PAINTED ROYAL ICING TRANSFERS

When you decorate cookies, it’s pretty common to have leftover Royal icing. It does freeze well, but you can also make royal icing transfers in all sorts of shapes without worrying about color at this point. Let them set for a few hours or overnight, and then use any method of your choice to color them. Michelle, the inventor of Sugarprism, is a pro at this. The birds below were made following her lead.

I got so hooked into the process that right away I started making several different transfers. The advantage of making them all white, is that you can choose the colors later, to match any cookie you are working on. Here are my first two babies… The first one coupled with Royal icing in piping consistency, and the second with painting (luster powder) + food pen.

The main thing to consider when making the transfers is using a slightly thicker consistency and piping in stages so the design won’t be flat. This works when making flowers, butterflies, birds, pretty much any image. As to how to add color? Any method works: food pens, Sugarprism (both the acrylic and the watercolor types), food gel diluted with vodka, luster powder. I normally bring all my tools out to play and go with the flow.

A few more designs using the transfers… The one below is definitely one of my favorites ever! I brought back my days of studying Mandarin and incorporated a modern rose with the ideogram for love. I find that particular ideogram very beautiful. One of its components (the central motif) is the ideogram that represents the heart. The Chinese language has incredibly beautiful details that captivate the mind.

For the butterflies, I used a different method to paint flowers: dry dusting with luster powder using a sponge brush in a very loose pattern. Next, a food pen adds the real drawing, which does not need any precision.

That is a very easy method to add flowers, and it will give the impression that you spent a lot of time in each cookie, but that’s really not the case. Plus, it is very forgiving.

So here is my small collection of cookies using the transfers I made in the past couple of weeks. As you can see, a transfer can stand alone on its own, or you can add details around it. Your cookie, your choice. But whatever you decide to do, having a little treasure chest with transfers ready to be painted is a very efficient way to decorate cookies. I hope you give that a try!

ONE YEAR AGO: Not Always Black and White

FLORALS

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….

SUGARPRISM PAINTING

AIR-BRUSHING + STENCIL

CRACKED BACKGROUND + PAINTED FONDANT

Design inspired by Amber, from @sweetambs
tutorial from Craftsy

ROYAL ICING TRANSFERS

(drawing designed inspired by Amber, from @sweetambs)

I still have many floral compositions waiting in line to materialize as cookies,
so stay tuned for more soon!

ONE YEAR AGO: Gilding the Lily with Silicone Molds

COLORFUL HEARTS

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.

As I mentioned, these were made with super labor intensive Royal icing work. I took shortcuts, not only to minimize the need to make so many different colors, but because I love the process of painting, and Sugarprism makes it so nice. Plus it tastes like vanilla, so no fear of adding odd flavors to the cookie. I started with fully set white cookies, and used two consistencies of icing to add the outlines and then flood. Make sure that your icing has some “muscle” in it, you need the flowers not to be flat.

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…

ONE YEAR AGO: Burning Bush, A Custom-Made Cookie

SUMMERTIME, DECORATING IS EASY…

Today I share a series of cookies inspired by my favorite season… I suggest you invest in two great colors: Americolor Watermelon, and ProGel Strawberry. You can approximate those tones making some magic with reds, pinks, corals, but I love those shades straight from the bottle. I used them to make all the cookies in this set. Greens were all from Americolor. Without further ado, here is my trio of Summer cookie fun.

DESIGN #1 – WATERMELON LOVE

I used one of my favorite shapes, the candy corn, to make 8 little watermelon slices, and a round cookie for the watermelon face. Super simple, wet-on-wet, and after setting, black icing in piping consistency was used to make the little seeds, as well as the smile and eyes.

Below some of the steps to make what I call the “Watermelon Flower”

The popsicles are even simpler to make… I started by painting the wooden handle with copper luster powder (Bakell Metallic Maroon). Then a very simple three-color piping to bring the design to life. And the mandatory seeds. Of course.

DESIGN #2 – ICE CREAM CONE

Some components of this design were inspired by Marlyn, from Montreal Confections, but I added some of my own little twists, particularly in the cone. I used my favorite little fondant baller tool to generate some texture. The vibrant color is ProGel Strawberry.

The final decorations were thick consistency white-strawberry icing for the swirl, plus sprinkles and a tiny M&M.

