INTRODUCING THE GNOME & FLORAL ADVENTURE

If you’ve been following my cookie blog, you are familiar with all the online classes taught by Amy from Seriouslysweet. For the new year, she came up with a very fun series: each month we get to make two cookies, one gnome and one floral, with a similar color scheme so that they go together like a perfect match. January started with Frosty Gnome and his blue-tone flower. I cannot tell you how much fun it was to bring these cookies to life, and you can do it too! Just join her site (link below) and sign up for the whole series. You will need the cookie cutters also, although you could conceivably cut them by hand or use a similar cutter you already own. The videos are all pre-recorded and the classes follow her usual format, so you will also receive a little card with all the specific things you need for each cookie.

To join Amy’s online tutorials, visit her site clicking here.

I love when cookies make me smile, and these gnomes do it, big time! So many details… First, you need to make the nose with fondant or modeling chocolate, once that is ready you can start piping the different sections and adding all the bells and whistles.

Apart from the fondant noses, you’ll need little snowflakes made with wafer paper and a small punch type cutter, but if you don’t have that, you can add snow-shaped sprinkles. The paper creates a nice lift, though. The gloves get some texture with the needle, and the beard is made using one of Amy’s favorite techniques, which I don’t feel it is right to share, as the class is a paid event. The final touch is a large snowflake made with fondant, and spray painted with Wilton pearl Color Mist. I made a little heart to go with that set also… Aren’t the gnomes the cutest?

The matching flowers are much simpler to make, even if they seem complicated. All you need is Royal icing in the right consistency (thick), a petal and a leaf piping tips. I added some sprinkles to the center and once the icing was fully set I painted the edges with luster powder, white for the petals and copper for the leaves.

I’ve enjoyed every single online class from Amy, but this one has got to be one of my favorites of all times! It was wonderful to see that little gnome taking shape, and although it is not a class for beginners – you need to be comfortable making and handling Royal icing in several different consistencies – it is not over the top advanced.

If you’d like to challenge your cookie decorating a bit, I urge you to join Amy’s site and sign up for the upcoming classes. Her group on Facebook keeps getting bigger and bigger, it is great to see everybody making progress in their own path of decorating cookies.

Amy, I look forward to February and its set of gnome and floral!

ONE YEAR AGO: The Year of the Tiger Cookie Platter

ANDI’S WET-ON-WET FLORALS

This set of cookies were part of an online class I took recently (click here for details). Andi is a wonderful instructor and when you subscribe to the class you get a super detailed PDF not only with all the recipes and templates, but also in this case a little tutorial on how to draw this particular type of flower. For me, this kind of basic info is extremely helpful. Right after I finished the cookies planned for class, I took a little departure and made a small set of my own, using her basic approach. I highly recommend her classes. This was a reasonably simple one, I am trying to decide if I should take a deep breath and go for one of her more advanced versions. You know how that might end… (wink, wink).

This online class had four designs, but two of them I messed up. One of the things that needs to be considered is that designs with a big area of wet-on-wet might cause the icing to overflow the edge of the cookie, which distorts the image. I added too much of the base color without taking that in account. But the heart-shaped cookies worked very well. Also in the class we had a square cookie and a large, round cookie with a monogram inside. I need to re-visit those in the future.

I cannot go into all the details for the different stages (due to copyright issues for the class), but what I loved the most was adding the black details using a fine brush and this particular food color, which is Andy’s favorite for this type of work. It truly works super well. It is a dye designed for air-brushing, it dries reasonably quickly, but it is very forgiving. You use it straight from the bottle, no need to adjust anything.

One of the cookies I had issues with started from a square shape and a band of gold luster painted on the naked cookie. I used that idea and made a composite square cookie. In this case, instead of wet-on-wet, I painted the design with luster gold and then used the black Amerimist gel color to add the details.

Below a few steps of the prep for these cookies… First, painting with gold, icing with green, and using a stencil to add a pattern just in one area of the cookie. Luster gold to paint a very loose design of the flowers, and the black details added once it all dries, which is less than 10 minutes.

I really loved this method, and will be exploring different shapes of flowers in the future. I also love how a very elegant design can be made with just three colors of Royal icing.

ONE YEAR AGO: Brush Embroidery