Monday, 24 August 2015

Lacecap Hydrangea Cookies, Disgraceful Piping and a Video

There are many beautiful hydrangea cookies and cupcakes around, but I haven't seen any lacecap versions. I particularly like this kind of hydrangea with its tight little buds in the centre, varying from green to blue (or pink, depending on whether you live in Cornwall or Birmingham. I live in Birmingham. My hydrangeas are mostly pink. I like blue hydrangeas. So I made these cookies blue. It makes me feel like I'm back in Cornwall again).

(See? Pink!)

I frankencookied the basic shape as Glorious Treats did in this great tutorial and I was considering using brush embroidery in the same way, as the effect of the colour over the background is beautiful, but I wanted to have a go at piping actual petals.

I've never actually done this before, apart from one practice at RI roses being taught by the very talented, very patient Karen of Sucre Coeur. But I was slightly hungover at the time after a weekend of cookie debauchery and I'm ashamed to say I never practiced again. And of course you can tell. Just look at the way I pipe in the video - it's a disgrace, and that's after the worst bits have been edited out!

But I think this particular cookie is very forgiving. The overall effect works, even if individual petals are curling up in embarrassment. So here it is, in all its flawed glory:

You will need:

Hydrangea cookies
Green flood royal icing
Purple and blue lustre dusts (I used Rainbow Dust Starlight Purple Planet and Pearl Pacific Blue)
Large and small, dry, food-use only brushes
Stiff pale blue royal icing with petal tip (eg Wilton 104)
Small white sugar pearls
Dark blue and light green thick flood royal icing
Pink lustre dust (I used Sugarflair Shimmer Pink)

1. Flood the flower area in the darker green flood and allow to dry really thoroughly overnight (otherwise the lustre dust will stick and smear).

2. Using the purple and blue lustre dusts, dust the outer area of the green icing in patches.

3. Pipe blue four-petalled flowers around the outer edge, popping a sugar pearl into the centre of each one.

4. Pipe dark blue dots in groups of different sizes in the open centre and between the flowers, with a few smaller ones around the outer edge. Add a few green dots here and there.

5. Flood the leaves with green, and immediately pipe fine light green veins (I used a PME tip 1.5 for the veins).

6. Once the blue petals have dried thoroughly, with a smaller brush, dust the outer edges pink, and the centres purple.

I made this set as an engagement gift, and added a few simple leaves, popping them in a window 'tart' box, wrapped some green garden twine around a few times, and added a tag which was the perfect excuse to use my new Honeycat Cookies stamp. Fairly simple to make, fairly forgiving of poor piping skills, these make a lovely gift. Now I'm thinking I'd like to try some pink ones, after all...


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