Four top-notch cookie decorators. Two from the US, one from Canada, one from Spain. Marlyn and Amy get together virtually on Tuesdays for Cookie Therapy (I am undergoing treatment). On Fridays, Marlyn, Haniela and Amber join efforts in their Cookie Lunch Break (videos available here). Both virtual events showcase cookie decorating techniques live, as they chat, share tips, and answer eventual questions from those watching. It starts at noon where I live, so it is now a nice routine for me, I have my lunch and cookie therapy at the same time. Today I share two examples of goodies that were recently showcased by Marlyn and Amy in their Tuesday series. They have in common the use of wafer paper flowers. Needless to say, I fell in love with the technique…
HONEY SUGAR COOKIES WITH WAFER PAPER FLOWERS
(from the Bewitching Kitchen, decoration following Amy’s tutorial)
1 cup butter (226g), cut in pieces, cold
zest of 1/2 lemon
1 tsp honey extract (Olive Nation)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
420 g all-purpose flour
60 g cornstarch
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
Mix the flour, cornstarch, salt and baking powder and reserve.
Cream sugar, butter and lemon zest in the bowl of a Kitchen Aid for a couple of minutes until the sugar is incorporated well and does not feel gritty. Add the eggs, honey emulsion and vanilla extratc slowly and mix until incorporated, but don’t over-mix.
Add the flour mixture slowly, mixing in low-speed. If needed, add a little more flour, up to 1/4 cup. Once the dough comes together, stop, and form three discs. You should have three discs with about 330g each. Dough can be rolled out immediately or placed in the fridge to roll out later. It also freezes extremely well.
Cut in shapes, freeze the cut-outs for 10 minutes, then bake in a 350F oven for about 13 minutes. Ice and decorate as desired.
For my favorite Royal Icing recipe, visit Tanya’s blog with a click here.
to print the recipe, click here
Comments: The hexagonal cookie tutorial with detailed explanation on making the flowers, starts at 41 min this video. Wafer paper sheets are available from the seller of all things, amazon.com. To make the flowers and leaves, you’ll need mini puncher cutters, (several other kinds available like this) or a considerable amount of patience to cut the shapes by hand. The wafer paper is white, so you have two options to color it: before or after cutting the shapes. I strongly advise that you spray paint or brush color on the sheet, let it dry and then cut the shapes, because they are very delicate and harder to paint after cutting. When you cut them, they will be flat. To give a tri-dimensional look, you can gently wrap them around the tip of a small plastic bottle (eye-drop bottles will work great), or what Amy suggests, using the tip of an air-brush dye bottle like these. Both methods work like a charm, just be gentle. Even if the center rips a little bit, when you add the centers it will hide the boo-boo. As to the centers, they can be dry Royal icing transfers, or you can just pipe a little blob of icing when you glue the flowers on the cookie’s surface. The great thing about these decorations, is that they last a long time, so you can make a little treasure chest with flowers, leaves, and save them for a cookie (or cupcake) emergency.
CHOCOLATE TWIG COOKIES
I find these cookies absolutely adorable! I cannot share the exact recipe I used, as it is available exclusively for Marlyn’s supporters through her Patreon site. You can certainly use your favorite chocolate cookie recipe, as long as it does not have leavening agent. It is also a good idea to pick a recipe that calls for some brown sugar, so that the dough will be more flexible and smooth.
Detailed method for shaping and decorating can be found here starting at 32 min and 30 seconds. Her flowers are logs above mine, with added details that I felt were beyond my skill level. She performs magic with the air-brush! They end up looking exactly like cherry blossoms, but I am still pretty thrilled with my little babies.
The secret to get the bark look, is brushing the cookies with Americolor Ash right before baking. This step is optional but I believe it adds a lot of charm.
As you might notice, I re-use parchment paper. The twigs were baked right after the hexagonal cookies from Amy’s tutorial, as well as some stick cookies, you can still see their ghost images in there…
After baking, you’ll need green Royal icing in stiff consistency to pipe leaves and glue the flowers over the surface.
Another way to use the wafer paper is sticking them on the surface of a freshly baked cookie, the residual heat will make the decoration stick and lay flat on it.
Now, I should also mention that the decorations look very nice, but not everyone will enjoy the mouthfeel of the wafer paper. So tell your guests or whoever will be enjoying the cookies that they can just peel off the decorations if they prefer. You can also minimize the amount of wafer paper by coupling the flower with Royal icing leaves.
I hope you’ll consider joining Cookie Therapy on Tuesdays, or Friday Cookie Lunch Break, at 1PM EST. They are always coming up with interesting things that will open your horizons to cookie making and decorating. I promise you will love it!
Watch it at 13:00hs EST (or anytime later) via youtube here..
ONE YEAR AGO: The Quasi-Vegan Quiche
TWO YEARS AGO: Not Quite Moqueca
THREE YEARS AGO: Roasted Butternut Squash with Cashew Nuts
FOUR YEARS AGO: Mississippi Roast and the Open Mind
FIVE YEARS AGO: Walnut-Raisin Bran Muffins
SIX YEARS AGO: A Star is Born!
SEVEN YEARS AGO: Chestnut Flour Sourdough Bread
EIGHT YEARS AGO: Kinpira Gobo and Japanese Home Cooking
NINE YEARS AGO: Walnut Sourdough
TEN YEARS AGO: Thai Chicken Curry
ELEVEN YEARS AGO: Zen and the art of risotto