STAINED GLASS SUGAR COOKIES

I am hopelessly in love with this technique. I won’t lie to you, these cookies are a bit involved, as you need to take your time with each step. But mostly it is waiting time for the base to set, then the lines, when finally the real fun part starts: the painting!

Keep in mind that for any design you choose, you will need to pipe fine lines with Royal icing to set the boundaries of each section. My advice is to keep it simple. Obviously, at first I did not follow this rule and decided to make a peacock. It did not have a happy ending, which explains why you will see no peacock in this post.

I flooded the cookies with white Royal icing, and allowed it to set overnight. Then I projected an image on the surface, and drew with a fine food pen. I should not have used black, a lighter color would have been better, so that is my advice #2 for you. After that, grey Royal icing that was used to pipe the lines (using white would work too, I just wanted to give it a head start for the final color). I still struggle a lot with that piping consistency, and my lines are never as smooth as I would like them to be. But I think I’m slowly getting there.

Once you pipe the lines and they are fully dry, you can paint them with silver or gold luster dust diluted with vodka, and then fill the sections with colors. This step can be omitted if you prefer to leave the lines white or maybe use another color. I wanted to go for a more “metallic” look to mimic the traditional stained-glass motif.

The stained-glass effect is obtained by mixing corn syrup, water, and gel dye. It is a trial and error experience. Place a tiny amount of corn syrup in a watercolor palette, a tiny amount of the color you want to work on in another spot, and a small amount of water in another spot.

Wet the tip of a brush with the water (you’ll need very little water, so dry the excess on a paper towel), and make a diluted mixture of corn syrup and food dye. Soon you will realize how much to add of each component. If it is too light, add more dye, if it is too runny, add more corn syrup. The abstract flower I painted with luster powder + vodka, for a slightly different look.

I am definitely going to use this technique again in the near future, as I need more practice with the fine lines. But of all the cookies I’ve made recently, this stained glass trio of flowers might be my very favorite.

MY FIRST COOKIE PLATTER

This would be perfect for a Mother’s Day gift, don’t you think? Cookie platters can be made with sets of cookies especially designed for the purpose (as the clam petal in today’s example), or you can create a composite by grabbing cookie cutters you already own and coming up with your own unique design. To make my first platter, I followed an online class taught by Marlyn. It was set as a group meeting in which the participants could show their progress and ask questions. In other words: 2 hours of pure fun! You can join Marlyn’s Facebook page or Instagram account to get notification of her new classes, and also visit her youtube channel for many free tutorials available.

Materials used for this cookie platter:

Clam 3-petal cookie cutter + teardrop leaf cutter, any 3-inch round cutter and any mini-daisy cutter, with 5 or 6 petals, about 1.5 inches.

You can bake the leaves separated from the petals and place them together after baking, or do as I did, joining them as one cookie. They will end up as a solid single piece.

Choose your weapons and charge them…

Petals from the large central cookie and the small daisies are piped with stiff consistency Royal icing and a Wilton 104 tip. Everything else takes flooding consistency (about 15 seconds), and two tones per color, no need for tips. Thanks to Marlyn’s guidelines, I finally feel better about using the 104 tip.

Once everything is done, let the pieces set overnight…

It was a lot of fun to decorate live with Marlyn. She made it all seem very easy and simple, and was quite attentive to the timing so that no one was left behind. The pace was perfect. I learned a lot, and also realized that practice is everything. You can watch videos for hours and hours, but you won’t develop that “feel” for the consistency of your Royal icing until you grab the bag and try it yourself.

I close this post with one of many sayings by Marlyn:

Some days you make great cookies, some days you learn.

SUGARVEIL BLUES

Have you heard of sugar lace? It is a great option to add a touch of elegance to cookies and cakes. You can make the basic mixture but most people prefer to buy the powder. One of the best brands is called Sugarveil. I bought a small bag to play with but could not make it work. In fact it was an epic disaster with messy consequences. Discussing my ordeal online led to a wonderful person – whose name should be kept confidential – send me many little round pieces she made herself so I could have fun with them. And so I did. Needless to say, I already ordered another bag, because I need sugar lace in my life. On a regular basis.

To make the decoration, you’ll need special silicone mats to spread the mixture on, then allow it to set either at room temperature or in a very low oven. My dear angel-friend sent me several, with different designs. I show some examples in this picture.

