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

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