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Every Little Detail with Aproned Artist: Winter Berries Mosaic Cookie

 

Do you have some extra time on your hands? Are you a perfectionist with the patience of a saint? Do your friends marvel at your love of tedious projects?

If you answered β€œyes” to any of these questions, then this, my friends, is the cookie project for you.

Supplies:

  • 4-in (10-cm) oval cookie cutter
  • Cookie dough of choice
  • Winter Flora Mosaic Design Template (See β€œFiles” in β€œAttachments” at the end of this post.)
  • Small, sharp knife
  • Food-safe marker
  • Royal icing:
    • Flooding-consistency white
    • Stiff-consistency white
  • Acetate or parchment paper
  • Food-safe file
  • PME #2 tip (or equivalent)
  • Scribe tool (or equivalent)
  • Gel paste coloring for painting:
  • Paint palette
  • Alcohol or water for diluting gel paste colorings
  • Medium flat angled paint brush
  • Food-safe tweezers

Step 1: Cut and modify cookie dough shape

 

a. Use the oval cookie cutter to cut your cookie dough.

b. Reference the Winter Flora Mosaic Design Template (located in β€œFiles” at the end of this post) for the location and shape of the berry that extends at the top right of the cookie. Use a small, sharp knife to cut a small half circle of dough, and attach it to the cut oval dough using the dull back of the knife blade to help meld the pieces together and further refine the shape. Alternatively, you can skip Step 1a, print out the Mosaic Design Template, and handcut the entire shape.

c. Bake the cookie. Once cool, lightly sketch the design onto the surface of the cookie with a food-safe marker.

Steps 1b and 1c - Modify Oval and Sketch Design

Step 2: Pipe royal icing transfers

a. Use flooding consistency white royal icing to pipe a large rectangle (approximately 5 x 7 inches or 12.7 x 17.8 centimeters) of icing onto a piece of acetate or parchment paper. The shape of the transfer is not important (as we’re just going to break it into little pieces later on). Make sure there is at least enough icing to cover twice the size of your cookie so that you will have many shards from which to choose when constructing the mosaic. One of the rectangles depicted below should be sufficient for one cookie. Allow the transfer to dry completely before carefully peeling it from the acetate or parchment paper.

Step 2a - Pipe Large Transfer

Step 3: Create and attach berry mosaic shards

a. Use your hands to break the royal icing transfer into many small shards about the size of your fingernail.

b. Choose a shard slightly larger than one of the berries drawn on the surface of the cookie. Use a food-safe file to shape the edges of the piece into a rough circle.

Steps 3a and 3b - Break Transfers and File Berry Shard

c. Pipe a small dot of stiff-consistency white royal icing on the back of the round shard with a PME #2 tip (or equivalent), and place it on top of the drawn berry, pressing gently to adhere. Remove any icing that squeezes out from under the sides with a scribe tool (or equivalent).

d. Continue shaping the shards with the file and adhering them to the cookie with stiff-consistency white royal icing until all of the berries in the design are attached.

Steps 3c and 3d - Attach Berry Shards to Cookie

Step 4: Paint berry shards

a. Squeeze a drop of Maroon gel paste coloring onto your paint palette. Add a drop of alcohol (or water) on top of the gel paste, but do not mix them together. The liquid should dissolve a small amount of the gel paste, leaving you with a pool of diluted red paint and a smear of more concentrated paint.

b. Dip a medium flat angled paint brush into the paint so that some of the bristles of the brush pick up the diluted paint and just a few bristles pick up the more concentrated paint. Drag the brush along a berry in a single direction. The brush strokes resulting from the different concentrations of paint should be quite visible (to emulate stone).

c. Paint the other berries in the same fashion, changing the direction of the brush stroke with each berry.

Steps 4b and 4c - Paint Berries

Step 5: File and attach branch shards

a. Select a skinnier shard, and shape it with the file until it is the width of the branch.

b. Holding the shaped shard with tweezers, apply a dab of stiff-consistency white royal icing to the underside with a PME #2 tip (or equivalent). Use the tweezers to position the shard on the cookie.

c. Find another skinny shard, and shape it with the file so that it sits flush against the shard you just adhered. (This is where the β€œpatience of a saint” comes into play, as it may take a bit of trial and error to get the pieces to fit together just right.) Attach the shard with another dab of icing.

d. Continue shaping shards and attaching them until all of the branches in the design are attached.

Steps 5c and 5d - File and Attach Branch Shards

Step 6: Paint branch shards

a. Squeeze a drop of Chocolate Brown gel paste coloring onto your paint palette. Add just a touch of Super Black gel paste coloring, and swirl it lightly with the brown gel paste. Add a drop of alcohol (or water) on top of the gel pastes, but do not mix them together. The liquid should dissolve a small amount of the gel pastes, leaving you with a pool of diluted dark brown paint and a smear of more concentrated paint.

b. Paint the branch shards just as you did the berries in Step 4. Dip a medium flat angled paint brush into the paint so that some of the bristles of the brush pick up the diluted paint and just a few bristles pick up the more concentrated paint. Drag the brush along a branch shard in a single direction. Change the direction of the brush stroke with each shard.

Step 6b - Paint Branch Shards

Step 7: Shape and attach background shards

a. Where possible, select shards for the background pieces that are the size of the berries or slightly larger. Ideally, look for pieces that already have an edge in common or that fit nicely against an area of the design so that you have fewer edges to file. Work from the inside of the cookie to the outside, shaping and attaching each shard until the entire background is covered.

Phew! Many hours later, you and your entire workspace will be covered in a fine layer of sugar dust. But you’ll also have a beautiful mosaic cookie!

Final Winter Berry Mosaic

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)
  • Winter Berries (and Amaryllis) Mosaic Cookies - Where We're Headed!: Cookies and Photo by Aproned Artist
  • Steps 1b and 1c - Modify Oval and Sketch Design: Cookie and Photos by Aproned Artist
  • Step 2a - Pipe Large Transfer: Photo by Aproned Artist
  • Steps 3a and 3b - Break Transfers and File Berry Shard: Photos by Aproned Artist
  • Steps 3c and 3d - Attach Berry Shards to Cookie: Cookie and Photos by Aproned Artist
  • Steps 4b and 4c - Paint Berries: Cookie and Photos by Aproned Artist
  • Steps 5c and 5d - File and Attach Branch Shards: Cookie and Photos by Aproned Artist
  • Step 6b - Paint Branch Shards: Cookie and Photo by Aproned Artist
  • Final Winter Berry Mosaic: Cookie and Photo by Aproned Artist
Files (1)
Designs by Aproned Artist

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Comments (36)

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Heather Bruce Sosa posted:

😱😱😱😱I have fallen in love with this technique!!!! Thanks so much, Samantha for sharing such a gem and in such a detailed way. Amazing work! Certainly will be trying it out. Thank you so much❀️❀️

I’m so happy to hear that. I found the process to be quite relaxing and enjoyable, but I was a little worried people would think I was crazy.

Ryoko ~Cookie Ave. posted:

Oh mosaic!  We can make mosaic cookies?!   Samantha, you always show us there are possibilities.  Thank you.  

Thank you, Ryoko! I never had the time to experiment when I was selling my cookies. It’s wonderful to have the freedom to try new things (and the forum to share the successes with all my cookie friends).