BLACK LACE HEART

This design was imagined by Amber from @sweetambs a while ago and I changed just a few details when I made mine. The lace component is made with Sugar Veil and a special silicone mat (click here for details). I was very scared to use it because my previous experiences with sugarveil were very stressful and most did not have a happy ending at all. But Amber gave a few important pointers, like allowing the product to sit on the mat overnight instead of baking it in a low oven to dry. That’s what I did.

The other important thing is to roll the mat away from the veil, not pull the veil out of the mat, because it will tear, it is very delicate. You need to work slowly and gently guide the veil down the surface, as you pull the mat away from it. Pictures below show the process.


Once the lace is ready, pieces large enough to cover the cookie are cut, and placed over the fully set icing, using either a light brush with water or corn syrup (diluted with a bit of water for easier spreading with a brush). The edges won’t be very smooth, but after that step a little bead border will hide the imperfections. Rose details are fondant painted with luster powder and sprayed with PME pearl luster after drying.


After the lace is set, the fondant roses are glued to the cookie with a small amount of Royal icing. The bead border is important so that the edges of the lace do not show. I still need a lot of practice because my lace turned out super brittle, but compared to my previous attempts, this was much much better…

ONE YEAR AGO: Egg White Painted Cookies

HAPPY HALLOWEEN WITH SWEET 16!

With this post, I share a collection of 16 cookie designs made in the past month, with a very brief description of the techniques used. It might be too late to inspire you for this Halloween, but the horror must go on next year, so keep that in mind!


Cookie cutter flip! The wreath cutter turned upside down to make friendly little monsters. Flooded with purple and orange. Eyes made as Royal icing transfers, details with black and white Royal icing, piping consistency.


Some monsters love ice cream, but it must be of a special kind… Ice cream cone cutter, flooded in orange, spider web in dark purple added after the base was set. Ice cream is thick Royal icing marbled green and white.


Bats flooded in black. Large candy corn flooded in orange. Once base is set, details in the bat made with orange Royal icing, piping consistency or a stencil for the little spider drawings, air-brushed in black.

Witches’ hats… simple wet-on-wet design, and a little store-bought skull sprinkle for a final touch…

Another cookie cutter flip, this one a tulip turned upside down. Wet-on-wet for all the design, facial features using a pen, and the flower is painted fondant.

Cauldrons, similar design to what I did last Halloween, but this time I added a few extra fondant decoration, and the Royal icing eyeballs. I am totally in love with the broom, even if it was not a very easy mold to work with, very delicate. But freezing the fondant in the mold helps.


The candy corn cookie cutter in a simple design, flooded with orange and green, then air-brushed in black with stencils.

Sometimes with just two colors of icing, you can do a lot. Green and black, eyes are store-bought sprinkles, finger is painted fondant. Talk about creepy…

Pumpkin with a hat… love this cutter! Basic flooding in stages for the pumpkin component, leaving empty space for the facial features Details in black Royal icing, piping consistency.

Another design I loved! Skeletons. Very simple, most of the cookie is left naked. All details piped in white Royal icing, including the yes. Final features with a food pen, and some pink luster powder. A spray of PME pearl luster ties everything together nicely.

Also re-visited from last year, spider web and casket are classics that you cannot skip at Halloween!

Candy Corn strikes again! I have a little video to show the drawing, over full set Royal icing.


Sally closes the post with Sally. This was the most time-consuming cookie of this set, as it was all done by hand, with the aid of a mini-projector. I might have to make one of this each year, because…. how could I not?

ONE YEAR AGO: Halloween Pizza Box Scene

AMY’S HAUNTED HALLOWEEN MANOR

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One more class under my belt, but this one I messed up a bit. The full set contains 4 cookies, but you will only see three, because… tragedy took place. What is Sally’s life without a little drama?


I cut the cookies by hand because instead of buying the cutters. Their shape is so unique, I did not anticipate using them again until next Halloween. If you’d like to buy them, the set can be found online (check the store clicking here). Lots of little details went into the making of this composition. Before class, we made fondant decorations and prepared all the icing. I also made a few bones as Royal icing transfers. If you have a mold for that, you can go with fondant or modeling chocolate.


