Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Mason Jar Cookie Tutorial



I have been wanting to do these two tutorials for a long time and finally have gotten to it! 

My very first Jar Cookie was made for a 90th Birthday back in 2012. I will always love these the most. You can see more of these cookies and the fabulous party, by Gretchen of Three Little Monkeys Studio,  HERE.

Ever since I posted them, they have by far been my most asked about and requested cookie. But of course Mason jars are very popular to say the least right now!

(Photo courtesy of Gretchen at Three Little Monkeys Studio)


I was honored to have my Jar Cookies featured in Southern Weddings magazine, Volume V, 2012,
"Southern Sweetness"





 Since then, I've made them in large sizes...



 Medium sizes...




Minis...



50th Anniversaries, tied with ribbon...



For kids birthdays...



Even for babies named "Mason"...



Needles to say, everyone wants Mason Jar cookies. Now you can make them yourself and I will show you how.

SUPPLIES NEEDED:

Ivory Icing- 15 seconds, for the base of the jar
Light blue Icing- for the jar details (Sky blue and a touch of teal)
Gel colors in- Ivory, teal and sky blue or delphinium blue

Corn syrup
Vodka
Petal Dust or Wilton Color Dust in a blue shade
Flour for dusting

STEP ONE:

Outline and flood using the ivory icing. Easy peasy. 


STEP TWO:

Outline the jar, with the blue icing and add the logo. I do use a KopyKake for this.
Lastly, add highlights remembering the jar is round. These highlights should follow that contour.



STEP THREE:

ADDING SHADE TO THE JAR

Here are two different ways. 

One is using Petal Dust or Wilton Color Dust to achieve that classic blue Ball Jar look.
*I did use CK Blueberry for this one, however Wilton makes a pretty Periwinkle that would work nice. You can find it HERE
*Make sure the cookie is completely dry before you apply the dust.




The Second option is a Corn Syrup Glaze added onto the cookie.

Glaze Recipe:
2 Parts Corn Syrup +
1 Part Vodka 
1 dab of Teal
1 dab of Blue 
*Sometimes I use sky blue, this time I tried Delphinium Blue for a more aged look
*Add these gels with a toothpick to the CS




Apply a thin coat of the Corn Syrup Glaze with a paint brush. 
The color added to the glaze will pool in some of the smaller crevices. I like that. It gives it more of a glass look. If you are worried it won't dry or don't like the look, just use the brush to thin it out once applied. 

*You can see the jar on the left without glaze and the one on the right- with. Subtle, but pretty! 


**Now here is the key. For me at least...... Place in front of a FAN. A cooling fan that is. NOT a heat fan!! The heat will melt the Corn Syrup and keep it tacky. 

Leave them in front of the fan for at least 6-10 hours depending on your location, climate, humidity etc. Depending on the time of the year I will get varying results. 

*** DUST WITH FLOUR ***
Once you have given your jars a chance to dry, use plain flour and dust with a paint brush. I liberally dump flour on them and brush it off. 

Why don't I use powdered sugar instead of flour? 

Well, what happens when you add any liquid to PS? It turns into a wet glaze right? 
I have found if the CS Glaze is still tacky, the PS will just "melt" and make it more tacky!

The flour works best and doesn't add any taste etc to the cookie. 




If you are bagging them for freshness or shipping, (not for favors), I have cut small pieces of parchment paper or wax paper to lay onto of the the glaze side of the cookie, in the bag. Once ready to serve, you take them out of the bags a few hours before the event. If they got tacky in the bags again, they will firm up once left out. 

I know this glaze can be "fussy." If you are finding the glaze is not drying, you could always add more alcohol. You will not get as even of a shine, but it won't be as tacky. 


It really is pretty when done, but if glaze technique is not for you, go ahead and use the Petal/ Color Dust Option. That is why I provided it!! 

Now go make some cookies!! :)


~Krista

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Zinnia Flower Cookies

Back in the spring of 2012, I made these Zinnia Flower Cookies for a wonderful lady's 90th Birthday. 



Since that time, I have made many variations. 




In many, many colors...







