AMY’S TROPICAL TREASURES

To join Amy’s Facebook group and be on top of future online classes, click here.


This is the 8th online lesson I took from Amy… time flies when we are having so much fun, right? This lesson was medium to advanced, and as is often the case with Amy’s designs, lots of different techniques were involved, often several in a single cookie. There were three videos before the online event to make sure we had all the preparation done correctly. Without further ado, here is the full set of my tropical babies!


There were seven cookies made as the main set, and we also had the option of making a few more in the shape of half-hexagon.


Below you can see all the prep work for class made the evening before…


Some pieces are painted fondant, some are Royal icing transfers (like the hibiscus, made in two stages, flower and stamen).

Of all the techniques involved, the one I need to get better at is stenciling with thick royal icing. I have issues keeping the stencil in place (even using the frame to hold it), and making a smooth layer. We did three different cookies, one with a solid color to stencil, and the other two with two-tones (purple and green). I had some issues with each of these three, but in the end they got other decorations on top and I did my best to hide the “boo-boos.”


Let me highlight some of the cookies and list the techniques used for them…


Flood with purple. Two-tone stencil with thick Royal icing. Flower is painted fondant. Leaves are fondant and Royal icing transfer.



Flood with purple with texture (embossed paper). Brush embroidery flower. Leaves are wafer paper and fondant.


Flood with green and diamond dust for shimmer. Royal icing stencil. Hibiscus flower is Royal icing transfer. Leaf is painted fondant.


Flood with solid purple. Royal icing transfer for hibiscus flower and leaf. Maybe my favorite cookie of the set.

I loved this class and the use of very few colors to make all cookies, so that they flow together beautifully. Purple, green and ivory, in different shades and textures. Perfect for a wedding or as a Birthday gift for a special friend. Thank you so much, Amy, you ARE a master teacher!

ONE YEAR AGO: Jeweled Butterflies

PIRATES ROLL THIS WAY

To join Amy’s Facebook group and be on top of future online classes, click here.

One more amazing online decorating class taught by Amy from Seriously Sweet on Davis Street. Just as the trial of Mr Depp – the forever Caribbean Pirate – was coming to an end, we attacked the making of this set of six cookies. Serendipity in cookie format. The class was described as Intermediate, but as usual, Amy explains it all so clearly that even beginners could follow. Maybe not in real time, but definitely playing the video later and taking their time.

Here they are, my six babies

Amy taught us many different techniques in this class. To prepare for it, we needed to bake all cookies, flood the compass one with ivory icing, and prepare all the fondant decorations using molds and then paint them with the “dry dust method” in which luster powder is applied straight to the fondant with a brush. Three different colors of dust worked together to give the aged look of coins and compass. Brilliant! Notice that the pirate’s head is a Christmas ornament cookie cutter. Cute cookie cutter flip…

Once all the fondant pieces are painted, the fun begins….

The most elaborate cookie was the treasure chest, maybe… All the small details that Amy planned for it, made it super special in the end. You can see some of the steps below. The cookie cutter used is originally to make an open book, and we did some trimming and shaping with a Microplane before decorating.

By piping the edges and then painting with gold (I used a mixture of gold and copper dust), the whole design comes to life. Then, all you need to do is place the pieces to decorate, flowing out of the treasure chest.

The two trickiest components of this class, in my opinion, were the fondant skull and the black net, made with Flextfrost sheets. I had to make the skull several times, it kept breaking as I removed it from the mold. I had to use a heavy hand with cornstarch, and freeze it overnight to get one piece to come out whole. And the Flexfrost sheet is temperamental. You need to hit the amount of water right, and also the extent of drying before pulling it out of the mat. But, all things considered, there was light in the end of the cookie tunnel.

Another cookie that involved several cool techniques was the treasure map…

The texture is made pressing a gloved finger delicately on the surface after it has crusted for a while. And the details with food pen are aged with vodka.

A cute pirate and his rum bottle were the simplest cookies to make. My pirate has a congenital problem in the ears, but he is a happy pirate. When he manages to control his friendship with the bottle of rum, he is quite good at negotiating the compass….

Amy, cannot thank you enough for yet another great Saturday afternoon in your company and the company of all the other cookiers. Even if only virtually.

ONE YEAR AGO: Sugar Cookies, the Groovy Series

AMY’S FABULOUS FLORAL CLASS

I fell in love with these cookies moment she shared their pictures to announce the online event. I would not say this was a beginner’s level adventure, but Amy explains each step so well, that I believe even someone very new to cookie decorating could follow. Plus, to give you an idea of her level of detail when preparing for the event, the week before she uploaded SIX videos of cookie preparation. Some cookies had to be flooded, some fondant decorations had to be made and painted. It is a set perfect for Mother’s Day or any romantic occasion. Engagements, weddings… Pure beauty.

