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

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!

Around 50 countries celebrate Mother’s Day on the second Sunday of May… If you are curious about this issue, in the end of this post I include a world map with all the details. Floral cookies are often the theme. Today I share with you a small collection made in the past few weeks. Some following tutorials online, some of my own making.

Perhaps my favorite, this version was inspired from the one and only Amber….

Round cookies are flooded in the color of your choice. Amber then uses a needle to scratch the basic design and pipes beads and details. She made a central flower with Royal icing, I went with fondant decorations sprayed with PME luster. It is a very good opportunity to practice bead piping, as you will be doing it over and over. Gather your Zen…

From yours truly…

This was my first time coupling decorated chocolate discs with Royal iced cookies. I love making these decorations because they are super effective but quite simple. For a detailed explanation, you can visit an old blog post of mine with a click here. You can take an easier route and use candy melts, as it is such a small component of the cookie, but it is up to you how much work you’d like to invest in it. I flooded the cookie with dusty rose icing, waited just 5 minutes and set the disc on top. Once it was all set, I piped a border in brown. The universe of chocolate transfer sheets is huge, like all universes are… I have a hard time picking patterns, but these butterflies won my heart at first sight.

From Haniela, a star-to-flower cookie flip…

I loved this cookie so much! It is a little more involved, but Haniela’s tutorial goes through every step in deep detail (video available here, starting at 10 min). Piping Royal icing in sections, air-brushing, and fine lines are all part of this wonderful cookie.

From yours truly…

A cookie flip of my own… Ice cream cone cookie cutter upside down, made into a little basket with a flower and leaves.

From Haniela, Daffodils


Full tutorial available here… I actually made these cookies around Easter 2021, and never blogged about them, so better late than never. For the center, piped details, Haniela mixes two colors, yellow and orange, for a beautiful effect.



From Amber, two floral motifs…

Brush embroidery is one effective way to bring elegance to a cookie, and Amber is a total pro at this. I used her Royal icing recipe that calls for a higher amount of meringue powder for both of these floral cookies. It has a little more elasticity and it takes slightly longer to crust, so when you need to pipe several colors it is easier to work with. Like the example below, many different colors need to be incorporated and worked with a needle, so if the icing crusts too quickly, you’ll have problems.

For the above cookie, you can follow Amber’s tutorial, available here. Other options are shown in the tutorial also, all quite amazing.

From yours truly…

Very simple design, cookies were flooded with wedgewood blue, once fully set I painted simple flowers using Sugarprism. A similar pattern was recently featured on macarons (see here).

Another adventure using Sugarprism, painting flowers over white iced cookies. I used pink, red, black and green colors. These are very small cookies, two-bites…

Stick cookies, a format I adore… Very simple also, using Royal icing transfers set over iced cookies. Simple lines with green Royal icing, piping consistency, and you are done!

I hope you enjoyed this small selection of florals to celebrate Mother’s Day… Speaking of it, as I promised in the beginning, here is the day around the world

picture from this site.

ONE YEAR AGO: Stained Glass Sugar Cookies

FLORAL BUNNY EARS

This was another super fun project, following a detailed tutorial from Amber. Her work is always so elegant and whimsical, I love it. She shared two different variations for the ear decoration, one with plaid wet-on-wet,the other piping a square pattern, which is what I decided to do, as it was new to me. I am so in love with these cookies!

Two basic components to decorate the cookie: the Royal icing plaid motif for the ears, and Royal icing transfers + piped leaves for the lower half. The composite below shows the overall steps. Amber demonstrates one version in a recent Facebook live. You can watch it here, starting at 4 min.

The grid pattern is drawn with a light food pen on the baked, cooled cookie. Then the two colors of squares are piped, one color at a time, so that the edges don’t touch. No need to wait for a long time, just pipe the second color when the first is starting to crust. The lines can be added right away or if you prefer some more definition, they can be added later. Once that is set, I piped a thin border and added rose gold sanding sugar to it.

The flowers were made the day before, then the edges painted with silver luster powder + vodka. Once they were glued to the cookie, I piped leaves with stiff royal icing, and that helps set the whole arrangement in place.

It is a little labor-intensive, but not that bad. Once you have the royal icing transfer flowers ready, the piping of the ears is straightforward. You can also simplify and make it plain, or with little dots wet-on-wet. The plaid is a nice touch, and once you master this technique, you can use it in many different cookie shapes and designs.

Amber, thank you for yet another great tutorial!

HANIELA’S MINI-BIRDHOUSE

This was the second Facebook-live cookie decorating session with the duo Marlyn-Hani (video available here). Last time, Marlyn was in charge of the party, when we made colorful hen cookies (see my post here). In this month’s session, Haniela had us decorate and assemble a super cute birdhouse. Here is mine…

I cannot tell you how much I love this cute house. Because it is small, you don’t need to use construction type gingerbread. A sturdy sugar cookie will do, make sure to bake it until the edges are getting dark, so that is holds better. I used my default recipe as published in my food blog here. These were flavored with honey and orange.

