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Practice Bakes Perfect Challenge #41: Flowers

 

Summer is that time of year when Mother Nature dazzles us with a spectacular show of beautiful flowers and an endless array of stunning colors and exquisite designs. With so much inspiration all around us, now is the perfect time to create your own floral masterpiece.

But before I mention the details of this challenge, let's talk about our PRIZE! One lucky entrant will be chosen at random from among all of the challenge entrants to receive a collection of Sugarin® products, all perfect for making or coloring edible flowers.

SUGARINPRIZE

These products were gifted to Cookie Connection host @Julia M. Usher who is passing them on untouched, with the hope that the lucky winner will put them to amazing use. This set of goodies includes three packages of Anna Austin's modeling paste, one bottle of bakers' spirit, one bottle of edible glaze, one bottle of edible glue, one Petal Palette by Patty with 12 stunning colors of compressed petal dust, six containers of edible petal dust, six oil powder colors, and five icing paste concentrates! Ooh, I can only imagine the beautiful bouquets that one could create with this loot! Now back to business . . .

This challenge may be all about flowers - but it is not about creating the typical flower cookies that we so commonly see. The goal of this challenge is to create a unique floral arrangement with lifelike flowers. And there are so many ways that this objective can be accomplished.

Here are a few examples of the different techniques and media that can be used to create your flowers.

Rustic and Roses by Teri Pringle WoodRustic and RosesFor this cookie, Teri used fondant to create her flowers and embossed leaves.

 Experimenting with New Techniques by Heather Bruce SosaExperimenting with New TechniquesHeather handpainted each individual wafer paper petal, then dampened and shaped them before attaching them to the cookies.

Dogwood Cookie Close-up by Julia M. UsherDogwood Cookie Close-up
After getting motivated by @Manu's water lily tutorialJulia created this delicate dogwood cookie using individually piped, contoured, and airbrushed royal icing transfers.

Fondant Bamboo Sugar Cookie and Flowerpaste Asian Orchid Spray by bobbiebakes
Bamboo Cookie Frame with Spathoglottis Orchids and Rocks
These orchids were made with gumpaste. The first comment under this clip contains a link to a tutorial showing how they were made.

Sculptural Painting of Royal Icing Roses by EvelindecoraSculptural Painting of Royal Icing RosesEvelin created this "sculptural painting" using spackled royal icing (icing spread with an assortment of palette knives). Her inspiration came from the works of Evgenia Ermilova.

Chocolate Flowers by tweets...cookieconnectionChocolate Flowers
This modeling chocolate creation offers up one more delicious option for creating a floral masterpiece.

Now that we have seen some of the different media and techniques that can be used, here are some inspirational ideas that show how your flowers can be arranged.

Basket of Flowers by Gigi's Fresh BakedBasket of Fresh Flowers
This basket is made of gingerbread and filled with wafer paper and fondant flowers.

Christmas Cookie Lantern by Olivera VlahChristmas Cookie Lantern
This wafer paper poinsettia adorns a cookie lantern with isomalt glass.

Christmas in Bloom by LisaFChristmas In Bloom
This giant cookie planter box is overflowing with embossed fondant poinsettias.

3-D Garden Arbor Cookie by Julia M. Usher3-D Garden Arbor CookieJust in case you're feeling a little overambitious, this stunning garden scene by Cookie Connection founder and host @Julia M. Usher is the perfect inspirational clip to start you on your way!

Once you have decided on a design, there are plenty of tutorials and videos to help you create your flowers.

Tutorials, Videos, and Tips

If you are interested in creating sugar flowers made of fondant or gumpaste, this post from Cake Geek Magazine is a great place to start. Here, all in one spot, you will find tutorials about how to create several different flowers. Additionally, this CakesbyLynz video demonstrates how to create a realistic looking sunflower. And be sure to check out the other gumpaste tutorials on her channel. Here on Cookie Connection, @Laegwen shares a beginner-level lavender tutorial with us. If you do not have gumpaste, this Veena Azmanov post teaches you how to make your own, and also provides a wealth of helpful information.

