Stained glass butterfly cookies

Back in the summer of 2015, I was excitedly planning for my second CookieCon, which was held in Salt Lake City in November of 2015. I had a vision in my head, inspired by some cookies I had seen at my first CookieCon. I wanted to make a stained glass cookie, and I wanted it to be a peacock. I didn’t know how to do it, but I figured I could just search it up with Google.

Well, many hours later I had discovered that it wasn’t that easy. Either there just wasn’t that much out there, or I didn’t know where to look. Finally I ran across a hint–someone mentioned, in some comments beneath a stained glass cookie that I found online, that they had used corn syrup. I didn’t know anything beyond that, but with that information, I set to work experimenting.

I wasn’t sure about the application of color with corn syrup, so I did what seemed easiest to me and mixed food color drops right in to a little puddle of corn syrup. I discovered that a little color goes a long way when mixed with corn syrup, but mixing it right in worked great. My next question was dilution. Did I need to mix water in? Well, I tried, and it seemed pretty runny. So then I tried another corn syrup/color puddle with less water, and that worked better. After some experimenting, I came up with the way that worked best for me–I dipped my paint brush in a little water, then in to the un-diluted corn syrup, and it was just right.

Stained glass cookies are so lovely, and are surprisingly easy to do, so I wanted to do a tutorial to encourage you to give it a try! Plan for extra time–they are time-consuming–but they aren’t difficult.

Begin with your iced and completely dried cookie. Next, trace around your cutter to give you a template, and then start experimenting with patterns.

Once you have a pattern you like, use your piping consistency icing to make your “lead” lines. I started with grey icing, since I knew I wanted silver lines.

I used my Kopykake to be able to be exact and work quickly, but you can just use your pattern as a visual guide and pipe freehand.

Once your lines are completely dried (I waited overnight), here’s what you’ll need:

Light corn syrup, food-only paint brushes, a palate, food coloring, a small bowl of water, and some paper towels.

I dedicated a paintbrush to each color because I didn’t want my red and blue getting mixed. Pick up corn syrup/food color mix with a damp paintbrush, and paint carefully into sections. Because of the dividing lines, I did not find it necessary to let sections dry before working on adjoining sections. It is difficult to see in this picture, but I did do corn syrup in the white sections. Initially I tried mixing white food color into corn syrup (you can see it in the well to the left of the bottom blue), but the white food color dulled the gloss of the corn syrup. (No other colors that I have used have done this, just white.) So I used uncolored corn syrup for the white sections.

Once all the sections are colored/filled, painting the lead lines really finishes the cookie. I mixed edible silver luster dust with vanilla extract, and used a clean paintbrush to paint the grey lines. The extract will evaporate and the silver will get clumpy; when that happens, add a little more extract to your silver and keep painting.

The finished product!

The possibilities are endless with this technique!

 

 

Happy 4th of July!

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Somehow, 4th of July cookies just didn’t happen this year, so I am posting some patriotic butterflies I made a couple years ago. The stars are from a jar of red, white, and blue sprinkle stars (those poor red and blue ones, I’ll have to find some way to use them). I used my cookie tweezers (regular tweezers, but dedicated to only-cookie use) to place the stars when the blue was still wet.

The gold butterfly bodies are painted on (again, dedicated paint brushes). I mixed gold luster dust with lemon extract and then painted away! As the lemon extract evaporates, you have to pour tiny amounts back in to your mixture, or your gold gets all gloppy. Also, the icing for the bodies is a yellow color–I’ve found that I get a better gold if I start with something close rather than plain white (which makes for a very pale gold when painted).

Alternatively, you could pipe the bodies first, let them dry, and spray with gold food color spray (such as Wilton gold), then pipe the wings afterward.

Happy 4th of July! 🙂