MARLYN’S PIZZA BOX BEACH COOKIES

I’ve been excited about cookies more than once. Who am I trying to fool? Countless times, I admit. But I am just over the moon with these. Marlyn came up with this cool idea of arranging cookies inside a small (7-inch square) pizza box (available here), and I totally fell in love with the concept. This first one I made following Marlyn’s tutorial pretty closely. Perfect for the summer, my favorite season.

The idea is to fit the cookies to form a scene inside the pizza box. Marlyn shared templates for her Patreon supporters so that you can cut the cookies to fit. Check her site here.

First you bake the cookies and make sure to trim them if needed, using a microplane. I actually did not need to do that, they all fit nicely together.

Next, decorate each cookie according to her detailed tutorial, or using your own ideas and color scheme.

The trickiest part for me was piping the weave pattern in the bag, I almost decided to skip it, but I’m glad I gave it a try. Mine is far from perfect, but I am happy with it. It is a bag that has seen a few Summer vacations already…

Once all the individual cookies are decorated and fully set, comes the fun part, assembling the design!

Isn’t this a fantastic concept? The possibilities are endless, boxes designed for Halloween, for Valentine’s, for a wedding anniversary, anything you can dream of. Marlyn keeps adding new versions and I keep dreaming…

Stay tuned for two more versions of Pizza Box Cookie scenes… And make sure to check Marlyn’s IG page to get truly inspired…

VAMOS A LA PLAYA!

Some cookie projects are a complete pleasure, beginning to end. Once again I followed a tutorial from Marlyn (Montreal Confections). You can watch the basic process here, as part of a recent Live Facebook event. A full, detailed tutorial (with a nice supply list) is available in her Patreon page. The basic idea is quite simple: two colors flood the cookie, mimicking sea and sand. But then she brings the details, the real gilding of the lily. And the simple details turn each cookie into a fun, adorable beach scene.

The adventure starts with a round cookie, pick a size compatible with the decorations that will be added in the end. However, I generally dislike cookies that end up too big, so I went as small as feasible for my shells and starfish.

For the water component, Marlyn suggests painting a wavy design with the air-brush, and a final shiny coat with a spray of PME luster. Those two small details considerably embellish the cookies.

The sand component is added after the water part is fully set. I used Golden Rocks from Wilton, lightly processed in a mini-grinder. You can use Graham cracker crumbs too. Finally, brush embroidery comes in to play the role of waves. Just make sure that the Royal icing is in piping consistency and don’t use water in the brush because it can interfere with the air-brushing. It is all clearly explained in Marlyn’s tutorial, by the way.

The shells and decorations were made using this mold.

I find making decorations with silicone molds very relaxing, as you may have noticed from a recent post. And they last for a long time, so you can make them way in advance. I added a light spray of PME luster to all of them, but painting with luster powder + alcohol works great too. The spray is just faster and simpler.

If you love baking cookies, make sure to follow Marlyn through her IG page. She is always coming up with new ideas, it’s hard to keep up, but I have fun trying, that’s for sure!

JEWELED BUTTERFLIES

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.

It all starts by painting a very thin layer of Royal icing on the cookie. After just a few minutes it was dried and I could draw the sections with a food pen. White icing was used to draw the outline of all sections, allowed to dry and air-brushed with gold. Then three different tones of the same color (I used teal from Chefmaster) filled the wing sections. Some steps are shown in the composite picture below.

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.

MY FIRST COOKIE PLATTER

This would be perfect for a Mother’s Day gift, don’t you think? Cookie platters can be made with sets of cookies especially designed for the purpose (as the clam petal in today’s example), or you can create a composite by grabbing cookie cutters you already own and coming up with your own unique design. To make my first platter, I followed an online class taught by Marlyn. It was set as a group meeting in which the participants could show their progress and ask questions. In other words: 2 hours of pure fun! You can join Marlyn’s Facebook page or Instagram account to get notification of her new classes, and also visit her youtube channel for many free tutorials available.

Materials used for this cookie platter:

Clam 3-petal cookie cutter + teardrop leaf cutter, any 3-inch round cutter and any mini-daisy cutter, with 5 or 6 petals, about 1.5 inches.

You can bake the leaves separated from the petals and place them together after baking, or do as I did, joining them as one cookie. They will end up as a solid single piece.

Choose your weapons and charge them…

Petals from the large central cookie and the small daisies are piped with stiff consistency Royal icing and a Wilton 104 tip. Everything else takes flooding consistency (about 15 seconds), and two tones per color, no need for tips. Thanks to Marlyn’s guidelines, I finally feel better about using the 104 tip.

Once everything is done, let the pieces set overnight…

It was a lot of fun to decorate live with Marlyn. She made it all seem very easy and simple, and was quite attentive to the timing so that no one was left behind. The pace was perfect. I learned a lot, and also realized that practice is everything. You can watch videos for hours and hours, but you won’t develop that “feel” for the consistency of your Royal icing until you grab the bag and try it yourself.

I close this post with one of many sayings by Marlyn:

Some days you make great cookies, some days you learn.