Wednesday, December 18

Kissy Elves Christmas Cookie Tutorial

     Yesterday, the fabulously sweet Callye of Sweet Sugarbelle had me as a guest on her blog to do a tutorial for mistletoe cookies.  When she asked me if I would make them I instantly said yes of course and then almost as fast I thought you can't have mistletoe without kissy elves!

       For these cookies I pieced together a Santa face cookie cutter and a little snowman for Mrs Claus and then I used an ice cream cone cookie cutter for the elves.  I had thought about having the characters both face each other to kiss but I was worried that seam between the cookies would just be too fragile.  Now I think they are cuter this way though because you can easily add different expressions to the elf getting kissed! 

      To piece the cookies together first cut both shapes together to get a feel for where they overlap and then cut one of the shapes again by itself.  Remove all the excess dough and attach the partial shape to the whole one on the cookie sheet for baking.  The elf cookies were pieced the same way as Santa and Mrs Claus here. After the elf shapes were joined together on the baking sheet I gently curled the points of the cones to make curly elf hats.

To decorate these cookies;
  1.  Start by outlining the turned kissing face in flesh toned icing.  The trickiest element in the entire cookie is getting the turned face drawn correctly so if you  need to cut a template or use a KopyKake then that is perfectly okay.  I often use my iPad and the Camera Lucida app to lay in a few shapes like this just to get started. 
  2. Let the outline set up just a little but not dry and flood fill the face shape.  (I forgot to photograph that step so if it looks a little odd that's because I did it with the computer)
  3. Wait a few minutes for the icing to dry and then add the shapes that sit next to the faces.

  1. Let the faces dry a bit before adding the hat bands, Mrs Claus bun and a few leaves for the flower in her hair. 
  2. Continue on working in pieces until all the base shapes are done.
  3. Let the base dry for several hours before adding the final piping details.
    Once you break it all down cookies like this are actually fairly simple to decorate.  You can work on them all at once or in little bursts throughout the day whenever you have a minute or two.  

      Thank you for stopping by today.  If you haven't read my tutorial for the mistletoe cookies at Sweet Sugarbelle's be sure to go check it out as they are a darling accent to this cookie platter.

     I hope you are having a Merry Christmas season so far!

Tuesday, December 10

Camel Cookie Tutorial

    Last week I showed you how to make Wise Men cookies and today I have the camels!  I've done my share of silly cookies but these camel cookies are easily the silliest ones I have ever made.  If you want to add a little humor to a Christmas platter try just making the faces or you can get really crazy and make the bodies too.

     I cut the camel faces with 2 sizes of bell cookie cutters flipped upside down.  The bell was the closest shape I could come up with and it works pretty well because of the way the shape narrows for the face and widens for the ears.  Since bell cutters come in so many different sizes and shapes you have a lot of options.  If your bell cutters have a large clapper or handle you can trim that away when you cut your cookies.

  1. This first step is just for locking in the shape of the head. Using tan piping icing pipe a roundish shape .  Mark the mid-line of the circle and then pipe the large cheeks down around and back to the mid-line. 
  2. While the outline is still wet fill the entire area
  3. Let the face dry for a few minutes and then add the ears and the lip.  Then let the cookies dry for several hours so you can work on this base.

     4.  When the bases have dried a while add the nose. 
     5.  Let the nose dry for a few minutes and add the eyes.  You can add the other details now too if you like. 
     6.  Let the eyes dry a bit and then add the eyelids and the white "shines" on the eyes.
     I also thought it would be fun to make a body for the camel on a separate cookie so the heads could be place and tilted in silly ways on top. 

  1. The bodies were cut from my favorite carrot cutter. 
  2. Pipe an egg-ish shape for the body and add the legs The way the lines alternate jutting out and coming in gives him his knobby knees.   
  3. Fill in the body before the outline dries. 

     4.  When the body has dried for several hours add one hoof. 
     5.  Let the hoof dry a few minutes and then add the other to create dimension between them.  Finish off the body with a few detail lines.
     6.  Stack the smaller camel heads onto the bodies in silly ways.  If you like you can "glue" the head to the body with stiff royal icing and then support the head on a separate cookie until the icing has fully dried. 