DESIGN #3 – STRAWBERRY LOVE

There was a little saga behind these cookies. I’ve done pineapples with a “quilt” look before, but for the strawberry, there were quite a few more little sections. They must be piped in stages, so that only regions that do not touch are piped at the same time. That meant a looong time to finish the six cookies…

Full disclosure: I had 10 strawberry-shaped cookies baked. After six were piped, I was fit to be tied, so simpler designs materialized instead… Like a solid flooding, and a Sugarprism painted alternative, perfect for those who prefer a more austere cookie, as far as icing is concerned.


You could even skip the painting for a pretty modern, unusual look…

But if you have the time and patience, consider going the extra mile and making the quilt look. Adding tiny sprinkles is also time-consuming, so in some I piped tiny dots of black Royal icing instead. For bling, you can also paint the surface with some pink luster powder.

I hope you liked these ideas to celebrate Summer with a cookie platter... A little piping with green on the tops is optional, but I liked the way it made the whole design more vibrant.

ONE YEAR AGO: Puppy Love

A TRILOGY OF SUGARPRISM

Today I share three different ways to decorate cookies using Sugarprism, starting from the simplest version…

DESIGN #1 – YELLOW FLOWERS

For these cookies, my inspiration were flowers I saw in my walking-jogging route. Intense orange, with a reddish center. I iced the 8 petal flower shape with orange, and once that set I drew a circle that was iced with chocolate brown plus a touch of red. Once that set overnight, I painted the details with Sugarprism red, and finally added little dots of Royal icing in bright yellow.

It is a very simple design, maybe the trickiest part is adding the little yellow dots, because the consistency of the icing has to be just right. It is a good idea to practice on a piece of parchment paper, so that you can adjust with water or powdered sugar if necessary.

DESIGN #2 – MODERN STICK FIGURE

I fell in love with this image the moment I saw it on the Instagram page of Kathy Barbro, who teaches drawing for kids. I knew I had to “cookie it.” So I started with a Royal iced white background, and drew the design with a light food pen. Then I used Sugarprism to paint the different sections, and once that was fully dry, I went over the design and details with a black food pen. You can see some of the phases in the composite below

Little black dots with Royal icing made for a fun border that complemented the design well, I think.

DESIGN #3 – SINGLE STROKE PAINTING

I consider these cookies a work in progress. If you go on youtube and search for “single stroke painting”, you’ll find many wonderful examples, and many tutorials trying to teach you how to do it. They make it seem very easy, but clearly, there is a steep learning curve. Basically, you load two different colors on opposite sides of a flattish brush, press the brush on the surface and twist it to form a petal. I made a “canvas” of royal icing to practice and – full disclosure – my countertop once I was done with the cookies looked like a war zone!

It is a fun technique to work with. I intend to keep trying and also work on different types of flowers and leaves. So expect to see more of my amateurish attempts featured here… Lolita, the flamingo, does not mind, she actually seems quite smitten with my painting!

If you want to play with Sugarprism, visit Michelle’s website with a click here.


ONE YEAR AGO: Sugarprism, a New Kid on My Block

SUNFLOWERS FOR UKRAINE

Another design using piped Royal icing coupled with painting, this time I used Sugarprism.

Similar to what I shared recentl (click here), this version relied on a stencil air-brushed with gold as starting point… The surface was iced and fully set (color used for the base was Artisan Accents Azure Blue). White Royal icing was piped in sections that were not adjacent, so that if they accidentally touched, they would not merge.

Once all sections were piped, I waited for the center to start crusting, and then used a special little tool to add texture…

This step is optional, or you can use the handle side of a brush. But I find that it adds a more interesting look to the final design. A few hours later the fun – aka painting – starts. I used Sugarprism in Dandelion Yellow + Monarch Orange for the petals, Green + Teddy Bear Brown for the leaves. Teddy Bear Brown was also used to paint the stem.

The final step was the bling: center of the flower painted with gold luster + vodka.

It is hard to find hope sometimes. So many horrible things happen in our world, leaving us with a very intense feeling of impotence and frustration. At least through cookies, we can bring some sunshine and joy to those around us.

Stay tuned for more adventures with Sugarprism!

ONE YEAR AGO: Eyelet-Lace Strawberry Cookies

FRAMED FLORALS


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)…

ONE YEAR AGO: Fun with Royal Icing Leftovers

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

SUGARPRISM PAINTING TIME!

