Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Snowflake Cookies


I used Americolor food gels for these: Sky Blue, Sky Blue mixed with Royal Blue, and Sky Blue mixed with Teal. The little flowers in the center of the snowflakes are Wilton Daisy Sprinkles.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Christmas Cookies

This time of the year tends to get very busy so I didn't make anything too complicated for Christmas cookies this year. I made the same snowman last year. I've made so many snowflakes that I wanted to do something a little different this year. This snowflake is something I saw on Pinterest and I thought it was incredibly cute. The bonus was it used the same colors and consistency frosting as the snowmen so I didn't need to mix any additional colors.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Wedding Cake Cookies


I made these cookies to give out as party favors for my little sister's wedding. They are made entirely with white royal icing and a variety of white accents. I used the cake cookie cutter from the Wilton Party Cookie Cutter Set to make the cookie shake. After the cookies had cooled completely, I flooded the base of each cookie with white royal icing and let them dry overnight.

My next step was to airbrush the cookies with a mixture of white pearl dust and vodka to give the them a subtle sheen. I used vodka rather than water in my airbrush mixture because the alcohol evaporates faster than water and it's likely that it will mottle the surface of the royal icing like water sometimes can. I made sure to go over lightly with the airbrush. I didn't get the shiny look I wanted with just one pass so I waited for the pearl dust to dry slighting and then went over the cookies with the airbrush again. I needed to do this 3-4 times to get the sheen that I wanted. Once I completed this step, I let the cookies dry for another 20 minutes.

Now came the best part. Adding the details. I used a variety of different sprinkles and accents for this: 

And I used outline consistency royal icing as well. The steps for decorating these was adding ("sanding") the sprinkles first, then adding the sugar pearls, and then piping on any last details with the royal icing. If I had applied the details first (like the lines and twirly vines), the sprinkles might have adhered to them. I would have needed to wait for the details to dry before adding the sprinkles. Adding the sprinkles first saved me a little time.

I applied the sugar pearls by placing a dab of royal icing onto the cookie and then carefully positioning the pearl with a pair of tweezers. I used a PME 1.5 tip to add the outline details (lines and twirly vines) and I used a leaf tip (Wilton 65s) to add the leaves around the sugar pearls.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Pastel Rainbow Cookies

My oldest daughter asked for rainbow cookies to share with her class for her birthday last year and she asked for rainbow cookies again this year. I used the rainbow cookie cutter from the Wilton 3 Piece St. Patrick's Day Cookie Cutter Set. I outlined the clouds in white and then filled them with white, flood consistency royal icing. I let these dry for a couple of hours and then piped on the rainbow with a Wilton #13 star tip. I made sure the royal icing was a stiff consistency so that the stars would keep their shape. This was actually a very easy project. Mixing the different colors and piping the stars took some time, but it wasn't that bad.

To obtain the pastel colors I used the following Americolor food gels:

  • Pink: Dusty pink with a very small amount of royal blue (I used a tiny drop added with a toothpick)
  • Orange: Orange with a very small amount of dusty pink
  • Yellow: 1/3 Lemon yellow and 2/3 Egg Yellow
  • Green: Avocado with a small amount of Leaf Green
  • Blue: Sky Blue
  • Purple: Dusty Pink, Sky Blue, and Royal Purple

 I used Sweet Sugar Belle's trick that she describes here here to make the icing colors match.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Camel Cookies

I made these as part of this month's Practice Bakes Perfect Challenge over at The Cookie Connection. The colors were drawn from the palette there. The camel cookie cutter is from www.cheapcookiecutters.com. I used my oven trick to quick-set the top of the brown/rust icing since I know from experience that the camel's legs might have cratered or had a sunken look if left to air dry. I added added the harness and rug details a little while later.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Guinea Pig Cookies

My daughters have a new pet, a guinea pig named Max, and so making guinea pig cookies was the next logical step (at least in my house). I found the cookie cutter at cheapcookiecutters.com. For the orange/brown color I followed Sweet Sugar Belle's instructions for making tan icing and then added a bit of orange. The nose and feet were colored with Americolor Warm Brown - a deceptively named color since it's really more pink than brown.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Horse Cookies

The smaller roses on the horses are swirl rosettes and I made them with a Wilton #16 star tip. The larger rose on the horseshoe is a Wilton Rose made with a Wilton #3 round tip and a Wilton #101 petal tip. I made the flowers ahead of time and added them to the cookies later as royal icing transfers.

