Dear Fellow Cookie Lovers,
A lot of you have sent me such lovely and kind words about my recent Easter Eggs and asked if I could provide you with some instruction on how I made them. So, this blog post will be a detailed explanation of how to make some of these lovely Easter Eggs for your family and friends. I am also including a picture of my recent “Easter Sampler” as I will be including some of the details of this cookie into this blog’s instruction.
I will be utilizing a large egg shape in order to show you more detail in how I create the smaller eggs. I understand that many of you do not have such a large egg cutter and that is fine; this blog is intended to show you up close what you can do on smaller eggs. The cutter I am using is actually a pancake form that used to be a circle. Since I have larger circle cutters, I bent this into an egg shape. The difference in sizes: Large egg is about 6.5″ wide and the smaller egg is about 3.75″ wide.
Prepping Before Decorating
For this project, there are a couple of things you will need to complete several hours, or a day, prior to actually decorating the egg.
The first is obvious, you need to make your cookie dough, cut and cook your cookie, and ice it with white royal icing so you have an iced cookie that is fully dry and can be painted on.
The second task is to make some royal icing transfers for your egg design. For this design, I will be using easter bunnies, eggs, and a bow. If you are not familiar with royal icing transfers, do not worry, they are very simple to make. I am attaching a clipart sheet that I created using some simple clipart designs that you can use for this project. (click this link to open the PDF file Easter Printout).
Once you have your sheet printed, I would suggest outlining the images in order to get a darker edge to the designs. The reason is, we will be placing a piece of parchment paper over the page so we can pipe the royal icing transfers and it will be easier to see the design if you make them darker.
The next three pictures show you how I created the designs using royal icing. I used a 5 second icing without first outlining the designs. If you feel you will have more control outlining the designs first and then flooding, go with it. I added the magnets to hold the paper in place.
In the first picture, I flooded all of the bunnies on the first row, all of the eggs, and the dot on the bow. In this step, you are making more royal icing transfers than you will use because we are making sure we have enough transfers in the event any of them break.
In the second photo, once the dot for the bow dried, I then flooded the second part of the bows, and once they were dry enough, the third part of the bows.
Once you finish flooding the designs, it will take a few hours for them to fully dry on the parchment paper. You will know they are completely dry when they simply move around if you give the parchment paper a little jiggle. Since the royal icing on the egg needed to dry overnight, I simply let the royal icing transfers dry overnight as well.
And, this will be the result of your prep work after 24 hours of drying. In hindsight, I wish I had made the royal icing transfer icing slightly thicker to get more of a raised design, but they will still work for the design.
Outlining the Design and Painting the Cookie
When painting the cookie, I used Wilton Violet, Americolor Orange, Americolor Deep Pink, Wilton Lemon Yellow, Wilton Kelly Green, and Wilton Sky Blue.
If you’ve read my other blogs, you will be familiar with “color blocking.” This is where I paint large areas of color to create the overall design on top of the cookie, leaving one or two areas white.
Before color blocking, I kept in mind that I needed to make sure that three of the blocks of color would be large enough to accommodate my royal icing transfers. With that in mind, I placed the transfers on the cookie to get an idea of where I wanted them to be.
Once I determined the layout of the royal icing transfers, I went in with a ruler to establish some base lines, and, using a pink edible marker, I laid down the first lines of my design. I typically freehand this but if you’re new to this process, use whatever tools you need to get your desired design. Don’t worry about the lines as they will end up being covered in the end.
After those initial lines are drawn in, I remove the royal icing transfers and add some additional lines to give me more sections to work with. In the picture below, I used a stencil that I liked to draw in the wavy line. (Sorry, I don’t know where the stencil came from as I’ve had it so long and this is the first time I am using it.)
And this is what you will end up with before you start painting.
Painting: Color Blocking
One suggestion I can give you here when painting on cookies, the less water the better. I’m still working on controlling the amount of water and color I use on my cookies and I find if you use too much water, you will get “pitting” in the icing (Not a bad look if that is what you want in your design, but not for this egg).
This may seem like an odd picture to include but I’ve added it to show you that you will ALWAYS go from putting the paint brush into the watered-down food gel color to a paper towel to get most of the water off of the brush before you put your brush to the cookie.
So here we go. This is my setup for painting.
This is the squared-off brush I use to lay down my colors. I find this edge works best for putting down an even tone in larger areas. It is about 3/8″ wide.
I started at the top and added one layer of Violet by swiping the brush back and forth. After that first initial layer, I want back in and went over it again, this time using more of the gel and very little water (The first layer does not have to be dry to do this). I won’t show you this each time I use a new color, but know that this is typically how I build up each color so that I’m not saturating the cookie with water.
Second, I added the pink, and then I added the blue. You’ll notice that I color blocked the three areas where I am using the royal icing transfers first. I like to do this to make sure I get a color balance that I like.
