Sugar and Spice and all Things Nice

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Cooking friends, I know that by looking at my blog post production, it looks like I’m not cooking but I can assure you that isn’t the case.  Since about September last year (2015), I’ve been working on a new medium – cookies. I just keep forgetting to take pictures to share with you all. I know, I know…I’ve got to work on that. Anyways, I’ve been cooking, gingerbread houses, gingerbread Christmas ornaments, gingerbread cookies/biscuits, sugar cookies/biscuits and variations of sugar cookies…and I’ve been teaching myself the art of decorating these sugar confections.

There are a few ways to decorate cookies and this is but one – hand painting with a wash to create this water colour effect.

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It’s quite a visually effective technique and it’s not ridiculously difficult to achieve good results without a lot of practice. These  cookies are my first attempt and I’m fairly pleased with them; obviously I need to perfect my colour dispersion.

I’m not one to do tutorials on this blog but I’m certainly happy to tell you what I did and how I did it and refer you to those who do  have fabulous tutorials; why reinvent the wheel?

I started with a cookie that I had previously flooded with royal icing and then traced an image onto it. I used a pico pocket projector to project the image and then I used an edible black marker to trace the image. I’ll dedicate another post to introduce you to the pico pocket projector; it’s a wonderful thing!

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I really had to push myself to paint this image because I had really fallen in love with just the sketch of Pooh…and now I like both.

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I used Americolor gel food paste colours – you only need a teeny amount on the end of a toothpick. You’ll need to mix it into a liquid of either a very high proof alcohol like Spitrytus or if you’re in the US, you’ll probably have access to Everclear. Both are grain spirits. If you don’t have access to either of these, then look for sugar art alcohol at online/local cake decorating stores. I have ordered Spitrytus but with these I used sugar art alcohol.  I know some decorators have used water, but be warned that water takes longer to dry and cannot be used if you use a rolled fondant top instead of a flooded royal icing top. Fondant and water are a tricky combination at the decorating stage.

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I used a small artists plastic palette to make up each of the colour liquids. For the finer areas I used a fine brush but for the larger areas I used a Wilton round tip medium brush. Pick up some colour on the brush and then blot it on a paper towel. If you don’t blot the brush you’ll end up with a concentration of colour in one area that won’t spread out. You’ll be aiming to build up the colour layer by layer.

The colour will dry quickly but you can also put the cookie in a dehydrator on a low/no heat. 

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The big problem with making something that you like on a visual level, is that you don’t want to eat it…given the size of my butt that’s not really a problem haha

Cooking friends, I hope you like the hand painted cookies; go forth and have a go!

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