I decorated the horseshoe with gray royal icing and then airbrushed it with a silver metallic sheen after the icing was dry. I used a small dot of leftover royal icing to glue the rose onto the horseshoe. I transferred the smaller swirl roses onto the horse while the horses manes and tail were still drying. The worked to glue the swirl roses onto the horses.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Ice Cream Cone Cookies


Sea Otter Cookies

My first grade daughter had a sea life science unit at the end of the school year. She picked one animal, the sea otter, and wrote a research report about it. Of course, this was a perfect excuse to make sea otter cookies. School finished up earlier this week, but I made them for her this week anyway. She really liked them.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Giraffe Cookies

 
I used a mixture of Americolor Ivory and Egg Yellow to make the base color of the giraffe. The mixture was approximately 2/3rd Ivory and 1/3rd Egg Yellow. The giraffe's tail color was made primarily with Americolor Ivory with a very small amount of Americolor Chocolate Brown.
 
I outline and flooded the body of the giraffe with royal icing first, using my oven trick to quickly dry the top of the icing and prevent cratering. I added the eye, mane, and tail details next using outline consistency icing.
 
Next I piped on a small dot of ivory colored royal icing and adhered a heart sprinkle near the top of the giraffe's head.
 
Since the oven had already dried the top of the royal icing, I didn't need to wait for the icing to dry completely to paint the giraffe's spots. I used Americolor Airbrush food dye in gold to do this. I used the smallest brush in my Wilton paint brush set to paint the details. I made sure the brush was barely damp (not dripping) and painted the spots with a very thin layer of food dye. Once the gold food coloring was dry (this only took a few minutes), I went over the spots a second time to get the shiny gold tone I wanted. 

Friday, May 9, 2014

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Cookies


I found the cookie cutter at www.cheapcookiecutters.com. I outlined the turtle faces with black royal icing first and then filled in the spaces with the appropriate colors. I found that using a slightly larger tip (Wilton #2 or #3) for the black outline  to make it a bit thicker worked best. I tried using a smaller tip first, but the colors ran over the outline and into each other more easily because the outline was too thin. After I had filled in the colors inside the outline, I used my oven trick to quick-set the top of the icing. I added the black pupil of the eye and the details around the mouth (smile lines at the corner) and bandana (crease marks) last.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Cars Movie Cookies

I made these for my two-year-old niece who loves the Cars Movies. Her favorite characters are Lightning McQueen and Mader, of course, but she also likes Flo so I added this one to the group.

This was the first time I had encountered Butter Bleed with my royal icing. The outside edges of the white royal icing in the background turned a light yellow. It looked a bit like a yellow ring.

I'm not completely sure what contributed to this. I had flooded these cookies a few days before and let them sit before I added the cars. I also think the cookie dough may have had a bit more butter as proportionate to flour than it usually does. I also used my oven trick to prevent craters as I described here. I think putting the white dried royal icing base into the oven (even at a very low temperature) was the main problem. I think it heated up the cookie just enough to cause the butter in the cookie to seep into the royal icing. In the future, I will only use this trick to quickly set icing that is still wet. I think a fan or dehydrator might have served me better with this project.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Lollipop Flower Cookies

I followed Sweet Amb's cookie pop tutorial when making these. I baked flower shaped cookies and small oval-shaped cookies, baked with the lollipop sticks. I decorated the flower cookies and waited for them to dry completely. Then I turned them over and adhered the lollipop stick/cookie to the back of the decorated cookie with medium-consistency royal icing. It only took an hour or so to dry, and then I finished them off with a clear cellophane bag and white ribbon.

