It all started with this.


My church was hosting a Valentines Day event. They asked if I could help with dessert, to which I said, “YES! Of COURSE!! I’d love to!”

See, one of my favorite things about baking is being able to share. To help. To give back in some small way. Plus its nice to make stuff that people will actually eat. (I try to avoid giving my kids sugar, and hubby and I can only eat so much… so sometimes we have to toss stuff in the ole trasher-oo)

They gave me this napkin and said go to it!

Allllllrighty. (channeling Ave Ventura)


I started sketching and planning weeks in advance… breaking down the cookies to exact numbers.


I did each design (there were eight designs) in phases to make it a little easier. Eight designs on twenty cookies each.






I think this one is my favorite. I have a thing for plaid. I want to see it everywhere.






Kinda like the napkin right?

ACV=Alliance Church of the Valley




Lots and lots and lots of cookies.





These were the biggest project, as I did twenty cookies of each color. So. Eighty total. And with an average of eight hearts on each cookie… thats like, uh, alot of hearts.

And dont even get me started on the number of lines.

(ok, so I had to figure it out. Its roughly 640 hearts, cause I know some cookies had more then eight hearts on them)


Do you have a favorite?


I have one more surprise for you… and its a doozie.

There was another beautiful lady helping out with the desserts that night… and I gotta tell you… she was the STAR of the show. I am in awe of her talent and creativity!

She made… get this… RED VELVET CHEESECAKE.

I never even knew such a thing existed!! Its like a Valentines Day miracle!


She made FIFTEEN of them.

I get tired just thinking about that.


Just look at this amazing dessert.



Just look at that thick, decadent, chocolate crust.


Sarah (the young lady who made all 15 of those suckers) is a baker by profession, and just started her first job decorating cakes for a local bakery. I would say they are lucky to have her!

(I dont have Sarahs recipe for the cheesecake, but she mentioned it is like a chocolate cheesecake with red food coloring.)


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Meet Amanda Rettke

Amanda Rettke is the creator of I Am Baker, and the bestselling author of Surprise Inside Cakes: Amazing Cakes for Every Occasion – With a Little Something Extra Inside.Over the course of her 15+ year blogging adventure, she has been featured in and collaborated with the Food Network, New York Times, LA Times, Country Living Magazine, People Magazine, Epicurious, Brides, Romantic Homes, life:beautiful, Publishers Weekly, The Daily Mail, Star Tribune, The Globe and Mail, DailyCandy, YumSugar, The Knot, The Kitchn, and Parade, to name a few.

Reader Comments

  1. Oh, God! I can not decide which my favorite! All are beautiful and Red Velvet Cheesecake … gorgeus! Congratulations!

  2. Your cookies are so PERFECT!!! You ROCKED that plaid, Amanda! Seriously, every time I have tried plaid, my cookies sucked. (Sorry, that’s not a pretty word, but it’s oh, so true.) That church is lucky to have you!!! 🙂
    And Red.Velvet.Cheesecake. Oh MY!

  3. Holy cow! Wow, you are amazing. Those cookies are exquisite … the patience it must have taken to frost all of them and decorate with such care.

  4. I’ve heard of your blog but never visited until today (you left a comment on my blog).
    Holy moly, you have some sweet piping skills!! My hands are shaking just looking at those pictures!!

  5. You are such an artist! And that cheesecake is quite amazing, I have never seen red cheesecake before. Yummo!

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