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Every Little Detail with Aproned Artist: Coastal Cookie

 

This cookie and I have some history. If you’ve been reading my tutorials for a while, you might remember my struggles approximately a year ago. I tried an island concept, but with water made of royal icing, and waves created from white gel coloring. When the icing made contact with the white gel coloring, I hoped it would make interesting frothy patterns (similar to the epoxy resin art that is so popular right now). And it did, to an extent. But it was difficult to control where those frothy patterns ended up, and the icing was far too matte to effectively emulate water. After putting the project aside for some time, I’ve come back to the concept with a fresh attitude and some design modifications. It feels good to turn my past frustration into a success.

Supplies:

  • Royal icing (I used AmeriColor gel paste coloring to tint the icing):
    • Stiff-consistency gray (4 parts Ivory/4 parts Warm Brown/1 part Regal Purple/1 part Super Black)
    • Stiff-consistency dark green (2 parts Moss/2 parts Olive/1 part Forest Green/1 part Regal Purple/1 part Warm Brown)
    • Stiff-consistency light green (2 parts Moss/2 parts Olive/1 part Forest Green/1 part Regal Purple)
    • Stiff-consistency white
    • Stiff-consistency dark blue (4 parts Royal Blue/1 part Super Black)
  • Tips:
    • Wilton #8 (or equivalent)
    • PME #00, 1, 1.5 (or equivalents)
  • 4 1/2-in (11.4-cm) round sand-colored cookie
  • Medium flat paint brush
  • AmeriColor (or equivalent) gel paste coloring: Warm Brown, Bright White, Taupe, Royal Blue
  • Small paint brush
  • Round paint brush
  • 3 small containers
  • Corn syrup

Step 1: Pipe and detail landmass

a. Using stiff-consistency gray royal icing and a Wilton #8 tip (or equivalent), pipe a mound of icing at the top of the cookie. With a barely damp medium flat paint brush, press the side of the brush against the icing to push and smooth it into a mountain shape. If the icing is too wet and sticky, allow it to sit for a minute to harden before shaping. If the icing becomes too cracked for your liking, dampen your brush to smooth out some of the texture (but keep in mind that the rocks will look more realistic with a slightly craggy surface).

Step 1a - Pipe and Shape Rocks

b. Continue piping and shaping mounds adjacent to the first to create a rocky landmass. If desired, pipe a few small rocks apart from the large landmass. Allow the icing to dry completely.

Step 1b - Contine Piping and Shaping Landmas

c. Mix a tiny bit of Warm Brown gel paste coloring with a drop of Bright White gel paste coloring to make a very light reddish brown color. Use a small paint brush to highlight some of the peaks of the landmass with this light color.

d. Dilute a drop of Taupe gel paste coloring with water to achieve a thin greenish-gray color. Paint the crevices of the rocks with this darker color to deepen the cracks and shadows of the landmass.

Steps 1c and 1d - Paint Highlights and Shadows

e. Using stiff-consistency dark green royal icing and a PME #00 tip (or equivalent), pipe a small squiggle of icing on the side of a rock formation. Use a round paint brush to stipple the icing, dabbing vertically to create a rough texture. Repeat, piping and stippling, until it looks as though the landmass is sparsely covered with shrubs.

Step 1e - Pipe and Stipple Dark Shrubbery

f. Using stiff-consistency light green royal icing and a PME #00 tip (or equivalent), pipe a few dots of icing on top of the textured dark green icing. Again, use the round paint brush to apply the same stippled texture. Repeat, adding highlights to the remaining dark green shrubbery.

Step 1f - Pipe and Stipple Shrubbery Highlights

Step 2: Decorate ocean

a. Using stiff-consistency white royal icing and a PME #1 tip (or equivalent), pipe a short line of icing along the bottom edge of the rock formation where it meets the cookie. Use a damp small paint brush to drag a small amount of the icing away from the landmass, creating a messy brush embroidery effect to emulate frothy waves. Repeat, creating as many little waves as you desire. (I kept most of my waves along the right side of the landmass and around the small rocks.)

