Every Friday, my daughter, Hannah, and I, go to the grocery store. We almost always get a drink at Starbucks. Occasionally, we’ll get a movie or two from Redbox. Then we shop.
We laugh a lot. She asks me to buy things and I say no. Sometimes we argue. It’s a ritual. And when she’s busy with school, band, or her friends, and she doesn’t come with me, I’m sad. It’s just not the same.
During this ritual, we’ve gotten to know some of the employees at our local store, and we look forward to seeing them every Friday. They are always so friendly and helpful. Even during the crazy Christmas frenzy, they always greeted us with a friendly word and a smile.
So I decided that I wanted to acknowledge these people for their kindness. But they’re not allowed to accept gifts. Lucky for me, however, they are allowed to accept cookies!
It was my daughter, Hannah, that suggested the grocery bag cookies. So I looked through my massive selection of cookie cutters that I’ve been hoarding over the last few years and found the perfect cookie cutter – a popcorn cookie cutter from my Circus cookie cutter set. Here’s how I made them:
Here’s what you need:
- Your favorite sugar cookie recipe
- Your favorite royal icing recipe in grocery-bag brown, tan, orange, green, yellow, and red.
- Popcorn cookie cutter (a rectangular cookie cutter would work too)
- Food color markers in black, brown, and red.
I started out by outlining and piping the actual bag in a grocery-bag brown royal icing. I used warm brown and a teeny tiny drop of black to get the right shade of brown. It looked pretty dark at first, but I added a little more warm brown and I got a color I was pretty happy with.
The real dilemma now was what to put in the bag. I googled grocery bag clip art and found some examples and that’s how I decided to put french bread, carrots, bananas, and ketchup in my bags. But there are soooooo very many other options.
I decided to start with my tallest grocery item and fill in the rest in the space around it. I piped on a loaf of french bread using just a touch of warm brown to get the color I was looking for.
I piped on a carrot next, in orange of course.
Then I piped on the carrot greens using leaf green royal icing and the banana using lemon yellow royal icing.
Last, but not least, I piped on the ketchup bottle in red royal icing.
The last thing to do was to add some details with the food color markers. I used a fine point brown marker to add detail to the banana and the french bread. I also used the brown marker to outline and add detail to the grocery bag. I used a red food color marker to draw the Vons logo on the bag. The black marker was used to add detail to the ketchup bottle.
Hannah and I brought the cookies in on Friday, our regular grocery shopping day. We tried to schedule my visit before their evening rush. We waited expectantly as they opened the box because we wanted to see their reactions. I absolutely love seeing the expressions on my cookie recipients’ faces when they get the custom cookies that I have made especially for them. That is absolutely the best part of this “job”. The cookies were a hit.
The Vons chain of grocery stores was recently sold and many of them will be closing. My store is one of the locations that will be closing. Many of the employees will be staying on and working for the new company. Some will be leaving or transferring to another store. I wish each and every one of them a bright and happy future.
I hope the new company realizes what an asset these people are and treats them well. These people are the reason I have called the Laguna Niguel Vons “my grocery store”.