MR. SEAHORSE AND HIS FRIENDS

All cookies in this post were inspired by Instagram videos published by Marlyn, from Montreal Confections.

MR. SEAHORSE
(quick tutorial here)

A very distinguished creature, this was perhaps the most complex cookie of today’s series, but if you take your time and don’t worry too much about making it perfect, you’ll be fine. Actually this advice I should follow myself (wink, wink).

The tricky part of this cookie was its shape, very delicate and easy to break. Handle it with care. Stiff consistency was used to pipe the details of the back with a petal tip, I used 104. Once that is done, the rest is straightforward. Pink dots and drawing with black food pen were done after the base was fully dry. I added a little shimmer on the details, pearl dust powder with vodka.

RAINBOW TROUT
(quick tutorial here)

I absolutely loved making these cookies! Piping consistency for the fins, a simple white flooding on the body part. Then, the air-brushing comes (watch Marlyn’s video for the proper way to handle the gadget, it does take practice). You can play with different colors. Two fishes got additional markings with luster powder in copper color. They all got some shimmer on their fins, because bling makes everything nicer.

LITTLE TROPICAL FISH
(quick tutorial here)

These are the simplest to make and they do have a nice visual impact. All kinds of bright colors will work, it’s all wet-on-wet plus some food pen for the little details, but that step is optional.

Watch Marlyn’s video, this is a nice cookie project that you could even tackle with kids. Make sure to use PME black pearls for the eyes, because those do not bleed into the icing, a very common problem with other products. You can always paint a little black dot with a food pen to make it easier.

And here they are, swimming together…

Stay tuned for another Summer-inspired cookie concoction!

HUNGARIAN FOLK ART COOKIES

A long time ago – before my cookie obsession started – I stumbled on cookies that were like small pieces of pure art. They were made by Tunde Dugantsi. You can marvel at many of her masterpieces with a visit to her Instagram page. Recently I joined Tunde’s Cookie Club Academy and today I share with you my first attempt at Hungarian Folk Art Cookies. They are far from perfect, but I still love my babies and will practice the technique again soon. Her tutorials are very detailed and she is one of the nicest human beings I’ve met online.

I used the mini-projector to get the basic design on a naked cookie, and from there what matters the most is the consistency of your Royal Icing. Tunde explains it quite clearly in the video, but of course it takes practice. The most important step is the final piping with white icing to form the lace work, and of course, it is the one that I have most trouble with.

Tunde’s work is nothing short of amazing, and she has tutorials for all levels of cookie decorating. Some of her productions are so elaborate, I hope one day I will develop the skill to try them. Baby steps, baby cookie steps.

The stained glass cookies are also a favorite technique of mine, which I shared with you in the past. I thought these cookies go well together, don’t you agree?

Tunde, thanks so much for the tutorials you share, and above all for your constant words of encouragement!

FOR THE LOVE OF FLAMINGOS

Flamingos are magnificent birds and the cookie world devotes a lot of attention to them. If you don’t believe me, do a search for “flamingo cookie cutters”, and you will see what I mean. Today I share my take on one adorable version demonstrated recently by Amy, Cookier Extraordinaire. You can follow her detailed instructions here. Cookie cutter available here.

The day before (or many days before), you’ll need to prepare the wings, which are made using a petal tip such as Wilton 104, and stiff consistency Royal Icing. Amy has printable templates in her ko-fi shop, or you can wing it (did you see what I did here? Apologies).

A little touch with pink air-brushing around the edges brightens up the cookie. I used fondant molded flowers to decorate the head of the flamingos, you can use a different shape of flower as Amy did in her tutorial. Cookie cutter used for this project from etsy.com.

Here are all my girls!

If you are a beginner cookie decorator, don’t be intimidated by this series because they are not hard to make at all. If you want to simplify, the wings can be made with a food pen instead of a transfer. The air-brushing step can also be omitted. But of course, each small detail brings a lot to the final product.

I must say I’m a bit surprised by how strong-willed flamingos can be…

Mary and Monique get along well most of the time…

But Maribel and Margaret just don’t see eye-to-eye!

Amy, thank you once again for the great tutorial, you make it all easy and fun…

That’s all for now, folks! See you next time…

NOT ALWAYS BLACK AND WHITE

In life, as well as in cookies, it’s not always black and white…

But then again… sometimes it is…

All images drawn on Royal iced cookies allowed to fully set overnight, using a black food safe pen and mini-projector (AKASIO). Sprinkles, watercolor, luster powder with vodka to bring accents of color.

For first series with the sprinkles, I was inspired by a post I saw on Facebook a while ago, but unfortunately I did not save the precise link. It was one of those images that you see, fall in love with and when you try to retrieve it again… no luck. Wish I could give proper credit.

SEE YOU SOON!

Until then, keep dancing to the music…

VAMOS A LA PLAYA!

Some cookie projects are a complete pleasure, beginning to end. Once again I followed a tutorial from Marlyn (Montreal Confections). You can watch the basic process here, as part of a recent Live Facebook event. A full, detailed tutorial (with a nice supply list) is available in her Patreon page. The basic idea is quite simple: two colors flood the cookie, mimicking sea and sand. But then she brings the details, the real gilding of the lily. And the simple details turn each cookie into a fun, adorable beach scene.

The adventure starts with a round cookie, pick a size compatible with the decorations that will be added in the end. However, I generally dislike cookies that end up too big, so I went as small as feasible for my shells and starfish.

For the water component, Marlyn suggests painting a wavy design with the air-brush, and a final shiny coat with a spray of PME luster. Those two small details considerably embellish the cookies.

