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

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

FLORALS

Spring and Summer, time to celebrate color, flowers, being outside and allowing the beauty of the universe to inspire us. I share with you cookies made in the past few weeks, using several different techniques, but all with flowers in mind. I start with my favorite, following as closely as possible a Facebook tutorial from Marlyn. For this one, sequential piping is coupled with air-brushing to bring to cookie-life Plumeria blooms.

Marlyn is a pro with the air-brush, it is not something I do without considerable hyperventilation, but slowly I am getting the gist of it. The yellow part worked well, I found the pink to spray too wildly at times.

Below some of the steps to make these cookies…

I love the simple elegance of this design, typical of Marlyn. If you don’t have an air-brush, you can still do the same by painting with gel color diluted with vodka or water. It will take a little longer, but other than that, no issues.

Moving on, some other florals that happened in our kitchen lately….

SUGARPRISM PAINTING

AIR-BRUSHING + STENCIL

CRACKED BACKGROUND + PAINTED FONDANT

Design inspired by Amber, from @sweetambs
tutorial from Craftsy

ROYAL ICING TRANSFERS

(drawing designed inspired by Amber, from @sweetambs)

I still have many floral compositions waiting in line to materialize as cookies,
so stay tuned for more soon!

ONE YEAR AGO: Gilding the Lily with Silicone Molds

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

SUNFLOWERS FOR UKRAINE

Another design using piped Royal icing coupled with painting, this time I used Sugarprism.

Similar to what I shared recentl (click here), this version relied on a stencil air-brushed with gold as starting point… The surface was iced and fully set (color used for the base was Artisan Accents Azure Blue). White Royal icing was piped in sections that were not adjacent, so that if they accidentally touched, they would not merge.

Once all sections were piped, I waited for the center to start crusting, and then used a special little tool to add texture…

This step is optional, or you can use the handle side of a brush. But I find that it adds a more interesting look to the final design. A few hours later the fun – aka painting – starts. I used Sugarprism in Dandelion Yellow + Monarch Orange for the petals, Green + Teddy Bear Brown for the leaves. Teddy Bear Brown was also used to paint the stem.

The final step was the bling: center of the flower painted with gold luster + vodka.

It is hard to find hope sometimes. So many horrible things happen in our world, leaving us with a very intense feeling of impotence and frustration. At least through cookies, we can bring some sunshine and joy to those around us.

Stay tuned for more adventures with Sugarprism!

ONE YEAR AGO: Eyelet-Lace Strawberry Cookies

A ROSE

Stencils can come in very handy for those who cannot draw to save their lives. For this cookie, I coupled air-brushing with royal icing, and after the design set, I used luster powder to paint the details. It is a bit of a labor of love, I won’t lie. But if you enjoy painting, it is a pretty nice way to spend a few minutes of your time…


It all starts with a fully set, white flooded cookie. Then, a stencil such as this one, is used to lay the base for the drawing. I used only part of the stencil, which is quite large, appropriate for cake decoration.


You could conceivably stop right there. Maybe add a beaded border or spray the edges with gold. But, if you want to take the cookie one step further, get some piping consistency Royal icing and fill each section.


It is a three-day process, two-day minimum. You will need to flood the cookie on day 1, air-brush the design on the following day, pipe the icing and then wait at least 6 hours to paint, overnight is best.


Once again, the cookie could be left all white. It is polished, simple and elegant. But to me, the fun really starts with painting. So that’s what I did…


Many different kinds of stencils will work, but I find that larger designs are easier to negotiate. Depending on your skill with piping, you can go for more intricate drawings. If the areas are very close together, make sure to pipe regions that are not adjacent, let them set briefly, then continue. I will be playing more with this technique in the near future for sure…

ONE YEAR AGO: For the Love of Frida Kahlo

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

WATERCOLOR FUN

One of the easiest ways to add a lot of color to a cookie is painting the background in watercolor. Often bakers dilute the gel dye with vodka, but I find that water is more user-friendly. The liquid takes longer to dry, which means it is much easier to get the different tones to mingle together, without areas in which the color gets overly intense. The drawback is having to wait a little longer for the painted area to dry, but I think it’s worth it. Today I share three types of cookies that rely on a tie-dye look as starting point.

DESIGN #1
ELEPHANTS

It all starts with a fully set base of white Royal icing… Then the colors are diluted with water and placed in different little spots of a paint palette. A brush with a very small amount of water is used to lightly wet the surface of the cookie, and patches of different colors are painted over the entire surface.

Once that is fully set, piping consistency Royal icing is added for extra decoration, in any pattern you like. Don’t forget to plan a little spot for the eye!

DESIGN #2
BUTTERFLIES

The exact same method is used, I love this cookie cutter (available here at etsy.com) that shows the butterflies from a side view…. Make sure to make some in opposite orientation so they can be grouped together in a more interesting array.

