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Made by Manu: Letter Board Cookie

 

A felt letter board is the inspiration for this short and easy tutorial. From humble beginnings as vintage signs, letter boards with quotes have become very popular elements of home décor and Instagram content (here’s a nice article about how this trend took off a few years ago.) A letter board typically consists of a framed series of parallel dowels covered with felt fabric. Letters with tabs on the back side can be stuck in the grooves between the felt dowels to form a quote, convey a personal message, or say just about anything. I have always liked the idea of customizing cookie sets with messages related to the event or occasion, and the possibilities for doing so with a letter board cookie are truly endless. Further, if you've got creative block, a "centerpiece" letter board cookie with an inspirational quote might just be all you need to jumpstart the rest of a set!

What you’ll need for this project:
  • 1 large (8 x 11-cm/3 x 4 3/8-in) rectangular cookie, ideally baked on a perforated silicone mat 
  • Royal icing and pastry tips:
    • White piping-consistency in pastry bag with PME #1 tip (or equivalent, to pipe lines) and PME #2 tip (or equivalent, to pipe letters)
    • Grey thick flooding-consistency in pastry bag with PME #3 tip (or equivalent; I used a tip-less bag)
    • Yellow thick flooding-consistency in pastry bag with PME #2 tip (or equivalent; I used a tip-less bag)
  • Paint brush, to create texture
  • Acetate, to practice piping letters (optional)

Step 1: Outline and flood cookie

a. Outline the rectangular cookie about 0.5 centimeters (3/8 inch) from the edge. Use white piping-consistency royal icing and a PME #1 tip (or equivalent).

b. Within the outline just piped, pipe a series of lines running parallel to the short side of the cookie. I piped the lines about 0.6 centimeters (1/4 inch) apart. Tip: Bake your cookie on a perforated silicone mat with a grid texture, and pipe on the back side of the cookie. This way, you can use the grid imprint as a piping guide.

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c. Flood non-adjacent strips using grey thick flooding-consistency royal icing and a PME #3 tip (or equivalent). Let the icing set before flooding the remaining strips so that the icing in each strip remains distinct.

d. Now, flood the remaining strips just as in the previous step, and let the icing dry completely before moving to Step e.

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e. Pipe a small amount of the same grey icing on a saucer. Use a paint brush to apply the icing randomly along each strip with up-and-down motions of the brush. This technique is call stippling. While you stipple, the icing will start to dry, and you will be left with a felt-like texture on the cookie.

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f. To create a frame around the strips, outline the edge of the cookie using white piping-consistency royal icing and a PME #1 tip (or equivalent).

g. Flood the frame using yellow thick flooding-consistency royal icing and a PME #2 tip (or equivalent), and let the icing dry completely.

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Step 2: Pipe letters

Now that the icing on the frame is dry, it's time to pipe a message or a quote, or whatever you like. Practice your letter-piping on a piece of acetate before piping on the cookie. Use white piping-consistency royal icing and a PME #2 tip (or equivalent). The letters on actual letter boards are usually as tall as each strip of the board, or multiples of each strip, so the tabs on the letters can lodge in the crevices between the strips. However, for readability, I kept my letters a little bit taller than a strip (about 1 centimeter or 7/8 inch). I practiced piping so many letters, intending to also use them in my photo staging, that I eventually ended up gluing the letters onto the cookie (i.e., using them as royal icing transfers). I didn’t pipe directly on the cookie at all! A dot of white piping-consistency royal icing is all that's needed to glue a letter in place. It's less time-consuming to pipe just once directly on the cookie, but it's often safer to pipe many letters as transfers. That way, you can choose the very best to display on your cookie!

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The letter board cookie is ready! I obviously didn’t venture into piping a quote. Instead, I used my letter board cookie as a caption for the title image of this tutorial! Below, I've propped the cookie vertically and added a simple marbled plant cookie, along with more pink letter transfers that spell “TUTORIAL” and complete my caption.

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And that’s all for this month! Wishing you a happy summer . . . with a letter board cookie, of course!

Manu 

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Manuela Pezzopane, affectionately called Manu by her friends and family, is a fan of everything handmade, and professes to have tried every possible hobby. However, it wasn’t until the end of 2014, when an American friend invited her to a Christmas cookie exchange, that she first discovered decorated cookies. In 2015, after watching Julia M. Usher's videos and signing up on Cookie Connection, Manu finally attempted her own. Since then, cookie decorating has become Manu’s passion. You can follow Manu on Facebook and Instagram, or email her at manubiscottidecorati@gmail.com.