In the beginning of class, we made the little green eyeballs, and with that step out of the way, we were ready for decorating action!

The bottom cookie, which had a door and two tombs, gave me a lot of trouble. I made a few mistakes, ran out of black icing in the middle of the class, had to rush to make more, and things went downhill fast. So that cookie was sacrificed to the Cookie Gods, hoping that they will be kinder on me in future projects.


They work great together as a set, but also as individual cookies, as you can see below. The one with the windows was a lot of fun to make. Amy makes us draw everything free-hand, which blows my little mind. One line at a time, she takes us there. I love it!


And of course, the spider web piped as wet-on-wet is a great technique to keep in mind for this time of the year. You can add that to all sorts of cookie shapes, place a fondant spider or a ghost on top, and you are all set! Simple, yet effective…

Amy, thanks again for yet another amazing class! I just wished I had not messed up the bottom cookie, but I know everybody else in class did a great job with that one, so trust me, not your fault!

ONE YEAR AGO: Cookie Lace Designs

THE MANY FACES OF WHITE

Every weekend I like to work on a special cookie decorating project, either to learn a new technique or to practice something I still feel insecure about. But I also like to have a set of cookies waiting without any specific design in mind. My favorite approach is to just pick some simple shapes (squares, ovals, circles) and flood them with white or a very light pastel tone Royal Icing. Next day they are ready to be decorated. The possibilities are pretty much endless. Today I share a series of cookies in which the starting point was a simple white background.

DESIGN #1
STRIPES & DETAILS

Maybe my favorite of this series… I used food safe pens to paint a series of bands of color, then used piping consistency icing to add little details. Super basic. Inspiration came from painted rocks, if you go on Instagram or Pinterest you can find a ton of designs to inspire you.

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DESIGN #2
STRIPES & FONDANT ACCENTS

A lot simpler to do because the stripes don’t need to be precisely separated, I just used luster powder in 4 different colors to paint the background. Fondant shells in gold complete the look.

Even simpler, stripes can be added with a fan type brush, just touches of gold coupled with a modern fondant flower (made with this mold)

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DESIGN #3
MINI-PROJECTOR

So many images available in the internet or in coloring books, just google something, grab your projector and go to work… Lately, I’ve been a little focused on a certain breed of dog… The one below was painted with food safe pens and the bubbles added with piping consistency Royal icing.

The two images below were “borrowed” from one of my favorite pages in Instagram, Jillfcsrocks. And no worries, she is aware that I get her images on my cookies… She is also a cookie-maker! They were painted with Sugarprism.

Another cookie painted with Sugarprism, this one demanded a little more time, but I had fun letting my inner Van Gogh coming out (cough, cough).

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DESIGN #4
STENCILS

Probably the easiest, most efficient way to decorate a cookie, coupling stencils with the air-brush. My main advice is to invest on a screen (like this one) to get really sharp edges on the design. That is not too important in busy patterns such as the black random spots, but it will help other types of drawings like the paw prints and the dragon. Are you watching House of Dragons? Fun show…

Stencils can also be joined with piping in white and then painted. Probably the most involved decorating method of all the examples in this post. When you couple it with painting (in this case, Sugarprism), it is a very nice way to get a more realistic image. Big thank you for Marlyn from @montrealconfections for helping me with the design of this stencil.

ONE YEAR AGO: Heart of Honey Pizza Box Cookie

DON’T CALL THE GNOME POLICE!

Is there such a thing? Could I be in serious blogging trouble for publishing two gnome posts in a row? Let’s hope not, because today I want you to meet Pippin, The Gnome. Design and tutorial by Amy from Seriously Sweet on Davis St (click here for her IG page).

This was part of a “simple” online class taught by Amy… I say “simple” because there were only two cookies, and not much preparation required for class. We only had to make a few fondant pieces and paint them, nothing else. In fact, Amy told us we could do them early in the morning as the class was around 4pm. A few colors of Royal icing – not that many – and some in very small amounts. A real “no big deal” event, right? Right? Well, let me tell you, I went into a few cycles of hyperventilation during the adventure. Have you noticed Pippin is showing his feet and hands? It turns out that we were asked to pipe his fingers and toes. Please be kind and don’t go carefully checking how many fingers in each hand. Pippin has a genetic condition, but it is a minor thing and he lives a happy and fulfilled life.

