It would drive me nuts to look at it all evening.

    Regarding the gingerbread – not sure it is the recipe itself or the length of baking time, but my gingerbread is always rock-solid after it cools off but it softens over time (when I was younger, I made gingerbread decorations for my tree and they would just melt in my mouth when taken off the tree after Christmas was over).

    • Karen says:

      Hi Bols. You could do it two sided, it would just take up more room on the table. Also, the first year I did this I had 10 minutes to make it. Like really …. 10 minutes. So one sided was pushing it, lol. Also if you want to put this up on a buffet or something like that then you could still have two sides, but one side makes more sense. Either or. Doesn’t matter. ~ karen!

  24. Karin in NC says:

    “If you’re going to do something, DO IT. Don’t half ass it. Kick ass it. Always.”

    Exactly. That has always been my mantra, too. Happy holidays. I wish I was coming to your house for Christmas Eve dinner.

    Karin (the NC one)

  25. Danni says:

    Love the quote, needs to be on a needlepoint pillow in fabulous fancy cursive! Ha!

    AND!!! (You’ll love this…) a dink is a whale penis! ‘Fer real!

  26. Ei Con says:

    “If you’re going to do something, DO IT. Don’t half ass it. Kick ass it. Always.”
    Agreed. Best motto ever. #1 New Years Resolution 2016.

  27. Ruth says:

    Will there be non-cookie-eating folk on the other side of the table? Enquiring minds would like to know…

  28. Mary W says:

    You are already in my book of quotes AND made my recipe art journal too! (several times) T-Shirts are a fabulous idea. Mini easels with different finishing options are a fantastic idea for future posts. Boy, are we a bunch of “you should”ers this am? I think a VERY skinny easel that fits on window ledges would be great for gingerbread, cards, art. You could make a gold plated one to put on the mantel for your award as the truth tellingist – favorite blogger. You tell the truth and make it funny. You are loved, Merry Christmas.

  29. Helen Whaley says:

    Oh no! I’m quite new to your blog-of-wonderful and missed the post about the gingerbread farm animals. Did you even write about it?
    I’d love to see the gingerbread animals, particularly the rat!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Helen! I actually didn’t do a post on the farm animal gingerbread cookies and I’m still kicking myself over it. I didn’t even take a picture of the for myself. My mother is still angry I didn’t do a post on them, lol. The cow in particular was great. So … maybe next year. ~ karen!

      • Helen Whaley says:

        It occurs to me that Easter would be a good time to make gingerbread animals and do a post about them.
        Just think of the possibilities – gingerbread bunnies and chicks …. and rats. I’ve always thought that rats are extremely Easterish.
        By the way, this obsession with rats has only developed since reading your post. Until today I never really gave them much thought.
        I’ll be forwarding my psychiatrist bills to you, if that’s OK.

  30. connie says:

    Kick Ass is right ! Always !
    I luv your attitude Karen 🙂
    Keep on kickin’ and Merry Christmas to YOU and Yours !!

  31. Jen says:

    I just love you. That is all.

  32. Joanne says:

    What an awesome idea! And all the ideas to followed from other readers (… not that I read them all.., too lazy ) so I thank you for your continued inspiration.

    Say, that second photo, is that you in the background? (I know it’s a painting but it could have been you.. that was my first thought.)

    Keep up the great work – I look forward to all your posts. Love your humor, your attitude, the whole package – you are one of a kind.

    • Joanne says:

      … but I was hoping the see the animal cookies from a previous year… might have to try out your search feature

    • Karen says:

      hi Joanne! No, lol, that’s Margaret, a Scottish woman from Argyle-shire Scotland. I bought her at an auction years ago. Well, not her … that would be like slavery … I bought her portrait. ~ karen!

  33. Leslie says:

    I think you are just brilliant, Karen. Thanks for the great idea!

  34. I just recently found your blog and subscribed. I just love it. You make me laugh AND discover great tips at the same time. Thank you!

  35. Cindy says:

    I pegged your apartment buildings for a cityscape scene. Could work both ways. Martha could never say, “kick ass” in any form and sound cool. So you’ve got one on her Karen. Merry Christmas Karen! Kick ass table decor and cookies girl.

  36. Lise Cameron says:

    I love the idea of the display board on your table. Such a cute idea. Have you thought of adding another board against the back along the stand so that next year you could double your cookies and they could be admired from both sides by your guests. Have a wonderful Christmas and all the very best for the New Year.