I then went in and color blocked the rest of the egg leaving one area white. I like to leave at least one area white when I paint on cookies for a couple of reasons. The first is it gives your eye a place to rest among all of the other bright colors, and second, it gives you an area you can paint in some whimsical designs.
With my egg fully color blocked, I then use a small brush or two to add some details prior to piping.
I think some people get overwhelmed at this point so I will isolate each of the sections as I work on them. This will show you just how easy it is to create an interesting design by focusing on one section at a time.
In the white area, I painted in some yellow dots. I then went in and surrounded them with orange. Finally, I went in with deep pink and surrounded the orange. For those of you who don’t feel handy with a brush, you can easily do this using edible markers and get the same result, maybe an even neater design!
After completing my circle design, I then went in using pink, purple, and orange edible markers and put in a “confetti-like” design.
And for the last part of this section, I took the green edible marker and added some dots around the edge of the circle design. Below is what this section should like at this point.
Preparing the Icing for Piping
For this stage, I went ahead and made 5 colors and white, piping consistency colors. I used Wilton Violet, Americolor Orange, Americolor Deep Pink, Wilton Lemon Yellow, and Wilton Sky Blue – the same colors I used when painting the cookie.
You might be wondering why I have my icing wrapped in plastic wrap. Well, a few years ago I saw this great technique shared by SweetSugarbelle which used this technique and I’ve used it ever since. The reason being, as you will see below, it enables you to reuse your piping bags over and over again with a light washing. Additionally, if I do not use all of my colors for one project, this is a great way to store them for another day or two. Once you are ready to use them again, you simply knead them to mix all of the ingredients that may have separated a bit and insert them in your piping bag. Such a timesaver.
Piping the Designs
AND…onto the piping! Here is my setup. A quick word about the tips I use. I hardly ever use a tip bigger than size 2 when piping. In fact, 95% of the time I use a “0” or “00” tip to pipe. Use what feels comfortable to you. When I first started piping, 3 years ago, I only piped with number 2 and graduated to the smaller tips. I really detest the number 1 tips as they always curl on me and I cannot figure out why that is the only tip that gives me a problem. I use it but only when I can stay close to the cookie with the tip. Otherwise, I use the smaller tips and “drag and drop” my lines.
The first thing I do is to pipe a line is the corresponding color of each color block to define each section. (with the exception of the green, where I used sky blue to outline the area).
The first section will be the orange section where I will be adding a scalloped design with dotted details. I lay down my first line of scallop as a guide and finish the entire area.
I let the scallop design setup a bit and then go in with the deep pink to add some detail using dots.
To finish up this area, I went in and added another smaller dot in sky blue.
I decided to add my royal icing transfers at this stage so I could add the details to these transfers and get a better idea how I wanted to decorate the rest of the color blocks. I simply added some royal icing to the back of each royal icing transfer and placed them on the cookie in the areas I outlined for them earlier.
Next, I went in with the edible food markers and added the designs to the eggs. Don’t make yourself crazy with getting the design right, the idea is to give them a whimsical fun look using the colors you used in the rest of the design.
I then went in with some of the deep pink royal icing and gave the bunnies a little bow.
And for the last royal icing transfer, I painted in a gingham design on the bow using the deep pink food gel color watered down. After painting the gingham design, I used the purple edible food marker and added thin stripes to the design.
Onto the Violet color block. I started with some yellow squiggles and then added some orange squiggles. I also added some yellow dots along the bottom of this color block.
Next I took the white piping icing and added medium-sized dots.
Then I added some smaller deep pink dots.
And for the last part of this color block, I used the sky blue to add dots in between the yellow dots.
Onto the yellow color block. I used a simple straight line design in different lengths using the violet piping icing. After it setup a bit, I went in and added dots to the ends of the lines.
Onto the green color block. I used a scalloped edge in deep pink along the top portion of the green color block and then added some deep pink dots along the wavy bottom of the color block.
I then went in and added yellow dots to the scalloped edge and in between the pink dots.
Next, I added a daisy design in white with orange centers, finishing off this color block.
And, we are almost there! Onto the sky blue color block. I started by adding white dots to the sky blue block and a line of blue dots above the blue line.
Next I added some orange dots alongside the white dots. Notice when I do dots, I typically will vary the size of each dot by color to give it more detail.
And, still more dots! I went in and added some yellow dots and some tiny deep pink dots along with the white and orange dots and some deep pink dots in between the blue dots to complete this color block.
At this point, I go in and add any other details I feel the cookie needs. In this case, I went back to the white color block and added some dimension by adding a yellow dot to the center of the circles where the yellow was painted. Additionally, I added some yellow dots among the confetti designs.
And this is what your cookie will look like in the end!!
I promise you this is a relatively easy cookie to make. If you feel like you are not a good painter, simply used colored icing in place of color blocking. The only difference is that you will have to wait 24 hours to start piping over the sections. If you feel you can’t do one or two of the designs, pick something that is easier for you (i.e., make different size dots instead of a design you find too difficult).
Happy Easter to all of you!
Your fellow cookie lover,