A TOUCAN ADVENTURE

This cookie composition was designed by Amber. A short video demonstrating how to make it is available on her youtube channel (click here). For a much more detailed tutorial and access to the templates, you need to be a supporter in her Patreon site (click here).

I cannot lie to you, these are a bit of a labor of love. I actually made it a lot easier by piping the Royal icing transfers in white, allowing to fully dry, and then painting. Amber has incredible skill and did the whole thing piping different colors in each section of the beak. I loved the whole process, and assembling the final cookie to reveal the full bird sitting on a branch. How does she come up with this stuff? I have no idea, but I am so glad she does!

First things first, making all the transfers – either following Amber’s method, or if you prefer to paint, do them all in white first. She has the templates sized perfectly not only to cut the cookie by hand, but to draw the image of the toucan so you can pipe the basic shape and add the transfers. Using paint you can do the beaks with different color combinations. I used Sugarprism and food pen for all components.

Once those are painted and dry, you can work on the cookies…

I made two with a very smooth background, and one with a bit of texture, working the surface with a thick brush. Because it would be important to get the surface of the bird smooth, I just cut its shape with parchment paper and laid on top of the icing while wet. That area stayed flat, and once the icing was sightly crusted I worked the regions outside the bird with the brush. Next morning I removed the parchment paper with the shape of the toucan, and proceeded with the Royal icing step.

Some of my piping could have been a little more precise, but overall I am very happy with these cookies. Once you spread the preparation in a couple of days, it is not overwhelming. If you watch Amber’s tutorial you’ll see she gilds the lily further by doing brush embroidery over the black wing. I confess I was afraid of ruining the cookie, so I skipped it.

This would be a nice center piece to include in a set of tropical smaller cookies,
or simply to offer as a gift to a special friend.

Huge thank you to Amber for sharing very detailed tutorials in her Patreon site!

ONE YEAR AGO: Marlyn’s Pizza Box Beach Cookies

FLORAL BUNNY EARS

This was another super fun project, following a detailed tutorial from Amber. Her work is always so elegant and whimsical, I love it. She shared two different variations for the ear decoration, one with plaid wet-on-wet,the other piping a square pattern, which is what I decided to do, as it was new to me. I am so in love with these cookies!

Two basic components to decorate the cookie: the Royal icing plaid motif for the ears, and Royal icing transfers + piped leaves for the lower half. The composite below shows the overall steps. Amber demonstrates one version in a recent Facebook live. You can watch it here, starting at 4 min.

The grid pattern is drawn with a light food pen on the baked, cooled cookie. Then the two colors of squares are piped, one color at a time, so that the edges don’t touch. No need to wait for a long time, just pipe the second color when the first is starting to crust. The lines can be added right away or if you prefer some more definition, they can be added later. Once that is set, I piped a thin border and added rose gold sanding sugar to it.

The flowers were made the day before, then the edges painted with silver luster powder + vodka. Once they were glued to the cookie, I piped leaves with stiff royal icing, and that helps set the whole arrangement in place.

It is a little labor-intensive, but not that bad. Once you have the royal icing transfer flowers ready, the piping of the ears is straightforward. You can also simplify and make it plain, or with little dots wet-on-wet. The plaid is a nice touch, and once you master this technique, you can use it in many different cookie shapes and designs.

Amber, thank you for yet another great tutorial!

A FAIRY COTTAGE COOKIE COMPOSITION

If you are serious about cookie decorating, I am sure you follow Amber, from @sweetambs. A while ago she posted a very special tutorial (exclusive to Patreon supporters) to make a Fairy Cottage cookie composition. A real masterpiece with quite a few steps. The thing that fascinated me the most was the pebble work on the surface of the house. You pipe each pebble individually as a Royal icing transfer, and then glue them to the cookie right after brushing some thick icing as a base. Each pebble is also painted with luster powder and vodka in black and brown, to make the final product even more realistic. I wanted to turn that into a pizza box concoction, so I reduced the dimensions of the house to fit inside the 7 x 7 inch box, and simplified the details a bit.

The two large cookies for the house were cut by hand, and I did the same for the small mushrooms, as I did not have any cookie cutter that would be compatible with the final dimension of the composition. Just make sure to keep an eye during baking because the small cookies will bake a lot faster.

