Our Cookie'sCool chat series continues with the lovely Evelin Milanesi aka Evelindecora. A relative newcomer to the cookie decorating scene, having started just two years ago, Evelin has ever since wowed us with her impeccable piping and painting, and overall mastery of technique!
If you can't make this chat, no worries. There's always the transcript, which will post after the chat. Plus, we'll also be doing a full-blown Cookier Close-up with Evelin in the coming weeks.
As always, you're encouraged to log advance questions starting now! (It's super helpful for questions to be logged early, so our guests are able to prepare answers in advance and to field more questions on the day of the chat.) But note that these questions will reveal one at a time, in the order received, only after the chat goes live. Please don't expect questions or answers to appear immediately.
Also, as with all of these chats, you have a special opportunity to see inside the minds of some of the most talented decorators in the world. I challenge you to do your homework and push our guests with unexpected - maybe even tough - questions!
Before we get started, just a few housekeeping notes for newbies to our chats: questions are answered in the order received, but they will not post to the public/viewable area of the chat until Evelin reads and answers them. We'll work through questions that were logged in advance first; then start working on questions asked live during the chat. That said, please be patient and do not re-post the same question. It may take some time to answer your question, depending on where it sits in the queue. But I will personally make sure every question gets answered before we're through!
Hi Evelin! And welcome to Cookie Connection's live chat! I, as a beginner, am thrilled that someone with your amazing talent takes the time out of your schedule to share your cookie decorating expertise here! And for allowing us to get to know you better. I read in the live chat introduction that you have been decorating cookies for only two years!! When you think back on some of your first cookie decorating projects, what decorating style/techniques did you begin with? And how have you developed your skills in just two years to create the remarkable cookie art that we see today?
DANA: Hi Dana! It is a great pleasure to me to share my cookies here in Cookie Connection; I have met so many talented artists that really inspires my work. In Italy cookies are not as popular as in your country, so this is the right place to get in touch with new ideas and interesting techniques. Two years ago when I've tried for the first time to work with royal icing I've chosen wet on wet; inspired by Sweetambs and Julia Usher cookies. At that time I didn't have a sac a poche and tips but just a coffee spoon and a toothpick! After two months I finally decided to buy the right tools and I definately fell in love with intricate piping and needlepoint works. I have been painting copies and murals since I was a little girl, so, now it is very easy to me to decorate cookies. These are art miniatures, all of us can express ourselves through this beautiful and unusual way such as on canvas or walls, therefore I like cookies so much! ....and, this is my trick to make perfect cookies: when I have to prepare four cookies for a class, for example, I only bake four cookies, not one more; so, I know I cannot do mistakes at all or I will have to switch the oven again on......it works!!!
LAUREN: Hi Lauren! To make perfect stripes I can advice you to use the right materials for first thing. I always use a very thin tip and a little sac a poche with not more than 20 grams of stiffy (but not too much!) RI inside. I close it and cut off the plastic queue, so I can work easily and write on cookies like I'd do with a pencil or a brush. At the beginning of the stripe I anchor it on cookie with a small dot (with exercise it becomes invisible), then I lift up my hand and carry this line where I need. If you try to 'write' the line onto the cookie the result will be a zig-zag stripe; always lift it up. As you know, raw egg white is not safe for health and it doesn't exsist a home-made way to pasteurize it; so use this recipe only to decorate cookies that you are not going to eat like hanging Christmas ones or trial cookies. 25 grams of egg white and 125 grams of confectionary sugar: beat it for ten minutes at low speed to obtain a stiffy consistency then add few water to reach the run-out one. For edible and safe RI you can use instead a powder mix 'ready to go' made only with very thin and refined confectionary sugar and dried pasteurized albumen.
I hope I will be here for the chat! Evelin is marvelous and I want to warmly welcome here in case I am not. My question for her is how does she work with such delicate 00 piping with such ease. Mine clogs and makes delicate piping a nightmare even though I sift the eggs and PS (powdered sugar). Thanks Julia!
TINA: Dear Tina thanks for your kind works, you are always so nice to me ❤️ PME 00 is the thinest tip I know, it is possible to pipe such delicate and unbelievable laces. I suggest you to start with a PME 1 to exercise on stripes and dots. Remember that stripes are perfect if you use a very stiffy concistency, instead, dots need a little bit melted stiffy RI. Sometimes your stripes while you decorate needlepoint break....because you surely forget to squeeze the sac a poche continiusly. A sac a poche is not a pencil, it is a new tool for the all of us....it is not natural to squeeze a pencil! If you try again with PME00 ,remembering this advice, you will pipe hundreds of perfect stripes! Let me know.....
