For those celebrating the occasion today, I offer a centerpiece of a cookie that was a recent adventure online with Amy from @seriouslysweet (click here for her website and to join the group). Many cookie-addict friends joined for that live event. We learned A LOT of different piping techniques and they were done – like I use to call them – without anesthesia. That means right on the cookie, not as Royal icing transfers. With transfers, you can make plenty and pick the best ones. Piping straight on the cookie adds quite a bit of anxiety, but it is super cool and rewarding. The level of detail in this cookie was truly something else!
Let me walk you through the process. First there is the drawing to get the correct perspective – which is not easy for me but Amy makes it doable for common mortals. Then stenciling with icing which is another skill I struggle with, then the wood effect around the chalkboard, and finally all the flower piping. Amy demonstrated everything in real time, at a pace we could all follow. Perfect online class!
It is a bit intimidating at first, to work on such a large cookie with so many features, there is always that fear of messing some step and ruining it, but the Cookie Gods were smiling at me that day…
Springtime, Mother’s Day, they both beg for floral cookies. A small sample of different styles to celebrate this special week. Below the cookies just a few words to describe the technique used.
Royal ice in white. Painted with Sugarprism (click here for the product) using watercolor techniques. I sat down with some youtube videos showing how to paint simple flowers, and went to work. A brush accent with gold because I cannot help it.
Same basic technique but using luster powder diluted with vodka instead of Sugarprism. You don’t get the same effect, the paint dries super quickly so there is less room to play with density or mix colors together. It goes fast, though, and you get the metallic aspect of it, which can be nice too.
This is a fun and easy technique. Apply dry luster powder loosely in the shape of flowers. Then just do the outlines with a black pen, fine tip to make the design pop. You can use a Q-tip to apply the powder or get a specific brush to do the job, like the one below.
For the plaque shape cookies, I used the same approach as the dry dust but instead diluted the powder with vodka and loosely painted the petals.
Going for a modern take on flowers. The outline was done first, using a single line, so I started at the bottom, went up drawing the leaves, and all the way up to the petals, without lifting the pen. I used to doodle this type of shapes a lot when I was a teenager, so why not put it to use in cookies, right? Once the pen lines dried, I used a food safe pen to paint.
Same modern approach, single line drawing but over a painted background (I used food pen for that).
I enjoyed making them all, but maybe the ones below are my favorites…
If you are fond of painting, I hope you give these designs a try. Sugarprism is the best to get the watercolor/acrylic feel of painting, but you can definitely make florals using many different techniques. Just have fun with it!
To join Tunde’s Cookie Club, visit her site with a click here.
Talk about an adorable set of cookies that would make any kid (or adult) smile? This is definitely it. Not terribly complicated to make, but challenging enough to make you feel accomplished once they are done. You will need a plaque cookie cutter (preferably large), a bunny, a large butterfly and a 6-petal flower cutter.
Starting with my favorite…
What a sweet, elegant cookie Tunde designed here! You make it in stages, the center part gets flooded and covered with sanding sugar first. Then the flooding on the adjacent area, once that sets, the details are incorporated. Tunde piped the roses with Royal icing in her tutorial, I went with fondant, and piped only the leaves. I just love this cookie so much!
These flowers open up a world of possible designs. I flooded the cookies the day before, then just needed white Royal icing in piping consistency and a tip #2. Fondant flowers for the centers.
How cute are those bunnies? You tell me! Very simple to decorate, flood, cover with sanding sugar and add the details. Once again I used fondant flowers and piped the leaves with icing. I had the eyes from a project last year, and put them to use for these babies, as Royal icing transfers. It’s always a good idea to save leftover transfers, you never know when they can come in handy.
The butterfly used brush embroidery, and I feel I could have done a better job, but I am still happy with it. The whole set goes so well together, it screams Easter and Spring!
Tunde, thank you so much for this super fun adventure! You style is so unique, and your videos are perfect for anyone to follow…
Chocolate Royal icing is a departure on the regular, white type, made by replacing some of the powdered sugar with cocoa powder. I used the recipe published in Amber’s new cookbook (which I recently reviewed here). If you don’t have the book, you can always use recipes found online. Cocoa powder contains up to 22% fat in its composition, so it can be tricky to use in items that are normally very low in fat. Macarons and Royal icing are two examples. I ended up ordering a special cocoa powder that is fat-free (available here) and it worked a lot better. The icing was smooth, dried without bubbles, and behaved a lot like regular white icing. Works amazingly well for macarons also, but that is another story to be told another time… Chocolate Icing has intense flavor and a beautiful brown color. One of the simplest ways to dress it up is coupling it with a stencil and gold air-brushing.