A few things had to be prepared in advance, like the adorable Royal icing transfers butterflies. Hani has a tutorial on youtube with all the details, you can see it here. Some of the steps are shown below.

Also, apart from baking the cookie components (using the templates provided by Hani), the house panels needed to be covered with a very light brushing of gray Royal icing and allowed to fully dry for 24 hours.

With all that ready, during the live event we moved on to decorating the front and back panels… and also the sides with Royal icing transfers for the windows (I did not take a picture of those). I loved the technique to give a wood-like texture. Finally, we piped stems, flowers, and leaves.

The house was then assembled with very thick Royal icing (that brought me horrific memories of my catastrophic performance in front of Paul Hollywood, Sherry Yard, and all my tent-baking friends), but thankfully those demons were exorcized and my bird house stood the challenge. Literally.

The roof is added last, and decorated with medium consistency icing, using two different icing tips, a petal 104 and a closed star. The final touch was adding the butterflies, as if they gently landed on the birdhouse…

All in all, a lovely little project! Of course, you can do many different color schemes to decorate, add different types of flowers, lady bugs, little birds, whatever you feel like it.

Funny tangent: Marlyn was decorating along… when we were perhaps 25 minutes into the live, her house was done. Ready. With all bells and whistles. She used a different style for the panels, to give the house a more woodland appearance, in tones of brown. And different types of flowers. It was gorgeous, and you can see it in the video, available HERE.

Huge thank you to Hani and Marlyn for organizing these events!

HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY!

May your blessings outnumber the shamrocks that grow.
And may trouble avoid you wherever you go.”

This year I was not able to indulge in baking St. Patrick’s cookies, in part because we were away on a trip. But I could not resist making a small batch, inspired by a recent video posted by Amber (link here). Irish Coffee, anyone? Perhaps Irish Cupcakes suit you better? I changed slightly the decoration but kept most elements the same. The tiny shamrocks are prepared as Royal icing transfers the day before using medium consistency and a piping tip #2. I brushed some with luster powder (Green Touch, by The Sugar Art).

The Irish Coffee design is actually a “franken-cookie”: a coffee cup joined with the top of the small cupcake, also included in this group. Keep in mind that it makes a pretty large cookie, but I find the design very clever. Credit of course must go to Amber. I used a stencil to decorate the coffee cup, and just piped lines on the little cupcake.

For a little more inspiration, I share cookies made last year, when I did not have a cookie-dedicated blog, so they all went into the Bewitching Kitchen spot.

A jar with shamrocks, also inspired by Amber…

A few shamrocks and clover leaves decorated in different ways…

“May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind be always at your back.”

FOUR LITTLE CHICKS

Every Tuesday and Friday at noon (Central Time), Marlyn and Haniela go live on Facebook and spend one hour decorating cookies, explaining techniques, and chit-chatting about all things sweet. Last month they came up with a very cool idea: have viewers participate decorating cookies at the same time. Of course, they shared all the needed materials – cookies to be baked and flooded before, Royal icing transfers, and icing colors. It was cool beyond words… Without further ado, these are my four little ladies, born from that adventure… I made two during the live, and two right when it ended.

I am totally in love with them! To get ready for the live, we had to get some items prepared, and the composite photo below shows them all. If you don’t have a stencil cutter, you can just draw the lines by hand, no need to be super precise.

The eggs were flooded in light blue, and I used a darker shade of blue to air-brush the design. We made three kinds of Royal icing transfers, wings, eggs, and flowers. Then the fun started, using wet-on-wet, and piping details with thick consistency in white. The pace was perfect. I would not say this was a beginner’s level decorating, but if you have a little experience working with Royal icing, you would be totally fine.

If you would like to join or simply watch the lives, check Marlyn’s Facebook page with a click here. I learn so much just by watching them, but decorating together was a ton of fun. I look forward to the next adventure, which will be hosted by Haniela on March 25th. We will make a mini-gingerbread house!

EGGSCELLENT EGG HUNT: ONLINE CLASS WITH AMY

Today I share the outcome of yet another zoom event organized by Amy, from Seriously Sweet at Davis St… This time the whole set was Easter-inspired, and I am absolutely smitten by this collection… Several different techniques were used to make them. We finished the six cookies in under 2 hours, they went by so fast. Yes, we had fun! I invite you to join her Facebook group, so you consider joining us next time.

Before class, we were supposed to bake the cookies, have two of the Easter eggs iced in white and fully set, and make a few Royal icing transfers using the templates that Amy designed and shared earlier. A few more details as fondant decorations, and we were all set!

Below you see some of the steps involved for a few of the cookies.

The lamb used thick icing pressure-piped to make the wool appearance. And the eyes were Royal icing transfers, super cute… The watercolor egg used a technique new to me, coupling luster powder with everclear sprayed with a little atomizer. So cool! The wooden sign used royal icing sculpting, and the egg a nice wet-on-wet pulled with a needle.

