Sunday, 14 October 2012

Button Bow Cookies

I was in the mood for making something pretty and deliciously pink, I had just baked a batch of heart shaped vanilla sugar cookies and this decoration just fitted my mood.

The Cookies

To bake the cookies use my basic sugar cookie recipe, but, add a teaspoon of vanilla bean paste, good quality vanilla extract or the seeds from a vanilla pod to the butter and sugar when you cream them together. Alternately you can make vanilla sugar by putting some caster or superfine sugar in a jar with a vanilla pod, leaving the flavour to infuse and giving the jar a good shake every now and then. A week or so should be long enough and when you use some of the sugar, you can replace it with fresh sugar. I cut these out using a heart cutter from the Wilton "From the Heart" set to cut these out.
I love cakes and cupcakes that have been decorated with bows, when I read the instructions about how to make the bows, I feel like I don't quite have the time (or maybe the patience) to be measuring out strips of fondant or making a template to make them. I came across a JEM bow cutter set in my local sugar craft shop and thought that this might be just the time saving ticket.


Equipment and materials for decoration

Shell pink sugar paste or fondant (I used a ready coloured one by Regalice)
Pink petal or sugar flower paste. (This one is the Squires Kitchen in Pale Pink)
Small rolling pin with spacers (This one is from Wilton)
Bow Cutter (From JEM Large Set, sized 4 to 6)
Lustre Dust (This is Pearl white form Sugarflair)
Lace embossing mat (I used this Original Sugarveil mat as an embossing mat).
A little confectioners glaze (optional)

By the way, never buy confectioners glaze without also buying some cleaning solution or dipping solution to clean your brush with.

How to Decorate
Start by making the fondant lace.

Roll out a small amount of the shell pink sugar paste until fairly thin, then place on top of your embossing mat and roll with the spacers on the mat, a little more, until an even thickness

Carefully flip the sugar paste over and then cut out the fondant using the same cutters that you used for cutting your cookies.
Look down the centre of the cookie cutter before you cut to make sure you get a nice even look to your lace.
Carefully lift the cut out fondant and place on top of the cookies. You can use a little edible glue or icing gel to help it stick if necessary. (You can usually get away with nothing or a bit of water if you don't have any)

Next make the bows (Sorry I forgot to take any pictures of this bit)

Take a small handful of the petal paste and knead until it feels pliable and stretchy. If it feels a little dry or powdery, add a pea sized mount of vegetable fat (Trex) and knead this in.
Roll out the pink sugar flower or petal paste thinly. The pink spacers on my Wilton rolling pin gave just about the right thickness for this.
Place the bow cutter over the top (i used the size 4 from the large bow cutter set) and press down to cut. Give the cutter a little wiggle whilst pressing to neaten up the cut edges.
Lift the cutter,  if necessary tidy up the edges with your fingers or a sugar craft ball tool, peel away the excess petal paste and make the cut pieces into a bow shape.
I was lucky and my bow loops stayed nicely rounded and in place. If they look like they want to collapse, then you can support them, whilst they dry, with some scrunched up kitchen towel
Brush the bows with lustre dust to give them a shiny ribbony look.

Finally the buttons

Take a very small amount of the pale pink paste and knead as above. Press firmly into your button mould and rub your finger around the top to get a nice smooth finish.

I painted my buttons with confectioners glaze to get nice shiny button like finish.

What would I do differently next time?

I would probably use a different colour lustre dust as the white looked a bit white in places, I find it hard to find a pale pink luster dust that I like. Most pink luster dusts, that I try are a darker pink than i want.

I might also make try the button a different colour, I wanted more of a contrast in the textures between the button and the bow really.

That's all for today
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Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Swirly Champagne Sugar Cookie Cups

When I was making my Champagne Celebration Cookies I wanted to make something else that was small and stylish, a bit like a sweet canapĂ© and came up with these little cookie cups. 

To make the Cookie Cups

I used the same champagne flavoured cookie dough I had made for the Vintage Brooch Cookies. One quantity of dough makes about 48 mini muffin sized cookie cups

1. Spray or coat a mini muffin pan with some non stick baking spray.
2. Roll the cookie dough out about 1cm or a scant half an inch thick.
3. Use a fluted round cutter and gently push the cut out cookie dough into the mini muffin pan.
4. Bake at 180 C / 350 F for about 8 to 12 minutes

The best way I found to push the dough in was using the knuckle of my finger. You might have to experiment a bit to get the right sized cutter for your tin.

Royal Icing Swirls

Mix up a batch of your favourite royal icing, I like to use the Wilton Meringue Powder and simply follow the recipe that comes with the can. There is just something very luscious about the smell of this meringue powder, I can't quite decide what it is reminiscent of.

This simple swirl is piped using a medium sized star nozzle / tip. I used a Wilton 22. Hold the piping bag at 90 degrees to your work surface and pipe the swirl from the outside in, when you reach to top, stop squeezing and pull the bag up to get the point. Piping with royal icing is an absolute dream, especially when you are more used to buttercream.

Royal icing will dry hard over a few days, so making a swirl of this size might not be terribly pleasant to eat. If you are going to serve these within a day or so of piping, they will be fine, otherwise, stir in a teaspoon or so of glycerin to keep the icing soft. The glycerin will also give the icing an extra hit of silky smoothness.

Teeny Tiny Glittery Blossoms


You will need:

Small amount of petal or gum paste
Lace embossing mat*
Peach lustre dust (I used sugarflair shimmering peach)
Edible Glitter (This is Edable Art Baby PInk**
Small blossom cutter (Mine from a Wilton Rose cutter set)
A little edible glue
A couple of small clean paintbrushes

*I used the sugarveil mantilla mat, just because that was what I happened to have handy. Sugarveil mats are quite expensive (though good value for their size). You can buy small pieces of mat from some suppliers now, or you can sometimes find squares on ebay.

** this is the latest advise from the Food Standards Agency in the UK re edible glitter. These blossoms can easily be removed before eating if you are concerned.


1. Roll out the petal or gum paste really thin, just a couple of millimetres.
2. Roll it a little more on top of your embossing mat, carefully peel it off and turn it over
3. Cut out enough little blossoms for your cookies cups and a couple more for luck
4. Brush the blossoms with the lustre dust
5. Gently dab the blossoms with the edible glue being careful not to disturb the lustre and immediately dip another paintbrush into the edible glitter and carefully touch it on top

Thats is - you're done! Pop the blossoms on the swirls.

That's all for today
Thanks for popping by and please call again soon

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