Hi, everyone! I've been so happy seeing the Cookie Connection home page in full bloom during the past two months that it feels a little bit sad to recap Watch-Learn-Create Challenge #54. As you probably know, this challenge's featured guest was the very talented Anna Oliinyk of @Anna_Sunday_Cookers. Anna shared all of her tips and tricks for making realistic piped flower cookies in different stages of bloom, and for arranging them in gorgeous cookie bouquets. She also showed us how to get a little bit fancier by adding other unexpected elements to bouquets, such as cookie greenery, fruits, and/or vegetables on sticks.
Even though the challenge has closed, I hope you will continue to take advantage of Anna's video tutorial (truly a master class) - not only to keep this site looking pretty, but also to surprise your special someones with stunning edible bouquets!
As always, I couldn’t be more grateful to Anna for sharing her expertise with us, being a wonderful guest, and giving away her prerecorded “Flowers of Ukraine” class to one lucky randomly-drawn challenge participant.
And the winner is 🥁🥁🥁. . .
🥁🥁🥁 . . . @Petra Florean! Many congrats, dear Petra! Now you can learn how to pipe all of the flowers in Anna's bouquet! Please make sure to check your email where Julia and I will put you in contact with Anna who will explain how you can redeem your prize. Now for a look at Petra's gorgeous entry . . .
Piped Flower Bouquet by Petra Florean
Lucky for us, Petra shared all of the pastry tips she used to pipe her flowers (a lavender sprig, peony, rose, and dahlia) in the comments under her entry. She also
shared a few step-by-step pictures where you can see the different shapes of the cookies on which she piped and the various stages of piping. Just click on the pink "Petra Florean" link above to see Petra's entry, and then scroll down to the comments for these details.
But the prizes for this challenge are not over! We still have one randomly-drawn winner to award with a special prize offered by Cookie Connection founder and host @Julia M. Usher. Julia will ship to one lucky participant in the U.S. what she calls the "Incredible Wilton Goodie Box". Thank you, Julia!
🥁🥁🥁 . . . @EAC! Congratulations, EAC! Julia says her box is much bigger than the one in the picture (), and it's loaded with all sorts of Wilton’s latest baking and decorating items, including colorings, sparkle gels, charming cupcake liners, silicone molds, sprinkles galore, and more. Check your email for a note from Julia about what she needs from you to get you this wonderful prize!
Below is EAC's hyper-realistic entry!
3-D Cornflower in Full Bloom Stage of Growth by EAC
EAC practiced piping @Anna_Sunday_Cookers’ 3-D cornflower cookies in full bloom (one of the three stages of bloom that Anna demonstrated), and the result is stunning. EAC put some butter in her glaze icing, and she says that it smelled alluring. I wish we could taste these cookies!
And now let’s have a look at the rest of the spotlighted entries!
A Box of Sunflowers by Edyta Kołodziej
I am very partial to sunflowers (they are my favorite flowers)! Still, I can’t get over the way Edyta arranged her cookies and the color contrast within this amazing bouquet. Another plus: the bouquet views well from all angles, as the cookies are decorated on both sides. Check out Edyta’s pictures in the comments under her post.
Bouquet of Flowers by Zeena
What a colorful and festive bouquet by Zeena! Zeena applied @Anna_Sunday_Cookers' directions for giving volume to flowers to a tee by piping them on contoured cookies. We watched Zeena master her skills of baking and decorating contoured cookies during Challenges #51 and #52 in her entries here and here. However, this entry was Zeena's first time ever piping flowers on a contoured surface. Well done, Zeena!
Bouquet in a Basket by Heather Bruce Sosa
What a gorgeous flower arrangement by Heather! Heather baked the cookies in a cake pop mold and inserted the skewers while the cookies were still soft and warm from the oven - another tip shared by @Anna_Sunday_Cookers in her demo. After Heather piped the flowers, she let them dry completely and then dusted them with petal dust.