 
 


Volleyball Cookies (Including a Tutorial on Preventing Icing Craters)


Making a volleyball cookie would normally be very straightforward and take only two steps:
  • Flood the entire cookie in white 
  • Outline the indentations of the volleyball 
This is a fine way of doing it but drawing the outline on top of the white doesn't create that poofy, rounded shape that the sections of the volleyball normally have. In order to give the cookie this look, I needed to outline the indentations first and then fill in the spaces with white flood/20-second consistency icing second. This is how the cookies looked before I filled them in with white icing:

Outlined with gray royal icing using a Wilton #2 tip
The issue when filling these small, outlined sections is that, when the icing is left to air dry, it tends to crater and form holes. This is not a pretty look and can be very frustrating. Making the icing a thicker consistency often helps and so does running a toothpick (or scribe tool) through the spaces before the icing starts to dry. But the general consensus among experienced cookie decorators is that speeding up the drying time ("quick drying" the top of the icing) helps even more. 

Food dehydrators, fans, and space heaters are often recommended as good ways to dry the icing faster, but - with the exception of a fan - I don't own any of these. I decided to try my oven. I set my oven to its lowest temperature setting (170 degrees) and then turned it off. As soon as I filled in a cookie, I placed it on a baking sheet in the oven and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. The top of the icing dried very quickly, and I was pleased to see that no craters formed. I let one cookie air dry and set it side-by-side with an oven-dried cookie for comparison:


I used the same consistency icing for each. The oven-dried cookie was poofy, rounded and had no craters. The icing on the air-dried cookie had a few small craters and the filled spaces looked a bit sunken and dented. The icing on the oven-dried cookie was also a bit shinier than the more matte, air-dried cookie. This might be something to keep in mind when going for one look or the other.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Princess Dresses



Elsa from Frozen, Rupunzel from Tangled, Tinker Bell, Belle from Beauty and the Beast, Snow White, Mulan, Ariel from The Little Mermaid, and Cinderella.

I used this dress cookie cutter from Copper Gifts. It's easy to make modifications to the dress shape with this particular cutter. Before I baked the dough, I trimmed off the rounded sides for Elsa and Mulan. I did the same for Tinker Bell, but I also trimmed a little off the bottom to give her dress the shape that I wanted.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Super Mario Cookies


I made these for my second youngest daughter's 4th birthday. She loves Super Mario and especially Princess Peach. It was very important to her that I made Princess Peach.

Princess Peach, of course, does not have a readily available cookie cutter as far as I could tell. I drew and cut out my own template for her and used a paring knife to cut her shape from the dough. I found the cookie cutters for Mario and Luigi here at www.cheapcookiecutters.com. I did not have a cookie cutter for the mushrooms either, but I used a large circle cutter. Once these were cut, I trimmed and shaped the bottom of the circles to make area of the stems/faces.

I outlined the characters with the help of my projector. I filled in the spaces with the appropriate colored royal icing, waited for it to dry, and then added the details with royal icing and my food dye markers.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tea Party Cookies


I used my Wilton Tea Party cookie cutters for these cookies. After I flooded the cookies with white icing, I let them dry for a few hours. Next I added the handles with thicker icing and a Wilton # 7 tip. I let these dry for about and house and then I used my airbrush to apply the pearl dust to add some shine to the base.

The pearl sprinkles are Wilton Sugar Pearls. I piped on the colored icing and then placed each individual pearl with my tweezers to get them in the right position. 

Friday, April 4, 2014

Team Umizoomi Cookies


My projector came in handy when making these cookies. I cut out my own rectangular shapes from the cookie dough because I did not have a rectangular cookie cutter that was quite wide enough for bot. I used a flip flop cookie cutter for the other two.

I flooded the cookies with white royal icing and let them dry completely (overnight). The I outlined the character shapes in black with a PME tip # 1.5 using the projector images as a guide. Next, I flooded the sections with the appropriate colors. I added some remaining details in black. The only details I left until the next morning were the mouths and eyes. I waiting until the characters were completely dry to draw these with a black food dye marker. I used the FooDoodler brand of markers because I appreciate their fine tip for adding these smaller details. For the last step, I added a small spot of white royal icing onto the eyes.

The thin areas that I filled with colored icing became a cratering nightmare. These formed while the icing dried. I've made cookies similar to these (the Dr. Seuss cookies) so I had expected this. I pulled my scribe needle through the narrower sections in an attempt to prevent the craters from forming, but it wasn't 100% effective. I filled in most of the craters with icing after they formed with the same colored icing. It wasn't a perfect solution but it helped improve their appearance.