Moroccan Patterns
Practice Bakes Perfect Challenge #29

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Hi everyone! As so many others have, I chose Morocco for my entry in this month's Practice Bakes Perfect challenge - I had not anticipated it would be such a popular choice! Actually, one of my best friends, Déborah, is recently back in France from two years abroad in Morocco, where she met and married her husband. They didn't have a wedding ceremony and just eloped the two of them, so I recently realised I had never given them a gift! So these cookies were decorated as part of a belated wedding present.

I wanted to represent Morocco - her husband's country of origin - in a non-figurative way, as islamic art is mostly based on patterns. I therefore chose to include three elements in my set, traditionnal moroccan tableware, henna patterns, and moroccan spices. 

- The tableware patterns were copied on a set of Moroccan bowls Déborah gave me last year, and were hand-drawn on royal blue icing with a black edible marker. The patterns were copied free-hand, in order to copy the "imperfect" look of the original bowls. I had planned to paint the patterns, as the original pottery is hand painted, but my first try completely melted my icing, and I did not have many spares, so I went the safer way. The patterns were then glazed over using boiled-down breakfast syrup (the closest thing to corn syrup that can be found in France!) to make them shiny. The fact that the syrup is brownish gives them an authentic, vintage look that I quite like!

- The henna patterns were inspired by the henna Déborah wore on her wedding day, and were piped using a PME 0 tip. I traced the larger circles on the icing background with a needle and different-sized round objects (cookie-cutter, piping tip, pen cap), and the rest of the patterns were free-handed.

- I chose spices because the are a symbol of Morocco, but also because Déborah's husband used to sell spices - and indigo powder - in the markets. The cookies are supposed to be indigo, paprika, curcuma, cinnamon, ginger, cumin, and coriander. I colored the icing trying to match as much as possible the true colour of each spice. I then spread some colored icing on parchment paper and let it dry overnight, then crumbled it and sprinkled it on freshly iced cookied flooded with the same colour.

I will try to edit this post by adding some pictures when I have more time! Thanks again for the challenge, it was fun!

Annelise (Le bois meslé) posted:

Hi everyone! As so many others have, I chose Morocco for my entry in this month's Practice Bakes Perfect challenge - I had not anticipated it would be such a popular choice! Actually, one of my best friends, Déborah, is recently back in France from two years abroad in Morocco, where she met and married her husband. They didn't have a wedding ceremony and just eloped the two of them, so I recently realised I had never given them a gift! So these cookies were decorated as part of a belated wedding present.

I wanted to represent Morocco - her husband's country of origin - in a non-figurative way, as islamic art is mostly based on patterns. I therefore chose to include three elements in my set, traditionnal moroccan tableware, henna patterns, and moroccan spices. 

- The tableware patterns were copied on a set of Moroccan bowls Déborah gave me last year, and were hand-drawn on royal blue icing with a black edible marker. The patterns were copied free-hand, in order to copy the "imperfect" look of the original bowls. I had planned to paint the patterns, as the original pottery is hand painted, but my first try completely melted my icing, and I did not have many spares, so I went the safer way. The patterns were then glazed over using boiled-down breakfast syrup (the closest thing to corn syrup that can be found in France!) to make them shiny. The fact that the syrup is brownish gives them an authentic, vintage look that I quite like!

- The henna patterns were inspired by the henna Déborah wore on her wedding day, and were piped using a PME 0 tip. I traced the larger circles on the icing background with a needle and different-sized round objects (cookie-cutter, piping tip, pen cap), and the rest of the patterns were free-handed.

- I chose spices because the are a symbol of Morocco, but also because Déborah's husband used to sell spices - and indigo powder - in the markets. The cookies are supposed to be indigo, paprika, curcuma, cinnamon, ginger, cumin, and coriander. I colored the icing trying to match as much as possible the true colour of each spice. I then spread some colored icing on parchment paper and let it dry overnight, then crumbled it and sprinkled it on freshly iced cookied flooded with the same colour.

I will try to edit this post by adding some pictures when I have more time! Thanks again for the challenge, it was fun!

If you have the time, I would absolutely love to see a few more pictures of this set! 

I am in love with this set.  The second I saw it, I thought it would make a spectacular gift for someone, and lo and behold it WAS a special gift for the couple who inspired it! I cannot say enough about your colors here.  They are so incredibly rich and extremely accurate to the colors of Morocco. The breakfast syrup experiment could not have turned out better, and truly that slightly brownish tint definitely makes those cookies look like pottery. Both the colors and textures of your spice cookies are so, so good.  I honestly wondered, briefly, if you had maybe just poured the actual spices on top of the cookies! This is a terrific addition to the challenge.

Bakerloo Station posted:

I am in love with this set.  The second I saw it, I thought it would make a spectacular gift for someone, and lo and behold it WAS a special gift for the couple who inspired it! I cannot say enough about your colors here.  They are so incredibly rich and extremely accurate to the colors of Morocco. The breakfast syrup experiment could not have turned out better, and truly that slightly brownish tint definitely makes those cookies look like pottery. Both the colors and textures of your spice cookies are so, so good.  I honestly wondered, briefly, if you had maybe just poured the actual spices on top of the cookies! This is a terrific addition to the challenge.

Thank you so much, @Bakerloo Station ! I'm so glad you like it, as I'm particularily fond of this set - it really came out just as I had imagined it.  And for once, everything went smoothly with the execution, and I had lots of fun decorating the cookies (in front of the world cup!)! The hardest bit was indeed matching the colours of the spices - I did, in fact, in a moment of frustration, envision just dipping the cookies in the actual spices, but that wouldn't resolve the issue of the underlying colour, so I refrained from cheating...  Thanks again for your kind comments, and for organising these challenges! Can't wait to see the next one!

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