I was showing Sydney a two tone royal icing brush embroidery (that is a mouthful), and she thought the cookies would be a wonderful dessert to create for Mother’s Day. I must say I agree, the cookies would look exquisite in a clear top box with a blush pink ribbon. In fact I am planning on remaking the exact cookies for my 99 year old grandmother, she taught me my early culinary skills. I can remember when I was in college my grandma would send me care packages of treats. The treats, I admit, did not last long in my dorm or sorority house! I find it apropos I am sending care package to my grandma as well as my daughter, Sydney.
You will notice I am piping with parchment cones or cornet; I prefer the parchment paper to a plastic bag for a plethora of reasons first when I am finished using the parchment cone I can throw it away or if I had used a tip it easily can be cut off and the bag can be thrown away. Second I can achieve the smallest hole, smaller than a oo tip for detail work. Third I find my piping is consistent and cleaner with the cone, I can feel the royal icing. Four parchment paper is readily available in my local food store if I run out of triangles I can always create my own triangle from rolled parchment paper. That being said if I need to pipe grass the tip is very short and I will use a plastic pastry bag. Of course a paling bag is personal preference, use the materials that work best in your hands!
Two Tone Brush Embroidery:
- Parchment paper cones or bags
- PME tip/tune writer 1.5
- Square # 2 and #4 brush
- Paper towel dry
- Paper towel damp
- PME sponge holder or sponge
- Small bowl
- Royal icing, off peak consistency
- Piping gel
- Cooled boiled water
- Food paste, brown, electric pink, golden yellow, green electric green, and pink
- Fondant cover cookie or glazed covered
Recipe for Ivory colored Royal Icing:
- 1/8 toothpick electric pink, food paste
- 1/8 toothpick pink, food paste
- 1/4 toothpick golden yellow
- 1/4 toothpick brown
- 1/4 toothpick electric green
- 1/4 toothpick green
Follow the same instructions as above.
Prepare your mis en place.
Add all your food paste colors and fold. Try not to beat (you do not want to incorporate air into the icing). Continue to fold with a spatula until ivory is achieved.
Prepare your parchment cones fitted with a tip PME #1.5 (or pastry bags) and royal icing colors. We used pink, ivory and spring green. Once your cones or bags have the icing inside place them either in the PME sponge holder or you can lay the tips between a dampened paper towel, I know Colette Peters places a pin in the tip’s hole. The Idea is to keep the air from hitting the icing and the icing crusting over.
Prepare your mise en place.
Pour boiled water in a heat proof glass and allow the water to cool. Roll out your fondant, cut the fondant to fit your cookie, and attach the fondant to the cookie; you may begin decorating at this point.
You will have 3 pastry cones fitted with a #1.5 tip ready to use; one cornet will have pink, one will have ivory, and the last will the be the spring green royal icing.
If you are a confident artist you can free hand pipe your design on the fondant covered. If the design is intricate I prefer to transfer my design on the fondant cookies with a pin. To transfer the image lay the design on the cookie, follow the lines, and prick them with a pin.
For the Petals
Beginning with the back petals, pipe one petal at a time with a thick zigzag line of the ivory royal icing, switch pastry cones to the pink royal icing, pipe the same thickness zigzag line of the pink inside with the ivory. (The colors should gently touch). Dip your brush in the bowl of cooled boiled water, wipe the excess water off the brush with your dry piece of paper towel, brush from the outer ivory line, but do not break the line, through the pink pulling towards the centre of the petal. Move on to the next petal until the flower is finished.
A successful victorian two tone embroidered design will have a raised royal icing edged petals with inner lines showing both colors and become thinner as the lines reaches the centre of the flower.
Remember to keep your tip either covered, on the sponge, or have a pin in the hole when you have finished using a color.
For the Leaves
Generally I embroider the leaves last working from the back leaves forward, unless the design dictates they need to be embroidered first. Pipe a thick zigzag line of spring green, change piping cones to the ivory, pipe the same zigzag line thickness of ivory inside the green (again the colors should gently touch), and using your lightly dampened brush stroke from the outer spring green, without breaking the line, a diagonal line downwards toward the centre of the leaf. Move to the next leaf following the same method, and continue until all the leaves on your design are finished.
The leaves should have raised royal icing edged with inner lines showing both colors and become thinner as the lines diagonally reaches the centre of the leaf.
We added a few twigs, stamens and buds, opted to not have a border due to the design and colored the icing with petal and lustre dust to add a depth of realism to the flowers.
A box of these Victorian Two Tone Royal Icing Sugar Cookies will bring a smile to any recipient, but the cookies are a nice care package for a special person and any child/children away at school. The last box of cookies I sent Sydney didn’t last two days. College students are the uttermost grateful gift recipients, and grandmothers come a close second!