Between classes and shopping at CookieCon, I have been on the go all day! I decided to write about today's (Friday's) classes, but because of technical difficulties, I don't have pictures of all of the teachers. [EDITOR'S NOTE: No worries! I'm sure your words will fire up our imaginations! ]
First up was Nicholas Lodge (pictured below) of The International Sugar Art Collection. While he was interesting, he spoke very fast and it was easy for me to miss some of his information. He talked about how to make the best royal icing. He also offered an interesting tip on what to do when you only need to pipe a very small amount of icing. He suggested making just what you need, putting it in your piping bag, and then adding white icing behind it. The extra white icing will give you enough volume to properly control the bag and your piping, and when you're done, the white icing can be recovered and saved for later use. He also showed us how to make a royal icing transfer of a cherub, and I had the guilty pleasure of seeing that royal icing transfers break even for Nicholas Lodge.
Second was Dany Lind of Dany's Cakes, who talked about creating dimensional faces with piped royal icing. The most interesting part for me was that she first created the underlying structure with thick royal icing. She then flooded most of the face with thinner icing, without letting the under-layer dry. After that, she used a paint brush to push around the icing, both the top layer and the thick icing underneath. For skin, she likes to use equal parts of ivory and copper with a pin-prick of moss green. The moss green makes a big difference.
Angela Niño of The Painted Box talked about how to tint wafer paper using her signature watercolor techniques and how to make flowers with that paper. Her impressive flower is pictured at the very top of this post! I can't wait to try it out!
Next, was Rebecca Weld, The Cookie Architect, talking about inspiration. Drawing on interviews with other decorators, she first discussed how different cookie decorators get inspired and develop personal styles. She then went on to talk about how Pinterest can be used to develop cookie ideas.
Amy Clough of Clough'D 9 Cookies (pronounced "cloud nine") talked about how to put texture on a cookie. Texture adds dimension and depth, emphasizes specific details, creates an interesting background, and hides mistakes! She showed us how to make various textured effects, including coarse fabric, hammered surfaces, scoring with a knife, water, and old wood. She also demonstrated an interesting way to work with layered stencils, in which the first stencil is used with petal dust, followed by a second stencil that is used with royal icing. Lastly, royal icing transfers top it all off!
Teri Lewis, aka Tweet's Cookie Connection (not to be confused with this site), showed us how to use modeling chocolate to make flowers and a bird's nest. She never uses molds, just her imagination, to create her unique 3-D chocolate art. BTW, the woman in the picture (left) is her best friend: her mom.
Last, but not least, was Lisa Snyder, The Bearfoot Baker. She explained how to solve the typical problems that arise in cookie- and royal icing-making. Lisa made some very interesting points, many of which are reinforced on her website.
Tommorrow is open decorating day. There will be several demonstrations and opportunities to work with various products, with the teachers standing by, ready to help when needed!
Kate Sullivan, aka Econlady, is a retired economist who started cookie decorating over a decade ago when her seven-year-old daughter wanted to take a cookie decorating class. While her daughter lost interest, Kate continued to explore cookie decorating, always looking for new ideas and techniques. Kate’s cookies have been featured on a trading card at CookieCon 2015 (pictured left) and also in Cookie Connection’s Practice Bake Perfect Challenge #14. A year ago, Kate took over as Newsletter Editor of the National Cookie Cutter Collectors Club, where her decorated cookies are showcased on the cover of each newsletter. Kate is a long-time veteran of CookieCon, having attended since the very beginning, so she is sure to bring us the up-to-the-minute CookieCon inside scoop.
Photo and cookie credit: Kate Sullivan
Note: This article expresses the views of the author, and not necessarily those of this site, its owners, its administrators, or its employees. To read more CookieCon 2017 updates from our special Cookie Connection Correspondents Team, click here, and for CookieCon event photos, click here.