Creating Courtney Cookies
In September 2010, I was working in Las Vegas, NV as a private chef for Tyronn Lue and Larry Hughes during their NBA off-season. I would travel back and forth between their homes, preparing two meals per day, for them and their guests. One client was extremely picky and the other gave me free rein to prepare anything on his approved list of foods. The summer was coming to an end, which meant I would head back home to Atlanta and begin networking, in hopes of landing local clients. I was already baking cakes, pies, chocolate chip and toffee cookies, however, the idea for a red velvet cookie, came from a friend calling to check on me. She knew I was concerned about gaining clients during the upcoming season and assured me if I could create a red velvet cookie, I would become a millionaire! Yup.... a MILLIONAIRE!
A few weeks later, I was back home in the lab (kitchen) developing a red velvet cookie. My friend and I spoke a few times throughout the process and she continued to believe that a red velvet cookie would be a huge hit, especially being in the south, where people swear by anything red velvet! I had a problem... I don't eat cookies, cakes, or pies unless it's the holidays and even then, I have to have a taste for the sweet treats. I'm a gummy candy girl! Give me some sour patch kids, gummy worms and Swedish fish and I'm in heaven! Ok, back to the red velvet cookie story. I had to figure out a good network of friends who really enjoyed baked goods that would provide me their honest opinion. After all, I was developing a cookie to feature the summer of 2011 in Vegas, though no one knew I was doing this! LOL
I can't begin to tell you how many dozen cookies I baked or how many times I added more vanilla extract, water and confectioners sugar to get my cream cheese icing just right. You see, in the beginning, I had the image in my head these cookies should have a cream cheese icing drizzle. However, the perfect images in my head and what they really looked like, didn't even compare! These images from January 2011 clearly showed I had a LONG WAY TOO GO!
The cookies turned out flat, the cream cheese drizzle was too loose and would not harden, therefore, when I tired to package for folks to taste, the icing would smear. Epic fail, but not a disaster. I received some promising reviews on the taste which gave me hope I was headed in the right direction. I missed any chances of making money by selling these cookies for Valentine's Day. I went back to the drawing board for the next couple of months and continued to adjust my recipe until I created the perfect, red velvet cookie. Summer was approaching and I was headed back to Las Vegas for my off-season private chef job. However, this summer, I couldn't wait to share my new creation with the guys. I kept saying if they like these, YOU WILL SELL LOTS OF COOKIES!!!!!
June approaches and everyone is in Vegas. It's time for the first cookout of the summer and not only did I prepare sides, BBQ and lemonade, I also baked three cakes and a huge, full-size, deep steam pan of peach cobbler. I added my red velvet cookies to the dessert counter too - three dozen plain cream cheese icing and three dozen cream cheese with pecan icing. To say the cookies were a hit was an understatement! These party guests devoured the cookies and everything else that was prepared too! Guess what?! The players loved the cookies! My picky client loved them too! His comment... "now, if you can make a key lime cookie, you'll be on to something big!"
And so it began, the fall of 2011, Cookies by Courtney was officially created and began shipping to customers (NBA players). Due to another company already owning that name, in 2012, I officially became Courtney Cookies, purchased the domain name, and had a website built. The players would buy the hell out of these cookies, especially on the road. And so began my journey into the would of confections, by way of cookies, Courtney Cookies, to be exact.