Thursday, January 16, 2014

It's All In the Detail

So I've been busy this past week, working on some new ideas for cookie gift sets and baskets, as well as testing recipes and frostings for some new cupcake flavours.  Here are a few new cookies I created for the love of Valentines:

1.  Traditional Valentine's Day 

I used a stencil and red AmeriMist  to airbrush some gorgeous lace patterns on the cookie, and followed up with a bit of pearl to add a slight sheen.  I've had my airbrush system for awhile now, and used it occasionaly but was a bit scared to use it on larger projects.  While the method can really transform an otherwise flat looking or one dimensional cookie or cake, the idea of ruining an otherwise perfect canvas, that took many hours to complete is a little nerve-racking. My lovely cousin-in-law (is that even a real title?) sat alongside me and gave me the push I needed.  Thanks Mel!  My fears of airbrushing are over and now I want to airbrush EVERYTHING!  The airbrush I own is from Amazon and works wonders.  Stencils can be purchased at any craft or hobby store, or try making your own!

Red AmeriMist and Pearl Sheen 
 2.  You Hold the Key to My Heart

A bit corny, yes, but I loved designing this set with a play on words.  I began with a deep red base and iced the cookie, allowing it to dry a good 6 hours.  I then piped on the black heart-shaped keyhole, followed with the yellow border and allowed those to dry a few hours before hand-painting the yellow with gold and then finishing off the entire cookie with a light spray of gold mist from my airbrush.  The large open heart cookie was sprayed in gold using another lace stencil.

3.  Bee Mine?

Yet another play on words.  While the set is relatively small, this took much more time than the two sets above.  The beehive was piped with alternating layers, to create some dimension.  After allowing each section to dry, I dusted on some dark brown petal dust in the crevices to add some depth, following with a royal icing and hand-painted miniature bee. The larger bees were piped and detailed with sanding sugar to give the black a little sparkle.  This set is probably my favourite of the bunch, as I enjoy the simplicity of the design but the impact it has with such easy techniques.   

Use petal dust or an airbrush to add depth.

4.  All You Need is Love

Lastly, I made use of those royal icing transfers I'd made last week.

Now these next few have absolutely nothing to do with Valentine's Day but they are so beautiful I have to share:

1.  Baby's First Birthday (or baby shower) 

This colour palette and design really makes me want to have another baby.  Kidding.  I am SO thankful those poopy diaper days are over but that doesn't mean I don't love babies and all the cuteness they bring. These cookies looked great with the pastel theme, but a little sanding sugar and pearl transformed them into something a bit magical---at least I think so, and hopefully so do you!

2.  Ready for Spring

New stencils + Airbrushing Confidence = Spring bouquet!
I really wish I had some photography skills, or a good camera at least, because I wasn't able to capture just how pretty these cookies are in real life.  The cookies have a unique quality to them, depending on which angle you look at the cookie it has a different colour.  I would say the effect is similar to that of a duochrome nail polish or paint.  

3.  Black Diamonds

This is my absolute favourite set I've made this January.  I won't bother describing the cookies as they sorta speak for themselves.

Now the last thing I wanted to mention today was that Andrea's Oven will be a featured vendor at the Spring 2014 Baker's Market.  This market is similar in concept to that of your local community farmer's market, only it is indoors and sells only freshly baked goods to satisfy any sweet (or savoury) tooth around.  Vendors will be showcasing a variety of products from mouth-watering macarons, to hearty 12-grain breads, and of course some hand-decorated, labour-intensive sugar cookies that are not only easy on the eyes, but taste damn good too.  You like how I slipped that one in there?  

Anyway, the market runs all spring, on Sundays from February 16 to May 4, 2014.  If you get a chance, come and stop by to say hi, and have a sample or two or three...after that I'm gonna have to start charging you.  Kidding.  Sorta.  =)  I will be offering sugar cookie gift baskets and boxed sets as well as cupcakes in some new and unexpected flavours----Chai Vanilla Bean anyone?  If you haven't found your way here through Facebook, welcome!  Stop by Facebook and "Like" if wanna get more info and updates from Andrea's Oven.

Until next time, Happy Baking!

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