Mother’s Day Flowers

Hello Fellow Cookie Lovers,

I thought I would blog something fun and relatively easy that uses a cutter I know you most likely have on hand.  It’s the “Cupcake” cutter.  If you don’t have one…hmmm…you can basically get one anywhere – Michael’s Craft Store, AC Moore, Target, Walmart, Kmart, etc.  Any cupcake cutter will work.  I happen to have three different cupcake cutters; I’m sure I picked up a couple with some mixed sets I found at thrift stores.  I find it interesting there are so many different types.

Cut and Bake Cookies

I am using all three cutters I have so I can show you that you can basically use any cutter, and, the more the merrier by way of designs you can make.

IMG_2771

I cut two of each cutter style and I will be doing three different designs.

Here are the three cookie shapes baked and ready to go.

MD Cookies Baked

Design and Flood the Cookies

After baking, I take an edible marker and give a quick sketch of what I want to do on each cookie.  I just want to get an overall idea for the initial “flooding” of each cookie.

MD Cookies Outlined

As you can see, I am creating a basket of flowers, a bouquet of flowers, and a terra-cotta pot with flowers.

Next I go ahead and flood the basic shapes onto the cookie.  The colors I used are Ameircolor Brown, Americolor Leaf Green with a bit of Americilor Ivory, and Wilton Copper with a bit of Americolor Ivory and Brown mixed in.  All are in flooding consistency. This is what you should end up with.

MD Cookies Flooded

I wanted a bit more depth to the basket and terra-cotta pots so after letting the first flood dry, I went back in with the same relative colors and added a second layer.  I then let the cookies dry overnight.

MD Cookie Flood Second Layer

At this stage you might be thinking 1) they still look like cupcakes, and/or 2) they look very boring.  Trust me, adding the details will make all of the difference.

Adding the Details

The first of the details I added was dry brushing some brown petal dust onto the terra-cotta pot.  I brushed some under the rim and along the sides of the pots to give it a more textured, worn look.

IMG_2746

Next, I went in with a slightly lighter brown in piping consistency to add the basket weave to the basket.

The next set of details were the flower stems and the petals.  For the basket, I wanted to do a small purple flower that mimicked a violet and so I used a round tip #2 to add some lighter green leaves using a piping consistency icing.

 

IMG_2750

For the bouquet, I added some stems to the bottom and left the top white.  I am going to add an array of flowers to the bouquet and want to see how the overall layout turns out before I add any leaves to the mix.

For the terra-cotta pot, I am going to add African Violets so I went with a larger leaf in the same piping consistency color I have been using.  The leaves of African Violets are darker but the edges tend to be lighter green so I will go in and paint in some darker details later on.

Making and Adding the Flowers

Most of the flowers for this project were done as royal icing transfers using a stiff icing.  The reason I did them as transfers was because I wanted a lot of dimension to the cookies.  You could easily pipe flowers directly onto the cookies (as I did for the small violets), but I feel I always have more control with the design when I do the flowers separately. I’ pretty good at roses, am getting better at violets and daffodils, but I still want to practice more.  But that’s half the fun.  You look back and see how your skill set changes with time.  If you don’t feel confident piping royal icing flowers, the star tips work just as nicely to get a variation of shapes and sizes.

For the basket of violets, I used a #101s tip and piped the flowers directly onto the cookie over the leaves added earlier.  I then went in and added some white dots to both the center of the flowers and the background in between the leaves.

IMG_2772

For the terra-cotta African Violets (below), I used a # 59 tip and made royal icing transfers.  I added a couple of yellow dots to the centers, and, once dry, transferred them to the cookie.

For the bouquet, I made royal icing transfers of the roses and daffodils.  For the orange flowers, I used a star tip and added a yellow dot.

IMG_2773

TIPS USED:

  • African Violets – Tip #59
  • Small Violets – Tip # 101s
  • Roses – Tip #101
  • Daffodils – Tip #59 for the petals, and a round #1 tip for the middle of the flower
  • Orange Flowers – Tip #107

I let the cookies dry for several hours and then it was time to add some additional elements.   I added the ribbon and bows to the flower bouquet.  I outlined the ribbon directly onto the cookie and flooded it. I made royal icing transfers for the bows for the basket and the bouquet.

