Roses, roses, EVERYWHERE! I don't think I have been surrounded by this many roses since my wedding. In 1993. Seriously, people! You shattered the Practice Bakes Perfect participation record, with a whopping 76 entries for Challenge #16! That's roughly 1,000 individual roses, piped, painted, and transferred. With that many roses, it was no small task to pick only ten entries to spotlight here. I strongly encourage everyone to check out the Practice Bakes Perfect clip set, so you can have a look at the veritable rose garden that has sprouted on Cookie Connection this past month.
Before I launch into the spotlighted entries, I'd like to first announce the randomly chosen winner of Practice Bakes Perfect Challenge #16! As you may recall, our winner will receive a rose-themed grab bag of decorating items donated by Cookie Connection founder, Julia M. Usher, including a wide array of rose nails and petal tips, but also these three special goodies . . .
Two sets of Gourmet Sweet Botanicals crystallized sugar roses (total count: 20), like the one on the scrumptious dessert below (retail value: $40)
One pack of "Spring Floral Bouquet" perfume bottle label wafer paper from Queen of Tarts Wafers (retail value: $14)
And, last but not least, one graduated set of long-stemmed rose cutters from Cookie Cutter Kingdom (retail value: $14)
And our winner is . . . Gina's Cake! CONGRATULATIONS, Gina! That's a lot of rosy loot, and I can't wait to see what other rose-inspired creations you come up with. Gina's entry was this delightful, soft-hued pair of cookies:
Roses on Plaques by Gina's Cake
There are lots more roses to behold, so off we go with our spotlighted artists. In no particular order . . .
Handpainted Roses by Teri Pringle WoodDubbed the "Queen of Roses" by one of our judges, Teri submitted seven (!) remarkable entries to this challenge. It was hard to choose which of these entries to highlight, and we wish we could have featured them all, but you can get a taste of the depth of Teri's challenge portfolio here, here, and here. As for this entry, another judge commented: "[What] a unique way to create very decorative roses for cookies! This work must have been done so delicately . . . [it] creates a strong, whimsical effect." I couldn't have said it better myself!
A Day of a Flower Girl by Ryoko ~Cookie Ave.
I just love the perspective that Ryoko was able to achieve in this cookie - it carries through from the aisle, to the train, to the relative sizes of the people, and finally to the sizes of the roses themselves. This entry is such a well planned, designed, and executed cookie. AND, rumor has it that Ryoko is working on a collaboration with fellow Cookie Connection member and challenge entrant Manu to create another cookie along this same theme. I can't wait to see what they create!
Colorful Details by ManuAnd speaking of Manu . . . I was thoroughly captivated by this puzzle scene. There are so many great things going on here. I love the splashes of watercolor next to the black and white background, the jelly vase for the roses, and then those perfectly formed, tiny, tiny roses (over 50 of them)!
Sweet Shoppe by LaegwenHere are some mad piping skills, people! To give you all some perspective, those are standard three- and four-inch base cookies. Those old-fashioned roses and all of their rose petals are TINY! On top of that, all of the cupcakes and macarons are entirely comprised of royal icing! To see more of Laegwen's mad piping skills, I encourage you to take a look at her other three entries, here, here, and here, all of which were contenders for this spotlight.
Mothers' Day Cookie by EvelindecoraThere are so many things that set this stunning cookie apart, like the gorgeous blush-pink color and the nearly 50 handpiped roses perfectly arranged without any gaps. But, what I really adore about this cookie is how the large handpainted roses on the left echo the multitude of tiny ones on the right - such a lovely, thoughtful design, with perfect execution!
Wreath of Roses for Mom by Sweet ProdigyWe could not pass up this beautiful collection of roses by Sweet Prodigy. I really like the varying shades of pink and how they are set off by the small white flowers. Beautiful job piping those rose petals too - textbook, in fact!
Planter-Style Cookies by emilybakingOne of three entries by emilybaking, this pair of cookies really puts the roses front and center! The colors are so soft and organic; that is some terrific basketweave on the front planter; and I love the photo staging!
A Basket Full of Roses for Mom by Gulnaz
I was floored by how impeccably piped these tiny roses are! Whatever texture and type of icing that Gulnaz used was just perfect. All of the other details of this cookie are of equal caliber - the various types of greenery and flower buds, the subtly painted background, and that superb wicker basket. This cookie is just gorgeous.
Victorian Gothic Rose Wedding by viragoAfter all of the soft and lovely pastel roses that people submitted for their entries, it was a bit of a shock to see this deep, dark, goth set. I love the intense maroon shade that virago was able to achieve, and I think her decision to go with a gothic theme was very outside-the-box. All of this, and those are some beautifully piped roses to boot!
Weeping Woman with Roses by Chu-A-CookieThis entry is definitely a case where the art reveals the soul of the artist - I can literally feel the pain of grief through this beautiful, striking cookie. If this is the level of cookie art that Chu-A-Cookie is producing after only four months of practice, then I can't wait to see what she submits another four months from now!
I wish I could have highlighted all 76 of the entries for this challenge. I toyed with including an "honorable mention" section, but when my list approached an additional 20, on top of the original ten, I decided to leave well enough alone! Every single entry was beyond impressive. What a joy it was to revisit each one in preparation for writing this post. Again, I really do encourage you all to take a look at the whole challenge clip set. There is some serious art there, and inspiration for many birthdays, holidays, and special occasions to come.
Our next challenge will post on or about June 6, so be on the look-out. Until then, I hope everything comes up roses for you!
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.