For the past few months, I've been having stencil angst. Yes, actual angst over an actual piece of plastic for cookie decorating. For real.
Maybe you feel this way, too....but sometimes I see pictures of other decorated cookies that are utter perfection and I'm paralyzed. Cookie paralyzed.
For example, I love the look stencils can give cookies (you can find some really great ones here). I ordered several and read up on the best way to use them. Then, I gave it a try, didn't think they were "perfect" enough, and tossed them.
I stashed the stencils away, but I thought about them a LOT.
Fast forward to last month...we spent a few hours at our town's art festival. The art was beautiful, inspiring, creative...and guess what? Not perfect. Actually, the art that was more quirky, less perfect, more real was the art that was my favorite.
And hello, Bridget. These are cookies we're talking about, not the Sistine Chapel.
When I had the chance to make some thank you cookies, I busted out the stencils again. No airbrush, no special stencil magnets, no angst. (Ok, a little angst.)
I guess what I'm trying to say here is...don't let the fear of imperfection keep you from creating.
In the end, I kind of love that the stenciling on the cookies is a little wonky.
Let's make a deal. Let's try to not be paralyzed by the fear of imperfection. Maybe we won't strive for wonky, but let's embrace it and find the beauty in the rustic, the homemade, the flawed.
To make these gold chevron stenciled floral cookies ;), you'll need:
- sugar cookies (any shapes will work)
- royal icing, divided and tinted with AmeriColor Turquoise, Ivory, Electric Pink, Peach, Avocado
- disposable icing bags
- couplers and tips, #2, #3, #4, #1, leaf (such as Ateco #349 & Ateco #68), and star (such as Wilton #15 & Ateco #96)
- squeeze bottles
- chevron stencil
- gold food coloring spray
Use #2 tips to outline the cookies with ivory and turquoise icing. Reserve some of this piping consistency icing before thinning.
Thin the ivory and turquoise icings with water, a bit at a time, stirring with a silicone spatula, until it is the consistency of a thick syrup. (Reserve some of the white icing for piping details later.) You'll want to drop a "ribbon" of icing back into the bowl and have it disappear in a count of "one thousand one, one thousand two." Four is too thick, one is too thin. Count of 2-3 is good. Cover with a damp dishcloth and let sit for several minutes.
Stir gently with a silicone spatula to pop and large air bubbles that have formed. Pour into squeeze bottles.
Fill in the outlines with the thinned icing, using a toothpick to guide to the edges and to pop large air bubbles.
Let the cookies dry at least one hour.
For the "thank you" cookies: Use star tips to make rosettes with the star tips in the pink icing. Use #3 or #4 tips to pipe the base of swirly flowers in peach icing. Switch the tips on the pink to #1 and add a swirl on top of the peach icing.
Use a leaf tip to pipe leaves in the avocado icing.
Pipe working using a #1 or #1.5 tip. (I used both 1 & 1.5 PME tips.)
Let the cookies dry, uncovered, 6-8 hours or overnight.
For the chevron cookies: Let the base color dry completely before stenciling. Place the cookie on a small plate and the plate on a cookie sheet. Rest the stencil lightly over the top of the cookie, and spray a light coating of gold spray evenly over the top. Gently lift the stencil off of the cookie, and blot it before placing it onto another cookie.
Pipe on flowers and leaves as described above.
Be not afraid. Go forth and cookie!