There are a number of videos that demonstrate how to create wafer paper flowers. I really like how real the chrysanthemum looks in this Cheshire Bakery video. In another video, Astashkina Cakes shows us how she makes a delicate Japanese anemone. You can learn how to create a simple orchid with this Annika's Cake Tutorials video, or a more advanced peony with this Я - ТОРТодел! video. And this Winifred Kristé Cake post is the perfect guide to learning all about wafer paper flowers.

If you would like to create "sculptural painted" flowers, this short video by Evgenia Ermilova gives a great overview of the technique.

For chocolate flowers, I highly recommend you watch this video by @Julia M. Usher that explains everything you need to know about creating perfect modelling chocolate. Afterwards, this Robert Harwood video walks you step by step through the entire process of creating a chocolate peony.

For piecework flowers made of individually piped and contoured royal icing transfers, @Julia M. Usher's dogwood and snowdrop how-to videos and @Manu's water lily tutorial will expertly guide through the process. Additionally, you can take inspiration from videos that use buttercream, such as this YOUNGYI video tutorial.

Your floral arrangement does NOT have to be three-dimensional; however, if you would like to create a three-dimensional cookie, @Julia M. Usher's YouTube channel has several tutorial videos that show you how.

You can also add details to your cookie using ideas from this 3-D Cookie Lantern tutorial by @Manu or this Holiday Cookie Candle Holder tutorial by @Dolce Sentire - Aixa Zunino that features a series of stacked cookies with a wood bark texture. And, as luck would have it, @Aproned Artist has a newly posted Charmed Cobra Cookie tutorial that teaches how to pipe a perfect basketweave.

I also want to add that these are just some of the ways that you can create your floral arrangement. There are so many more real-life examples from which to draw inspiration. There are floral wreaths, archways, bouquets, and tablescapes. And there are even floral necklaces and fascinators as well as all-out floral haute couture, such as this exquisite work by Tobey Nelson and Françoise Weeks. Where will you find your inspiration? Take a look around you or search online. And don't forget that Mother Nature can also be one of the best sources of inspiration when creating your floral masterpiece!

RULES:

PLEASE READ THEM CAREFULLY. I would hate to disqualify an entry because someone failed to read ALL of the rules.

1. Create an artistic floral arrangement using a minimum of THREE different types of flowers and at least TWO different types of media. You may use one cookie or a set of cookies to create your arrangement.

2. Everything on your entry MUST be edible. Wires, tape, and all other nonedible items are NOT allowed for this challenge. For instance, gumpaste flowers should be made without wires, or, alternatively, a different medium or technique could be used to create a particular flower instead.

3. Classic piped royal icing roses DO NOT COUNT toward the three required types of flowers, since they were already done in Practice Bakes Perfect Challenge #16. If used, classic piped roses should be kept to a minimum. You may, however, use roses that are made with less traditional techniques or media.

4. Since this challenge is about creating something that goes beyond the typical flower cookie, simple-style flowers such as molded or cutout fondant flowers (pictured below, upper left), piped rosettes or swirl roses (upper right and lower left), and brush-embroidered flowers (lower right) DO NOT COUNT toward the three required types of flowers. The use of these types of flowers in your arrangement is strongly discouraged.

Simple Flowers CollageNote: Cookies and photos, clockwise from top left, by Teri Pringle Wood (May Flowers), Punky's Sugar Shoppe (Rosettes), Evelindecora (Spring Cookies), and Kat Rutledge-ibicci (Pink Swirl Roses).

5. Your flowers must be handcrafted. You may not use molds, stencils, edible prints, Russian tips, or similar media and techniques to create your flowers. You may, however, use molds to emboss your flower petals and leaves as needed.

6. Your floral design must be original, and not a copy of any other artist's design. And, remember, no copyrighted designs may be used without written permission.

