FOR THE LOVE OF A TEDDY BEAR

I fell in love with this cookie concept the moment I saw it in Marlyn’s IG page and then on her Patreon site. The twisted legs and the goofy expression won my heart. At that time, I felt the techniques involved were way out of my skill level. But I hoped that one day…. one day I would be brave to give it a try. Finally, it materialized. One little step at a time. Steps taken with twisted legs, to match the cookie spirit…

I just love this cutie pie! I opted for chocolate cookies as the starting point.. The head and legs are made from heart-shaped cutters, the body a simple oval shape. Next, a bit of “frankensteining” happens to add ears and arms to the head and body. Marlyn has it all very clearly explained in her Patreon tutorial.

From that point, you will need two tones of Royal icing for the basic components (outlining darker), and a fun technique with a plastic wrap to make the texture.

A little black royal icing for the eyes, some finishing details for nose and paws, and that goofy boy is ready to make a kid smile!

SUGARPRISM BUTTERFLIES

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…

ONE YEAR AGO: Cherry Blossom Butterflies

FUN WITH PAPER STRIPS

A couple of months ago Haniela showcased in one of the Facebook lives a cool idea she had to decorate sugar cookies. She used thin strips of parchment paper that are laid on top of wet Royal icing. Then the cookies are decorated either with wet-on-wet, or other painting techniques. The final step is pulling off the paper strips, which of course only happens next day, when the icing if fully set. I know that it’s not easy to visualize the technique from this description, but once you see the step by step, it will become clear. Her full video tutorial is available here. I was so excited about the technique, that I made a few cookies a couple of days later. Today’s post is a series of cookies made in March and April with variations of her basic method.

For this tile-cookie, it started with white Royal icing to flood the entire surface, and then the paper stripes were placed in a geometric pattern.

The composite below shows the steps – I let the icing set and used luster powder to paint, with the strips of paper still glued. Then, pulling the paper reveals the white underneath.

As you can imagine, the possibilities of colors and designs are endless, and so much fun to play with!

It all starts with making the strips of paper. Using a very thin blade, cut strips on parchment paper, try to do them of equal width, but some variation is ok, you can even incorporate that in the design. Once you have plenty of strips available, you can start flooding the cookies and coming up with ways to decorate.

The ones below were made following her tutorial a little more closely, starting with hexagons and using wet-on-wet to create the design.

Some of the steps you can see below (but keep in mind Haniela’s tutorial on Facebook is the best way to follow the technique).

Another thing she demonstrated in the video was using a special type of scissors (available here) to cut the strips, so that the edges get wavy. I love the end result! Using the scissors is a little more involved, but not too bad.

To make this Ukraine-inspired cookie, I cut the strips a little larger, added to turquoise Royal icing, and next day painted some areas with gold. The sunflower is a fondant addition. The picture below show this cookie in its initial stage.

I hope this post gave you some ideas to play in the future. There are so many ways to incorporate the paper strips into designs, and once you have them all cut, the hard work is done. It’s all downhill from there.

Haniela, thank you for the tutorial, I had a ton of fun playing with your concept…

ONE YEAR AGO: For the Love of All Things Bees

THE QUILT CHALLENGE

Marlyn (from Montreal Confections) is on a mission to make her followers work on their creativity. Every month she proposes a little challenge, like the bouquet (click here) and the Christmas wreath-flip (click here). For the month of March, she suggested a quilt-cookie. That got me a bit frozen with fear, and I felt unable to come up with ideas. But the fact that my mind is so set on all things Ukraine, gave me that light at the end of the tunnel. A quilt with the colors of Ukraine. A quilt with the flower that is the symbol of that amazing country.

I started from the baked and cooled cookie, and drew with a food safe pen the basic quilt design. I did not know exactly where I was headed, so I started by brushing a thick coating of brown in the center, and adding texture with a brush. Once that was fully set, I added copper luster for bling. Then I worked on the yellow and blue components, flooding areas that were not touching, and allowing them to set for about 30 minutes before flooding the other areas. A little painting with orange to add contrast to the petals, and fine lines pipes to finish the design. You can see the progress in the composite picture below.

This was a challenge that terrified me, but I am quite happy with the outcome. It gave me one more opportunity to celebrate Ukraine. And hope that they can do what seemed impossible in the beginning: prevent Putin from winning. As they say, the impossible just takes a little longer.

HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY!

May your blessings outnumber the shamrocks that grow.
And may trouble avoid you wherever you go.”

This year I was not able to indulge in baking St. Patrick’s cookies, in part because we were away on a trip. But I could not resist making a small batch, inspired by a recent video posted by Amber (link here). Irish Coffee, anyone? Perhaps Irish Cupcakes suit you better? I changed slightly the decoration but kept most elements the same. The tiny shamrocks are prepared as Royal icing transfers the day before using medium consistency and a piping tip #2. I brushed some with luster powder (Green Touch, by The Sugar Art).

The Irish Coffee design is actually a “franken-cookie”: a coffee cup joined with the top of the small cupcake, also included in this group. Keep in mind that it makes a pretty large cookie, but I find the design very clever. Credit of course must go to Amber. I used a stencil to decorate the coffee cup, and just piped lines on the little cupcake.

For a little more inspiration, I share cookies made last year, when I did not have a cookie-dedicated blog, so they all went into the Bewitching Kitchen spot.

A jar with shamrocks, also inspired by Amber…

A few shamrocks and clover leaves decorated in different ways…

“May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind be always at your back.”

MONTREAL CONFECTIONS & PYOC

If you are a cookie baker, I am sure you are familiar with the acronym PYOC: Paint Your Own Cookies. But what you may or may not know, is that the person who originally invented those was Marlyn, from Montreal Confections. Nowadays, many bakers sell kits to make them, others sell boxes with this kind of cookies, but she takes no credit and makes zero profit from it. Incredibly unfair, if you ask me. Over the years, she’s been sharing many tutorials that show her technique. For one of her Easter versions, click here.

The most basic way to do a PYOC, is to flood with white Royal Icing, and pipe a design with black right away, using wet-on-wet. This way the black lines will lay flat with the icing and make it easier to paint, either with M&M as the source of color, or with food pens. I’ve made a few sets in the past year and offered them as gifts with food safe pens alongside (this is a good option). Usually I send one or two cookies already painted, and several others as a white canvas. If you have kids around, a little afternoon of painting cookies can be a ton of fun…

If you watch the video I linked in the beginning, Marlyn shows how to incorporate M&M’s in a cookie design, so that the person can simply use a brush and water to get some paint from the surface of the candy and use that to paint.

A similar way to do PYOC is adding the black outline (with piping consistency) once the flooding is set. This way the lines will be a bit tridimensional. It will give the cookie a stained glass feel. A little trickier to paint, but I like the way they turn out.

Finally, you can also flood the cookie, let it fully set and draw the design with a food safe pen… As I am no Monet, I resort to a mini-projector to make the designs…

The possibilities are endless, you can draw animals, flowers, or even stick with abstract motifs. All you need is a source of color, and release your inner Van Gogh…

Whatever you do, if you make a set of PYOC and share your masterpieces online, don’t forget to give credit where credit is due…

Marlyn’s Facebook Page

Marlyn’s Instagram

Marlyn’s Youtube

Marlyn’s Patreon siteaint

EGGSCELLENT EGG HUNT: ONLINE CLASS WITH AMY

Today I share the outcome of yet another zoom event organized by Amy, from Seriously Sweet at Davis St… This time the whole set was Easter-inspired, and I am absolutely smitten by this collection… Several different techniques were used to make them. We finished the six cookies in under 2 hours, they went by so fast. Yes, we had fun! I invite you to join her Facebook group, so you consider joining us next time.

Before class, we were supposed to bake the cookies, have two of the Easter eggs iced in white and fully set, and make a few Royal icing transfers using the templates that Amy designed and shared earlier. A few more details as fondant decorations, and we were all set!

Below you see some of the steps involved for a few of the cookies.

The lamb used thick icing pressure-piped to make the wool appearance. And the eyes were Royal icing transfers, super cute… The watercolor egg used a technique new to me, coupling luster powder with everclear sprayed with a little atomizer. So cool! The wooden sign used royal icing sculpting, and the egg a nice wet-on-wet pulled with a needle.

To me, the trickiest technique once again was using the stencil coupled with thick royal icing. The present version was a little more complex than the one we made for Christmas cookies because we now used three different colors at the same time. I barely managed to get the design to show, as you can see in the photo below, on the left.