The set is designed as seven hexagon cookies to form a beautiful platter when joined together. One of the things that are required is baking the cookies over a perforated mat. Actually, these mats are a complete game changer as far as cookie baking goes, so I highly recommend you get one. I simply never bake over parchment anymore. The base of the cookies is perfect when you use the mats. Many brands available, like this one. Amy used the texture given by the mat as part of the design in two of the cookies.

The cookie on the left is flooded allowing part of the base to show. That gets painted in gold. The effect is simply amazing, don’t you think? On the right, several colors of icing in thicker consistency are smeared over the base.

The day before class, this is what we had to get ready… Several cookies flooded, some wet-on-wet flower motif, and one cookie flooded and immediately covered with embossed parchment paper.

Apart from that, fondant decorations and wafer paper decorations made and painted.

Side-note…. Amy demonstrated how the exact same silicone mold can give you two quite different flowers, depending on how much fondant (or modeling chocolate) you add to it.

There were a few techniques totally new to me, like working with edible fabric to make a bow. It is a little tricky but not that bad, actually. A little patience is required.

I also got to use this super cute ring to hold glue for the first time. It makes it a lot easier to work with the wafer paper bits and tiny sprinkles. You touch the glue with the needle and apply where you want it, no need to reach for the big bottle and risk making a mess. She included one in the box sold independently of the online class, I’ve only found it for sale in bulk (click here).

It was also my first time working with printed wafer paper, which adds a lot of elegance to a cookie.

I’ve participated of several classes online with Amy, each one teaches me so much, but this was truly special. Each cookie fascinated me. Below, my top three favorites. The first one required piping the roses and leaves on the cookie, so perhaps it was the most advanced of all, but Amy guides each step of the piping with perfect attention to details. How to hold the piping bag in the perfect angle, how to move your hand at each petal. A great learning experience!

Amy, I cannot thank you enough for yet another amazing online event. Already looking forward to our next adventure together…

HAPPY EASTER!

I am already a bit sad that Easter is going to be over… As far as cookie decorating goes, it is hard to beat the diversity and cuteness level that this holiday brings. Sadly, I still have some cookie cutters that were left unused, and must wait for next year to make their appearance. Today I share a few designs, my favorite is Marlyn’s Bunny Head, crowned with flowers. So so cute! But there is more: a bunny carrying a basket of flowers, a few Easter eggs, and a naughty bunny stealing a fancy Easter egg to run away with it.

Marlyn has a super detailed tutorial available in YouTube for the bunny head (click here). If you are a member of her Patreon site, you’ll find the stencil file to make decorating the cookie easier (click here).

I opted for a chocolate cookie, so I air-brushed the design in white over the naked cookie as a starting point. The stencil is used again over the iced cookie to add the final details.

Marlyn piped the floral design on the cookie, I made my life a bit easier by using fondant decorations, and the piped small leaves to tie the design together.

MOVING ON…

For the bunny with a basket, I followed a tutorial available in Cookie-a-thon by Lauren Jacobs, aka The Cheerful Baker (click here for her IG page). Some of the steps are shown below…

I modified a few details in the basket and added a little facial feature. I love this cookie shape!

To go along with it, I used a similar technique for florals to make Easter eggs.

I could not help but make a Zentangle design, so it all starts with dots equally spaced on the iced cookie, and then a little drawing with a food safe pen. PME pearl luster spray gives the cookie a shine I really like.

So here is my little Easter collection…

I close this post with the Naughty Bunny, made after a tutorial from Timbo Sullivan during a Facebook live. It is mostly fondant, so if you don’t like the taste, consider the cookie just as a decoration. Lots of different techniques were explained in his tutorial, and the take home message for me is that I need a lot of practice to make eyes. His work is flawless! But I still like my little Naughty Bunny… Everything is fondant, except the pink details on ears and paws, and the grass the bunny is sitting on.

MARBLED COOKIE DOUGH

This is another example of sugar cookie with minimal to no icing. The decoration comes from marbling several colors of dough together. The clever method was shared by Marlyn from Montreal Confections, and was one of the techniques showed in this youtube video (starting at 18 min 15 sec). The moment I watched it, I could not wait to give it a try. Today I share a few adventures with this concept, starting with her original design for Easter egg cookies, then a couple of things I tried on my own with leftover dough.

MARBLED EASTER EGGS
(from Montreal Confections tutorial)

Aren’t those super cool? You will need one little special tool to bring these cookies to life – a clay sculpting gadget. They are pretty inexpensive and available at stores such as Jo-Ann or Michael’s. Of course, the Seller Of All Things will have it for you (click here).