You can also use the air-brushed image to take it one step further and pipe the design to lift the image…
Going one step further, wait until the piping is fully set (preferably overnight) and then have some fun painting. Sugarprism is the ideal product because you can blend the colors very easily and it has excellent coverage, even on a dark background. For this technique, I followed the idea of Michelle, inventor of Sugarprism, in one of her many wonderful Facebook videos.
Opinions were a bit divided on these cookies. Some people loved the painted look, others preferred the more austere piping without colors. But everybody thought gold goes very well with the dark cocoa background, and I fully agree…
If you have never used Chocolate icing, consider doing so. It is a great alternative when all you need is a solid background, plus it adds a nice chocolate flavor to your base cookie.
One more series of cookies designed by Amy, this time the class was not live, but a series of videos pre-recorded so that each person made the cookies whenever most convenient. The full set had 10 cookies, I did not make them all, but loved each one that was born in my kitchen. Here you can see some of them…
To find out more about Amy’s online classes, check her Instagram page with a click here.
. I also made a couple of Christmas trees to match some of the cookies, and some round ones with the swirl border which I absolutely love.
Below, some of the prep stages of the cookies. The candy cane design was not from class, I had watched a reel on Instagram showing the technique and decided to add to Amy’s designs.
. My favorite design from class was definitely the one below…
. I love the elegance and simplicity, the division of the cookie in two sections adding texture as sanding sugar to half of it. Definitely my favorite. I made a little Christmas tree inspired by it.
Another great design that I confess I did not hit correctly, is the poinsettia. I should have been more careful when I planned the positioning of the petals, but I still like the way they turned out. Amy teaches how to pipe all the petals using tipless piping bag, a great skill to have under your belt.
We also made a nice little snow-covered brunch…
And, bringing back the hexagon with the swirl border, my green colors were a little thick, but I love the way that gave a little bit of extra lift to the design, so I will keep that in mind for the future.
I love this series, and hope to re-visit the techniques again in the future, as well as making the few I did not get to yet. The swirl border can be made in many different ways, as you can see in the composite picture in the beginning of my post. Great for Valentine’s also, so get your imagination going!
Amy, those were amazing designs, thank you once again for the super detailed instructions in all of the videos!
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….
Every once in a while someone sends me pictures of decorated cookies they love and tell me I should make them. Some are totally out of my skill level, so I just reply with a very gentle “are you out of your mind?”, and move on…. But not too long ago my friend Louise sent me a video of a great cookie artist at work and I decided to give that one a try. I actually changed the whole method around. Originally those were made with many (and I really mean many) colors and consistencies of Royal icing. Each cookie requiring several different colors for piping and flooding, then even more colors for the final details. I simplified it quite a bit by using Sugarprism painting over the basic white design.
Once that is fully set, the fun part is waiting for you… grab your colors (if you don’t have Sugarprism, food safe pens, diluted gel colors, or luster powders will work also).
I waited for the base colors to dry a bit, not more than 15 minutes were needed, and added the details on top, also with Sugarprism and a very fine brush.
I had some extra cookies and decided to play with a simpler design. I made random flowers using golden luster powder diluted with vodka, when that was dry, I added the outlines and details with black Sugarprism and a very fine brush.
So there you have, six heart-shaped cookies, in two different floral styles, one will require some time and effort, but the golden ones are the easiest cookies you can dream of. Apart from grabbing a box at the grocery store, that is…
Many occasions can be celebrated with floral cookies… engagement parties, weddings, Valentine’s, Birthdays… adding a frame to the design makes it even more special. Oval shapes are perfect for that. You can use a cookie cutter with scalloped edges. Or you can follow the cute idea of Marlyn from Montreal Confections, and shape the cookie using what is normally reserved for fondant: a silicone mold. Sugar or chocolate cookie dough with no leavening agent work best, making sure to bake the cookies from frozen. Once the cookies are baked, the central area is flooded and decorated.
