Practice Bakes Perfect Challenge #3 - Color

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Star Wars Sugar Skulls

What do these cookies have in common?
I made all of these sets last fall, while I was doing another great cookie challenge, one hosted by the wonderful LilaLoa. All of these cookies were made with the same set of icing, with the colors based on a Pantone palette. Yes, these are all the same colors! And just by using them in different contexts and with different styles and accents, the overall effect of each set was quite different. Which got me to thinking . . .
 

That first of all everyone who participated in last month's shape challenge was an absolute rock star! You guys really brought your A-game, and I hope you had as much fun as I did making cookies and seeing what everyone came up with! Who knew that a gnome would be so versatile? Right?!?

 
So that means that I'm super excited to see how many different things we can all do with the same set of colors! I pondered giving you a theme to work with as well, but decided against it, because I'd love it if you just mixed up a batch of these colors and used them on more than one set, or on whatever set you need to bake or were planning to do anyway.
 
When it came time to pick colors, I had the real epiphany though! You guys should totally get colors from the hands of one of the masters, so I turned to a lady who has been helping lots of people achieve great colors and perfect matches with her new blogRebekah Shaw of Love at First Bite! She graciously agreed to come up with some colors for us, and here they are: 
 

Complete Palette

 
So, before Rebekah gives you some mixing tips and we all get to work, a note: I encourage you to use these five colors. But if you want to mix it up a bit, you should use at least four of these colors, and substitute one other color. Black is allowed, but it would count as your one substitute color if used. White is also allowed in addition to these colors. So that's five colors total - all of these as shown, or four of these plus another color. Then there is the additional use of white if you want/need it.
 
For these colors, Rebekah has provided us with formulas that are based on AmeriColor gel, because that is what a lot of people use. And she has shown what colors you need, but not exact quantities. We want you to think of yourself as an artist mixing colors. And follow this great advice from Rebekah:  
 
"There are no ratios listed for these formulas because there is no way to accurately measure food gels. The best way to mix icing is to start with your lightest color and add the darker color a little at a time until you reach the desired color. (Tip: I use a knife to dab color into my icing . . . never drops. This prevents over-coloring your icing and going too dark.) Please note that saturated colors will deepen over time, so try to be patient before adding more dark colors to your mix."
 
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 10533621_10203840719926080_139263865_n10529716_10203840719886079_1666899375_n
 

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Rebekah wrote a great blog post that shares her inspiration for this palette, more detailed instructions, and even advice for those of you who are not using AmeriColor. You should definitely take a look at it, and all the other resources and information she has about mixing icing colors. She's an invaluable resource for color! Not only that, but she is a talented and innovative cookie decorator - check out her work if you haven't already!
 
Prize for this challenge:
Two packages of gorgeous crystallized edible flowers, similar to these. (Retail value: $50.) The smaller sizes are perfect for cookies, and all look equally great on cupcakes and cakes.

 

To enter:

  • Please post an image of your cookie set (3 to 4 cookies minimum per set) to the site under the Practice Bakes Perfect clip set no later than August 10, 2014 at 5 pm central.
  • Because these challenges will be ongoing, we ask that you put the number of the challenge in your photo caption (subtitle field) AND in a tag, so we can tell them apart from month to month. As noted above, this is challenge #3. Please use the title field to uniquely name your cookies as you normally would.
  • Please also assign other relevant clip sets and tags to your images, as you normally would. (Meaning don't just use the Practice Bakes Perfect clip set and leave it at that, or your photos won't easily be found with keyword searches.)
  • You can enter more than once, but please post only one clip of each distinct entry/cookie set. Multiple clips of the same entry/cookie set are not allowed unless added in a comment beneath the one primary clip.

Once the challenge closes on August 10, we will announce the winner and host the Saturday Spotlight the following weekend. The next challenge will be announced in August, but since I'll be on vacation the week of the tenth, the exact timing will have to be a bit up in the air for now.

 

Last but not least, THIS IS NOT A CONTEST!!! These challenges are meant to spark conversation and learning. You are challenging yourself to try new things and stretch as a cookie artist. Just because someone else went to town, doesn't mean you shouldn't give it a shot. I want to see what YOU would do! Of course, there are prizes, but they are given at random, so just participate and you have a chance to win!

 

If you have a question, or if you need help getting started or just want to run an idea by me or the group, please comment below. I love to troubleshoot, brainstorm, and talk technique, so please don't be shy!

 

 

Rebecca Weld came to cookie decorating from gingerbread house making. As a "real" architect, busy business owner, and mom of two small kids, Rebecca discovered that gingerbread houses had a way of getting out of hand, and that cookie baking offered her a more manageable artistic outlet. Always eager to be a part of the cookie conversation, Rebecca maintains an active Facebook page as The Cookie Architect, as well as Pinterest and Instagram presences. She makes cookies to inspire herself and others, to feed those needs that art fills in all artists: expression, sharing, stretching yourself. 