DESIGN #3
THE GOLFER

For this final design, after the base was fully dry, I used a stencil to air-brush the silhouette. Finally, a little bead border was added and painted with bronze luster powder.

A colorful base of watercolor can make many different cookie shapes and design shine, so consider that for your upcoming cookie adventures…

LET’S SQUARE THINGS UP

Today I share five designs for square cookies, a shape that I think is under-estimated. Square cookies offer lots of possibilities for cookie decorating, and can also be grouped together to create a composite image. Remember the Quilt Challenge proposed by Marlyn a few months ago? When Marlyn did her version, she turned a simple square cookie into a quilt design made complete by joining four of the basic pieces together. Super clever! So to kick things off, I share my version of Marlyn’s Quilt cookie. I simply changed the color scheme and a few details.

DESIGN #1 – MARLYN’S QUILT

For a geometric pattern such as this to work well, you have to draw guiding lines on the naked cookie as a starting point. Then use piping consistency black to make a reasonably thick outline of all sections, add details with fine lines. As you can see below, I started with a yellow draft but made a few mistakes, so I started all over with a black pen. It all gets hidden by the icing, so no major harm done.

Once the outline and fine lines are set, it’s time to proceed with the flooding, using any decoration and color scheme of your choice.

It is fun to see the full design come to life as the cookies are placed together…

DESIGN #2 – COLORFUL TILES

For this design, I used a stencil downloaded from Cricut workspace, and a very light sheen airbrush color to paint it on a white flooded cookie. Next, I highlighted all details using several different colors of food safe pens, and added a little outline with black.

Since the sheen color is so subtle, it does not really interfere with the painting… The sheen color I used is from this set. For these cookies I opted for Blue Sheen.

DESIGN #3 – GRADUATION COOKIES

Once again, stencils come to the rescue… Another image downloaded from Cricut Workspace, I made these for a friend’s daughter who graduated last month. With a bonus round cookie, just because…

Similarly to the Colorful Tiles, I used a stencil air-brushed with a sheen orange color, and went over the details with food pen.

DESIGN #4 – MODERN WHITE SQUARES

I was inspired by Connie, a member of the Great British Bake Off group from Facebook. It was her first time decorating sugar cookies, and she came up with a design I loved, very elegant and polished. Monochromatic. Clean. This is my version of her cookies.

Cookies are flooded with white royal icing, and then the details are piped, with a few silver sprinkles added while the icing is wet.

DESIGN #5 – FUN WITH PROJECTOR

Recently I stumbled on this IG page and almost lost my mind with the amazing drawings she does on rocks. I contacted her to see how she fell about some of her images turning up in cookies, and she was fine with it, in fact she also makes cookies herself! These were my first versions, I particularly adore the meditating frog… I think the square shape is perfect to this type of cute design.

That’s all for now, folks! I hope I gave you some ideas to play with using a very basic cookie shape, that can be arranged in sets of four, potentially expanding the horizons of the final composition.

ONE YEAR AGO: The Many Faces of the Oreo Cookie

MAY INSPIRATION POST: CHARACTER COOKIE

For the month of May, Marlyn proposed a slightly more challenging task: make a character cookie preferably using stencils that we would design ourselves. She gave Winnie the Pooh as an example. During the past few months, Marlyn has shared very detailed tutorials coupling Procreate (a drawing software for iPad) and stencil cutters, which is pretty much all you need to make your own cookie stencils. I will not go in too much technical detail, but even if you cannot draw (like yours truly), Procreate allows you to start from any image you find in the internet. You draw the outline and other details as independent layers that will then be made into a stencil using any machine you have (I have a Cricut, Marlyn uses a Silhouette). I tried super hard, but just could not make it work. At this point, I am not sure if the issue is my pen (to save money I bought a knock-off brand, and not the original Apple), my iPad (old model), or a combination of the two. Still, I could not stand the idea of skipping the Inspo challenge. Soooo, I cheated my way out and got a stencil available online.

The problem with stencils bought online is that they do not always work as expected. I downloaded three that were a waste of material, and the one I settled on was also not ideal. What Marlyn hoped we would do is make a stencil in which the outline gets air-brushed and then maybe two or three additional stencils could be used to do the whole thing by air-brushing. But the stencil I found gives a full image, without a defining outline, and no way to color different areas independently. As you can see below… I air-brushed with a sheen golden color that would not end up too dark.

I had to start from that, and then use food pens to add color and details.

To add a bit more detail to the design, I made little bees with fondant…

Soooo, I give myself a C to this homework. I love the cookies, so that’s not the issue. I just feel that I could not rise to the challenge of designing a stencil myself. But, I lose a battle, not the war. Once I recover from the self-inflicted soap opera, I will try again, maybe with a simpler image. Stay tuned!

ONE YEAR AGO: Out of this World Sugar Cookies