Friday, 19 February 2016

Wrapped Parcels: Valentine's Day Cookies for a Man

Masculine Valentine's Day decorated cookies in wrapping and gift tag theme, photo by Honeycat Cookies

Not very long ago, I asked my husband Martin to bring two chocolate biscuits back with him from the kitchen. He brought oranges. Quite apart from being a completely unacceptable substitute, just what on earth was he trying to tell me? I eat too many cookies? I should eat more fruit? He'd eaten the biscuits really quickly in the kitchen so he wouldn't have to share them with me? This was very dangerous territory, so close to Valentine's Day.

In the end, I asked the internet whether he deserved a set of Honeycat Cookies or not. And because I asked it on my Honeycat Cookies page, the overall consensus was that people wanted me to make them cookies (Martin just being the excuse). So here they are, and here's how I went about making them.

Close up of  decorated cookies in wrapping and gift tag theme, photo by Honeycat Cookies

I have a little Pinterest folder full of pretty packaging (do you follow me over there? You should - I collect all sorts of images to inspire me for sets and then post photos of the cookies that resulted into the same folders). I try to make sure that any orders I make that will fit into nice boxes get pretty tags and ribbons, so opening the big messy postal box reveals a perfect little parcel inside.

Display of Valentine's Day cookies with ribbon and sugar buttons, photo by Honeycat Cookies
I was browsing for new images for this folder whilst pondering what Valentine's Day cookies for a man should look like, and it suddenly occured to me if I can't make pretty cookies, I can at least make prettily wrapped cookies!

I've had an urge to do something like this ever since The Cookie Architect posted her gorgeous little Christmas parcel cookies. I wanted to use kraft brown and music 'paper' and some black, so I could try out a chalkboard effect. And though I mostly wanted these neutral colours, I reckoned the set needed a little 'something' to bring it to life, so I opted for adding hints of turquoise here and there. This set was a case of creating lots of different elements and dipping into them for each cookie.

Marzipan and lustre painted scrolls pre-made for Valentine's Day cookies, photo by Honeycat Cookies

I also wanted to make 3D elements, something I don't often get the opportunity to do as I usually have to wrap and post cookies. I used marzipan in some silicon molds, as well as cutting out little buttons and badges. On the whole it worked well, though it was impossible to get the edges perfectly sharp, due to the little almondy bits. It dried nicely and took the blue lustre paint very well indeed.

Marzipan elements pre-made for Valentine's Day cookies, photo by Honeycat Cookies

The musical notation I simply drew by hand with a black edible food pen onto the dried white base, dusted over with pearl dust to soften the effect. You can see me doing this in the video at the bottom of my Elvis Cookies post.

Musical notes hand drawn with edible pen onto heart shaped cookie, photo by Honeycat Cookies

The black flood was piped onto a dried brown base, then I used white food colour (Americolor) straight from the bottle to paint leaves onto the dried black. I was really pleased with how effective and easy this was.

Three steps to adding chalkboard royal icing effect to Valentine's Day cookie, photo by Honeycat Cookies

The little spruce branches were piped onto a lightly crushed and lustre dusted surface. I used the flat end of a chop stick to gently crush the just-crusted surface of the royal icing. The dry cookie was then lustre-dusted with Sugarflair 'champagne' dust.

Using stiff brown and stiff green RI with PME no. 1 tips I first piped the stem and tips, before piping the first layer of green needles sticking out irregularly from the stem. On the next pass I piped needles that were more parallel to the stem, crossing the ones below. Another easy, effective technique!

Adding royal icing spruce sprig to Valentine's Day cookie, photo by Honeycat Cookies

After that it was a matter of using stiff blue and brown piping with a PME tip no. 1 to pipe layers of string, adding seperate elements, such as the buttons and RI transfer 'M's I'd already piped and let dry, with little bows here and there.

Mini cookies with royal icing and marzipan decoration, cookies and photo by Honeycat Cookies

In the end, I think it created a pretty and gently muted set of cookies. Martin has often complained that I won't let him eat special cookies I make for him (I still have the hot air balloon and Hare and Fox cookies in my cupboard) but when I gave him these he promptly decided he couldn't eat them. Which is slightly annoying as I'd like to know how that marzipan turned out...

Valentine's Day decorated cookies for a man, displayed with Honeycat Cookies gift tags


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