Get your favorite cookie dough recipe, make a batch and divide it in three. Use food gel color to dye each batch with a color of your choice. I used green (with some yellow barely mixed into it), purple and pink. Then roll each piece of dough as a log, place them side by side and marble them. Not too much so that the colors don’t mix. Check Marlyn’s video for all the details. Roll the dough as you would normally do, and cut the shapes. After that, mix some white food gel with egg white, whisk and brush a light coating on the surface of the cookie. Immediately use the clay sculpting tool to cut patterns that will expose the dough underneath. That is all you need to do. Bake and admire the results!

Those will please people who don’t like Royal icing, opting for a more austere cookie. The very thin layer of egg white glaze contributes no taste, no added sweetness. I used a heavy hand with the colors, you can definitely get a more pastel tone.

MARBLED COOKIES WITH FONDANT DECORATIONS
(from yours truly)

For an even simpler cookie, just cut any shape you like, bake them without any glaze. Once they are baked and cooled, place fondant decorations with a bit of Royal icing as glue.

Those are some of my favorite shapes – skinny hexagon, scalloped oval, and sticks…


MARBLED COOKIES WITH A CRACKED FINISH
(from yours truly)

For these cookies, before baking I brushed a thin layer of Americolor white food gel. It must be Americolor, or it won’t work the same way. I should have brushed slightly less dye, make a thinner layer, so that the effect would be more evident. But the general idea still worked. Once they were baked, I added a few decorations with Royal icing, medium-stiff consistency for the stems and flowers.

Stay tuned for one more adventure using colored cookie dough in a different way…

AMY’S EASTER COOKIE DECORATING

One more online event accomplished, this was quite an amazing class taught by Amy, from Seriously Sweet at Davis St… Please, consider following  her Facebook group, so you can join the fun next time. The class was classified as “advanced” because there were quite a few techniques involved, mainly making fondant decorations in advance and piping leaves and a woven basket. The class centered around one silicone mold with multiple Easter-inspired designs in it (available here). I had that mold for a long time sitting in our basement, so it was a great opportunity to bring it out to play. We used a single shape cookie cutter (basket from this set), and decorated them with assorted fondant pieces, tying it all together with piped leaves and sprinkles. Here are the four babies made during the class.

It all starts with fondant decorations. Those are best made the day before, as you’ll need to paint the fondant pieces and allow that to dry too. The trickiest was the basket handle, very fragile. I ended up using only one, and piping the handle on the other cookies.

Also the day before, flood the cookies either in two colors (I used green and baby blue), or a solid background, I went with yellow. Gather your icing, sprinkles, and let the fun begin!

These four I made during the class, that lasted less than 2 hours… By the way, you don’t need to join in real time, you can sign up and watch the class later, if more convenient, decorating on your own.

You may have noticed that the mold had tiny chick’s heads, but I did not have a chance to use them during class. So, next day I made another cookie, this time with a crackled background (paint Americolor white before baking over the surface). The white over the chocolate cookie gave it a blue-ish tone I really liked.

I loved Amy’s technique to pipe the handle. Very very cool. Pretty useful in many cookie designs, I am sure.

I hope you enjoyed this little set of Easter-inspired cookies…
Amy, thank you again for a great class!

FROM CHRISTMAS TO SPRING

Back in January I shared my first cookie “challenge”, making a pizza box concoction after Marlyn suggested a basic motif as a starting point. You can see my homework here. Once again, Marlyn proposed a little cookie challenge to make us work on creativity. The task was to use a wreath-shape cookie cutter (common for Christmas designs) but decorate it with a Spring-Easter motif. So here is what I came up with…

I really wanted to work on a basket weave, so that was the initial idea for the design. Next, I added a bunny to apply the technique I recently learned in one of the online tutorials I followed (blogged about here). I used a stencil and air-brushing to add a little detail to the golden background, and finished the cookie with fondant decorations. Some of the steps are shown below.

For the basket weave, I used a PME tip 1.5 with brown icing in piping consistency. I worked slowly, taking deep breaths… Once that was done, I piped the bunny’s head and planned the details in fondant.

I felt that the whole design needed a little green to bring a bit more Spring into the mood… And the face of the bunny got a little shading with luster powder once it was fully set.

So there you have it, my second “homework assignment”, turning a Christmas wreath into a Spring composition… What do you think? Do I get a passing grade?

OF GNOMES AND UNICORNS

To open the month of February, I bring two mythical creatures I am quite fond of. The gnomes were adaptations from a recent tutorial during a Facebook live with Hani (click here to watch, it starts at 21 minutes). The unicorn was my own design, using a stencil made with Cricut. I have a rocky relationship with my Cricut, he’s been mean to me a few times, and deeply hurt my feelings. But then, the unicorn happened, and we are in good terms again. Until next storm. Which may or may not be already brewing…

DESIGN #1
HANI’S GNOMES

These were designed by Haniela, she used a cute little envelope as decoration, made with royal icing transfers. I had some fondant hearts hanging around, and decided to put them to use. The noses are made with Royal icing transfers, or you can pipe after the base is set, which is what I did for the feet and hands.

