Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a great holiday and is ready to jump right back into cookies! I took a few days off from decorating cookies myself to decorate (read: paint) my dining room. I do not know how I keep up with my rock-n-roll lifestyle, LOL.
Anyhoo . . . You may recall that, in our last challenge, we immersed ourselves in the wet-on-wet technique - a technique that uses multiple colors in a flat plane to create images and patterns. So, for this challenge, I thought we should explore the exact opposite technique and learn how to create one-color cookies that rely on the overpiping of a single color on a base of the same color to create images, patterns, and texture. (A shout-out to my co-contributor @Aproned Artist for helping me brainstorm the initial idea for this challenge!)
Before we get to the details of this challenge, let's talk about the amazing prize that we have lined up for one of you lucky cookie peeps! As always, the winner of the challenge prize will be selected completely at random from among all of the challenge entrants. AND, the more times a person enters, the more chances s/he has to win! (Practice makes perfect, right?)
And just what is the prize for this challenge? It's a whopping $150 SugarVeil® gift certificate, generously donated by none other than Michele Hester, owner and founder of SugarVeil®, the company that first created edible sugar lace and the silicone mats used to form that lace. (Right now, their Needlepoint Mat, the first of its kind for cookie decorating, is all the rage!) You can apply the gift certificate to your own choice of SugarVeil® products in their online store. This is one awesome prize, sure to start the new year right! [EDITOR'S NOTE: @SugarVeil will ship to a prize winner anywhere in the world, but the value of product and shipping cannot exceed $150 USD.]
Now that you are all fired up to win this spectacular prize, let's talk about the challenge. It might be easiest to start with a simple visual to explain what I am talking about when I say "monochrome". To me, nothing is better suited to the monochrome technique than a simple white-on-white snowflake, like these:
White-on-White Snowflakes by Yankee Girl Yummies
And here are some monochromatic floral cookies:
Black and White Flowers by RH. BAKE
As you can see, when I say "monochrome," I mean that ALL of the icing on the cookie is the exact same color, which in the cases above, is white or black. Because these cookies are all one color, it is the texture and dimension created by the piping on top of the base flood icing (aka "overpiping") that creates visual interest.
As I look through the thousands and thousands of clips here on Cookie Connection, I can safely say that white-on-white cookies are the most common of all monochrome cookies. However, there is no reason that you could not use any other color, just as @RH. BAKE made the black-on-black monochrome cookie shown above. The key to monochromatic decorating is using a piping-consistency icing that is stiff enough to keep your patterns and images crisp, and to give them sufficient dimension to catch the light needed to make them visually appealing. Put simply, the overpiping has to make the design on top stand out from its same-colored background. Easy enough, right?!
New year, new skills! So, let's do this! Here's how . . .
1. Create a set of five (5) or more cookies using the monochrome technique and all royal icing. Your set of cookies (even if you have more than five) must consist entirely of monochrome cookies. All cookies in the set must also be the same color, and all decorations on the cookies must be made with royal icing.
2. You can only work in ONE COLOR. Shade of the same color may not be used. The use of additional shades of the same color will be grounds for disqualification from the challenge. For example, a set such as this one would be disqualified because it contains different shades of blue:
O, Come Let Us Adore Him by Cookies by Brooke
3. Similarly, you canNOT use your cookie dough color as an additional color. For instance, piping white onto a gingerbread or chocolate cookie is NOT permitted in this challenge, and will be grounds for disqualification. As an example, this set would be disqualified because it has white piping on top of dark brown cookies (essentially two colors):
Snowflake Cookie Wreath by q-cou
4. Your design must be completely original, and not a copy of any other artist's design. (In my eyes, the more original the entry, the better! And as always, no copyrighted designs may be used without written permission.)
5. As always, we ask that you make a brand new set of cookies for this challenge.
6. Think outside the box, take some healthy risks, and have some fun.
- Please post an image of your cookie set to the site under the Practice Bakes Perfect clip set no later than February 17, 2019 at 5 pm central.
- Because these challenges are ongoing, we ask that you put "Practice Bakes Perfect Challenge #32" in your photo caption AND in a tag, so that we can tell the challenges apart from month to month. Please use the main 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.
After the challenge has closed on February 17, we will announce the winner in the Saturday Spotlight the following weekend (February 23, 2019). The next challenge will be announced about a week after that Spotlight.
And one last thing . . . This is NOT meant to be a competition. The only person you should be competing against is yourself. Period. These challenges are intended to inspire the artist in you and push you to be the best cookie artist YOU can be at this snapshot in time. Remember, the whole point of this exercise is to get you out of your comfort zone - to "take healthy risks," as my wise-beyond-his-years son always reminds me. Plus, prizes are given entirely at random, so healthy risk-taking has its own rewards!
I would love to chat with you as you journey through this process, so if you have any questions about the challenge, are having trouble getting started, need help bringing an idea to life, or want technical advice, please leave a comment below or send me a Cookie Connection private message.
Christine Donnelly began her professional baking career at 16, when she was hired on the spot at her local bakery to work the counter and decorate cakes. After detours to college and law school, she worked as a trial lawyer in Chicago for many years, ultimately leaving that career to become a stay-at-home mother to her two children. In her “retirement,” she continued to bake at home, at last finding her preferred artistic medium in decorated cookies. In February 2013, Bakerloo Station was born with a presence on both Facebook and Instagram. Christine makes cookies to balance her left brain, to inspire and share creative ideas, and to feed those needs that only art can satisfy.
Photo credit: Christine Donnelly
Note: Practice Bakes Perfect is a bimonthly Cookie Connection blog feature written by Christine Donnelly 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 Christine's past Cookie Connection posts here.