To me, the trickiest technique once again was using the stencil coupled with thick royal icing. The present version was a little more complex than the one we made for Christmas cookies because we now used three different colors at the same time. I barely managed to get the design to show, as you can see in the photo below, on the left.

I loved them all, and everybody did well in the class, even those who were just beginning to decorate cookies, because Amy goes at a nice pace, and explains everything in great detail.

It is hard to pick favorites, but my heart flips between the two below…

And to add my own interpretation to my favorite cookie of this series, I made a batch of chocolate dough and used it for the sheep, in a way that considerably reduces the amount of Royal icing. It does not have the same dramatic look of Amy’s version, but if thick icing is a concern for those enjoying your cookies, this version might please you.

All you need is to ice the body in white, wait 20 minutes or so and add texture with a fondant ball…

Once that is done, pipe and/or glue your decorations and you are done!

Amy, thank you for another great class, I can hardly wait for the next!

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!

OF BEARS AND BUNNIES

Three designs straight from Marlyn (check the Facebook live here) the last one I modified a little bit, but the basic idea was hers. As I mentioned in my recent post with the Tiger Platter, writing with Royal icing was not easy for me. The only way to get better is by not running away from it, instead trying it again and again. So, the two first designs involved quite a bit of writing. Clearly, I still need a lot more practice… I hope you like them.

DESIGN #1
I LOVE YOU BEARY MUCH

A simple plaque cookie, iced with light brown, and air-brushed with a stencil provided by Marlyn in her Patreon site. The cookie is decorated with little bear faces made by Royal icing transfers, and the air-brushed writing is then used to guide piping in a contrasting color of your choice. The same overall process is used in the next design.

DESIGN #2
SOME BUNNY LOVES YOU

As you can tell, I wimped out in this one, and could not bring myself to pipe the writing, so I went with plan B, leaving the air-brushed showing, and just added a little outline with a food safe black pen, fine tip.

DESIGN #3
THE FRANKENBUNNY

I love the concept of frankencookies, in which two different cutters get together to produce a new shape. These were a lot of fun to make, simpler than the other two, but with some little details to make it special. Marlyn’s version was quite a bit more involved, the bunny is holding small flags forming the word HOP. Super cute. I simplified mine by adding sprinkles.

Now let me show you some of the steps involved in making these three designs… Royal icing transfers, and airbrushing… As you can see in the lower left picture, you can conceivably leave the air-brushing alone without doing anything else. It would still work. But gilding the lily is fun!

And below you see the steps for the Frankenbunny… A star-shaped cookie cutter is joined with the bunny head from Sugarbelle set of mini-cutters. They are baked together and then decorated.

SEE YOU NEXT TIME!

THE YEAR OF THE TIGER COOKIE PLATTER

The Chinese New Year starts on the second New Moon after the Winter solstice, therefore it is celebrated usually between Jan 21st and Feb 20th. This year, the two-week festivities will start in China on Feb 1st. To make this cookie platter designed by Marlyn (check her step-by-step tutorial here), I meditated for a few hours, took 2022 deep breaths, and hoped for the best. I cannot lie, it was by far the most complex cookie adventure I’ve ever faced. A few little issues here and there – but I don’t think they affected the outcome. I am thrilled to share today, my little platter of cookies to welcome The Year of the Tiger…

Starting from the cookie shapes, this is the cookie cutter set you will need to make this platter. Or you can cut the shapes by hand, and use a round cutter for the center. Make sure to use a cookie recipe that won’t spread, with little to no leavening agent, so they will fit nicely together like this:

The day before, or several days in advance, you can make the tiger heads by Royal icing transfers. Marlyn is much more experienced and she just piped the heads straight on the iced cookie, then air-brushed the details once it all set. But I just could not bring myself to take that route. Too risky. I made more little tiger heads than I would need, so I could mess some up and still have enough to do the platter. The orange color is also air-brushed lightly on the edges once the pattern is dry.

One of the details to pay attention to, is making sure the head is not too big for the cookie. I realize I could have made my a bit smaller. But still fit ok, and had enough space for the final decorations.

The other components all get airbrushed using Marlyn’s stencils, to facilitate piping all designs… My favorite part? The ideograms…

Airbrushing with a stencil is a very nice way to guide piping details, especially if the cookie involves a repeating pattern. It is hard to pipe with Royal icing using a projector because you cannot move the cookie as you do it. Air-brushing solve that problem. Or you can also use a pen to draw the design using the stencil to guide you.

Once all the components are ready, all that is left to do is painting the yellow parts with gold. That step is optional but it does add a lot of drama to the composition. You know, the good kind of drama.

The trickiest part of the cookie set for me was writing Happy New Year… very VERY tough. I need practice. Other than that, I had a reasonably smooth ride. It is the kind of project that cannot be rushed. Pick a weekend, go slowly, and enjoy the ride.

I had a few extra little tiger heads, and incorporated them in another, simple cookie. I iced the cookie with red, let that dry completely, air-brushed the design with a stencil using gold. Then I glued the tiger head in the center, and finished the cookie with a black border.

So there you have it,
The Year of the Tiger Cookie Platter!