 

Photo credit: Rebecca Weld

 

Note: Practice Bakes Perfect is a monthly Cookie Connection blog feature written by Rebecca Weld that poses inspiration or challenges to get you to stretch as a cookie artist - for practice, for prizes, and for fun! Its content expresses the views of the author and not necessarily those of this site, its owners, its administrators, or its employees. Catch up on all of Rebecca's past Cookie Connection posts here.

 

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Brains ticking over now, just a couple of questions...is black allowed under the same rules as white? Also should we try to stay true to these colours or are pastel or deeper darker versions ok? Thanks!

Originally Posted by Tina At Sugar Wishes:

Another great challenge loving all the colors. But those of us that just have basic colors to work with, I mean very basic, how would we come up with these?

 

 

Hi Tina,

Hopefully when Rebekah posts her companion blog piece, the additional guidance there will help answer your question! I know that there are people who can mix from a very small collection of colors, so one way or another we will figure it out.  It never hurts to just play with it yourself too- see what you can come up with!

Originally Posted by Belleissimo Cookies:

Brains ticking over now, just a couple of questions...is black allowed under the same rules as white? Also should we try to stay true to these colours or are pastel or deeper darker versions ok? Thanks!

Belle- I think we should try and stay pretty true to these colors- part of the challenge is working with rich colors, and if we start to vary too much we are looking at entirely different color schemes.  And to keep us all on the edge of our seats- we are going to say that black is to be treated like another color - and would need to be substituted in!

Originally Posted by Lets Talk Cookies Michael McIntyre:

New to the challenge would like to try but questions? Was black established to be a color to use or sub for a color or both? What would be the min. of a cookie set? Thank you so enjoying this sight.    

Michael - we did establish black to be a color that would need to be subbed in like any other color (White is the only extra). Let's say a minimum set is 3-4 cookies, as that is what has been typical previously. 

Originally Posted by Delightful Bitefuls:

Not sure if I just missed it but how many cookies are you considering a set this month???  Love the colors and have to say the love at first bite blog is my go to for colors!!!  Thank you both!!

As I answered above, lets say 3-4 minimum...especially if we are going to go to the effort of mixing all those colors!  The way I work, I'll probably make three sets, because I hate mixing icing haha!

 

Originally Posted by RebeccArchitect:
Originally Posted by Lets Talk Cookies Michael McIntyre:

New to the challenge would like to try but questions? Was black established to be a color to use or sub for a color or both? What would be the min. of a cookie set? Thank you so enjoying this sight.    

Michael - we did establish black to be a color that would need to be subbed in like any other color (White is the only extra). Let's say a minimum set is 3-4 cookies, as that is what has been typical previously. 

 

Also, in response to other questions I have gotten- painting is allowed- either in the form of metallic luster dust or using one of these colors of paint.  Still- the point is to practice with the mixing/color matching, and the use of a given set of colors to make something.  So don't go cheating yourselves!

Originally Posted by Belleissimo Cookies:

Brains ticking over now, just a couple of questions...is black allowed under the same rules as white? Also should we try to stay true to these colours or are pastel or deeper darker versions ok? Thanks!

following this question too! 

Originally Posted by RebeccArchitect:
Originally Posted by Belleissimo Cookies:

Brains ticking over now, just a couple of questions...is black allowed under the same rules as white? Also should we try to stay true to these colours or are pastel or deeper darker versions ok? Thanks!

Belle- I think we should try and stay pretty true to these colors- part of the challenge is working with rich colors, and if we start to vary too much we are looking at entirely different color schemes.  And to keep us all on the edge of our seats- we are going to say that black is to be treated like another color - and would need to be substituted in!

question answered thank you! 

Oh my head is spinning with cookie think!! i did a set for the last challenge but due to it being vacation week for my boys and one of them having a hard time with it, I was unable to get it posted here on time he is back in school tomorrow so I better hone in my creative thoughts and get on this challenge sooner so excited to use these colors!! 

Originally Posted by Love at First Bite:

Thank you Rebecca!!!  My blog post is up and running with cross reference charts to your colors.  Please let me know if you have any questions.  Thank you and have fun!!!

 

http://loveatfirstbiteyork.blo...cross-reference.html

 I couldn't have done it without this wonderful blog post. Thanks so much. I am sooooo excited that I think I got the colors to match as much as my computer will allow. And the gold here looks more orange then it really is.Now for the cookies!!!!! And all with 4 Wilton colors from the supermarket. Mostly it was a really good learning experience. As I mixed saying to myself, hey I never thought of that! Psyched!