Wedding Bouquet by Heather Bruce Sosa
In this entry, Heather features a bouquet of rose cookies piped on half egg-shaped mini cookies, as demonstrated by @Anna_Sunday_Cookers in the challenge video. Heather attached a picture of the naked cookies in the comments under her entry, so I encourage you to take a look. The fact that Heather staged this photo with her granny’s wedding veil and her mom’s wedding headband makes this arrangement even more special.
Pink Bouquet by Heather Bruce Sosa
The flowers in this third gorgeous cookie bouquet by Heather are piped on concave cookies, just like in her first entry. But, this time, to give them volume and depth, she handpainted them. In her demo, @Anna_Sunday_Cookers airbrushed her piped flowers, but she also showcased alternatives, such as dusting and handpainting, for those who don’t have airbrushes.
Flowers from My Garden by Susie Jacobs
Susie practiced piping cornflowers in all three stages of bloom, just as demonstrated by @Anna_Sunday_Cookers, but she then went the extra mile and applied the same concepts to zinnias and sunflowers. She even added special touches, such as the message cookie and handpainted butterfly. In the comments under her post, Susie shares great work-in-progress shots, how she achieved the ombre effect on her zinnias, and her idea to paint the skewers green! It's such a pleasure to see this stunning bouquet and how Susie clearly enjoyed the challenge. This challenge was also a bonding opportunity with her daughters who did an amazing job piping cornflowers and airbrushing them! A picture of their work is also posted among the comments under Susie’s entry. I am sure you all made Anna proud.
Garden Flowers by Zeena
It is so difficult to pick a favorite in this beautiful selection of piped flower cookies by Zeena. She wanted to try piping different flowers, and what a success! All of them are amazing, but the daffodil stands out to me. I also love the addition of molded green fondant leaves attached to the sticks.
Last Bouquet by Heather Bruce Sosa
As the title of this image suggests, here's Heather's last entry into the challenge. She was certainly on a roll this time, presenting not one but four (!) ways to pipe and arrange flower cookies! This time, the featured flowers include a zinnia, a daisy, and a hemerocallis (aka day lily). What a great idea to use royal icing transfers for the hemerocallis pistils! For close-ups of Heather's piped flowers and royal icing pistils, please take a look at the extra photos under her entry. [EDITOR'S NOTE: Heather, I must extend extra thanks to you for the enthusiasm with which you approached this challenge. It brings me great joy to know this challenge sparked such creativity in you. I commend you for going above and beyond, and for validating the hard work that Manu and Anna put into this challenge through your many beautiful submissions. ~ JMU]
Sunflowers for Manu by Ryoko ~Cookie Ave.
@Ryoko ~Cookie Ave. surprised me with this gorgeous flower bouquet that includes a sunflower and mums (two of my favorite flowers)! Ryoko has been one of the most active challenge participants ever since the first one in 2014, but lately her busy schedule hasn’t allowed her to make cookies. It was really a pleasure to see Ryoko's entry and her usual detailed mini tutorial in the comments (check it out!). It was like traveling back in time for me. I so appreciate her extra effort taken to enter one of the challenges that I host - and this bouquet, which is a most thoughtful virtual present for my birthday.
I wish I could make two bouquets using the flowers from all your beautiful entries. I'd send one to @Anna_Sunday_Cookers as appreciation for the time and dedication she put into her demo and her prize, and the other to @Julia M. Usher as appreciation for providing the forum for these challenges and the extra prize on top.
Thanks so much to each one of you who found the time to participate! I leave you with the usual video recap that captures the entire Watch-Learn-Create Challenge #54 experience with Anna. You’ll see some timelapsed highlights from Anna's demo and a slideshow of all of the entries, including some work-in-process pictures. You will also see Anna's 3-D cornflowers coming to life in a few seconds. Keep in mind that nothing is fast and simple, and that, to master any technique, a load of work, practice, and time is needed, just as our challenge participants experienced.
Keep practicing and have fun! News about the next challenge will come in a few weeks. ~ Manu