    • Karen says:

      Double the cookies?!! Then I wouldn’t have time to double the amount of bacon wraps I make! ~ karen

      • Lise Cameron says:

        It would be so cute to do something home made on both sides….Space them out more so you would not need to make a huge batch and everyone will be in awe of your baking from both side of the table. Love reading your articles…Cheers..

  37. Bella says:

    Karen, recently jdiscovered your amazing blog… Holy smokes, you’re inspiring, clever, creative and oh so witty. Kick ass quote is a keeper. You sparkle bright!

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Bella! I’m also a real idiot sometimes, but let’s stick with the clever and inspiring for now. Since it’s Christmas and all. ~ karen!

  38. Rachel says:

    Another amazing project I want to squeeze in here! What you doing to me woman? I already have to make gingerbread houses for the snow globe a la modes tomorrow to show off with my actual lit snow globes, now my husband is giving me silent looks cause I asked him if he could whip me up two of these by Thursday. If I can’t achieve this exact look then I’ll have to figure out an alternative nearest to it. This is unique and clever! Thanks!

  39. Mary from Barrie says:

    “You should feel good about making your home nicer for your family and your friends. And if they secretly hate you for it you should feel really, really good about it.” OMG, that’s hilarious! I love your gingerbread easel. Merry Christmas Karen. You are a good thing. Much more kick-ass than Martha.

  40. TJ Sherburne says:

    You are absolutely hilarious! I haven’t laughed this hard while reading stuff on a blog – ever! Wanna be my friend? Keep up the great work. Ignore the people who just don’t have a sense of humor. They should stick with the Wall Street Journal, which is totally NOT funny.

  41. Wow, you really put lot of work into these cookies, Karen! Have a wonderful Christmas & a Happy New Year to you and your family.

  42. Monika says:

    I think this cookie stand should be double sided so that the cookies could act as place cards and be visible from both sides. Just sayin’… and Martha would be proud. I think I’m gonna build one right now–a gingerbread one as I’m not good with wood. BUT! Yours, as it is wood, totally kicks ass; mine will be eaten. Merry Christmas! I love your blog and still show people your backyard makeover just to see them whistle in disbelief and awe. Yeah. Once again, kick ass.

  43. Jossephine says:

    Talking about Gingerbread Men I have to tell you a funny story, My handicapped brother-in-law asked if I could bake him something. I said sure what is it? He gave me a copy of something that he had seen on the computer. It was cookies with bikini tops and other cookies with bikini bottoms. So I let a few months go by and decided to make them as a surprise for Christmas for him. I used a heart shaped cookie cutter which works for both ends and I found a peanut butter cookie recipe that you could roll out. He laughed so hard he almost fell out of his chair.
    I love your gingerbread cookies and the icing does not have to be perfect for people to enjoy them as they are just going to be eaten anyway and they will taste great!
    You really, really, really need to make some T-shirts with your wonderful sayings. Just think of the extra money you could make. lol

  44. marilyn says:

    oh for petes sake you people, im pretty sure karen can take a little ribbing..i thought kidney bean was kinda funny,,i was missing the wine glasses too!!

  45. Heather (mtl) says:

    Such a cool idea! Love the whole thing, especially using with name plates. No time for making it this week, but I think they’d make a great surprise for New Year’s supper.
    Oh, and the other day you posted about those teeny gingerbread houses. I imagine them sitting on a cloud of whipped cream would be simply divine!
    Merry, merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Karen 🙂

  46. Karen Too says:

    Kick-ass blue and white china! I like the sloppy icing, just like real sloppy snow. Art imitates life.

  47. Thera says:

    Love the cookie easel, but I have to be the party pooper cause I love reading all the comments too. On Android mobile some of the comments get only a word
    or two
    down the
    right
    side
    and some
    are in
    the
    black
    like
    this.

    Maybe because theyre nested?

    • Karen says:

      Uch. I know Thera. Sorry. I keep meaning to figure out a fix for that. It happens with the nesting. Exactly like you say. ~ karen!

  48. Jack Ledger says:

    What did the gingerbread man put on his bed?

    A cookie sheet.

    • j says:

      Two laughing snorts from one blog!!?? You all are making me scare the furry kids! Too funny!

      No wonder Karen B gets so many comments everyday–
      Karen-never change, you could win a popularity contest anywhere. You the Canadian Funny Lady, and everyone’s best friend. We all imaging we could be you–on our best day.

  49. brenda says:

    love ya Karen

  50. Clare Hollingsworth says:

    You and a cup of mint tea are the quiet me-time break I treat myself with amongst the chaos of my life. Thanks for keeping my spirits up just by being you <3

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