His name is Felix…
He is the guardian of measuring spoons…

DESIGN #2
SALLY’S UNICORN

This is a large cookie, because I wanted to have enough space to pipe the design. After flooding in white and allowing the base to fully set, I used my stencil to air-brush in a sheen, light gold color, just to guide the piping.

Next, the lines were piped in gray using a Wilton 3 icing tip so that they would end up thick and form a solid margin to flood in colors later. The eyebrows were painted black with a food safe pen.

So here they are, my mythical little creatures ready to celebrate a season of love!

KEY TO MY HEART, A COOKIE DECORATING CLASS

To visit and join Amy’s Facebook group, click here

Last weekend I took an online class with the one and only Amy, from Seriously Sweet on Davis St. She usually holds 4 of these events per year, in a zoom type of setting. This set of six cookies centered on romance, as Valentine’s is just around the corner. With each cookie, she taught us a different technique or twist on a basic technique. Most people decorate as the class is going, some prefer to watch the video and do it later. Amy keeps a very nice pace, making sure no one is left behind. She does an outstanding job in planning the whole class, so that we work on one cookie, move to another one as the first dries, get a third cookie going. We are never sitting around doing nothing. Pure cookie decorating fun!

Let me show you one cookie at a time, and in the end of this post, you will find details about Amy’s classes online. Consider joining the fun next time!

This might be my favorite. The detail of the glitter in one side to give the impression of light hitting from the left, I find absolutely charming, and it was a trick I had never done in any cookie, using Diamond Dust. The hearts climbing on the pot were made of wafer paper by most participants, as they were included in the box of goodies that Amy sells for the class. Buying the box is not required to join. I decided to just use the things I have, so in this particular cookie I departed from the original and added Wilton heart sprinkles in several colors and sizes.

Loved this one also… Two layers of icing with a technique similar to brush embroidery but not quite (I don’t think I hit it correctly, but let’s not worry about it). Amy’s design was white, pink and red, I used gray just for fun. Arrow and bow made with fondant (the day before).

Totally smitten by the envelope. Amy showed the method to “age” it using a sponge. Which was also used in the key plate below.

In this cookie, we also learned how to create texture by agitating the cookie a few minutes after flooding. Super cool! I actually had to make that cookie twice, because my first one was slightly “over-stressed”. Think machine-gun + tornado. Enough said.

This pair of cookies were simple to decorate, but I did not quite get the consistency of my red icing thick enough, so I could not add the texture that Amy hoped for the design. To compensate for that, I painted details on the tulip. Please note the shape of the stem, that was a nice little trick demonstrated by Amy in class. The little seeds on the strawberry were black non-pareils added with tweezers, but the cookie can be simplified by painting black dots with a fine tip black pen once the icing is fully set.

In case you are interested in joining future online classes with Amy, here’s how it works. First you must join her Facebook group page (click here) About a month before the event you can buy a box with all you need to make the cookies: cutters, gel colors, sprinkles, fondant, molds. If you don’t want to get the box, you can use your own things and improvise when needed. The day before class she usually goes live on Facebook to make sure we all know what needs to be ready. For this particular class, we had to start from a set like the one I show below:


All cookies baked, two of them iced in white (with a texture in the case of the key plate) and the fondant decorations made and painted. I made two options for the envelope, went with the little heart for the final cookie. Before class starts, you also need to have all colors of Royal icing ready to go in piping bags. For the most part she uses tipless bags, which makes it all a lot easier.

Those were some of the steps of decoration during the event… time goes by quickly, and before you know it, you’ll be staring at six wonderful cookies and asking “did I really make all these????”

Amy, thank you for your great class and all the free tutorials you set up online often!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Sharing the last collection of cookies for the season, these are simple to make, and I like their almost minimalist look, particularly the Christmas tree. I wish I had saved the source of my inspiration for the little gift packages, but I took a screen shot of some Instagram stuff, never saved the actual post and was unable to find it again.

Apart from simple Royal icing details in red and green, fondant details make them special. I always use white fondant and paint in any color I want later.

You can do a lot with just three colors of icing, and during Christmas season, it’s pretty much all you need…

Two tones of green can also make a pretty cute wreath design, when coupled with red accent sprinkles…

Just pipe them as shown below and run a needle through the center, drawing a circle.

This year I’ve done a lot of Christmas trees, but not as many ornaments…

It is now time to say goodbye to Christmas cookies… makes me sad, but in a way every season that ends leaves that feeling that too many cookies were left unbaked. But another season comes to get excited about… Can you feel the Valentine vibes forming?