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

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