Faux Bois...ooo-la-la!

I'm a little obsessed with faux bois (foh bwah).

Maybe the obsession has to do with the fact that it's one of the few French phrases I can pronounce.
"Excusez moi"
"S'il vous plait"
"Faux Bois"

Don't EVER ask Mr. E about the time when we were newly married and visiting New Orleans. We were having breakfast at a little coffee & beignet place, and I just could not work out in my head how to pronouce the coffee.  Cafe au lait. Cafe au lait.  I didn't want my new husband to know that I was unsophisticated, so I didn't ask him.  The waiter came to our table and I ordered...

Cafe O' LOT.  Yeah.
Did I mention Mr. E took French in high school? He laughed. I gorged myself on beignets.

Spanish, on the other hand, oh...I work on it.  EVERY DAY I work on my "easy breezy" ala the Sophia Vergara CoverGirl commercial.   We look really similar, so it comes pretty naturally.


Back to faux bois.  Obsessed.

I found this stamp at Michaels and knew it was meant for cookies.  There's a little controversy brewing in the cookie world about whether stamps are safe for cookie decorating.  Here's my take.  I washed the stamp.  I pressed it into fondant for about 5 seconds.  I'm not eating THE STAMP.  If it scares you, place a piece of cling wrap between the stamp and fondant.  The image just won't be as sharp.

To make Faux Bois Package cookies, you'll need:
  • sugar cookies
  • white fondant (I like Satin Ice)
  • corn syrup
  • wood grain stamp
  • AmeriColor Chocolate Brown
  • vodka
  • small paintbrushes
  • royal icing, tinted with AmeriColor SuperRed
  • #2 tip and coupler
  • disposable icing bag
  • squeeze bottle
  • toothpicks
Roll the fondant on a surface coated with corn starch. (Roll it thin, mine is a bit thick.) Use the cookie cutter to cut the fondant, and slice off the bow section.

Brush the square part of the cookie with corn syrup.  Place on the cut fondant and press lightly to adhere.

Combine food coloring with vodka.  No real measurements here...the vodka will help the food coloring dry and the alcohol will evaporate.

Press the clean stamp into the fondant.  Press firmly and be sure to apply pressure up and down and side to side to imprint across the entire cookie.

Dip the paintbrushes into the food coloring mixture and blot on a paper towel. "Paint" the indentations made by the stamp.

{Note: why I didn't just paint the stamp, I'll never know.  It didn't occur to me until I was in bed that night.  Try it.}

Use a #2 tip to outline the bow with royal icing.

Thin the icing with water, a bit at a time, stirring with a silicone spatula, until it is the consistency of a thick syrup.  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 a squeeze bottle.

Fill in the outline with the thinned flood icing, using a toothpick to guide to the edges and to pop large air bubbles.

If desired, go back over the bow with the piping icing to add detail.  The wet flood icing needs to dry uncovered 6-8 hours or overnight.

Don't you love it in white, too?  You can really see the texture of the fondant.

It reminds me of a cable knit sweater.  Hmm...anyone have a cable knit stamp?

I could totally see these as a circle or square cookie with a really pretty star tip border.  So, they're not just for Christmas packages!

Faux Bois...say it today.  It's fun.

Oh!  If you are a faux bois-lover, take a gander at Mandi's fabulous painted faux bois FLOOR!!!  I just love her style and fearlessness when it comes to decorating!
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