Final Details

In order to give the cookies a bit more interest, I went in with my paint brush, and the same  food gel colors, and added some shading and details to the leaves and flowers.

And this was the final result. Wha-la – no more cupcakes here Cookie! 😉

Mother's Day Flowers

I hope you enjoyed this post and give the Cupcake Cutter a try.  Let your own imagination run wild, have fun, and most importantly…eat the cookies!!

Your Fellow Cookie Lover,

Diane

Advertisements

Easy Peasy Cookies for the Weekend

Hello Fellow Cookie Lovers,

I don’t use black much when making cookies because it turns your mouth black. Not a little, not a bit, but black…a lot of it!  But lately I’ve wanted to try out some ideas using a “little” black with white, and black with white and some colors.  I thought I’d share this process with you because it is a great cookie to make for kids and for adults.

For kids, these cookies are a great giveaway or craft project for birthday parties or even classroom fun. (Just make sure there are no school restrictions like peanut free, wheat free, etc.) Additionally, they make a fun weekend project for kids to color using edible markers – just like they would in a coloring book. And…they are good anytime of the year and are super simple to make.

For adults? Well, I’ve been seeing a ton of these “adult” coloring books. What makes them “adult” are the intricate designs intended to act as a relaxing project to get your mind off the craziness of your day.  I, personally, doodle and color with icing, so this could be a new way for you to color and destress.

I’ve also had requests for these cookies for those “painting/wine nights” that seem to be popular too.  You meet at someone’s home, a company comes in with canvases and paints and wine, and the night begins.  Well, these cookies make a great favor to hand out at the end.

The best thing about these cookies is that you can make them and keep them on hand, and, they can be used at anytime of the year by mixing it up with your favorite seasonal cutters.

What You’ll Need

  • White Outlining Consistency Icing
  • White Flooding Consistency Icing
  • Black Flooding Consistency Icing
  • #2 Piping Tip and Piping Bag
  • #0 or #1 Piping Tip and Piping Bag
  • Flooding Bottle

Bird 8

Techniques You’ll Use

  • Outlining
  • Flooding
  • Wet-on-Wet Design

Basically, the cookie requires only two colors; white and black.  I mixed up a white “outlining” consistency icing and used a number 2 tip to outline.  I also mixed a white flooding icing and a black flooding icing.  The black outlining details of the cookies are going to be achieved using a wet-on-wet process.

I used the Flooding Bottle for the White Flooding Icing since this is the color I used to fill in the largest areas.  The Black Flooding Icing was used in a Piping Bag with a #0 tip to get a thin line to outline the designs.

The Process

I used a bird cutter for this project and using the  white outlining icing, I created three different sections. Keep in mind, you don’t have to create separate sections for flooding, you can outline the entire cookie and flood the entire cookie with white and then add the outlining details with the black.  I’m using three different sections to get a bit more interest to the cookie.

Bird 1

After the outline has setup a bit, I then went in with a white flooding icing and filled in the first section.

Bird 2

While the white icing is still wet, go in with the black flooding icing in your Piping Bag and #0 (or #1) tip and using a wet-on-wet technique, outline the design you want to create – these will be your “coloring areas.” Think “stained glass” for this process and that will give you an idea of how you want to create the design.

Bird 3

I then moved on to the next section which is the body of the bird.  Keep this in mind…when you are flooding separate areas of any cookie, you want to make sure that you  let the flooded areas setup for about 15 minutes before you flood any section that is adjacent to the area you just flooded.  If you don’t, the icing will simply flood together blurring the edges you meticulously outlined in the previous step, ruining your overall design.  In this case, I chose to flood the body second since it was NOT adjacent to the wind I just flooded.

Bird 4

Again, just as you did for the wing area, go in with your black flooding icing and add a design to the body of the bird.  I started by adding a wind design and then outlined the entire body, added a dot for the eye, and then added some “coloring areas” within the body and tail areas of the bird.

Bird 5

And lastly, after letting the first wing and the body of the bird setup (about 15 minutes), I went back in and used the same process to finish the second wing of the bird.