The sand component is added after the water part is fully set. I used Golden Rocks from Wilton, lightly processed in a mini-grinder. You can use Graham cracker crumbs too. Finally, brush embroidery comes in to play the role of waves. Just make sure that the Royal icing is in piping consistency and don’t use water in the brush because it can interfere with the air-brushing. It is all clearly explained in Marlyn’s tutorial, by the way.

The shells and decorations were made using this mold.

I find making decorations with silicone molds very relaxing, as you may have noticed from a recent post. And they last for a long time, so you can make them way in advance. I added a light spray of PME luster to all of them, but painting with luster powder + alcohol works great too. The spray is just faster and simpler.

If you love baking cookies, make sure to follow Marlyn through her IG page. She is always coming up with new ideas, it’s hard to keep up, but I have fun trying, that’s for sure!

AMY’S PINEAPPLE COOKIES

If you’ve been around this baby blog of mine for a while, you may have noticed that I follow a few selected “cookiers” very closely. Amy, from Seriously Sweet on Davis Street, is always inspiring me and pushing me to try more challenging techniques. At some point I will gather the courage to attempt one of her super elaborate “Tiki” creations. Hopefully soon. But today I share one small component of that series, her cute Pineapple Cookies. They were a ton of fun to make. My favorite part? The leaves, piped with a tipless bag, generating a cool 3-D texture. I was super scared to try it, but Amy’s tutorial is perfect! You can watch it here, the pineapple decorating starts around the 12 minute mark. Cutting the bag to pipe the leaves is shown at 27 minutes, give or take a few seconds. Brilliant!

It all starts with a little drawing on the baked cookie to help you out….

Then the sections of the pineapple are piped, allowing sections that are not touching each other to crust. Just 15 minutes or so, is more than enough, and you can come and complete the remaining sections.

Once the pineapple segments are crusted, Amy suggests using the air-brush to spray the edges with a very light touch of green. Ideally try to get all the outlines of each section, working very gently. These small details make the pineapple come to life. A bit of gold brushed on the leaves is also a nice touch. A cookie without those details would still be pretty nice, but if you can go the extra mile, why not?

I highly recommend that you watch Amy’s tutorials on Facebook, and consider joining her fun Facebook group called “Cookie Snack Attack with Seriously Sweet.” If you love to bake cookies and want to improve your technique while interacting with a bunch of people hooked on all things Royal icing… that group is for you!

GILDING THE LILY WITH SILICONE MOLDS

All molds used are listed in the end of the post.

There are so many ways to decorate cookies, but one of the simplest ones is using small silicone molds with fondant or molding chocolate. They are often quite inexpensive and you can take an hour or so in the evening to make quite a few decorations, saving them for a future cookie project. They can be painted right away (after allowing the surface to dry for a few minutes), or you can save them plain and decide on a color scheme when you are ready to finalize the cookies. In this post, I show you a small collection made in the past 3 months. I hope you like them.

Starting with my favorite… The Peacock! Fondant painted with Luster powder and vodka.

Small flowers can be used in many different ways…

They can go on a fully smooth Royal icing base, or over a base with added texture created with the handle of a brush or a fondant sculpting tool. This is a method I first learned from Marlyn (check it out here) and fell in love with. In the skinny hexagon cookie, I used the fondant flowers without any paint, except for the golden center. I like the modern look of that cookie.

And let’s keep in mind, they are not just for sugar cookies… here they help nut-free macarons get dressed up.

Bigger flowers can be nice also…

In the cookie above the leaves were also molded fondant, and then a food pen was used to add the branch.

The cracked base is very easy to achieve: just paint AMERICOLOR white gel dye on the unbaked cookie, and bake as you normally would. The cookie expands and generates this type of design. It must be Americolor, though. Other brands do not work the same way.

Another favorite of mine, joining small flowers with a vase (those were made in modeling chocolate)

Butterflies, always a nice addition to a cookie…

Because hearts are not just for February…

Bees, always present in my cookie universe… I list a different mold in the end of the post for you, because I actually used a wooden mold and it was not the best option.

I wrap this post with two types of molds that were very tricky to use. The first one was hard to un-mold without breaking its many delicate sections.

I love the way it completed this cookie, but it was truly a labor of love.

And finally, three little owls that demanded quite a bit of patience…

I like the way they turned out, but the mold is very shallow and removing the shapes without breaking was a bit of a hassle. Also, trimming the final fondant shape with an X-Acto knife was time-consuming.

All molds used in this post are listed below

Peacock

Tiny Flowers

Mini-Flowers 18-set

Daisies

Flower Mold

Cherry Blossom and leaves

Vase

Butterfly mold

Butterfly

Heart Mold

Mini-bees

Golfing Mold

Little Owls mold

BURNING BUSH, A CUSTOM-MADE COOKIE

Last month a colleague celebrated 10 years of work in our department. There was a surprise party for him, and I contributed with a small batch of sugar cookies. The burning bush, his subject or research, is a very cool plant: its leaves turn a very bright red-fuchsia in the Fall. He studies complex fatty acids synthesized by the plant. I designed two types of decorations, for rectangular and oval sugar cookies flavored with blood orange. They got a full coating with white Royal icing, and next day the painting began!

For the number 10, I used a mini-projector, as it would be very hard for me to get a nice drawing without it. To draw the leaves around it, I started with a projected image but after a couple of cookies I improvised the design freely. Leaves were painted with food-safe pen.

We have a series of burning bushes planted alongside our house and it is amazing to see them in their full Fall beauty.

The trees were painted with luster powder + everclear, using Super Pink, Passion Red, Mexican Rose, and Baby Black (all from OhSweetArt). Background sky made with luster powder I brought from Brazil a couple of years ago, a gift from my dear niece Raquel.

I love making cookies designed for an occasion or with someone in mind. To me, it makes a batch feel very special. I do get a bit stressed out, but it might just be my favorite type of baking these days.