We have a lot of big things in store here at SugarEd coming this year. Our online school is a big hit with members, contests and games….. so be sure to sign up for our newsletter on our homepage HERE to get all the scoop!
Now, on to the business at hand. Usually, I am not one to brag. But I gotta say, I love today’s project. It came out just as I had hoped, and we all know how often that happens! I don’t usually have that kind of luck.
Just a few days ago, I was surfing the net, brainstorming St. Patty’s day ideas, and came across the image below.
It screamed cookie to me. I did not think piping the plaid would have the effect I wanted. And I surely was not going to weave fondant bands, LOL. Airbrushing was the only way to go. I could see in my head how seriously cute it was going to be.
But I had two problems: 1) No shamrock cookie cutter and not enough time to order one, 2) Bent needle in the airbrush and not enough time to order one. What bad luck.
So I went to sleep, which is when I do my most creative thinking and problem solving. Yes, I actually come up with my best designs and ideas while in twilight sleep. Weird, huh? But I was feeling lucky, and I hoped that the little leprechaun muses were going to visit me in my slumber.
And it worked! I came up with a plan of attack to get my cute plaid shamrock cookies made. I used a heart cutter to make the three petals.
Now, for the stem. I cut a square from the dough, and then cut off a section, which I tapered both sides of as you can see above.
I pinched one end narrow with my fingers, and then pressed it against the side of a round cookie cutter to give it a curve.
Slipped the stem into place and voila! A shamrock. (I do recommend gluing the edges that meet with some egg white or water to help them adhere better.)
Bake and cool as per normal. If you are lucky, your cookies will not come apart where the pieces are joined. But if they do, do not fear! You can glue them back together with some melted chocolate. You will not see the repair job once your cookie is iced.
Once fully cooled, outline and flood your cookie with royal icing. I outline and flood with the same consistency icing, all at the same time, in order to achieve no visible outline. But you can surely outline with a stiffer icing, and then flood with your thinner icing.
Let that dry 24 hours or so.
Next, I needed a stencil to airbrush the plaid lines. I did not have the kind I needed, and not enough time to order one, so I tried my luck at making my own.
I used a pen to draw lines along food safe acetate in the width I wanted my plaid to be. I get my acetate here, but you could try parchment paper or some other food safe paper.
After cutting the strips apart, I then taped them, equidistant apart, to card stock on each end.
Lay (lay, laid, lain, who really knows??) that atop the cookie with pen ink side up. See how I had to use a little piece of cookie to prop up the card stock on the left hand side? You want to have the strips laying (laying, lying, layning??) flat on the cookie top. If the card stock droops down on the two ends, it will cause gaps between the acetate strips and the cookie, leading to the very unlucky phenomenon known as underspray. (boo, hiss!)
I used the Wilton color in a can. Spray in light bursts over the cookie and stencil. Be sure not to blast the cookie with heavy spray, or have the can too close. That will give you heavy splotches, pooling and dripping of color. Just use a light spray and apply 1-2 coats as needed. Be sure the spray is coming straight down onto the top of the stencil, at a 90 degree angle. Not from the side. Do not push your luck. Trust me on this one.That will cause the spray to go under the strips of the stencil and you won’t get nice clean lines of green.
Carefully lift the stencil straight off, and with any luck, you will have some nice clean green lines. Ta dah!
Wipe off the stencil to get all the color off. After the color has dried on the cookie (10-20 minutes), put the stencil back on with the strips going in the opposite direction.
Repeat the process, carefully lift off the stencil and………..
Were the lucky leprechauns smiling upon us?……..
Or did we push our luck too far?…….
Will luck be a lady tonight?……
Ok, I’ll stop.
Leapin’ lucky leprechauns, it worked!!
I love the beautiful simplicity.
I thought about piping a a border outline, but I thought it would detract from the cookie, so I skipped it. If that little bit of green color on the edges of the cookie itself bothers you, you can pipe a small bead border around the edges of the royal icing. However, that little bit of green does not bother me.
Three lucky shamrocks.
Almost too pretty to eat?
I hope you guys try your luck at making your own stencils. Send me photos if you do, and I will post them on the blog.
Happy St. Patrick’s day everyone! I am off to make a pot of black eyes peas for luck. (OK, who am I kidding; we all know I don’t cook. It sounded good though, didn’t it? 😀 )