Bird 6

You then want to let the cookie dry overnight before coloring the cookie.  Below are four cookies I did using this technique and I will continue on to show you what you can do with these cookies if you want to get “fancy” and take it to another level.  If not, use your food gel colors and/or edible markers to color in your cookies and just have fun!  Wouldn’t this make a great handout at Thanksgiving using Christmas ornament cookies?  Your kids could sit down after eating their meal and start creating memories for the upcoming Christmas season. Just make sure put a hole in the cookie before baking so you can add a ribbon at the end to make it an ornament.

Bird 7

You’ll notice I tried to do some different designs for each of the cookies just to keep things interesting.  At this point, you can simply color in the sections.  If you want to take it a bit further…read on…

Taking It Up A Notch

If you’re ready to have a bit more fun with these cookies, you can see what can be achieved simply by painting in some different designs and colors.   I used both Americolor and Wilton food gel colors, Wilton and FooDoodler edible markers, and, my new favorite tool, Rainbow Dust edible writing marker with a super fine point.

Bird 9

With a few tools, you can create the following birds…

Bird 10

Cookie #1 was done using only the Rainbow Dust Jet Black Edible Food Pen.

Cookie #2 was done using the Wilton and FooDoodler colored edible markers and the Rainbow Dust Edible Food Pen.

Cookies #3 and #4 were done using the Wilton and Americolor food gels and some of the details were added using the Wilton and FoodDoodler colored edible markers and the Rainbow Dust Edible Food Pen.

I hope you try it out.  It’s a fun project and unlike a coloring book…you get to eat your artwork.  Happy coloring!

Your fellow cookie lover,

Diane

Hand-Painting and Piping Process

Hello Fellow Cookie Lovers,

This week I took part in Julia Usher’s Practice Bakes Perfect Challenge on her Cookie Connection website.  If you are not familiar with the site, it is a fantastic resource for learning, sharing, and being inspired by EVERYTHING cookies.

This recent challenge was to take inspiration from a Pinterest Board created from gorgeous pictures of an Istanbul trip that were taken by Christine of Bakerloo Station on Facebook.

I’ve been exploring with several new techniques this year and I decided to use hand-painting, piping and wafer paper for this challenge.  I thought I would share with you how the creative process occurs and how this cookie actually came about.  This post is intended to primarily show you the hand-painting and piping process more so than the wafer paper process as I am still new to  wafer paper and have only used it as accents in my cookies thus far.

Istanbul Inspiration (Cookie Celebration)

To start, I was inspired by these two photographs (below) of tiles posted on the Pinterest board.  Additionally, I loved the blue-green, sea colors and wanted to utilize them as well.  I wanted there to be movement in the cookies and, of course, have texture, which I always try to achieve in my cookies.

I tried to do a mosaic technique at first and really did not like the outcome.  So, I decided to use a large cookie cutter and cut it into smaller pieces, similar to creating mosaics.  I was then free to design each of the individual cookies as tiles.

Painting the Base

After icing the cookie and letting it dry overnight, I used Teal and Sky Blue (Wilton colors) to paint some designs on which to build.

IMG_2407

You can see in the photo, I used a plastic template to create the swirly teal design.  I can usually free-hand my designs but for this cookie set I knew I wanted the pattern to be very consistent in order to get “movement” in the design.

Next, I went ahead and added some green to the cookies and darkened it a bit on the one edge with navy blue to get some depth.

IMG_2409

Once I was happy with the base painting, I moved on to the piping part of the process.

Piping the Design

I used four colors for the piping:  Teal, Navy Blue, Grey, and White (All Wilton Colors. White is plain RI without coloring added).  I started with the navy blue as I wanted this to be the predominant detail color.  I piped an outline on each of the shapes with a number 1.5 tip.  Note:  I tend to use a very small tip like this as I use a looser icing to pipe than most Cookiers.  Use what feels comfortable to you.

IMG_2410

Next, I added some grey by outlining inside the teal shape and creating a scalloped edge to each of the cookies. This was done using a number 1 tip.

IMG_2411

When I get to this stage of a cookie, where most of the overall design of the cookie is in place, I really use a freestyle form to add the details and dots.  I started by adding detail in white using a number 1.0 tip.  I added dots and some leaf-like detail over the navy blue colors.

