After a fellow cookier had a first cookie/latest cookie share day on Facebook, I got to looking at some of my first royal icing decorated cookies. It almost makes me cringe a little bit to look back and remember how good I thought those cookies looked and how I feel about them now. Of course, for the amount of time I’d been working with cookies and royal icing, those first cookies were arguably well done, at least for me. But even with less than a year of cookie decorating under my belt, I’ve come leaps and bounds in my decorating. For those of you just embarking on your cookie decorating journey, don’t ever give up! Keep working away at those cookies and you’ll be amazed at how far you can come, and how quickly it’ll happen. That being said, I know I definitely still have a long way to go! But looking back at some of my first cookies, I decided it was time to redo one of my favorites.
Yields a set of 12 cookies
12 cutout cookies
1 batch of royal icing
Food gel coloring in pink, blue, and green
A black edible pen
Edible glitter (optional)
Start by making your cookies. I used this chocolate cookie recipe with vanilla extract instead of mint. If you have time, it’s a good idea to let your cookies dry overnight before you decorate, that way they can leech out any extra grease they might have from the butter. I opted to make 6 cupcake cookies and 6 circular cookies that would have cupcake related word art on them. If you’re going with the set I made, pipe white royal icing with a 15 second consistency onto your round cookies and let dry overnight.
To make the cupcake cookies, I first drew an outline for the frosting on one of the cookies. I wanted the frosting to have a whipped, swirled look, so I used this opportunity to fine-tune where I wanted the icing to be to get that effect. Using white royal icing with a 15 second consistency, I piped the bottom-most layer of “frosting” onto each cookie. So that your “frosting” layers to bleed together into one mass, you’ll want to give that first layer a chance to dry and stiffen. 5-10 minutes should be enough, and depending on how many cookies you’re decorating, your cookies may get that while you decorate the others. Continue piping a single of “frosting” and letting it stiffen until you get to the top. To make the little curl at the top, I simply used a toothpick to pull a little bit of icing up and over. Set aside any leftover white icing if you’re going to be adding polka dots to any of your liners.
You can use whatever colors you’d like for the cupcake “liners,” but I personally wanted pink with white polka dots and blue floral liners. The flowers on the blue liners were hand painted on after the icing had dried, so I just needed to mix up pink and blue royal icing with a 15 second consistency. With my icing, I piped the liners, making them slightly wider at the top and thinner at the bottom (as cupcakes naturally would be). For the pink liners, I immediately added white polka dots before the pink icing had a chance to dry (wet-on-wet technique). Set the cookies aside and let them dry completely.
Once my cookies were completely dry, I painted the roses on my blue cupcake liners using Arty McGoo’s method. I also used a dry brush to apply some edible glitter to my “frosting.” I couldn’t decide if I wanted some nonpareils on my “cupcakes,” so I added some to about half of my cookies using off-white/ivory royal icing dots applied directly to the cookies.
For those of you interested in adding word art cookies to this set, I’m afraid I don’t have much of a tutorial for you. I do my word art cookies with a fine-tip, black food pen (for those of you wondering, I use Rainbow Dust’s double end pen in Jet Black), and I free hand the lettering. PicMonkey is a fantastic (mostly) free online photo editing program that can give you a good reference for your lettering. But other than that, I just eyeball and draw when I do lettering. Please disregard the bottom, middle cookie with the hole in the icing… I managed to accidentally stick a finger in the icing while it was drying… siiiigh
Be sure to let your cookies dry completely before packaging.