Photo and cookie credits: Manuela Pezzopane

Note: Made by Manu is a Cookie Connection blog feature written by Manuela Pezzopane, where each month she shares the method behind a magical cookie of her own making. 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 Manuela's past Made by Manu tutorials, click here. And to see all of Cookie Connection's tutorials, click here.

Attachments

Images (8)
  • Where We’re Headed!: Cookies and Photo by Manu
  • Steps 1a and 1b - Outline Cookie and Pipe Lines: Cookie and Photos by Manu
  • Steps 1c and 1d - Flood Strips: Cookie and Photos by Manu
  • Step 1e - Apply Texture to Cookie with Paint Brush and Royal Icing: Cookie and Photo by Manu
  • Steps 1f and 1g - Outline and Flood Cookie Edge: Cookie and Photos by Manu
  • Step 2 - Pipe Letters on Cookie or Glue Letter Transfers: Cookie and Photo by Manu
  • Finished Letter Board Cookie!: Cookies and Photo by Manu
  • One More Cookie Board for Summer: Cookie and Photo by Manu

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Comments (32)

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@LisaF posted:

Thank you so much Manu @Manu.  This is so clever and well thought out.  I so appreciate you sharing this with us!

Thank you, Lisa @LisaF . My shortest tutorial ever!!! 
Could you believe this is my 40th tutorial on Cookie Connection? How time flies!!!

Last edited by Manu

I love your tutorial, but there is a sub-topic that I would like your advice on. For me, coloring gray icing is a huge challenge. Perhaps it's my computer, but even your photos appear to make the board color green instead of gray. I have even purchased Americolors that are supposed to be shades of gray, and they look green to me. Is this just my eyes mistaking the true color or is this a real problem?

Love it Manu @Manu! As always, you've created great step-by-step instructions to replicate your creativity . I love that!!! What a fabulous idea, too. And, you've given us a second example of what a summer themed board might look like. Super fun. Thank you SO much for all you put into each and every tutorial. Your hard work shows my dear ❤️❤️❤️. Hugs...

@Manu posted:

Thank you, Lisa @LisaF . My shortest tutorial ever!!! 
Could you believe this is my 40th tutorial on Cookie Connection? How time flies!!!

Wow!! your 40th tutorial Manu? @Manu...simply amazing . Thank you so much for all you do here ❤️

@Cookies4You posted:

I love your tutorial, but there is a sub-topic that I would like your advice on. For me, coloring gray icing is a huge challenge. Perhaps it's my computer, but even your photos appear to make the board color green instead of gray. I have even purchased Americolors that are supposed to be shades of gray, and they look green to me. Is this just my eyes mistaking the true color or is this a real problem?

Thank you, @Cookies4You. For this set I have used a drop of Americolors “Super Black” and the grey is really grey and beautiful in person, unlike other brands which really give a greenish icing. The problem is the photo, which for me is the hardest part of cookie decorating. I like natural light and no filter, but we are currently in the rainy season, the sky is grey, and it is like taking pictures with a filter, the whites are always greenish/greysh/blueish. If you look at the picture of  the board in step 2, that’s grey to me. I edited the final picture, with the “standing board”, to make it more brighter so probably the grey turned a little bit greenish... I am not that good at editing photos. 

@Kanch J posted:

Wonderful creation. Dear Manu, @Manu Thank you so much. I love everything in this tutorial. Specially the summer cookie. It's super cute! 💙

Thank you, Kanch @Kanch J. Another way to display my seagulls and the beach hut💙

Love it Manu @Manu! As always, you've created great step-by-step instructions to replicate your creativity . I love that!!! What a fabulous idea, too. And, you've given us a second example of what a summer themed board might look like. Super fun. Thank you SO muccaTha for all you put into each and every tutorial. Your hard work shows my dear ❤️❤️❤️. Hugs...

Wow!! your 40th tutorial Manu? @Manu...simply amazing . Thank you so much for all you do here ❤️

Thank you, Carol @Cookies Fantastique. I made some more letter board cookie sets, which I will post in the next days. Actually this my 39th one, I counted also the one I am currently working at, by mistake 😃😃😃

I like your boards Manu!! And I like the many little letters! 😘❤️The summer board is my favorite. Great work and tutorial!! Thanks for sharing Manu!! @Manu

Thank you, Gabi @Icingsugarkeks 💙