Ah, so I have been baking alot of cookies, and cakes since I finished by Master's degree. Baked goods are beautiful for two reasons 1.) I can make them into any shape, form, color or texture based on the recipe, method, or design. 2.) They don't stick around and take up space. Cookies literally become a part of a person. And, if they're well-composed go down like a symphony. Equate lemon zest with piccolos, and chamomile with Db major. You get my understanding.
So, if an accomplished designer like myself with mad composition skills and a passion for art-making wants to sell these goods, where does he start? Ah, well I'm glad you asked. The very first thing you need to do is get certified. No, not for psychological treatment, for "Food Safety Management" in Illinois. That is the very first place you need to begin.
You need to start by location. You can also sign up for on-line study through the city of Evanston. The testing fee runs around $35. The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) manages and delivers the instruction. Instruction will take you fifteen hours and are usually conducted over a period of two to three days. It takes about four weeks to receive your certification once you have passed the test.
Once you receive your certificate you are entitled to sell your goods according to the following guidelines: you must package and label your product, display a sign in the language being used at the location you are selling, you must sell under $25,000 worth of goods in a year, and you may only sell from a Farmer's market. That's the law in Illinois folks! In fact, it is called the "Illinois Cottage Food Operations Law". It's called cottage, because that is what you're doing essentially; you are selling out of your home.
"It is better to be a master in a cottage than servant in a castle."
You can find clearly stated guidelines here if you're interesting in pursuing your Illinois Food Safety Management Certificate. I use Oomoo silicon molding liquid to form my molds from hand-carved reliefs I make in clay. Make sure to test out the dough recipe you're using, not all doughs will come out of a mold. Cookies with a cakey consistency will not come out of a mold. Shortbread recipes almost always come out of a silicon mold. Make sure to wash and keep your molds clean. It helps to have several mold copies of the same design if you're producing alot. Adobe CS Suite lends itself very well to packaging design.
Call me if you have any questions about mold production. You can sell your baked good outside of a Farmer´s market if you´re following the new "Home Kitchen Operations" guidelines outlined here at forrager.com. The new law allows sale of goods at farmers markets, home, roadside stands, and events. All sales must be made directly with the customer. Under the Home Kitchen Operations law you can make an additional $1,000 a month in addition to the $25,000 a year limitation.
Don't forget the parchment paper,