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You know me and my pearl sheen and lustre dusts also. So we can only use metallic colors as gold silver or bronze to finish the cookie off if we choose and this is not considered an extra color just livening up the existing color. Is this correct?

Thanks and sorry if this is a dumb question. I just don't want to ruin my cookie.

Originally Posted by Tina At Sugar Wishes:

You know me and my pearl sheen and lustre dusts also. So we can only use metallic colors as gold silver or bronze to finish the cookie off if we choose and this is not considered an extra color just livening up the existing color. Is this correct?

Thanks and sorry if this is a dumb question. I just don't want to ruin my cookie.

You are correct in your interpretation Tina!  Lustre never ruins a cookie- just makes it better! 

Originally Posted by RebeccArchitect:
Originally Posted by Tina At Sugar Wishes:

You know me and my pearl sheen and lustre dusts also. So we can only use metallic colors as gold silver or bronze to finish the cookie off if we choose and this is not considered an extra color just livening up the existing color. Is this correct?

Thanks and sorry if this is a dumb question. I just don't want to ruin my cookie.

You are correct in your interpretation Tina!  Lustre never ruins a cookie- just makes it better! 

I know. I love my luster dusts.

All day I was looking at the gold I made , took it outside back inside and decided it was not gold enough. So I halved it added that amount of white fondant, a few more drops of yellow and now it is perfect. What great lessons!!!!! This was invaluable to me! Thanks so much!

Hi! I was wondering if you can use all three (gold, silver, and bronze) Lustre Dusts in the cookie set for this challenge? Also, can you use different Lustre Dusts golds (Aztec Gold as opposed to Old Gold)? Can you use Pearl Sheen and air brush accents that are the same colors as the color palate? So sorry for all the questions! I just want to make sure! Thanks so much

Originally Posted by Compassionate Cake:

Hi! I was wondering if you can use all three (gold, silver, and bronze) Lustre Dusts in the cookie set for this challenge? Also, can you use different Lustre Dusts golds (Aztec Gold as opposed to Old Gold)? Can you use Pearl Sheen and air brush accents that are the same colors as the color palate? So sorry for all the questions! I just want to make sure! Thanks so much

I would like to answer this question with a picture I just happen to keep on file....  (in a word, yes to your questions)

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I know. I love my luster dusts.

All day I was looking at the gold I made , took it outside back inside and decided it was not gold enough. So I halved it added that amount of white fondant, a few more drops of yellow and now it is perfect. What great lessons!!!!! This was invaluable to me! Thanks so much!

Tina- this makes me SOOOO happy

Hello,

I know you said there is no theme but when I read Rebekah's blog, it said Vintage Summer. I realize you may have changed your mind but was wondering if I should stick to that. My original thoughts when seeing the colors were "Fall" but I don't want to make Fall cookies if we will have a Fall challenge soon.

Love the colors and look forward to seeing what everyone does with them.

Hi JackieLynn!  I got my color palette inspiration from vintage beach posters, so that is why I mentioned "vintage summer" on my blog.  I don't think this means you have to go in that direction, but Rebecca would be able to answer this question better for you.  Have fun and good luck!!!
 
 
Originally Posted by JackieLynn:

Hello,

I know you said there is no theme but when I read Rebekah's blog, it said Vintage Summer. I realize you may have changed your mind but was wondering if I should stick to that. My original thoughts when seeing the colors were "Fall" but I don't want to make Fall cookies if we will have a Fall challenge soon.

Love the colors and look forward to seeing what everyone does with them.

 

Originally Posted by Love at First Bite:
Hi JackieLynn!  I got my color palette inspiration from vintage beach posters, so that is why I mentioned "vintage summer" on my blog.  I don't think this means you have to go in that direction, but Rebecca would be able to answer this question better for you.  Have fun and good luck!!!
 
 
Originally Posted by JackieLynn:

Hello,

I know you said there is no theme but when I read Rebekah's blog, it said Vintage Summer. I realize you may have changed your mind but was wondering if I should stick to that. My original thoughts when seeing the colors were "Fall" but I don't want to make Fall cookies if we will have a Fall challenge soon.

Love the colors and look forward to seeing what everyone does with them.

 

Hi JackieLynn!  Rebekah started with a vintage summer theme with her great posters as an inspiration for the color palette, as she said.  But the challenge does not require following that theme or any other.    I thought it would be fun to see the different directions you as cookiers can take a color scheme. So fall is great, vintage summer is great, or even something abstract!  Anything really- it's the color mixing and play that is the focus. Thanks for asking! Always glad to clarify

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