    Hehe, how much fun are all these little guys!  Be sure to check out my tutorial on how to make the Wise Men too.   

     I hope you are having as much fun as I am getting ready for Christmas!

Friday, December 6

Three Wise Men Christmas Cookie Tutorial

     I would like to tell you that I finally designed and decorated the entire Christmas Nativity in cookies...but I think another year is going to come and go without that happening.  I was inspired to make the Three Wise Men though and honestly I think I if you really wanted you could probably make the entire nativity with just this cutter. 

   To cut the Wisemen cookies I used a cutter of my own design.  This cookie cutter is actually a "girl" gnome but I designed the cutter with a large hat so it could be cut down into a variety of different characters.  Plus the long dress makes it work for cloaks and robes too.
    I cut the hat down for the different crowns and also pieced an egg shape to the bottom half of the gnome cutter to make the king with a head scarf.  For more on cutting different hats with this cutter click here.  This cutter and my others are available to purchase in my Etsy store

    It's actually pretty easy to decorate cookies like this.  Just take every shape one at a time and let each section set up a little before adding the next shape.

     1.  Start by filling the face in flesh colored royal icing.  I use the face as an anchor for all the other elements so it's important it's the right shape and in the right place.  If you need to you can use a simple paper template to get the faces right.  
     2.  Let the face set up for a few minutes and then add the cloak and the lower sections of the hat
     3.  Let those dry a little while and finish the hats and cloaks.  At this point you should let the cookies dry for a few hours because you'll be adding sections on top of these.
     4.  When the body has dried for several hours add the arms.
     5.  Let the arms dry a bit and then add the beards or hair.  
     6.  Finally finish everything off with the little details.   Instead of adding the gifts directly to the cookies, which would have made them more complicated, I made little minis and decorated them as I went.  The little gifts can be "glued" to the finished cookies with royal icing giving them a little extra dimension.

   If you like you can also make just the faces of the Wise Men.  I found these ornament cookie cutters at Wal-mart this year and they are my current favorite cutters.  I can see so many things in them.   The curves and points work really well as beards and crowns especially when you piece the shapes together.  To see the ornament cookies I made with these cutters click here.

The steps to decorate the faces are pretty much the same as before:
  • Start by adding the faces and let them dry for a few minutes. 
  • Add the bottom of the hat and let dry again. 
  • Finish the hats and add the beards.
  • Let the cookies dry for a few hours before topping them off with piping details.

I had a lot of fun with this set and there is more to come.  Wise Men need camels of course so check out this post for silly camel cookies.

In the meantime be sure to enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, December 4

Retro Christmas Ornament Cookies

     A few weeks ago Georganne over at LilaLoa posted a challenge to use this amazing color palette in a set of cookies.   I thought the colors had a great retro feel to them and I love the style of retro Christmas Ornaments.   Even though these colors are far from traditional they still work perfectly for Christmas cookies because as long as you use expected Christmas shapes you can use any color palette you like! 

     To cut the ornament cookies I used two cutters from Wal-mart this year.   I love these little ornament cutters and I can see so many things in them.  With just these basic shapes you can make a lot more ornaments just be piecing and trimming the cutters.   For the traditional teardrop shape I used a circle to trim the yellow ornament cutter.  Flip the cutters around and cut again to make something totally different or add a little bit of one to the other for more dimension. For more info on combing cookie cutters click here

     The decorating of these cookies is actually pretty simple.  I worked in sections letting one color dry for a few minutes before I added the one next to it.  Once the base was dry I topped them off with lots of dots and swirls and a sprinkle of sugar for sparkle. 

     No matter how complicated a cookie might look the techniques are the same.  You can see here the details really make the cookies because before adding the dots the cookies are pretty dull.  Don't stress over making things "perfect".  If you look closely you'll see my dots aren't identical and things aren't perfectly straight and even.   It doesn't matter because they still look good and they are just cookies after all!

     The Christmas Season is in full swing and I hope yours is going beautifully!