The prep steps start with piping the pebbles with gray icing and letting them dry overnight. Paint them while still glued to the paper. Ice the walls and chimney, glue the pebbles. The hard work is done! The window panels were simple white icing painted later in yellow. The door was made with slightly thicker icing, to get some texture with a brush. Amber’s video is very detailed and you will have no issues following it. My favorite part was perhaps the roof, made with brush embroidery. Since the method allows the background to show, it is a nice touch to paint it brown with luster powder before proceeding with the embroidery step. Amber does a lot more to her fairy cottage in terms of details under the windows, and around the house, so make sure to check it out and be amazed. Here is the short version of her video, as posted on IG.

I hope you liked my Little Cottage, I am quite smitten with the pizza box format, which I find perfect to offer as a gift. That reminds me… I need to place another order at amazon for those boxes, because how could I risk running out of them?

SHARK ATTACK!

At some point this month it was Shark Week. I am horrible about keeping track of this type of stuff, and honestly I don’t really care. But when Amber made some super cool shark cookies, I decided that they can be featured anytime. Period. Her cookies are a lot more elaborate, using a tie-dye background. You can follow her tutorial on a Facebook live clicking here. The fun starts at exactly 5 min.

It all starts with the sharks made the day before using Royal icing transfers. You will need 4 colors + white just for that part. The shark template is available in her Patreon page.

I opted for a three color blue background to simplify it a bit. And also made a slightly different version, with ocean and sky.

The trickiest component is definitely the Royal icing transfer. When you see Amber making hers in the video, you realize how good she is at getting the consistency of the icing just right. I struggle a lot with it. In this batch of cookies, the icing for the transfers was a bit too thin, and the icing for the cookies a bit too thick. There you go.

Looks like my sharks had been swimming through rough waters. And they need braces… But, all joking aside, I loved making these cookies, learned a lot, and will definitely bring them back in the future. Now… what to do to get rid of an ear worm from a certain Spielberg’s movie?

EYELET-LACE STRAWBERRY COOKIES

I loved trying this technique because it took me a little out of my comfort zone. You can see Amber demonstrating each step on a live Facebook video that is available here. She starts at 7 min and 50 sec. The cookie dough was flavored with strawberries, her copyrighted recipe is available through Patreon. Of course, you can use any sugar cookie recipe you like. I slightly simplified the decoration of my cookies, and used Royal icing transfer roses for the center. They were leftover from another project.

The cookie dough is pretty cool with little bits of freeze-dried strawberry in it…

Then the fun begins… All steps shown in the composite photo below… Paint a layer of Royal icing with the base color of your choice (thicker then flooding consistency it will dry a lot faster). I used the same color as Amber, you cannot go wrong with teal. The mini-projector helped me draft the eyelet design, and from there all I needed was to trace the outline, and flood the appropriate area.

Next, I filled the center with pink and added the white polka dots
(wet on wet)…

Let that set for half an hour or so, add fine lines to outline the design, and gently glue your central decoration. And voilĂ : your cookie is ready!

I made this cookie a couple of months ago, and plan to do it again, as I would like to do a better job with the fine lines. Those can be very tricky to get right.

Jeweled Butterflies made as described previously.

OUT OF THIS WORLD SUGAR COOKIES

I faithfully follow four Cookie Gurus to guide my path through all things Royal icing: Marlyn, Amy, Haniela and Amber. Today I share my adventure with Amber’s Alien cookie design. I thought the whole thing was super clever, joining the “galaxy” theme for the basic decoration with a cute little green being. Here they are, surrounding their Queen, my personal contribution to the theme. You can watch Amber’s detailed video as part of a recent Tuesday Cookie Therapy, with a click here.

Once again the shape of choice is the hexagon, these are 3 inches wide. Amber’s template (available in her ko-fi shop) is used to make the alien’s head, first the green part is piped, and after just a few minutes you can pipe the eyes in black. As usual, the transfers need to be made the day before.

They are centered on the flooded base later. For that step you will need five colors to be piped concentrically: black, turquoise, purple, pink and white.

Amber shows in her tutorial a perfect way to get the galaxy effect using a spatula, not a needle. She also made beautiful stars as transfers, but I failed at those and used star-shaped sprinkles instead. I will try them again in the future, those need a lot of skill to pipe and to handle later. After placing the transfers, add the sprinkles of your choice, and you could be done.

But I could not leave them alone, decided to shower the edges with some diamond dust. To do that, I made a little shield with parchment paper to protect Mr. Alien’s head.

Diamond dust sticks in every surface, so the only way to be selective about the coverage is protecting spots you want to keep without it.

For the Queen, I simply googled “alien coloring pages” and found that drawing ready for my projector. I thought it was a perfect match for these little guys.