Sometimes we might get lazy and not want to mix a lot of different colors for Royal icing. But we still want colorful cookies… That is called a conundrum, and it is easily solved: make white icing, grab your favorite Sugarprism colors, and paint away! I cannot take credit for the idea, I simply followed the steps of Michelle, artist extraordinaire, and the very inventor of Sugarprism…
Let me walk you through the steps…
First, I made an outline with dark pink, using a PME #3 tip…
Then, flood the different areas with white Royal icing, and allow it to crust for 1 hour or so…
From this point, you can leave the cookie without any added decoration, for a simple, understated look, or add little dots and swirls to the wings.
Once all those additions are fully set, grab your Sugarprism colors (or use a food pen), and have some fun.
Gold luster powder mixed with vodka also works quite well to add some bling…
I hope you enjoyed this simple technique, and consider using it in one of your future cookie adventures…
These cookies were made following a tutorial from Marlyn (available in her Patreon site), and although a little involved, they will make you happy and relaxed as you see them develop, one little section at a time.
Finally the body is filled with white Royal icing, and gets a shower of sparkling sugar.
The same design works on different shapes of butterflies. The first time I used a different cookie cutter and had some issues with the fine lines, but still like the overall look.
I promised you more butterflies, and here I am to deliver them. Haniela skillfully joined one beautiful springtime theme (the cherry blossom) with one gorgeous creature of our planet to come up with these unique cookies. Her tutorial can be found on youtube, or a more detailed version on her Patreon page. I made just a minor modification by using fondant molded blossoms instead of Royal icing transfers.
The sugar cookies were made with my default recipe, flavored with Sakura extract and a little vanilla. The mold I used for the flowers was from this store at etsy.com, but it is currently unavailable. Amazon has several types that might work, like this one.
The molded flowers were painted with luster powder in two tones of pink and the center got a touch of Egyptian gold. After the cookies are flooded and decorated using black and white Royal icing, they are allowed to crust before the final decorations are added: brown tree branches and green small leaves. Finally, glue the flowers, and you are done. Haniela added additional decoration to the wings of her butterflies, but I simplified mine a bit, knowing my limitations.
The molded blossoms will also work well on a simple white butterfly. I painted the body in Egyptian gold for additional contrast. And bling. Because bling makes a baker sing… (sorry, could not resist).
If you want the whole truth, this white butterfly was born because I ran out of black icing. There. Confession is good, I feel a lot better.
A couple of weeks ago I spotted something on Instagram and fell in love with it instantly. It was in the page of one incredibly talented baker, Mary Mansfield, check her work here. I dropped her a message asking some details about her painting technique, and she was adorable, super helpful. So I took a deep breath and tried it myself. Basically you flood the cookies with white Royal icing, let it set for a day, and then use diluted gel dye to paint them. I tried Everclear and I tried water. Everclear has so much alcohol in it that it dries super fast and gives the icing a matte finish. I had trouble controlling the intensity of the color and their mixing, so I ended up switching to water. But you should figure out what works best for you.
This is your white canvas… I went with small cookies, because the smaller they are, the less likely I would mess them up beyond recognition as butterflies. Or so I thought. Once they are flooded and totally dry, you can gather your weapons of choice and start playing. My favorite of all was this blue baby. Reminds me of some that used to be common in Brazil.
You can use sharp strokes with the brush, or add a little water or alcohol to the surface of the icing and then do a kind of watercolor painting touching the dye on that wet spot and moving it around. Things sometimes get a bit out of control. I told Phil that this painting is similar to driving on icy roads: you slide here, you do a save there, you almost crash, but in the end it’s all good. If not happy with the outcome, follow my advice to quickly eat the evidence. As to the body, add it after the paint is dry, using toothpaste consistency royal icing. Let it dry and if desired, paint it.
So here are my 12 little butterflies, in different tones and styles…
THE RED SERIES
In some cases I painted the bodies because they developed craters, a real nightmare that I’m not that good at avoiding. Additionally, when the paint dried on the wings, I went back on some and added a few details with silver or gold luster powder.
THE BLUE SERIES
And the final four, which in fact were the ones I made first, so I was struggling a bit. Particularly with the one of the top left, there were “issues.” I went through a few “Oh, NO, what have I done?”, but decided to keep it. It also developed a huge crater, the poor baby. One abused butterfly.
You might think this is too time-consuming, but in fact the dye dries so fast that you cannot spend too much time fiddling with it. Decide what you want to do, pick a set of two, three colors at most to work on a single cookie, and hope for the best.
Butterflies are one of my favorite subjects to “cookie.” I have a few more examples to share in the near future, using different techniques. So hopefully I’ll see you back here soon!