IMG_2412

I then moved on to adding details in navy blue and then finished up with adding the teal details.  The teal was used on the outer edge of the cookie, as very tiny dots around the grey scalloped edging, and few details along the leaf-like design.  The navy blue was used for the remaining designs.

IMG_2413

Adding Some Whimsy

At this point, you could really be finished with the cookie.  I, however, have been exploring with wafer paper and wanted to added something a bit whimsical to the cookie design.  I’ll not go through the wafer paper process as I am certainly not a pro at it yet, but included it in the final picture so you could see how the overall design changed with this little addition.

Istanbul Inspiration (Cookie Celebration)

I hope you’ll try some hand-painting with detailed piping over it as it is so much fun and takes very little to accomplish something creative.  The wafer paper, hmmmm, I really like working with it and I am getting better at it and would recommend it as well, but, you really do need to have a lot of patience for that process!  You’ll see more wafer paper in my upcoming posts as I find more and more ways to add some creative and different elements to my cookies.  Hopefully I’ll get good enough to show you some of the techniques with wafer paper in the near future.

Pictured below are some other designs that used this very same process to show you the diversity you can achieve with this painting and then piping technique.

Spoiled DogSpoiled Dog 2Turtle Love

I hope you have enjoyed the post and feel inspired to create some whimsy of your own!

Have fun fellow Cookie Lovers,

Diane

 

 

 

Painting on Cookies Technique

Hello Fellow Cookie Lovers,

This blog posting will be all about painting on cookies.  Now, in all fairness, I literally JUST STARTED to paint on cookies about two months ago so I am not an expert. However, I do have an art background and have painted throughout the last 40 years of my life.  Painting on cookies is similar, and…different, at the same time.  So with that disclaimer in place, I’ll share with you what I can and hopefully it inspires you to JUST TRY it.  Number one, it’s fun.  Number two, it’s a cookie; what do you have to lose?  Some dough, some icing?  So, start with small cookies.  And if you want to see some real expert cookie painters, check out these Facebook pages of some of my all time favorite talented Cookiers/Painters/Artists (MézesmannaThe Cookie Lab – Bolachas Decoradas Artesanais) – you will not be disappointed! I promise!

Some of you have asked me specifically what my process is for the “Folk Art” collection I’ve presented on this blog and on my FaceBook account. The pictures below are the five cookies I’ve done to date – the newest being “Confetti Flower.”

Folk Art Collection: Turtle Love, Calico Cat, Spoiled Dog, Peacock, and Confetti Flower.
Folk Art Collection: Turtle Love, Calico Cat, Spoiled Dog, Peacock, and Confetti Flower.

I’ll be using “Confetti Flower” to demonstrate this process.  Keep in mind that all of these cookies are large in size; I have found it has enabled me to be more creative while at the same time practicing a variety of designs all on one cookie.  For you, working on a smaller cookie might work better so try what feels right to you.

CUTTING THE DOUGH

Okay, so, I rolled out the dough! I then placed the dough onto my Silpat-lined baking sheet before cutting the design out. I find this keeps the shape intact better than cutting it and then transferring it onto the sheet.  When you see the cutter in the photos below, you might be wondering where I obtained such a large cutter. It is one of the “Pancake Molds” I wrote about in my last blog. I’m always on the lookout for new ones!!

Rolled Out Dough on Silpat
Rolled Out Dough on Silpat

Using the Pancake Mold Flower Shape to cut the dough directly on the Silpat

Dough Cut

At this stage, I knew I wanted to do something with the middle so I took a smaller cookie cutter and decided to stamp the design into the dough so I could save myself time when outlining my initial shapes.

Stamping the smaller design onto the dough
Stamping the smaller design onto the dough

This is what the cookie looked like prior to baking…and then after baking.

Cookie prior to baking
Cookie prior to baking
Cookie after baking
Cookie after baking

OUTLINING THE SECTIONS OF THE COOKIE

At this point in the process, I start having some idea of how I want to break the cookie up into sections. I start with a general outlining of the larger shapes. I wanted smaller circles in the middle of the flower so I used a food writer to draw those in.  I added leaves and then simply outlined the rest of the cookie into shapes I knew I could easily work with from a design standpoint. You will notice in the last picture I drew in some additional circles using the food writer but after outlining the petals decided not to include those in the overall design of the flower.  This really is an organic process that reveals itself to you as you work with the cookie. Just go with the flow!

