Last month I shared some daffodil cupcakes I had made in honor of my Mum’s birthday, and this month I’m sharing the cookies I made in honor of my Pappo’s birthday. My parents’ birthdays are really close together (we’re talking one day apart here), so I made these a while ago, but it’s taken me a while to get around to typing up a tutorial and posting them here. Unlike my Mum’s cupcakes, I had a really hard time coming up with a dessert to make for my Pappo; everything I thought of seemed really complicated and out of my skill range. As I was pondering about what to make for him, I got to thinking about things related to his job, archaeology. And that’s when I remembered how much he loves and is interested in rock art!
Cave Art Cookies
Royal icing in white
Black food gel coloring
A clean brush
Edible markers in red and black
Paper towles (for blotching)
Technique-wise, this is a fairly simple cookie to make. Start with your baked and cooled cookies (I used plain sugar cookies cut into circles). Outline and flood the cookies with white royal icing and let dry overnight. You’re going to eventually be painting and then patting these cookies with a little water so you want to make sure they’re very dry.
Once your icing is nice and hard, you can start painting the stone texture. With your clean brush, take a little bit of black food gel coloring and water it down to a gray. Gather up some of the gray with your brush and start painting it onto your cookies. Don’t worry if there are some darker streaks; natural stone is not one uniform color.
Let the “paint” dry (it dries pretty quickly, usually within 30 minutes) before adding your designs. Once the cookies are dry, you can use your edible markers (or a small brush and food coloring) to start adding images. You can use pretty much any colors you want, but red and black are the most natural if you want a more realistic look. If you’re not familiar with typical cave painting designs, you can find quite a bit of inspiration by googling “Native American cave art.”
Once you’re happy with your designs, it’s time to weather them. Cave art has been naturally weathered over hundreds and thousands of years, but you can easily “weather” your cookies in just a few minutes with a slightly damp paper towel. If you like the bolder colors, you can skip this step, but removing some of the color will give them a more natural look. To weather the cookies, simply dab your cookies with the damp paper towel. Be sure you’re dabbing, not drawing (drawing will smear the design rather than lift some of the color). Try to vary your dabbing so that some places have very little of the design left while others have more. This looks more natural.
Allow the cookies to dry completely before packaging.