So here is our countertop right before class started, all pieces of fondant painted, cookies baked, and Royal icing colors ready in bags.

It all starts by drawing the overall placement of all the cookie’s features. Then the hat is made with pieces of fondant (I used modeling chocolate instead), rolled into small ribbons and then sculpted with a clay tool. Amy had a pretty clever way to make the very top, but I could not quite do it like she demonstrated…

By far the trickiest part was piping the fingers and toes, all made in stages so they would not all glue together. Pippin is not a frog, so please, no webbed feet. I loved the detail of Pippin’s nose, which is made with a tiny shell painted gold.

The second cookie of the set was a sandcastle, quite a bit simpler. We did the whole thing during class, speeding things up with a dehydrator. That cookie would probably go well in a beginner’s class, whereas I consider the gnome as advanced. Too many things can go wrong.

Painting the hat was left for the following day so that the fondant(or modeling chocolate) was fully set. We used dry dusting with many shades of luster powder, super fun!

The level of detail in this project was something! I don’t know now Amy can think of so many little bells and whistles to add to her productions, but I am glad she does, and also explains so well how we can do the same. The shading done to turn the feet a little dirty was brilliant!

I close this post with all the cookies I made that afternoon, which had a beach-summer feel…

Amy, thank you one more time for yet another great adventure,
you always push my limits, and I LOVE IT!

ONE YEAR AGO: Hungarian Folk Art Cookies

FOR THE LOVE OF HORSES

Marlyn is back inspiring me, I had this tutorial bookmarked for a while and finally gave it a go a couple of weeks ago. The cookie cutter (available at amazon.com), shaped as the head of a horse, is a little tricky as far as decorating goes, but as usual, Marlyn figures out a way to make it shine. Several different techniques went into the making of these cookies. You can pipe the flowers by hand using Royal icing, or simplify a bit and go with molded, painted fondant pieces. It is up to you.

Let me walk you through the steps to make this colorful design…. First, flood the cookie with light brown Royal icing, and let it set overnight. Then add the details using a stencil and brown air-brushing color (I used Totally Brown from Cookie Countess).

Once that is done, it is just a matter of adding some details with piping consistency Royal icing in green and brown, some confetti shaped gold bits, and the fondant pieces in the end…

Once the fondant pieces are added, the cookies are ready to party!

I love the modern-romantic look of these horses… I simplified a bit the design compared to what Marlyn did, so I advise you to watch her video and consider adding all the bells and whistles. What I love about her design is how unique it is, playful and whimsical at the same time. I bet any horse lover would be very happy getting a platter of these cookies.

ONE YEAR AGO: For the Love of the Sea

QUEEN OF HEARTS

These cookies were featured in one of my favorite baking cookbooks, Sprinkle Bakes: Dessert Recipes to Inspire your Inner Artist. The title says it all. The book if full of incredibly creative ideas, I love it, and highly recommend you get a copy. All things considered, these are not hard to make. Think three colors of Royal icing, black with piping consistency, white and red in flooding consistency. No complicated piping, no wet-on-wet work. What makes these cookies special is the use of fondant pieces to give extra dimension and pizzazz. In the book you’ll find templates to make life easier…

Below, a picture of the book with the template I made to make my cookies…

And a little overview of the process, which is pretty straightforward. I used a Wilton tip 3 to outline in black. And a white pearl for the earring, added right after flooding the white portion.

Once the cookie is fully set – I allowed it to sit overnight – the fondant pieces are rolled, cut, and painted, then glued with a small amount of Royal icing. All details are then added with a black, food safe pen.

You can change the expression by altering the shape of the lips or the way you place the eyes, but I must say I like the aura of introspection, maybe even a bit of sadness, that these cookies portray. Sometimes it is how I feel when I think about the world.

ONE YEAR AGO: Shark Attack!

AMY’S TROPICAL TREASURES

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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

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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…