I loved them all, and everybody did well in the class, even those who were just beginning to decorate cookies, because Amy goes at a nice pace, and explains everything in great detail.

It is hard to pick favorites, but my heart flips between the two below…

And to add my own interpretation to my favorite cookie of this series, I made a batch of chocolate dough and used it for the sheep, in a way that considerably reduces the amount of Royal icing. It does not have the same dramatic look of Amy’s version, but if thick icing is a concern for those enjoying your cookies, this version might please you.

All you need is to ice the body in white, wait 20 minutes or so and add texture with a fondant ball…

Once that is done, pipe and/or glue your decorations and you are done!

Amy, thank you for another great class, I can hardly wait for the next!

DIWALI-INSPIRED GINGERBREAD COOKIES

When I look outside and it’s all covered in snow, I miss the colors of Spring. In this batch of cookies, I brought vivid colors to play together. Inspiration came from my friend and former graduate student Aritri. I think she would have loved them. She was The Queen of Color.

To make these cookies, I used a paisley-shape cutter, and flooded with purple or turquoise. Let that set for a few hours, then made small batches of several colors of Royal icing, piping consistency.

Once that is done, it’s all a matter of letting the patterns freely form…

The candy corn is a nice shape to play with also… The cookies below were designed to minimize the amount of icing. This first cookie was sprayed with PME pearl luster, and the set below painted with TruColor Blue Turquoise.

I hope you like these cookies, I really loved making them…

SMILE FOR THE CAMERA!

LET IT SNOW, LET IT SNOW, LET IT SNOW!

We have not had any snow yet, but to quote a certain series… Winter is coming, better be ready for it. And for snowmen, nothing brings more happiness than plenty of snowflakes falling from the skies above.

A gingerbread cookie, with a simple decoration, flood the base in red, the globe in light blue, and let it set. Then pipe the body with thicker icing, add black pearls for the buttons, and let that set for an hour or so (thicker consistency dries a bit faster, and if you are gentle enough you can continue with the additional details). The snowballs should be added in stages so they don’t join together. Finally, the arms, scarf, smile and blush on the cheeks close the design.

Moving on, a little series I really enjoyed, inspired by Kathy, from Art Projects for Kids.

I love their different expressions and movements… Starting with flooded rectangles fully set, I drew the different snowmen with a food pen, then used Sugarprism watercolor to add the background. While that was still wet, I showered some white non-pareils.

Another very simple design for a snowman, uses a cookie cutter from Sugarbelle, in which each shape comes with appropriate stencils to help you decorate.

Two colors needed, white and blue. Starting with the band on the hat, so that you can add sanding sugar to that part, the rest is quite straightforward.

The stencil really helps quite a bit. I have a hard time judging how to space details in a cookie, so for me a set like this one from Sugarbelle makes life a lot easier.

From the same set, this little angel also materialized in our kitchen….

Closing this post, how could I not include Snowmen Macarons? These were filled with Pistachio-Lemon Buttercream, a slightly more decorated version from the ones I made last year.

After baking, all details were added with Royal icing in bright colors, plus the mouth and eyes with a food pen.

I often like to pipe some mini-macs just for fun, these were air-brushed with a stencil.

I loved making these! Some were a bit chubby, some had funny expressions, but they turned out as a happy family. And they have a message for you, now that a new year is about to start…

ZENTANGLE STRIKES AGAIN

If you don’t know the meaning of zentangles and how I like to adapt them for cookies, read my previous post on the subject. Today I share a few more, and include my first adventure with Instagram reels showing how I make my very favorite kind because is is so simple and the end result always pleases me. The cookie can be left simple or further decorated with fondant, modeling chocolate, or Royal icing transfers. Below, fondant stars painted silver. Purple and silver, the colors of our university, in the zentangle way.

I like the intensity of the purple but this type of design works well in any color…

A second addition of the same pattern inside each little square changes it completely but it is still quite straightforward to do…

A variation on the same type of curved line…

And now for a few adventures on patterns and colors, some turned out the way I wanted, some I consider “work in progress”.

The one below is my representation of a brain with insomnia: busy with many thoughts, not necessarily connected…

Here’s looking at you, kid!

Whenever I make sugar cookies, I always make sure to flood a few with any color I have leftover. Then, all I have to do is choose a pattern out of the thousands available out there, or make a composite design. I love the zentangle path…