Step 2a - Pipe and Brush Embroider Waves

b. Using stiff-consistency dark blue royal icing and a PME #1.5 tip (or equivalent), pipe a border around the edge of the cookie from one side of the rock formation to the opposite side. Pour a couple tablespoons of corn syrup into each of three separate containers. Tint each with graduated concentrations of Royal Blue gel paste coloring to achieve three different shades of blue (ranging from very light to fairly dark blue). A little bit of gel paste coloring goes a long way, so start with a small amount, and add more to reach the desired shade. Dip a medium paint brush into the darkest blue corn syrup, and transfer a drop of corn syrup to the outside edge of the cookie. Use the brush to add more dark blue corn syrup and to push the corn syrup to meet the piped border. Bring this darkest color most of the way toward the landmass (i). Clean your paint brush, and transfer drops of the medium blue corn syrup adjacent to the dark blue corn syrup. Add enough medium blue to fill about half of the remaining space around the landmass (ii). Finally, switch to a small paint brush to add drops of the light blue corn syrup to fill the remaining empty space. Use the brush to guide the corn syrup into the small crevices around the landmass (iii).

Notes: The corn syrup will shift and blend slightly as it dries. For this reason, it’s important to keep the cookie on a level surface or the corn syrup might overflow the border. Additionally, the levelness of the cookie itself will impact how the corn syrup flows. Slightly raised areas of the cookie can add some realism as the corn syrup will be more shallow in these areas (and more of the “sandy” cookie will be visible beneath it). However, any dramatic bubbles in the cookie’s surface should be sanded down prior to decorating or they may protrude through the surface of the corn syrup once the syrup settles.

Step 2b - Apply Corn Syrup

Finished! A year in the making, this coastal cookie finally made the cut.

final coastal cookie multiple angles

Samantha Yacovetta began cookie decorating in 2013. While working at a local bakery, Samantha became captivated by cookie art when a customer requested princess-themed cookies. Attracted initially to the precision of cookie decorating, Samantha soon found that the limitless design opportunities turned it into her artistic passion. Samantha began regularly stocking the bakery case with decorated cookies and for several years sold cookies through her own company, Aproned Artist, a cottage food operation. Having retired from the business life, Samantha now enjoys making cookies just for fun from her home in San Jose, California, USA. To learn more about Samantha, please check out her Cookie Connection portfolio, her Facebook page, and her past Every Little Detail tutorials here.

Photo and cookie credits: Samantha Yacovetta

Note: Every Little Detail with Aproned Artist is a monthly Cookie Connection blog feature written by Samantha Yacovetta focused on the special little details that make big statements in cookie design. This article expresses the views of the author, and not necessarily those of this site, its owners, its administrators, or its employees. To read all of Samantha's past Every Little Detail tutorials, click here. And to see all of Cookie Connection's tutorials, click here.

Attachments

Images (9)
  • Coastal Cookie - Where We're Headed!: Cookie and Photo by Aproned Artist
  • Step 1a - Pipe and Shape Rocks: Cookie and Photos by Aproned Artist
  • Step 1b - Continue Piping and Shaping Landmass: Cookie and Photos by Aproned Artist
  • Steps 1c and 1d - Paint Highlights and Shadows: Cookie and Photos by Aproned Artist
  • Step 1e - Pipe and Stipple Dark Shrubbery: Cookies and Photos by Aproned Artist
  • Step 1f - Pipe and Stipple Shrubbery Highlights: Cookie and Photos by Aproned Artist
  • Step 2a - Pipe and Brush Embroider Waves: Cookie and Photos by Aproned Artist
  • Step 2b - Apply Corn Syrup: Cookie and Photos by Aproned Artist
  • Final Coastal Cookie: Cookie and Photos by Aproned Artist

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Comments (24)

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Love it - reminds me of the craggy Maine coastline, where I'm headed tomorrow! Have a great fourth of July, and I'll "see" you online when I get back.

Love it - reminds me of the craggy Maine coastline, where I'm headed tomorrow! Have a great fourth of July, and I'll "see" you online when I get back.

Thanks, Julia! Enjoy your much-deserved holiday!

