Dragonfly
Practice Bakes Perfect Challenge #30

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This is my attempt at a dragonfly cookie. @GinkgoWerkstatt, I promise I did not copy on you - I already had this in the works when you posted yours! (This is actually the second or third time we post similar entries - I guess we think alike!)

The wings are made of crushed candies - low sugar mints (composition: maltitol syrup, isomalt, natural mint aroma, colouring). They were already turquoise blue to begin with, as I was unable to find clear low-sugar candy. 

It was VERY DIFFICULT to work with. I actually piped four sets of four wings (ie 16 wings) to manage to get the four I finally attached to the cookie. The melted candy was really thick and gooey, but started to boil over as soon as I tried heating it a bit more - impossible to get a pouring consistency. And as it was so thick, it had a tendency to break the thin royal icing frames I had piped in advance. (All wing details were piped as part of the frame so as to be incorporated in the candy.) I finally managed by dropping globs of candy on the frames with a fork and very quickly shaping them with an oiled basting needle. I DO NOT recommend this technique! But at least, the result is quite lovely!

The dragonfly's body is a very thin hand-cut cookie iced with royal icing, and the rock is a pile of cookie dough scraps I modelled into shape, iced with thin flood-consistency icing (light gray and dark gray poured together into the piping bag to get a marbled effect). The moss is made with shaved cookie scraps colored in green with gel colour, and stuck to the cookie with same-coloured icing.

It was a challenge attaching the wings to the body - it took three tries to get something that worked, which ended up being molding a sort of platform with very thick icing under the wings to hold them up, then sticking the wings to the platform (they would not stick on their own to the icing) with more melted candy. The underside of the cookie is therefore quite messy, but I was lucky in keeping the top-side neat!

All in all, this challenge was really a challenge, and I don't think I'll be working with crushed candies again anytime soon. BUT I am really satisfied with the result - it ended up being everything I imagined, and I can't stop looking at it!

This is a stunning cookie! The piped veining of the wings and the slim, sectioned cookie body are really fabulous. I really appreciate your very detailed explanation of your process, especially the descriptions of all of your struggles! I would love to see you re-create this cookie sing isomalt and reporting back to on on the differences between the isomalt and the melted candies! It seems that while the melted candy method is very attractive from an apparent simplicity standpoint, it may not, in fact, be the easiest material to work with!

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