KATIA: Hi Katia! So happy to see you here too First of all you must pipe a face and a neck using run-out concistency, then when it is dried, pipe on all the details with a tiny tip using stiffy concistency
Here's what was posted earlier to Katia's question: KATIA: Hi Katia! So happy to see you here too First of all you must pipe a face and a neck using run-out concistency, then when it is dried, pipe on all the details with a tiny tip using stiffy concistency
TINA: European confectionary sugar is not good to prepare RI, if you use a good RI mix your tips won't clog anymore! I suggest you this wonderful product: Squires Kitchen Professional; you will see the difference.
KAROLA: Hi Karola! I Always use Americolr gels, thay are perfect and dry very fast. Use also a 'fine art' round brush with a little bit of water, but not too much because RI is made of sugar and it could melt!
Good idea! I always wrap my tips with a bit of plastic wrap when I'm not piping with them and that helps too. I found the powdered sugar in Europe to be the culprit though - the brands that have been used in many of my classes are very gritty and plug my tips more than I'm used to.
Mine don't always take longer actually. I rarely work more than a couple of hours a day in the kitchen, as I am working on lots of other projects (this site being one). So I spread things out over longer periods because I have to. I can do most all of my projects in 1 or 2 days, which is how long they take in my classes (this includes drying time).
All I know, is I can hear the grit in some of the sugar that we used in Italy, Spain and Portugal this year. It literally makes scraping noises as you stir it. I've never experienced that with the C&H brand that I use in the US.
Agree - parchment paper can also be very wavy, which makes it harder to get straight lines. I always pipe out a few lines on my work surface (table) before I start on a cookie, just to be sure the icing is flowing well for me.
Hi Evelin!! I am such a fan of your beautiful creations! I used to draw and paint a lot too. Since having my twins and switching to baking I have found art in new forms, including cookies! What is the best medium you use to mix your colors with and what brand do you feel works the best for "painting" and does not mess with the already dried RI?
hello Evelin, it is true that in Italy it still uses the little donut decorated but it is becoming a craze .. at least for me! I know that you also have another job (which I also appreciate) but I was wondering if you think you can make a real job in Italy also decorated cookies .. sure, for artists of your skills! I'd like there were any proffessioniste cookie art! Sabrina
SABRINA: Hi Sabrina! This has become a real job now!!! I teach every Saturday cookie decorating in different schools (and cities), the Whole week is dedicated to bake and pipe cookies. I have no time for other things now. I still paint sometimes but, it is hard to match both things!
Try to use the K whisk instead of the normal ones. You won't have bubbles anymore in your run-out. I make run-out inside the mixing machine (Kitchen Aid I mean) because also using the spoon is a damage for run-out!
It's also hard to make a living in the US just making highly decorated anything. There is only a small market willing to pay the premium prices such art needs to command. I had a much "rounder" portfolio of products (simple to elaborate) when I had my bakery, so there were more affordable options for more people. Since all I do is teach now, I can focus on more elaborate as people seem willing to pay for instruction (more than consumption).
WINN: My blog is only dedicated to decorated stuff, I like it so much this way but, visitors are not one million per year. If you organize a blog dedicated to easier treats than mine I am quite sure you will reach much more visitors than mine!
Hi Evelin! First of all, big hug from Italy! Here's my question... Apart from Americolor, which other color brand do you use or do you think is the best? I don't use Americolor because I read that they're not approved form EFSA (European FDA) since I have a baby and he eats them (sorry, professional bias and mother worrying). So I always struggle from brand to brand... <3
I never actually tried Modecor... What do you think of Squire Kitchen!!! By the way, can't wait to see you in Genova! I'll be there....also I promise I'll attend one of your class in Milano!! It will be awesome to finally in person...
Yes I know that... Infact I try to make him eat the white ones... But that's not always easy!!! I'll try Modecor ... Thanks for the all the tips (the one to leave the cookies over kitchen paper was new... Gonna try)! Again congrats ... You are great and always so nice! <3
Since there are no more questions for Evelin in our pending queue, I think we'll sign off now since we've already gone over time. Thanks to Evelin for such a wonderful chat. It was a joy having you with us! And I can't wait to meet you in Genoa!
When you block a person, they can no longer invite you to a private message or post to your profile wall. Replies and comments they make will be collapsed/hidden by default. Finally, you'll never receive email notifications about content they create or likes they designate for your content.
Note: if you proceed, you will no longer be following .