In these cookies, I flooded the center with Royal icing in Gold, allowed it to set overnight, then stamped the designs… I thought a little kitten could look cute in place of flowers…
To order the mold I used to bake these cookies, follow this link. It takes a little bit of trial and error to get the right amount of dough in the mold, and pull it without losing the shape. But once you get the gist of it, it will go smoothly.
Using sugar cookies will give a totally different look. In the cookies below, I flooded the center with white Royal icing and then used wet-on-wet to make flowers. For a little bling, I painted the edge with luster gold.
A scalloped oval cookie cutter can give a stronger impression of a frame by piping a line on the perimeter and then flooding the center. Once that was fully set, I painted flowers using Sugarprism.
Just a few hours after I made these cookies, we stopped at Marshall’s and I found the absolutely perfect little platter! Serendipity in full force…
Another way to make a framed floral is flooding with a bright color, in this case Wedgewood with a touch of Royal blue, allowing the icing to fully set, and scratching a design with a needle, as I blogged about in September last year (visit post here)…
I fell in love with these cookies moment she shared their pictures to announce the online event. I would not say this was a beginner’s level adventure, but Amy explains each step so well, that I believe even someone very new to cookie decorating could follow. Plus, to give you an idea of her level of detail when preparing for the event, the week before she uploaded SIX videos of cookie preparation. Some cookies had to be flooded, some fondant decorations had to be made and painted. It is a set perfect for Mother’s Day or any romantic occasion. Engagements, weddings… Pure beauty.
The set is designed as seven hexagon cookies to form a beautiful platter when joined together. One of the things that are required is baking the cookies over a perforated mat. Actually, these mats are a complete game changer as far as cookie baking goes, so I highly recommend you get one. I simply never bake over parchment anymore. The base of the cookies is perfect when you use the mats. Many brands available, like this one. Amy used the texture given by the mat as part of the design in two of the cookies.
The cookie on the left is flooded allowing part of the base to show. That gets painted in gold. The effect is simply amazing, don’t you think? On the right, several colors of icing in thicker consistency are smeared over the base.
The day before class, this is what we had to get ready… Several cookies flooded, some wet-on-wet flower motif, and one cookie flooded and immediately covered with embossed parchment paper.
Apart from that, fondant decorations and wafer paper decorations made and painted.
Side-note…. Amy demonstrated how the exact same silicone mold can give you two quite different flowers, depending on how much fondant (or modeling chocolate) you add to it.
There were a few techniques totally new to me, like working with edible fabric to make a bow. It is a little tricky but not that bad, actually. A little patience is required.
I also got to use this super cute ring to hold glue for the first time. It makes it a lot easier to work with the wafer paper bits and tiny sprinkles. You touch the glue with the needle and apply where you want it, no need to reach for the big bottle and risk making a mess. She included one in the box sold independently of the online class, I’ve only found it for sale in bulk (click here).
It was also my first time working with printed wafer paper, which adds a lot of elegance to a cookie.
I’ve participated of several classes online with Amy, each one teaches me so much, but this was truly special. Each cookie fascinated me. Below, my top three favorites. The first one required piping the roses and leaves on the cookie, so perhaps it was the most advanced of all, but Amy guides each step of the piping with perfect attention to details. How to hold the piping bag in the perfect angle, how to move your hand at each petal. A great learning experience!
Amy, I cannot thank you enough for yet another amazing online event. Already looking forward to our next adventure together…
One of my favorite cookies of the past couple of months, I saw this design on a post in Facebook, and made my own. I simplified by using fondant flowers instead of piping them. It is not exactly a dream catcher motif, but I suppose it’s close enough….
You’ll need to get those fine lines going, the finer you can get them, the better the outcome. I went as fine as I could, but intend to repeat this type of design in the future and aim higher. Or, maybe I should say aim finer? 😉
It all starts with a frame-shape cookie cutter flooded in red. Then just eye-ball the design, going down the cookie in rows, as shown in the composite below.
For one of them, I tried to do a more complex pattern, that could have worked better with finer lines. Still, for a first attempt, I like the way they turned out. Once you have the lines piped, get some fondant flower and add them with a tiny bit of Royal icing. The leaves were piped with thick consistency icing and a very small leaf tip from Ateco (ST50).
Since I had the fine lines going, I did one more design over white background. I think they go well together.
I visualize similar designs with a background in Americolor Wedgewood, or Dusty Rose, or even a simple gold, flowers with different shapes and colors. Perfect for Mother’s Day, or just to offer to a special friend.