Hello! Welcome back to Practice Bakes Perfect! I feel like I may be starting to sound like a broken record, but I was really wowed by the entries to our Lambeth-inspired challenge. I was afraid that maybe, just maybe, I had overreached with this challenge. I thought maybe it was a touch too difficult. But, clearly, my fears were entirely unfounded! We had 29 entries from bold, brave, daring cookie artists who took up my Lambeth challenge, and they were superb. Not only were many of these entrants trying Lambeth-style piping for the first time, but many of them tried several other techniques for the first time as well, such as 3-D cookie construction, stringwork, royal icing transfers, and so much more! I am so impressed with how so many of you used this challenge as a vehicle to really stretch your cookie decorating skills in all kinds of new directions. Bravo!
Before we get to the spotlighted artists for this challenge, let's talk about our prize and which entrant will be coming away with it! As always, one lucky entrant was chosen at random from among all of the challenge entrants. She, and I say "she" because I believe no dudes entered this challenge (we need to change that next time!), will receive a grab bag of goodies (estimated value: $150 USD), donated by Cookie Connection host @Julia M. Usher. This grab bag contains all manner of piping tools (10 reusable pastry bags, 10 couplers, 10 flower nails, and 12 assorted tips) along with a "Proud Member of Cookie Connection" t-shirt and some highly coveted loot from Julia's very own CookieCon 2019 swag bag, including 4 stencils, 4 plaque cutters, a Sweet Sugarbelle icing spreader set, and a tipless bag sampler kit from Flour Box Bakery, among other things. This picture doesn't begin to show the half of it!
And our winner of Practice Bakes Perfect Challenge #33 is . . . @Nikki Carriere! Nikki entered the challenge FOUR times, and I love how she continued to improve her skills with every single entry. I really liked her first entry, because it was so ambitious.
Water Sprites by Nikki Carriere
Congratulations, Nikki! I hope you will make good use of all of your new cookie tools, and I hope we will see many more entries from you in future challenges!
Now, on we go to our other spotlighted artists! In no particular order, I present to you ten totally amazing Lambeth-inspired works of cookie artistry . . .
Quilled Peacock by swissophie
This cookie may be one of the most beautiful cookies I have ever seen. I truly believe that Sonja could write a book entitled "Modern Lambeth." As one of our judges put it: "Sonja's precision is unrivaled, and Lambeth is the perfect way to showcase her skill." I was shocked to learn that the entire peacock is one giant royal icing transfer. The overall design and colors of this entry are stunning. And I do not think Sonja could have picked a more suitable border for such an amazing cookie - it complements the peacock design so well, and the two-tone effect really gives it fantastic depth.
Baby Bird by Ryoko ~Cookie Ave.
This entry by Ryoko was another one that just blew us away with its creativity and execution. For a cookie that uses a very old (Lambeth) style, it has such a very new and modern feel. I strongly encourage everyone to take a look at Ryoko's detail and process photos in the comments to her entry to fully appreciate this cookie and all of the work that went into it. I especially love the details on the hat. Even the frame is very elaborate without distracting from the subject of the cookie. The way Ryoko stacked many layers of piped lines to create both the depth and contours of the glove is ingenious. (Again, take a look at her process photos!) And the lace cuff on the glove is stunning. I really, really like how the colored little bird pops against the gray. What an absolutely brilliant cookie!
Quilled Flowers by swissophie
Sonja, your "Lambeth Master" medal is in the mail! But seriously, your piping precision is on full display here. I love the designs, the colors, the photo-staging. This entry is pure joy.
Traditional Building with Lambeth Overpiping by DraganaThe judges and I thought that this building by Dragana was a unique spin on Lambeth. I love how all of the significant architectural details are done using Lambeth techniques and many different tip styles to yield different textures and added depth. The judicious use of stringwork to represent ironwork and woodwork at the top and bottom of the house is very clever. Finally, all of the different brown tones help to accentuate all of the details. This cookie is a really thoughtfully conceived entry, perfectly executed. If you would like to see how this house was configured, step-by-step, please take a look at the terrific process photos in the comments to this entry!
Flower Falls by PUDING FARM
I am absolutely smitten with this cookie! Every detail here is incredibly delicate, from the tiny curls of the hair to the gorgeous hair veil, to the "laced" details of the dress. Every time I look, I find another tiny detail that I previously missed. This cookie really epitomizes next-level Lambeth - taking the basic idea of overpiping, and utilizing it in unexpected ways. The result is one gorgeous piece of cookie art!
Antique Clock with Lambeth Overpiping by Annelise (Le bois meslé)
What a gorgeous, almost Baroque-style clock, thanks to Annelise's very elaborate Lambeth overpiping. Here, the choice of tips, colors, and finishing dusts really works to create a glorious sense of depth and to accentuate the amazingly ornate details. I would love to have this clock sitting on the shelf in my library.
Lambeth-Style Cookie by Sofiya
"Intricate, bold, clean, colorful" is how one of our judges described this entry by Sofiya. I definitely agree. I think the color choices and curved lines make this design feel very organic, but at the same time very structured. The contrast of these two effects is very eye-catching, indeed.
Anniversary by Kanch J
This entry is one of those where you absolutely MUST SEE the process pictures to truly understand how much work and planning went into it. (You can find those photos in the comments here.) This 3-D cookie was surely a labor of love. There are so many great Lambeth-y things going on here, but a few stand out. First, I cannot say how difficult it is to create letter transfers, but here, Kanch J not only made letter transfers, but made overpiped letter transfers for her "Happy Anniversary" topper. I have no idea how she was able to get that transfer onto the "cake" without breakage, but there it is. I am also extremely impressed with the stringwork at the bottom of the cake, and would love to hear more about how Kanch J was able to do it - especially suspending the strings over those gorgeous piped roses. Finally, I would like to give Kanch J a shout-out for attempting a 3-D structure a la @Julia M. Usher and really using this challenge as an opportunity to learn multiple new skills. Well done! [EDITOR'S NOTE: I echo Christine's shout-out! There's nothing like layering one challenge on top of another to stretch oneself. I'm also incredibly flattered that some of my trademark techniques were tackled here - and done so well! ]
Geometric Hearts by Heba Elalfy
Heba really takes Lambeth in a whole new direction with this very modern, almost minimalist entry. (Did I actually just use "Lambeth" and "minimalist" in the same sentence?!) Heba's decision to paint the top layer of the piped lines really gives these hearts wonderful depth without using anything other than round tips.
Spring by Heather0308
This entry by Heather has such a light and airy feel to it. I love how the floral details peek out from beneath the elaborate stringwork, and the stringwork border is absolutely lovely. Heather packed a lot of beautiful details onto this little cookie, and the result is spectacular!
And that's it for Practice Bakes Perfect Challenge #33 (which, by the way, is the 25th challenge I have hosted since taking over for @RebeccArchitect four years ago)! So, happy silver anniversary to me! Perhaps, I could get a slice of that Lambeth anniversary cookie cake by @Kanch J? [EDITOR'S NOTE: Gack! My bad - how could I not be the first to wish you a happy anniversary?!! Where would this site be without the time and love you pour into these challenges each month? THANK YOU! THANK YOU! And happy, happy anniversary, Christine! My fingers are crossed that you have another 25 challenges in you! ]
Thank you to everyone who participated in this challenge, whether it was by making an entry or commenting on the entries of others. It never ceases to amaze me how much I learn from watching all of you participating in these challenges. I hope you all feel the same.
For those celebrating this weekend - happy Passover and Easter! Be on the lookout for our next challenge, which will post on or about April 28, 2019.
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.