I thoroughly believe that you can be inspired by just about anything, especially when it comes to baking and cookie making. Sweet Sugarbelle coined the term “cookie think” to describe how cookiers see the world in terms of cookies, how they find inspiration anywhere and everywhere, and how they get creative in the kitchen to make their ideas work. For Christmas, I made a Christmas card inspired cookie, and for New Year’s Eve I’m returning to cards for my inspiration. This time, I was inspired by a vintage Victorian postcard, and couldn’t resist recreating it in a delicious, edible form.
Victorian New Year Cookies
Yields a set of 1-2 dozen cookies
1-2 dozen cookies (depending on how many you want in your set) in circle, moon, star, and cherub shapes
1 batch of royal icing
Food gel coloring in pink, brown, yellow, beige, and black
Clean, food-only brushes in varying shapes
Silver sprinkles (for the stars)
Pink luster dust (optional)
Start by making your cookies and allowing them to cool overnight. You can use any flavor you like for the cookies, but if you’re looking for suggestions, I used a simple sugar cookie for this set. Ice all of the cookies with white royal icing except the stars. For those, you’ll want to ice them with a grey royal icing and cover immediately with silver sprinkles. Allow the icing to harden overnight. Since this set has multiple designs, I’m just going to focus on one for this tutorial: the moon. I think the stars and the clocks are probably too easy to warrant their own tutorials, and the cherubs… Quite frankly, I’m not pleased enough with the way they turned out to make a tutorial. However, I will mention a little bit about how I made the shape.
The cherubs are really a perfect example of “cookie think.” I got inspired by the Victorian postcard, but didn’t have a cherub cutter on hand (because who can own every cutter ever?). But that’s why this process can be so creative and fun. Who needs a cherub cookie cutter to make a cherub cookie? Chances are, with a little modification, you have a cookie cutter in your kitchen right now to make most shapes you could need. In the case of the cherubs, I used a ghost cookie cutter that I cut the extra long tail off of. Easy peasy! Now, on to the moons!
Once you’ve iced your moons with a royal icing base, you’ll want to go back and give them some dimension. You don’t need to wait for the icing to dry to do this step. In fact, the sooner you do it, the smoother your finish will be. I added some extra icing around the cheeks and brow area, and if I had it to do over again, I’d probably add some around the nose too. Let the icing dry completely (preferably overnight) before beginning with the painting.
Once the icing has completely dried, you can begin painting. Mix a little bit of your yellow food coloring with water and begin applying it all over the cookie, except for where the eye and top of the cheek will be. You can vary how much yellow you use to create darker and lighter areas on the moon.
After you’ve gotten your base yellow color, you’ll want to create some dimension. To do this, I went around the edge of the icing with some brown food coloring mixed with water. I also applied this light brown coloring around the brow area, cheeks, and nose. This will shade the cookie and help the raised areas, in particular, to really stand out.
Now that you’ve gotten the base color and shading done, you can start adding more detail. Using the brown (and less water than you used for the shading), paint on the eyes, nose, ear, and lips. You can also shade around these features to give them more dimension. I also added some extra shading around the curves of the moon at this point. Now, just add a little pink luster dust to the top of the cheeks (you can also use light pink food coloring, but I like the look the luster dust better) and you’re done!
The moons and stars work great together as a set, or you can add the clocks and cherubs to create a truly Victorian New Year’s Eve scene!
Happy baking and a happy new year!