Aren’t they gorgeous? So to incorporate them in cookies I had two ideas in mind. First, make a cookie with a center of chocolate ganache. To achieve that, I measured the size of the sugar lace and built a cookie around it. Started with the outer circle, using a patterned rolling pin, then the center portion with a second, thin layer of smooth dough. I baked them together so they formed a solid cookie with a little shallow space in the center.

Next, I painted the edges with luster gold to allow the pattern to be more evident, filled the center with chocolate ganache, and when it was almost set I gently placed the sugarveil on top.

My favorite is the one in the center, because the decoration hit exactly the edges of the ganache. You don’t get a second chance to place the design, so that is something you need to keep in mind. Think steady hand and determination!

My second “experiment” involved modeling chocolate, something I’ve been using more and more. I dyed some pink, rolled it thin and cut a little smaller than the cookie, but bigger than the sugar veil (using this set of cookie cutters). I actually tried two different sizes, one with less molded chocolate, so that the cookie surface was more exposed.

Modeling chocolate can be made from scratch or bought ready to use. It keeps forever, handles like fondant, but the taste is infinitely better. Very easy to manipulate, the heat of the hands do all the softening you’ll need to make it pliable. To glue to the cookie I used melted chocolate. The sugar veil requires minimal moisture to glue, so I brushed a tiny amount of water on the chocolate base and placed the lace on top.

The possibilites to use sugar lace are pretty much endless. Go to pinterest or instagram and prepare to be amazed. I truly want to make it work, so once I get my new order, I’ll get busy. Cross your fingers for me!

To my secret friend, I cannot thank you enough, your gift made me melt inside!

FUN WITH THE MINI-PROJECTOR

Of all the many gifts my beloved husband gave me, I think the projector goes to the very top of my favorites. It is a total game-changer for cookie decorating. I often flood extra-cookies with Royal icing and save them. In my computer, a folder called “Projector Ideas” collects images I find. One of my favorite pastimes is to paint a few cookies while I have my morning cappuccino. This small collection of cookies were made in the last few weeks. All supplies used are listed in the end of this post.

Perhaps my favorite. I used a real photo as starting point, my first time doing that (won’t be the last).
Luster powder diluted with vodka + food-safe pen.

You don’t necessarily need a white background… Turquoise Royal icing flooding, luster powder and black food-safe pen. Spring on a sugar cookie!

Cookies to tell a story:
The fox is dreaming of a better planet, in which bees are not risking extinction, flamingoes enjoy their clean lakes, roosters announce each day with joy, dragons live in every little kid’s fantasy land, and everybody is happy as a dog with a big bone in his mouth!

This is Brigitte, another favorite cookie of mine… I find her adorably goofy… Food-safe pen only, details with a very fine tip black marker.

Brigitte has many friends in the forest… Food pen for everything, except the body of the elephant, that was painted with silver luster powder.

Her sister Lolita is always, always hungry….

I really like combining luster dust with food-safe pen. And sometimes a light spray with Diamond Dust like I did in the flower adds another dimension to the image. Although there is also something nice about a simple black and white design.

His name is Alfred

I am very fond of minimalist drawings. Wish I could come up with a design myself, but until I am born again as a new person, “borrowing” things from the internet will have to do.

I often draw them in the evening, after dinner, so I have something to paint in the morning… In fact, they look cute as simple drawings if you want to simplify your life, but I cannot resist the appeal of colors.

The chicken cracks me up. I love a goofy cookie! Fox and Howling Coyote are luster powder only. Chick and Penguin food pen. Unicorn uses both.

This batch went for Phil’s golfing buddies. One is a marine biologist, so the great thing about drawing images on cookies is that you can make it with a special someone in mind.

And abstracts can be a ton of fun too! I have several designs in mind for the near future…

SUPPLIES USED IN THIS POST
(I get no commission out of any purchases)


Akaso Mini-projector

Many cool drawings found here.

Luster powder all from Oh Sweet Art

Diamond Dust from Sugar Art.

Food safe pens from several sources, like this and this

Fine tip black marker, my favorite is this one.

That’s all for now! SEE YOU SOON!

WELCOME TO MY NEW SITE!

In a couple of months I will complete my 12th year of food blogging at bewitchingkitchen.com. Why on Earth would I start a new food blog? Well, this one is going to be different. Don’t expect recipes, if I have a new cookie recipe to share, it will be on my regular site. For the Love of Cookies will be my virtual spot to share pictures and very brief remarks on cookie decorating in general, including macarons. Grab a cup of tea, sit back, and have a cookie! If cookies make you happy, consider subscribing to my new site, so you won’t miss a new post.