MARLYN’S SUNFLOWER PUMPKIN

I cannot lie, I hate that Summer has ended, but I must also admit that Fall might very well be the greatest season for cookie decorating… because…. pumpkins, autumn leaves, and let’s not forget: HALLOWEEN! So, to start things on the best possible mood, I kick the season with a set of cookies created by Marlyn. I fell in love with them at first sight: a mixture of pumpkin and sunflower, in a composition full of small details that make a simple design shine. You can watch her tutorial with a click here.

The background of the pumpkin is made a little more special by spray painting the edges and then splashing some gold on the whole surface. I love that technique, which she demonstrates very well in the video. Just adding these two additional steps to the background makes the cookie special. But, of course, the icing on the cake is the sunflower, petals piped over a ring of icing to give it a little more lift. With Marlyn, it is all in the small details. Below, you can see some of the steps in the preparation of the cookies.

I loved making these cookies because you slowly see the image coming to life. Moreover, they stand as a very nice lesson in decorating, because you need to work on so many skills: a nice smooth flooding, then some air-brushing, working with luster powder, and finally piping designs with different icing consistencies (for the flowers, leaves, and fine line details).


For the sunflower center I used two different methods: black sanding sugar, and adding texture to Royal icing using a fondant ball. I like them both, but working with sanding sugar can be tricky, if you go that route, make sure the petals and areas around the center are fully set so the sugar won’t glue to them.

I hope you enjoyed this set, that represents the essence of Fall so well!

ONE YEAR AGO: Welcome to Fall!

AUTUMN LEAVES

In my previous post I shared a slightly unusual take on pumpkins, and now I bring you a black and white alternative for Fall-inspired leaves. The basic idea is very simple, and you can do anything you want for each pattern. Don’t worry about it, don’t be too hard on yourself, it’s not about perfection. If you really hate one particular section you made, go ahead and paint it black… Inspiration came from this Instagram page.

The whole process could not be simpler… just flood the cookies with white Royal icing, and allow it to fully set, overnight is best. Then, divide the leaf in sections using a food-safe black pen, with a fine tip. Create different patterns for each of the sections, pretty much anything you imagine will do.

You can make the cookies big or small, it’s very relaxing to draw the patterns, time flies by…

Leaves are definitely one of the top shapes for cookies during this time of the year. No matter your preference, there is always a style out there for you… I actually like to mix and match, modern and traditional on the same batch.

The same basic idea can be applied to many different shapes of cookies, either decorating the whole area of just a small portion. Colors could be fun too instead of black and white. Once again, as usual with cookies, one simple method and so many things you can do with it!

AND NOW FOR PUMPKIN COMPLETELY DIFFERENT

Dedicated to all Monty Python fans out there.

Count on Marlyn to turn the pumpkin cookie, pretty much mandatory this time of the year, into something unusual and special. If you read my regular food blog, in the last In My Kitchen post I shared a little silicone mold to make a filigree type decoration. It is exactly what I used to decorate the pumpkin cookies, following Marlyn’s design (detailed video available here).

The making of the cookie is actually very simple. For a watercolor effect (starting around 8 min of Marlyn’s video), flood with white and then add patches of color with very diluted gel food dye (Everclear works best to dilute it). Let it dry, and add the fondant decoration, painted with gold luster dust (I used Egyptian gold). Alternatively you can just flood with a solid color like the one on the left side below.

The fall leaves were inspired by Amber, from @sweetambs (watch quick video here). The same watercolor technique, but applied to the naked cookie, so the colors will end up much more vivid. Then the veins are piped and painted with gold or copper. I really love the look of these cookies, and they both are pretty simple to decorate, plus the fall leaves will please those who prefer a cookie without too much Royal icing.

Visit my recent https://bewitchingkitchen.com/2021/10/01/in-my-kitchen-october-2021/In My Kitchen post to see the silicone mold I used for the decoration. There are plenty of options available in stores like amazon, etsy or aliexpress, make sure you consider the size of your pumpkin cookie cutter to get the appropriate mold.

A little play with coral colors in different techniques: air-brush with stencil, textured icing (laying crumpled parchment paper on the wet icing and waiting 24 hours to remove it), and the watercolor pumpkin.

I am a lover of all things Summer, but I have to admit that the Fall with all the warm colors and interesting shapes is one of the best seasons for cookie baking and decorating. Stay tuned for a lot more…

A WELCOME TO FALL

It is that time of the year. Temperatures will drop, and the trees will soon change color. These cookies are my little shout out to Autumn. Some inspired by Marlyn, from Montreal Confections, and adapted to my skill level.

I fell in love with these cookies the moment I saw the video by Marlyn. The challenging part for me was piping the basket, and I do need more practice, but overall I am happy with the outcome. You should definitely see Marlyn’s version, because she added a little bear peeking from inside the basket, the cutest little detail (Instagram entry here). I simplified it by using fondant flowers instead. The chocolate dough is my default, by the way. I sent these cookies to a dear friend, and used the smallest amount of chipotle, as I did not know her take on the pairing of cocoa with pepper…

The cookie cutter I used was this one. It all starts by piping an outline for each balloon section, and piping the basket weave. Then, flood the different regions according to your choice of pattern (dots, swirls), and you are almost there. Some fondant decorations and additional piping is all you’ll need. I had some leftover Royal icing which I put to use in my Hexagon Ode to Fall. I had no idea where I was going with it, but I liked it a lot. It ended up with an ET-meets-Aztec aura…

Another cute cookie project conceived by Marlyn (her creativity is unreal), involves the candy corn shape. Recently I got a special cutter that makes four small cookies at a time. It is what I’ve used in this fun batch. Check her IG post for all details.

This is a much simpler project, although it does require the piping of fine lines as a starting point. You can get by without them, but some of the visual impact will be lost.

The final detail is a little luster powder in red or pink to make the cheeks blush. I tell you, my friends, cookie decorating is all in the small details, and if you follow the artists out there, you will learn a ton from them.