For my husband’s birthday this year, I threw him a superhero themed party. But I didn’t want to throw just any ol’ superhero party, I wanted to make it an old school comic book superhero party. I decided way in advance that I was going to make cookies that looked like comic panels, and I picked out a few images that I liked and thought would look good on the cookies. However, all of the images were fairly detailed and I didn’t have a ton of time or cookies to get the images right. I tried multiple methods to transfer my images onto the cookies, everything from Sweet Ambs’ method of tracing over tissue paper versions of the images with an edible pen (I couldn’t seem to get it to bleed through) to trying to building my own projector out of boxes and a flashlight (I was getting a little desperate… can you tell?). Nothing seemed to work! In a final attempt to transfer my images, I tried pricking one of my tissue paper designs onto one of the cookies (something I picked up from Sweet Sugarbelle’s lace tutorial), but I couldn’t see the tiny holes. Then it hit me! I’d created little holes in my tissue paper images, and now the edible marker would bleed through! And suddenly, I had my transfer method!
Yields a set of 10
10 rectangular cookies (Mine measured about 7cm x 8cm)
A batch royal icing
Black food coloring gel
A black edible marker with a fine tip
White tissue paper
A small piece of cardboard
Start by making your cookies. You can really make them whatever size you’d like as long as they’re rectangular since you can resize the images to fit the cookies. I wanted mine to be big enough that I could get some fine detail on them, but not too big, so I went with 7cm wide by 8 cm long. Once you’ve made your cookies, you can mix up some black piping icing and white flood icing. Pipe the black icing first and let it dry for at least a few hours before flooding with the white icing. You could also draw the border on later, but I found it easier to just pipe it from the start.
While the icing dries, you can make your stencils. This method will create a sort of connect-the-dot stencil that’s ideal for giving you a basic outline to work with. Unfortunately, this method doesn’t work very well for transferring fine detail. Cut out squares of your tissue paper that are larger than your images and large enough to cover your cookies and go over the edges. You want it bigger than your cookies because you’re going to be taping it to your work surface on either side (tape doesn’t stick very well cookies). Tape down your image, and tape your piece of tissue paper over it so neither move while you’re tracing. Trace the major lines with a pencil. Once you’re done tracing, remove the image and replace it with a small piece of cardboard. This will keep you from scratching your work surface while your poking holes in your tissue paper (in case you work at your dining room table like I do). Using a pin or needle, poke small holes along the lines you traced. Repeat this process for all the images you plan on using.
Once your icing has completely dried (preferably overnight just to be on the safe side), you can start transferring your designs. Lay your tissue paper stencil over your cookie and, once you have it where you want it, tape it down on at least two sides to keep it from moving. Trace over the design with your black edible pen. Now that you have all those little dots to guide you, you can start connecting them and making your image. To minimize smearing, start at the top of your cookie and work your way down. I also used a piece of tissue paper taped over the part of the cookie that I wasn’t working on so that I could rest my hand there without smearing the dots. Be sure to completely finish the top part of the cookie, details and all, before moving down. Food coloring smears very easily while it’s wet! And that’s it! Your dots will give you a good, basic outline to work with and help keep your designs consistent (particularly important if you’re doing the same design more than once). In the pictures below, you can see how much of an outline the dots give me (the pictures on the right, except for the last one), and how much detail I fill in freehand (pictures on the left and the last picture on the right).
Let the images dry at least a few hours (or overnight to be safe) before packing or stacking.