I have been asked how I make some of my more elaborate cookie sets. You know, those sets with all the flowers? Wait. You’re right. Pretty much ALL of my cookie sets have flowers . . . but you guys don't mind, right?
So, a set like this. How would I go about making these? As you might know, I don’t ever make the same set of cookies twice, so I bring you my newest tutorial, "Wallpaper Cookies: A Labor of Love". Not the same cookies, but the same techniques are used in both sets.
Now. A disclaimer. I don’t know that these are as elaborate as some of the flower sets that I’ve done in the past. I started the cookies with the intention of them being VERY intricate. But they just didn’t work out that way. You’ve been there, right? Sometimes cookies don’t end up looking the way that we planned. I think that to make them more detailed might have ruined them . . . made them too busy. [EDITOR'S NOTE: Kari downgraded her tutorial from advanced to intermediate after reflecting on all of the above. But I just upgraded it! I think the level of control/precision needed for these cookies certainly qualifies them for advanced status!]
My inspiration for this set of cookies is wallpaper art by Cole and Son, Ltd.
So now you know why these are lovingly know as the "wallpaper cookies".
Let’s get started.
What you’ll need to make these:
- Baked and cooled cookies
- Food writer
- Space heater
- Kopykake, or other projection device
- Print-out of the image for the flower design
- Royal icing of flooding consistency, in brown and ivory
- Toothpick or boo-boo stick
- Royal icing of detail consistency, in red, yellow, green, and dark gray
- Gold luster and clear vanilla (or vodka) for dilution
- Small, fine-tipped paint brush
I started with this fabulous new cookie shape from The Cookie Architect’s cookie cutter selection at Truly Mad Plastics. I trimmed off the sides prior to baking to give it the shape that you see here. But you could also just buy the one without the side details as well!
I printed out an image of the wallpaper. I wanted to reproduce that center shape, but didn’t think that I could freehand it. So, I cut it out and used a food writer to trace the shape onto the cookie. This made flooding the cookie MUCH easier.
Then I flooded the cookie. I started with the outside of the cookie first. I flooded it with the brown royal icing and allowed it to sit in front of the space heater for about an hour. Then I was able to flood the center with the ivory. And there was no bleeding! Lastly, I allowed the cookie to dry 8 to 12 hours after flooding.
*A bit about the space heater: I keep it on about 75 degrees F and about a foot away from my cookies. Too hot/too close and your icing will crack.
After the cookies are dry, you are ready for the details! The fun part! You’re going to need your space heater again, as well as a Kopykake (or other projection device). Remember that printed image of the wallpaper? We’re going to use it again.
I placed the image in my Kopykake, so that I could determine where the petals should be placed. Using detail consistency royal icing, in the colors of red and yellow, I added the flower petals one at a time. Add a few flower petals and then allow the cookie to sit in front of the space heater. Then go back and add more petals. If you try to do all of the flower petals at once, they might bleed together, and/or you may get craters. Just by giving them a couple of minutes in front of the heater, all of those problems can be prevented.
After your flower petals are dry, go ahead and add the greenery. I added the leaf petals one at a time – again using stiff royal icing and the space heater to prevent craters, and the petals from bleeding together. After the leaf petals were set, I added the stems. Another point about the greenery: I used a Wilton 1S tip to add this detail. It’s my favorite small tip, as it isn’t so small that it clogs, but it's small enough for details.
Flower details: Using a Wilton 1S tip and stiff yellow royal icing, I made a series of small dots to form the center of the flower. Make sure that you give the icing time to set in between or the dots will bleed together. Then I used a toothpick to add the details to the flower and leaf petals. I usually just squirt a pile of royal icing onto a plate, dab the toothpick into the royal icing and then "paint" it on. Laborious, yet effective. At this point, I also added the dark gray outline. I later decided that the cookie design needed a second color outlining the center shape. You can add that now as well if you’d like!
After all of your icing is dry, it’s time to add the glitter, the glam, the luster dust! Mix together a bit of gold luster dust with clear vanilla/vodka. Remember, if your icing is breaking down when you are painting it on, your mixture is too diluted. If it’s clumpy, add another drop of clear vanilla. Use a fine-tipped paint brush and "paint" the yellow details on the flower and leaf petals. It should dry relatively quickly.
And there you have it! Now if you didn’t mess up your accent cookies (like I did! Oops!), these would make a beautiful cookie arrangement! For me, they'll make a nice thank you gift! [EDITOR'S NOTE: Where's the mess-up? I don't see it!]
As always, please let me know if you have any questions or if there is a technique that you’d like to see a tutorial about!
All cookies and photos by Yankee Girl Yummies.
Kari Arroyo started decorating cookies in 2011 after deciding to take a break from nursing, and learned the ways of royal icing by reading tutorials and LOTS of trial and error. When she’s not decorating cookies, you can find her chasing after two busy boys! Check her out on Facebook or her site, and email her your cookie questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo credit: Kari Arroyo
Note: Dear Yankee Girl is a regular Cookie Connection blog feature, written by Kari Arroyo, which allows you to get all your critical cookie technique questions answered, Dear Abby-style! Its content expresses the views of the author and not necessarily those of this site, its owners, its administrators, or its employees. To catch up on all of Kari's past posts, click here.