If you don’t know what Sugarprism is all about, visit this post from July last year. Michelle offers online classes for free almost on a monthly basis, and I always try to join because I learn so much from her. I share today cookies made in two of her recent tutorials, all with a Spring-Easter feel, perfect for the season. The Peekaboo Chick was the most challenging, I still cannot believe I made it, as I cannot draw to save my life.

For the Sugarprism website, click here. For Michelle’s facebook page, click here.

The composite picture below shows the main stages. Michelle explains exactly what to do, where to start each line, how to angle it, how to hold the brush, and the design slowly comes to life…

It blows my mind how an artist can see the drawing in all its many parts. I have major problems with spacial orientation of things. For instance, I cannot read a map, I am unable to “transfer” the map to my surroundings. All those things they place in stores or streets with the – “You are here” – label… they are of no help to me. This handicap translates into issues if I have to draw things by looking at an image. The fact that I can do it with Michelle’s instructions still amazes me. Huge thank you to her!

Moving on, a trio from her tutorial “Bunnies Gone Wild”… Three departures on the bunny motif to make a zebra, a cheetah, and a giraffe pattern. Compared to the peekaboo cookie, those were quite a bit easier. You almost get into a zen-mood painting each pattern. I loved them all!

All cookies started from a white background, the zebra was ready to paint, and the other two got a little background color using very diluted Sugarprism acrylic color. Once that sits for a while, the painting of patterns on top can begin…

These cookies take a little time to paint, but mastering the patterns is a nice skill to have. As Michelle pointed out during the class, you can use the patterns in so many different cookies – imagine swimming suit cookies for the summer, dresses, hats, handbags… I will definitely be playing with them… and of course, let’s not forget…macarons!

Michelle, thank you so much for the tutorials!
Already revving my engines for the next…

BEAR WITH ME

For a non-native speaker of English, some expressions can be quite amusing. Bear with me is definitely one that makes me smile because no matter how hard I try to avoid it, the image of a teddy bear jumps in my mind. Playful and cute. So, bear with me as I go from English to baking. Sugar cookies, sandwich cookies, macarons. With bears in mind…

THE LITTLE PANDA BEAR

This design was based on a picture my niece Carla shared in our family whatsapp group. I knew I had to “cookie-it”. So I used the mini-projector to draw the basic design, and then applied the same technique used for bunny rabbits in previous posts. Sugarprism was used to paint the body. The only additional detail was piping non-adjacent sections of the bamboo, allowing to set and then pipe the remaining parts. This way the stalks are more realistic. I used a food pen to make the leaves.

BEARS WITH HEART BALLOONS

The cookie cutter set used for these cookies can be found here. I love Semisweet Designs! Not only they sell unique cutters, but they share blog posts with ideas to decorate them.

Below I show some of the steps to bring these little bears to life… The ears, arms and legs get a small amount of icing that is allowed to set before fully flooding them. This prevents cratering, which might happen in such small areas.

The eyes were 4mm black pearls from PME, added right after flooding. Finally, after the cookie was fully set, I painted the balloon with luster powder, added the eye details and smile, and a little ribbon to tie the balloon.

KIM-JOY’S LITTLE BEAR SANDWICH COOKIES

Kim-Joy always makes the cutest productions celebrating animals, and this is a good example. You can find her recipe here. Bake a full round for the base, and a top with a slightly off-center hole. All you need then is a bit of ganache to sandwich the cookie, sprinkles, and Royal icing details. For the ears, I baked tiny little rounds of cookie dough, and inserted in between the two cookies, the ganache worked well to keep them in place.

TEDDY BEAR MACARONS

For these macs, color most of your batter brown, and separate a very small amount without any color, adding it to a piping bag with a very small round piping tip. Then pipe rounds with little ears, and add a touch of light batter for the nose area. Bake, fill, and then use a food safe pen to add the eyes, mouth and nose. The filling for those was a ganache noisette (recipe available in my food blog here).

Because this is a very simple design, a French meringue recipe (like this one) will work well. For complex drawings with multiple colors, most people prefer Italian meringue because it is a lot more stable and gives a larger window of time to work.

I hope you enjoyed this small selection of bear cookies.
Stay tuned for more sweetness in cookie format soon…