Very interesting!   I have a question Samantha, since we do not use corn syrup here I do not know anything much about it.  Doesn't corn syrup make the cookie soften?

In my experience, the corn syrup doesn’t effect the texture of the cookie at all. If eaten right away, it will be messy and sticky and fluid.  It dries pretty hard within a day or two but with a slight stickiness (kind of like hard candy).

You could use isomalt to achieve the same effect. (Isomalt and I don’t get along well, so I tend to avoid it when I can.) The corn syrup is much more forgiving because it’s ready made, it’s used at room temperature, and it takes a long time to dry. If you really mess it up, you can even scrape it off and try again.

Those ocean colors are stunning. I've often thought about making an "epoxy resin" cookie. Thanks for an excellent tutorial showing how it can be done.

Thanks, Christine!

If you figure out how to make an epoxy-like cookie, I’d love to hear the technique. The white gel paste does interesting things, but it’s really hard to control. I attached a picture of my experiments so you can see what I mean.

CA6C0882-3F0E-465F-9CEE-D08C92DEC58B

Attachments

Images (1)
  • CA6C0882-3F0E-465F-9CEE-D08C92DEC58B

Love it! Though I do have a question, how long did it take to dry, and is it sticky to touch?

Thanks, Mitzi!

It takes a day or two for the corn syrup to harden. I live in a very dry climate, so it might take considerably longer if there’s more humidity. The corn syrup thickens slowly over that time to the point where it will hold a depression if you touch it but gradually heal back to smooth over the next 30 minutes or so. When it dries completely, it is smooth and hard. But it will become slightly sticky with any amount of moisture, just like hard candy, so I would be nervous putting it in a bag.

Thanks, Julia! Enjoy your much-deserved holiday!

It's not exactly a holiday, but thanks . . . I have a whole house that needs unpacking and setting up, and then I'm going to my grandmother's memorial service. She died from COVID when the a foodservice worker at her nursing home lied about a positive COVID test. It was pretty horrific actually.

Last edited by Julia M. Usher

Oh, I just love this cookie Samantha @Aproned Artist!!! What a wonderfully clever, creative and gorgeous idea. Your use of RI just continues to amaze me with the various applications on so many of your tutorials. I always learn so much from each of CC's gifted contributors @Manu, @Sweet Prodigy, @Icingsugarkeks, YOU and of course dear @Julia M. Usher . I've gone back in time to review many, many of CC's previous contributors' tutorials as well to remind myself of other techniques. It's amazingly easy to forget the vast number of techniques available to cookie artists all over the world!! (An unexpected corelation to this tutorial .)

Many thanks for your clear step-by-step instructions and corresponding pictures!! You make many techniques much easier to understand because of your attention to even the tiniest of details.  Awesome work my dear cookie friend ❤️❤️❤️ Hugs...

It's not exactly a holiday, but thanks . . . I have a whole house that needs unpacking and setting up, and then I'm going to my grandmother's memorial service. She died from COVID when the a foodservice worker at her nursing home lied about a positive COVID test. It was pretty horrific actually.

I'm so sorry. That definitely doesn't sound like a holiday.

Oh, I just love this cookie Samantha @Aproned Artist!!! What a wonderfully clever, creative and gorgeous idea. Your use of RI just continues to amaze me with the various applications on so many of your tutorials. I always learn so much from each of CC's gifted contributors @Manu, @Sweet Prodigy, @Icingsugarkeks, YOU and of course dear @Julia M. Usher . I've gone back in time to review many, many of CC's previous contributors' tutorials as well to remind myself of other techniques. It's amazingly easy to forget the vast number of techniques available to cookie artists all over the world!! (An unexpected corelation to this tutorial .)

Many thanks for your clear step-by-step instructions and corresponding pictures!! You make many techniques much easier to understand because of your attention to even the tiniest of details.  Awesome work my dear cookie friend ❤️❤️❤️ Hugs...

Thank you, Carol! I, too, go back on the regular to check out techniques from past tutorials and clips on this site. It's amazing the wealth of knowledge archived there.

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