Starting the outlining process
Starting the outlining process
Adding small circles to the overall design
Adding small circles to the overall design
Finished outlining process
Finished outlining process

When I tell you I never really know what I am going to do at this time…well, it’s true.  I have a general sense of the colors I want to use but not the actual details I will eventually paint.  I say, just go with your gut on the colors and the rest really does fall into place. I decided on yellow, pink, green, and purple for this flower.  Some painters flood their entire cookie sections in white and work from there.  I’ve done this, however, typically, I like to flood a couple of colors to help me along with the design process and save some time during the painting stage.  I started with the yellow, added the green and then flooded the rest in white.

First, I flooded some bright golden yellow.
First, I flooded some bright golden yellow.
Then, I added the green for the petals
Then, I added the green for the petals
Finally, I flooded the rest of the flower in white
Finally, I flooded the rest of the flower in white

I then let the entire cookie dry overnight.  I find I need to have a really hard shell on the cookie prior to painting.  The painting process adds some water to the icing so a harder shells helps when you start to blend colors.

PAINTING

Okay, next step…PAINTING!!

My first thought when I start to paint is “How Can I Add Dimension?” I like to add a darker color to the outside edges of each section so they start to stand out on their own.  Once you start this process, you get an overall idea of the color balance of the cookie. I knew I wanted yellow, pink, purple, and green and I wanted your eye to move around the cookie when it was done.  For me, the best way to balance each color is to have symmetry; yellow opposite yellow, pink opposite pink, etc. and that’s how I started to paint the colors within each section.

Adding Dimension
Adding Dimension
First Layer of color completed
First Layer of color completed

Now, I want to mention something here at this stage because it is something that happens to me EVERY SINGLE TIME I get to this stage. Without exception, I am ready to throw the cookie out at this point and start all over.  It’s true.  I think, I like the overall dimension I’ve added, and I like the colors I’ve used, but, something, something makes me doubt the overall outcome of the cookie at this point. STOP!!! DON’T THROW THAT COOKIE OUT! Just stay with it through to the end and I promise you it will work out! Painting on cookies is very forgiving in that you can make changes late in the game and still come out with something wonderful. So, talk yourself out of doing something drastic at this point.

Moving on the the decorating. I started with the yellow sections as I knew I wanted to keep them light. So I used white Wilton food color and a Number 2 brush to paint in this swirly design over one of the two yellow petals

Flower 1

On the second yellow petal, I painted a circle design. Keeping with the balanced approach, I kept the overall coloring light and added some orange dots to the middle of each circle.  Where do I get my ideas for the patterns? It is mostly trial and error, however, when I am in a fabric store, I am always looking at the quilting squares.  Some patterns stick with me.  If looking in a fabric store isn’t your thing…Google quilt fabric and up pops millions of ideas to inspire you!

Flower2

Flower3

Once I get a couple of areas under my belt, I step back and decide if I want to add any additional dimension to the cookie through piping. With all of the other Folk Art cookies I added a lot more, but for this cookie, I really didn’t want to overdo it.  I sort of knew in the end I wanted it to be called “Confetti Flower” and would be adding a lot of dots so I restrained myself from adding to much more depth via icing.  So I added some piped elements and moved on to the rest of the painting.

Flower4

More about those added flowers and dots in a minute!! Uggh.  I then went about painting in the rest of the designs on each of the petals until I was satisfied with the overall look.

Flower6

Flower7

Now, about those flowers and dots! In hind site, I didn’t like that I added them.  I was going to wait for them to dry and then pluck them off and paint over the design but I thought I’d try and make it work. So, in the end, it’s not 100% of what I would do if I had to do it over but nothing earth shattering…it is a COOKIE after all!  I went on to paint the leaves and added dots around the edge of the cookie.

Now, that turquoise flower in the middle.  I knew I didn’t want a design in each of the petals because I wanted it to be the “unifying” element of the cookie. I think it would have been way too much pattern if I did separate patterns on all of those petals.  So I added white and some dots and put some design onto the yellow middle sections. Then I went CRAZY with the white dots! I mean CRAZY!! I love dots on cookies anyway but this one was so much fun. And…this is the final product.