7. As always, we ask that you make a brand new cookie project for this challenge.

And because Cookie Connection is all about learning and sharing, I would love for you to share in the comments section under your entry your inspiration, the different methods you experimented with, and how you created your magnificent floral designs.

TO ENTER:

  • Please post an image of your cookie OR cookie set to the site under the Practice Bakes Perfect clip set no later than August 30, 2020 at 5 pm central.
  • Because these challenges are ongoing, we ask that you put "Practice Bakes Perfect Challenge #41" 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. Multiple clips of the same entry are not allowed unless added in a comment beneath the one primary clip.
  • The prize is given entirely at random. This means that everyone who participates in the challenge has an opportunity to be rewarded with our fantastic prize!

After the challenge has closed on August 30, we will announce the winner in the Saturday Spotlight on September 5. The next challenge will be announced about a week after that Spotlight.

And, remember, these challenges are NOT a competition. They are intended to inspire and motivate you to step outside of your comfort zone, to experiment and be creative, and to try something new. The goal is for you to challenge yourself artistically and technically, and to develop your skills so that you may reach your full potential as a cookie artist. And, of course, the goal is for you to have fun along the way.

I can't wait to see what you create. If you have any questions about this challenge, or if you are looking for ideas, technical advice, or creative help - or if you just want to talk cookies - I would love to chat. You can leave me a comment below, or you can send me a private Cookie Connection message.

ChristineCROPPEDChristine Dutcher's journey as a cookier began in early 2013 when an online search led her to the amazing world of cookie decorating. After spending countless hours learning all that she could, Christine decorated her first set of cookies in October 2013. In 2016, she decided that she would begin to focus on perfecting her skills, challenging herself each time to create more detailed and progressively complex pieces of cookie art. In 2019, Christine became one of the very first sugar artists from around the world to be named as an "Honourary PME Five Star Sugar Artist" by Knightsbridge PME. You can learn more about Christine's work here on Cookie Connection, and by following her Facebook and Instagram pages.

Photo credit: Christine Dutcher

Note: Practice Bakes Perfect is a bimonthly Cookie Connection blog feature written by Christine Dutcher 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.

Attachments

Images (13)
  • Practice Bakes Perfect Challenge #41 Banner: Photo by Steve Adams; Cookie and Graphic Design by Julia M. Usher; Logo Courtesy of Sweet Prodigy
  • Sugarin® Prize Collection: Photo by Julia M Usher; Prize Donated by Sugarin® and Julia M. Usher
  • Rustic and Roses: Cookie and Photo by Teri Pringle Wood
  • Experimenting with New Techniques: Cookies and Photo  by Heather Bruce Sosa
  • Dogwood Cookie Close-up: Cookie and Photo by Julia M. Usher
  • Fondant Bamboo Sugar Cookie and Flowerpaste Asian Orchid Spray: Cookie and Photo by bobbibakes
  • Sculptural Painting of Royal Icing Roses: Cookie and Photo by Evelindecora
  • Chocolate Flowers: Cookie and Photo by tweets...cookieconnection
  • Basket of Fresh Flowers: Cookie and Photo by Gigi's Fresh Baked
  • Christmas Cookie Lantern: Cookie and Photo by Olivera Vlah
  • Christmas In Bloom: Cookie and Photo by LisaF
  • 3-D Garden Arbor Cookie: 3-D Cookie and Photo by Julia M. Usher
  • Simple-Style Cookies That DO NOT COUNT: Cookies and Photos, Clockwise from Top Left, by Teri Pringle Wood, Punky's Sugar Shoppe, Evelindecora, and Kat Rutledge-ibicci.

Sweet Prodigy

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Comments (34)

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🌷🌸Wow, I love this challenge!!! 🌺And so humbled to see mine as an example. Thank you so much, Christine. 

Your flowers are beautiful. I'm looking forward to seeing what you make!

