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Monday, July 23, 2012

Sea Shell Cookies


This week-end I decided to pull the sugar cookie dough out of the freezer and bake some of the shapes from new cookie cutters... some of which I won in a "Giveaway" from Sweet Art Factory!  I elected to work with a conch shell cutter, a sand dollar cutter, as well as a scallop shell I already had on hand.

I used some of the vanilla and almond sugar cookie dough recipe I found on Lila Loa's blog and had stored for future use in the freezer.  I took out two slabs of pre-made, well-wrapped, and frozen dough and put it in the fridge.  Saturday evening I rolled and baked (after allowing them to sit out for 15 minutes before starting).  I have only used the World's Best Sugar Cookie Dough from the class I took at Central Market in Austin...so I was leery.  However, the chocolate recipe was so good, I went ahead and made the vanilla too.  So glad I did.  I really enjoyed how easy it was to roll and cut and it didn't seem to crack as much as my generally favored dough does. 

So, onward I went the next morning, prepping my royal icing... I kept it simple - lots of white, a little bottle of warm brown (was more like tan) and a little bottle of mauve (more like a light pink).  I used AmeriColor squeeze gel paste.

I started with the conch shells.


I am not much of an artist but it really helps me plan my icing and the project if I draw it out.  To do that, I just trace the cookie cutter and write out my idea.  I find I can make more consistent cookies if I do that.  Sometimes, like when I make Easter egg cookies, I don't want consistent cookies...they are all happily different.  No drawings required for those projects!


Step 1 - set up your decorating area.  I like to decorate on a rack over a baking sheet.
Step 2 - I outlined the parts that needed a white outline, with piping icing.
Step 3 - I filled the bottom portion of the shell with flood icing.
Step 4 - I gently nudged the icing to the edges and gave the cookie a shake.  Since I knew I was going to feather, I didn't worry overly about getting it perfectly flat or ridding myself of bubbles.

Step 5 - I piped horizontal lines of light brown icing while the white icing was still wet.  Feathering requires a "wet on wet" procedure.
Step 6 - Using a round toothpick (or you can use a boo boo stick from Karen's Cookies), draw the toothpick down through the line - I start slightly above the line, end before the beginning of the next line, raise the toothpick, wipe it on the palm of my left hand (OK - it's messy - but efficient) and move on down the line.  I keep a damp cloth handy as well as a bowl of water for wiping my hands and cleaning my fingertips.

Step 7:  Pipe the mauve that looks like pink icing on the inner lip of the shell.
Step 8:  Again, using wet on wet, pipe a stripe of the brown next to the white, but on top of the pink.
Step 9:  Using the toothpick again, drag the brown into the pink, and, as I was going for a shaded effect I didn't clean the toothpick between every swipe.  These were fast light pulls through the icing, all the way to the bottom of the brown line.  That method sort of shoved the pink icing higher on the edge, which gave it some dimension.
Step 10: Using some of the thicker piping icing, I filled the dome outlines which gave them a puffy effect.  Use a clean toothpick to drag it to the edge if it doesn't get there by itself.  Take care not to go over the "dam" you created or you will lose the puffy effect.
Step 11:  After the pink and brown edge has dried for about 5-10 minutes or so, lightly sprinkle with some pink disco dust (also available at Karen's Cookies) just on the pink portion.  My original intention was to let it dry completely and then paint on some wet pink lustre dust (mixed with clear extract or alcohol).  I decided I didn't want to wait :-)

Always challenging to see the sparkly disco dust in a photo
and I don't have a light box so I got reflection on the white.
Oh well - I'll try to do better.


I worked on the other cookies as well...but will write a post on those tomorrow.  I've got to get up and get going on something other than decorating cookies today!!!  Here's what will be coming tomorrow. (And, yes, I know...my sand dollars are not all that great.  I piped the centers today before coffee...major mistake.  AND, my holes didn't stay open correctly.) (BIG SIGH)


Bon Appetit, Y'all!!!

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2 comments:

  1. This is beyond fantastic. Great post. I found you via the Tuesday Talent Show from Chef in Training
    I have linked a pizza I did with leftover roast chicken. Have a good week.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Fabulous cookies!
    Very beautiful - I really like them. Great job

    ReplyDelete

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