Flower 8

To give you an idea of how this process worked for another cookie, below are the pictures for “Spoiled Dog.”  With this cookie, I knew I wanted to use blues and browns for this dog prior to starting and I knew I wanted him to have an “attitude.”  I tried to accomplish that by giving him that “eye” that hopefully says it all.

Dog1Dog2Dog3Dog4
Dog5And that is how I paint my Folk Art Cookies.  It is fun so I encourage you to give it a try.  I have to say I’ve fallen in love with this technique and each time I do another painted cookie I learn something new!  You probably have most of what you need to accomplish this: royal icing, gel colors, small paintbrushes.  If you are just buying paintbrushes, I’ve used number 1 and number 2 brushes and a small square brush on all of these cookies.  ALSO, you can accomplish a lot of this with food writers so try those as well. I think my next Folk Art cookie will be the giant heart cutter I have!! I’ll share with you when I’m done with it!  😉

All the best Cookie Lovers,

Diane

“Hey, Where Did You Get That Cutter?”

Hello Fellow Cookie Lovers,

Last post I showed you how I utilized the Flag Cutter to make Spring Birds. It was a total fluke that I picked up the cutter upside down and thought it was a Bird Cutter I forgot about- nope, it was the flag. I just ran with this lucky find as I love to explore new ways to use cutters. Sometimes it is so obvious what a cutter can double as, other times, not so much.

So, in this post, I thought I would share with you the other, “not so obvious” things I use as cutters or molds for cookies.  If you have been doing cookies for awhile, I’m betting you have over 100 cutters in your baking arsenal.  I am also betting you scour the cookie cutter websites looking for unique and new cutters.  I do that as well.  I especially like the unique cutters at Whisked Away Cutters, and you will find some of your favorite Cookiers doing designs for them as well (Sugarbelle’s, LilaLoa).

But, sometimes you just don’t find anything new or exciting. You can always design and have your own cutters made; something I haven’t done yet, and, I am not even close to doing! 🙂 So where do you look? What do you look for? Some of these suggestions might be new to you and open you up to a new world of cookie designs. I haven’t used all of the molds/cutters shown here so I have only a couple of cookies to share, but I think it is worth sharing the ideas with you so you can get started on your own collection.  Happy hunting!

Pancake Molds

I happen to love oversized molds.  I don’t find many of them – not even online.  And when I do, they are a fortune! One day, I was shopping, I think I was in Target, and I saw this cute pancake mold; the kind that are black and have a small handle sticking up…you know the ones, right? And I knew right away it would work as a cookie cutter! I was so excited that this new venue opened up to me I now kept my eyes open for other designs in the pancake mold world.  They tend to be cheaper than oversized, and sometimes even regular sized, cutters. But, hold on to your seats for this one…I find them in Thrift Stores ALL THE TIME! Can you imagine someone donating these gems? So glad they do, by the way.  Below are some of the Pancake Molds I have in my inventory; most of them were found in Thrift Stores! And, they cost no more than $1 to $2 a piece!!! I know, you had to sit down didn’t you?  So excited to share that one with you.

Pancake Molds
Pancake Molds
Heart Pancake Mold - I tend to use this Pancake Mold the most.
Heart Pancake Mold – I tend to use this Pancake Mold the most.

I haven’t used all of the pancake molds as cookie cutters yet but since most of them are oversized, I have been using them to create a Folk Art Cookie Collection.  The larger cutters work well because it allows me to explore different shapes and textures as well as my “painting on cookies” techniques. Below are two of the large pancake molds I used recently.

Turtle Love
Turtle Love
Calico Cat
Calico Cat

Children’s Playdough Cutters

My niece was going through her toys last year and deciding which ones to donate (her Mom may have helped 😉 ). She had a bag full of these plastic, tiny, playdough cutters and the bell in my head went off!  MINIS!!! So I confiscated them before they hit the Thrift Store – I was probably going to find them at the Thrift Store the following week anyway!  I then set out to incorporate them into my designs. Don’t discount these little cutters, they are great for adding elements to your larger cookies or use them as minis.  I’ve used the mini trees, stocking, stars, flowers, people, etc. to trim my larger Christmas Tree Cookies and Wreath Cookies.  You can use the people and trees for your Gingerbread Wonderlands, the ideas are endless.