This is exciting! Thank you so much for creating this fun challenge Christine.  There are so many possibilities here. And what an absolute thrill that you selected my work as an example!! Thank you so very much. The example brings me to a question though. The answer may be assumed but I want to double check - does everything in a 3D display need to be edible? It was in the poinsettia photo (rice krispie treats were used inside to stabilize the bouquet and attach individual flowers). Just wanted to make sure.  Thanks again for all of this!

@LisaF posted:

This is exciting! Thank you so much for creating this fun challenge Christine.  There are so many possibilities here. And what an absolute thrill that you selected my work as an example!! Thank you so very much. The example brings me to a question though. The answer may be assumed but I want to double check - does everything in a 3D display need to be edible? It was in the poinsettia photo (rice krispie treats were used inside to stabilize the bouquet and attach individual flowers). Just wanted to make sure.  Thanks again for all of this!

So glad you're excited about the challenge! To answer your question, yes, everything in an entry (3D or not) must be edible. @LisaF

WOW!!! Amazing challenge 🌸🌼🌸

Thank you so much for including my flowers, can’t wait to see all the beautiful entries!

Glad you like the challenge, Evelin - can't wait to see the entries too! @Evelindecora

WOW!! Christine, what a great challenge!!
The examples are already unspeakably beautiful !!! I'm already so looking forward to the cookies ... ❤️  @Sweet Prodigy

I'm glad you like the challenge. I'm sure we'll have some great entries! @Icingsugarkeks

So glad you're excited about the challenge! To answer your question, yes, everything in an entry (3D or not) must be edible. @LisaF

Excellent. Looking forward to this!

Christine I feel like such a dingaling! I just read through the rules and you clearly answer the edible question. My apologies!!

Last edited by LisaF
@Zeena posted:

Hi Christine. Just a question on the flowers. Some gum paste flowers are made with inserted wires. Are wires allowed in this challenge?

@Zeena  Hi Zeena. Everything MUST be edible. Wires, tape, and all other non-edible items are NOT allowed for this challenge.

Gumpaste flowers should be made without wires, or, alternatively, a different medium or technique can be used to create that particular flower instead.

@Zeena  Hi Zeena. Everything MUST be edible. Wires, tape, and all other non-edible items are NOT allowed for this challenge.

Gumpaste flowers should be made without wires, or, alternatively, a different medium or technique can be used to create that particular flower instead.

Thank you.

 

@Kanch J posted:

Wow..Amazing examples. Quite a difficult but very exciting challenge. Looking forward to see many wonderful crations.🌸💗

Yes, there are certainly flowers and arrangements that can be made using more advanced techniques and media. But flowers can also be arranged beautifully onto a flat cookie with a little creativity. With so many different types of flowers, media, and techniques to explore and use, this challenge is great for all skill levels.  @Kanch J

@LisaF posted:

This is exciting! Thank you so much for creating this fun challenge Christine.  There are so many possibilities here. And what an absolute thrill that you selected my work as an example!! Thank you so very much. The example brings me to a question though. The answer may be assumed but I want to double check - does everything in a 3D display need to be edible? It was in the poinsettia photo (rice krispie treats were used inside to stabilize the bouquet and attach individual flowers). Just wanted to make sure.  Thanks again for all of this!

@Zeena posted:

Hi Christine. Just a question on the flowers. Some gum paste flowers are made with inserted wires. Are wires allowed in this challenge?

@LisaF@Zeena I have amended the rules as a result of your questions.

How interesting!! I wil try my best to be part, it's my Post-graduation deadline for my final gigantic assignment ( that I didn't  finish yet) and it's defense😱😱😱...

Say no more! I am going to wish you all the best on your final assignment and hope you do well ... and maybe finish in enough time to enter the challenge! 

@LisaF@Zeena I have amended the rules as a result of your questions.

Thank you so much for telling me Christine. I can guarantee that everyone else I deal with on a daily basis (including my sisters and husband) would have had me believe that the rule clarification was there all along. So now not only do I need to find an idea for the challenge, I probably need to find a new family. 🤣😜🍪❤️