in Christmas Cookies, Cookies for kids, Cookies that look like food, Easter Cookies, Family and Friends, Featured, Food Photography, Holidays, KopyKake, New Years Cookies, Royal Icing Diaries, Sugar Cookies, Thanksgiving Cookies, Tutorials 8 comments
So imagine, the party is in full swing and you head to the buffet table to grab a bite to eat. You bite into a piece of gouda from the cheese and crackers platter in front of you, expecting that rich and unique flavor that only gouda has, only to discover that the crumbly deliciousness you have in your mouth tastes a bit like lemon.
And it’s sweet, moist, and buttery.
This particular cheese, as well as the crackers, grapes, strawberries, and even the salami, are made completely of lemon sugar cookies and royal icing. An appetizer and dessert all in one!
Without a doubt my cheese and cracker cookies are my favorite cookies I’ve decorated to date. Other than the salami (which I intentionally hid towards the back of the platter for the photo shoot), the platter turned out much better than I thought it would.
I made my cheese and cracker platter for a New Years Eve party that Sal and I were invited to. After whipping up some appetizers and desserts to bring with us, I decided to get a little playful and make my own version of cheese and crackers: A sweet version.
Cute, huh? I’m thrilled to say they were a huge hit. Everybody loved them and the entire platter disappeared in minutes.
Now I know what you’re thinking. Where the heck is the wine?
Yes, I know, the wine is missing. I got so caught up in the excitement of actually decorating a sweet take on a cheese and cracker platter, that I totally forgot the wine.
Don’t hate me. It was enough of an ordeal to make an appetizer into a dessert let alone include beverages as well. This is all still so new to me.
The real stuff was flowing freely during the party anyway.
To make the brie, gouda, and the blue cheese I had to make my own templates since I didn’t have cookie cutters for them. I drew the cheeses in pencil first and then kept erasing and redrawing until I had what I thought looked pretty good. With my advanced artistic abilities, this took slightly more than 3 or 4 hours.
Note that I was never even considered for the AP Art class in high school.
The cheese templates then went into my KopyKake machine to outline. After trying out the machine with my Three Kings Day cookies, I realized why most cookie artists long for one of these machines. I could not be happier now that I have one! In fact, had I had the KopyKake when I decorated Pilgrim cookies back in November, Mrs. Pilgrim may have actually looked like a female.
Once they were outlined with my edible markers I started outlining and flooding.
For the rest of the platter I used my cookie cutters:
My strawberry cutter for my strawberries
And a grapes cookie cutter for my green and purple grapes. These took the longest to do because I had to allow drying time between layers.
I had no idea how to make grapes and make them look nice and plump. I searched around and found a great tutorial by Georganne, the brains behind Lilaloa.com. Her grapes cookies tutorial is fantastic and I used it as my guide. She makes her grapes by piping each individual grape onto wax paper and then transferring them to the cookie.
Hers are gorgeous. But I was lazy and by this point, exhausted.
I took a shortcut.
I piped each grape one by one directly onto my cookies, and let the cookies dry before adding more grapes. I used a parchment cone to do these and cut the opening to approximately the size of a #3 tip.
I had to do them in layers. First I piped a bunch of grapes all over the cookies, without allowing them to touch each other.
Then the cookies went in front of the fan for about 30 minutes.
Now I added more grapes, filling in some of the open areas.
Back in front of the fan they went, and I kept repeating the process.
I ended up with some air holes on them, even though I was diligent about using my toothpick to release the air on every grape. It’s so annoying when that happens but it’s not the end of the world.
Once there no visible empty areas on the cookies, I added a few more grapes for some depth, and finished them off with some vines. Very elementary vines, but vines nonetheless.
And last but not least the poor little salami. Sal and I usually have salami in the frig, but of course, now that I could have used it as a visual, we were out. I had an image in my head and tried to conceptualize that.
The salami was sent to the back for the cheese and cracker platter debut.
But that’s OK. The more I decorate cookies, the more I am encouraged to challenge myself and from all the mistakes I keep learning new things.
These were so much fun to make. Very time consuming, but fun as heck. I was patting myself on the back when I finished, and seeing everyone’s eyes light up when they saw them? Oh, that made all of it worth it!
Time for a new challenge.