Kids Playdough Cutters
Children’s Playdough Cutters

Super Mini Cutters

Another surprise I came upon while shopping in Joanne’s Craft Store were these super mini cutters. I was wandering down the clay aisle and found an entire section of super mini cutters that clay designers use. They are really tiny (1/4″ – 1/2″) and I’ve recently started using them along with my minis in gift sets and they are so cute for little kids all boxed up.  Bite sized little sweet treats!  I think you will love these.  They look like they wouldn’t bake up big enough to do anything with, but, trust me, they do!  I haven’t even used them in all of the ways I am thinking of using them yet, but I am excited to use them on some new designs I am working on.

Super Mini Cutters
Super Mini Cutters

Cake Pans

I don’t find these treasures as often, and they are a bit more work to use, but every now and then (yep, in the Thrift Store!) I find one shallow enough to use with my cookie dough.  One of the pans below is a seashell pan that I used to make my 3-D shell cookies (to be posted to my website soon!). it was so much fun and fairly easy.  I simply cut a circle larger than the opening to the pan and then gently nudged it into place so that the design was imprinted on the dough.  I cooked it as if I were baking it on a flat cookie tray, same amount of time. The only thing I did differently was, halfway through the baking, I took a teaspoon and pressed the dough down in the middle and sides of the each shell.  It didn’t puff up like a cake but it did puff up a bit thicker than it would have if baked flat on a tray.  they popped out easily once “fully” cooled.  The other pan pictured below is one I received as a Christmas Gift – haven’t tried it yet. But I will soon! And don’t forget to look at some of the Whoopie Pie Molds; some are shallow enough to make great designs you can use in 3-D designs.

Baking Pan Molds
Baking Pan Molds

Bread Cutters/Molds

I typically find these cutters/molds with a middle section that is intended to cut the sandwich in half while it also cuts the outer edge of the bread with the design. Sometimes I take a serrated knife and cut through the middle, and carefully snap each side to remove it. I then use it to cut cookies from.  Some of the designs are cute, others, not so ingenious. I only pick them up if it is something different and something I couldn’t easily replicate with a regular cookie cutter.  To be honest with you, I have no idea what the green cutter below is!!!  But, I see an elephant, or two cats. We’ll see what it turns out to be!

Bread Cutter Molds
Bread Cutter Molds

Silicone Molds

Okay, I have to be totally honest, I am including this in here because Julia Usher designs a lot of her 3-D work with embellishments made with silicone molds.  I have tried them without much success.  I don’t think it is the molds, I truly think it is me.  Most of the effect I can get with a mold I can replicate (to a certain degree!) with Royal Icing on a mini cookie. Not a lot of the really fancy ones, but enough not to be too impressed with using the molds.  But, having said that, I encourage you to try it out for yourself.  As for the molds, I looked high and low for silicone molds that said you could bake in them to no avail.   After researching this, and querying other Cookiers, I found most of the silicone molds are heat resistant up to 500 degrees. So, where can you find them? Obviously on websites; I don’t have one special one, I just Google it. Second, craft stores such as Michael’s, AC Moore, Joanne’s Crafts. Now, when you shop at the craft stores, don’t limit yourself to the baking aisle. You will, also find them in the fondant section but wander over to the Mod Podge section (yes, they have an entire section – who knew?) and look at their mini silicone molds.  Usually a bit cheaper and I like the small designs better.  Unfortunately, this is not an item I have found in thrift stores, lol!, but I don’t buy them without my 50% off coupon for the craft stores!! The only way to go if you want to experiment.  In the picture below, the orange mini molds are from Mod Podge and the larger ivory-colored mold is a Wilton fondant mold.

Silicone Molds
Silicone Molds

I’m happy to share these cookie cutter ideas with you and hope they help your creativity and inspire you in new and different ways.  Have fun and explore. In the meantime, i am keeping my eyes open for new and interesting cookie cutters.

All the best,

Diane