Monday, June 28, 2010

Elephants and Monkeys and Giraffes, oh my!

These were made to match a baby shower invitation. Congrats to Sylvia and John!!

Flag tips and tricks

Here are a few tips and tricks for making flag cookies! I had promised this a while ago when I posted these flag Memorial Day cookies. Some of this may be obvious, but I hope you can pick up a few new ideas!

I use icing similar to this recipe from Amanda. Like with royal icing, I use a thicker "piping" consistency to do outlines, and a thinner "flood" consistency to fill in. There are LOTS of tutorials out there on this, so I am not going to go into lots of detail on that.

I used a Wilton flag cookie cutter. The first thing I did was some planning. I had small and large star sprinkles, and I had to decide which size and how many would work. I also thought about the stripes. Many cookies have less than 13 stripes, but I decided that 13 would work for me and would allow me to just pipe the stripes instead of outlining and filling them. More on that later.

This shows some planning work that I did on parchment paper. I often trace a cookie cutter and then pipe some icing on parchment paper to practice without "wasting" a cookie. I decided on 18 of the smaller stars. Though many less than 50, I think this gave me the right look for the size of blue area.

The next thing that I did was to pipe the flag poles with gray icing. I used a large tip (I think it was a #7 or so) and kept squeezing until it was wide enough. Then I outlined the blue area as shown below.

After filling in the blue area with thinner icing, I placed the stars while the thinner "flood" consistency icing was still wet. I started with the top left and right ones, and then added the middle two to get the spacing right.

All of the stars were placed with tweezers. Of course they were purchased just for baking!! (Yes, I realize I need a manicure!!)

I had to pick out the white ones from the patriotic mix.

Here are the finished blue star areas, or unions.

Next, I used a #4 tip to pipe the red stripes. I did the top and bottom ones that do not go all the way across (next to the blue) to help with spacing. Then I added the other 2 red stripes in that section.

Next were the remaining 3 red stripes in the bottom area. I found that doing the red stripes first REALLY helped me with the spacing, and it allowed me to not be switching between 2 piping bags.

Next I filled in the white stripes. I made sure to fill in the spaces between the red stripes, squeezing a bit more when necessary.

One last finishing touch. I don't know if you can tell from the pictures of the completed cookies, but the flag poles are silver! After letting the icing dry for about 24 hours, I mixed some Wilton Silver Pearl Dust with clear vanilla extract (also Wilton) and brushed it on to the flagpoles like paint. I use a clean, new paintbrush that is used only for my baking. You can see the difference below!

That is it!! I hope this gave you some useful tips! Please let me know if you try these! I would love to see! The 4th of July is coming up soon!!! Enjoy!

Thursday, June 3, 2010