PAINTED ROYAL ICING TRANSFERS

When you decorate cookies, it’s pretty common to have leftover Royal icing. It does freeze well, but you can also make royal icing transfers in all sorts of shapes without worrying about color at this point. Let them set for a few hours or overnight, and then use any method of your choice to color them. Michelle, the inventor of Sugarprism, is a pro at this. The birds below were made following her lead.

I got so hooked into the process that right away I started making several different transfers. The advantage of making them all white, is that you can choose the colors later, to match any cookie you are working on. Here are my first two babies… The first one coupled with Royal icing in piping consistency, and the second with painting (luster powder) + food pen.

The main thing to consider when making the transfers is using a slightly thicker consistency and piping in stages so the design won’t be flat. This works when making flowers, butterflies, birds, pretty much any image. As to how to add color? Any method works: food pens, Sugarprism (both the acrylic and the watercolor types), food gel diluted with vodka, luster powder. I normally bring all my tools out to play and go with the flow.

A few more designs using the transfers… The one below is definitely one of my favorites ever! I brought back my days of studying Mandarin and incorporated a modern rose with the ideogram for love. I find that particular ideogram very beautiful. One of its components (the central motif) is the ideogram that represents the heart. The Chinese language has incredibly beautiful details that captivate the mind.

For the butterflies, I used a different method to paint flowers: dry dusting with luster powder using a sponge brush in a very loose pattern. Next, a food pen adds the real drawing, which does not need any precision.

That is a very easy method to add flowers, and it will give the impression that you spent a lot of time in each cookie, but that’s really not the case. Plus, it is very forgiving.

So here is my small collection of cookies using the transfers I made in the past couple of weeks. As you can see, a transfer can stand alone on its own, or you can add details around it. Your cookie, your choice. But whatever you decide to do, having a little treasure chest with transfers ready to be painted is a very efficient way to decorate cookies. I hope you give that a try!

ONE YEAR AGO: Not Always Black and White

COOKIES FOR A FIRST BIRTHDAY

I’ve mentioned before that one of the things I love the most is making a set of cookies for a special someone. The daughter of one of our former graduate students just turned 1 year old, and I sent them a little package to celebrate the occasion. I hope you’ll find some ideas to inspire you in this small collection.

The number one is a tiny little cookie, not what I had originally in mind. I had ordered a larger cookie cutter and amazon messed up. My package was “lost”, they refunded the money. Oddly enough, a few days after the birthday (when the cookies had already been made and delivered), the package got transferred from UPS to USPS (?????) and arrived at the front door. Maybe I should order right now a number 2 for next year?

I chose a basic pink theme, using different techniques to decorate. From mini-projector to piped and painted Royal icing, brush embroidery, and Royal icing transfers.

Butterflies seemed also appropriate for a little girl…

So here is the full collection, a little Baker’s Dozen….

ONE YEAR AGO: Vamos a la Playa

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…