These flowers have evolved and changed over time. Yet, the basics are the same. Simple loops. 

Here is how to make them.




SUPPLIES NEEDED:

Either Scalloped or round cookies in various sizes 
(*I like to use a scalloped circle cutter which helps me keep track of the petals on the flower.)

2 colors of icing at a thicker 15-20 second icing 
*I'm using pink and lavender- Wilton Rose and Violet

Americolor EggYellow or orange for the center of the flower. 

Pedal Dust or Wilton Color Dust in Terracotta, Deep Pink, and Blueberry. 
(*Depending on your icing colors you will need a color that will contrast and darken the icing. For instance if you are using a purple, a CK Blueberry dust is a pretty contrast.)


DIRECTIONS:

OPTION 1: Looped Petals

1. Start by using a Round Tip Number 3 or 4 tip. Create loops, leaving space in-between, tapering the end.
2. Add loops in-between, after the first set has crusted. Then let dry about 5-10 mins.
3. Create second layer, slightly overlapping the first layer. Again, looping every other one, giving each a chance to dry.
4. Keep layering until you end up with a small hole in the center. Don't fill it in.

*** Key is to keep the loops varied. The more different in length, the better. This creates a more realistic looking flower. ***
*** The larger the circle, the more layers, the smaller the circle, the less layering needed.




OPTION 2: Solid Petals

Use a larger round tip, such as a Round Number 5. (Below)

1. Pipe a large dot and pull towards the center. Again, alternating petals once dry.
2-4. Follow directions as above and layer every other petal as above, leaving an opening in the center.


Fill in the center with yellow icing. Once dry, pipe small dots in an uneven pattern to create the center of the flower. I personally, like placing a few dots on the petals.


Now comes the fun part... the PETAL DUST or COLOR DUST.  
This is what I feel, really brings out the texture and makes these flowers pop!
*** Make sure the flowers are dry at least 8 hours BEFORE continuing ***

Step One: Use a darker petal dust in the center of the flower, such as a Red, Deep Pink or even a Terracotta.



Step Two: The Petals
I love adding dust to these petals, it really created texture and dimension. 

Here are a few examples of how different Petal Dusts look on different colors of icings. It really comes down to trial and error. Test some on either paper or a test cookie to see how it reacts with your particular icing. You may be surprised how certain dust colors you never thought of, will look fabulous on your icing!

I personally like how the Wilton Deep Pink and the CK Blueberry look on these icings.

Using a paint brush, start at the base of each petal with a thick coat. Brush under each petal, making sure you don't get any on the petal on top. 
*I personally like the flat tip brushes such as THESE, for these flowers*


Wilton makes a line of Color Dust and can be purchased HERE.
CK also makes fantastic Petal Dusts and can be found HERE.



And that is it! A pretty simple cookie with a lot of wow factor!! Enjoy!


Of course, what else would I pair with these flowers than my Mason Jars! You can find the MASON JAR TUTORIAL HERE

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Thinking "Outside of the Cookie"



Since opening my Etsy shop with ClipArt and KK Images, I have been asked numerous times, if I have a coordinating cutter for a particular image. 

My answer is usually:
"If I do, there will be a picture and a link along with the description. However, all images can be placed on an cutter with just a little "thinking outside of the cookie!"

This is just a little example of what I mean...



 Here I have 4 various plaque shapes and 4 images from the shop. 
*Just pretend you don't see that one on the bottom right. It didn't turn out. And by "turn out" I mean the black I was using decided to splatter all over the cookie causing a big mess. So my son ate it. See, not all cookies end up being a masterpiece, but they are still yummy!

(These can be purchased here. We also have a coupon COMEONSPRING, good until April 20th)



For this tutorial I used my KopyKake Projector. 
Place your cookie under and look for different options. Anything works.  
Move your lens up and down, looking for something that pleases your eye.
My favorite compositions are usually when an image is off set within the surrounding shape. 

In this case, I wanted the chick to take up most of the cookie, while still being "off set" just a tad. Symmetry really is boring. 

