Homecoming cookies: a color conversation

A friend’s son wanted to surprise his homecoming date with some special cookies. 🙂 He requested cookies in 3 designs: the girl’s name, Homecoming 2018, and stained glass flowers, with orchid as the color theme. Googling “orchid” gets quite a range of shades, but I clarified, and the color I was working for was about like this:

The tricky thing about getting this color is I was essentially working with 4 different mediums: airbrush color, icing color, fondant, and stained glass paint color:

As you can see, they are not identical; however, they are close, and went well together. (I even happened to have some matching sprinkles on hand!) This is how I created each orchid color:

For airbrushing, I used 4 drops of deep pink to 3 drops of periwinkle airbrush color.

For the royal icing, I used deep pink gel, but I didn’t have periwinkle in the gel. So, I used the airbrush color again. It created the right color, but to get the shade I wanted, I needed to use extra periwinkle since the airbrush color is thinner. (The gel would be preferable, naturally, so it wouldn’t be necessary to burn through tons of airbrush color.)

For the fondant, I actually went back to my airbrush pink with my airbrush periwinkle. I was able to use equal amounts, and the fondant darkened much more quickly than the royal icing.

The stained glass (which you can read about creating here) was the most surprising to work with for the colors. Initially I tried using the airbrush colors. However, not only did deep pink mixed with periwinkle create the wrong color entirely, but the airbrush color, which I would have expected to be lighter mixed with the corn syrup, was far darker than the gel color! In order to get the nice light orchid color, I mixed 1 drop of deep pink gel with 1 drop violet gel. Then, as that was very dark still, I filled a well of my paint palette with fresh corn syrup, and used my paint brush to gradually add small amounts of the colored corn syrup until it was the shade I wanted (I dipped my paintbrush in the colored corn syrup 3 or 4 times).

It was an interesting learning experience trying to get the same color in 4 different mediums! Hopefully this helps you with your color experimenting!

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!