Jill over at Funky Cookie Studio, does this a lot and is a fantastic example of how you can place any image on any cookie!



The same goes for this shape. I tried many options. But eventually went with one very off set since I wanted to put some wording to the side. 



*Now comes the outlining. I used piping consistancy and a tip #1 for this particular image. 





*Next: Just fill! I use about a 15- 20 second icing to fill. 




* Use marker or paint for all black pieces first. Eyes, eyebrows and mouth. Once dry, pipe on beak and little red tongue. 
* ( Did you notice the flower changed colors? Well, yep, I took off the flower because it just wasn't the right color)


*Add a little bit of petal dust to for rosey cheeks!


* Markers and/or gel food color for inside and woodgrain on birdhouse. Add flowers and accent with petal dust as much or as little as you like. 

*I made a lot of these little royal icing transfer flowers and keep them for later use. In the end, I didn't like the colors I used on the two chicks so I decided to just pipe some on. But I loved using them in the bird house! 

Here's how I made them:
 Pipe on taped down parchment paper, in this order.



Last pipe in a center dot and let dry for at least 24hrs. 



*Peel off very slowly and store for as long as color lasts (close to a year) in a tupperware container. 


Hope this helps you change the way you look at cookie shapes! Don't forget, cookie decorating should be fun!

Happy Spring All!! :)

~Krista xxx

Monday, April 14, 2014

Easy "Peak-a-Boo Bunny" in a Basket



Here we are in the final week before Easter. Do you need a quick and easy cookie? Well I have an easy one for you. 
I know that looking at certain designs can be intimidating, however if you break it down to "layers," it really can be easy and quick. 

Lets start with this "Bunny in a Basket" design, that can be purchased from the Etsy shop, Drawn with Character. The cutter can also be found in an Etsy shop, Whisked Away Cutters. But of course with a little "thinking outside" of the cutter, you can really put ANY image on ANY shaped cookie!

Supplies Needed:
Cookies in desired shape
20 second icing in white, brown, pink, blue
Food color markers, or gel color
Paint brush
Luster dust in blue and pink

Start off by tracing the image onto the cookie, with either a projector or The Tissue Paper Method from a previous post on my blog. 





Brush on a very thin later of white icing with a paint brush. No need to worry about smoothness- I like the "texture" this creates. Let dry about 5-10 mins.

Next, pipe in either a single flat basket and handle (left) or a ribbed basket (right). 




For ribbed basket, pipe alternating lines, letting each dry before piping the ones in-between, or else they will all blend into each other. Then you will end up with the basket on the left!

Let dry in front of fan for about 10- 30 mins depending on humidity.



Once, dried, pipe on white bunny. Don't worry about inside ears etc. That will all come later.
Let dry. If you are doing about a dozen or more. If you pipe all these in stages, for instance all the bunnies at once, by the time you are done, the first one should be ready to go to the next stage. This saves a lot of time!!
Then pipe on rim and bottom of basket. I like to do it in this order so the bunny "looks" like it is actually inside the basket.


Now, its just about layering and waiting. 

Pipe bow ties and wait for dry.


Pipe bows.



Pipe center dot.

Outline, only tops of bows. I prefer to pick and choose what is outlined and what isn't. This is a great way to create texture.

Pipe, eyes, nose and paws.



Next, eyebrows and lines two small lines on paws.
Add dots for bunny tails.



Now for the fun part! 
You can either use gel colors or markers to "paint" on the eggs.
Also luster dust can add so much dimension.


Draw on eggs in various colors. Then go back with a slightly wet brush and paint/blend the color down to color the eggs.



IF you feel as though you would like more of a definition, you can go back and outline each egg with a marker or gel.

*Don't forget pink little cheeks and inside of the ears!



Another option is to use gel colors and pain in each egg. I wanted to use a more "watercolor" blended feel. I did these very quickly with little definition. Much like a blurry background in a photograph!



Finally, add a bit of dimension on a texture in the basket with either markers, paint or luster dust. 

Again, anything is possible and nothing is wrong when it comes to cookies! Just have fun!! 

Happy Easter!!



xx Krista




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