Sunday, December 16, 2012

Nordic Christmas Deer Heart Cookies

For my friends and family with Scandinavian origins, I wanted to make a Nordic-inspired Christmas cookie—these red & white deer heart cookies fit the bill:



I ended up liking them so well, that I made each of my son's preschool classmates personalized versions:



For the cookies, I used the middle cutter from the R & M Heart 5 Piece Cookie Cutter Set available through Amazon. The wafer papers are available through my shop.

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Vintage Christmas Santa & Noel Wreath Cookies

The first set of cookies I made for Christmas this year were these turquoise and red vintage Santas in wreaths. Then, I made a set of more modern Noël wreath cookies—only after they were both done did I realize they complemented each other nicely! Serendipity!


Vintage Santa Wreath Cookies


Noël Wreath Cookies



You can find both sets of wafer papers at my store

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Thanksgiving Cookies -- A Wrap-Up

I know, I know, I haven't posted in ages! November ran away from me—we took the toddler to my in-laws' for Thanksgiving, after which I scrambled to get his Thomas the Tank Engine birthday party off the ground, and ever since it's been a mad dash for Christmas. Here, without further ado, are the Thanksgiving cookies I made this year:


Round Turkey Wreath Cookies

 
Square Autumn Leaf Cookies


Clapsaddle Pilgrim Cookies


Thanksgiving Turkey Cookies


Clapsaddle Thanksgiving Children Cookies

They were all made with wafer papers—all but the Autumn Leaf cookies were based on early 1900s postcards. They wafer papers are all available at my shop.

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Friday, October 5, 2012

Turquoise and Orange Vintage Halloween Cookies


This is my I-don't-even-know-how-manyeth set of wafer paper cookies from vintage Halloween postcards. These are more unusual in color, but they really work, I think. The full set had 13 cookies (a baker's dozen).

For the cookies, I used the middle cutter (2"x3" rectangle) from the Ateco 3-Piece Rectangular Cookie Cutter Set available through Amazon. I piped the border with a #16 star tip.




The Vintage Halloween Turquoise wafer papers are available for purchase here.
A step-by-step how-to for decorating cookies with wafer papers can be found here.

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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Black and White Halloween Cookies


This is my sixth set of Halloween wafer paper cookies this year. I'm decorating the house with a cream and black Halloween palette, and I wanted a simple, elegant set of cookies to complement. This set has 24 cookies of 4 designs — skulls, rats, bats, and spiders.

These are some of my "cheater" cookies: I didn't make the cookies themselves. They're good old Lorna Doone shortbread cookies from the grocery store. I piped a white border, flooded with white, and then just "glued" on the wafers with corn syrup. I tried a few with a black border, a dotted border, etc., but I liked the plain unbordered ones best. A lot of bang for the buck in terms of time spent decorating.


The Black and White Halloween Cookie wafer papers are available for purchase here.
A step-by-step how-to for decorating cookies with wafer papers can be found here.

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Vintage Halloween Postcard Cookies


This is the third set of wafer paper cookies from vintage Halloween postcards. This set has Edwardian beauties in costume, with owls, bats, black cats, and pumpkins. Each cookie has a Halloween poem—I do love cookies you can read before eating :)

In order for the text to be readable, these cookies had to be bigger than I usually make—2.5"x3.75". There is no cutter on the market currently in that size, so I first cut a piece of heavy plastic in that size; that got too tedious, so I caved in and made a cutter with the Design Your Own Cookie Cutter kit. I piped the borders with a #16 star tip.




The Vintage Halloween Poem Cookie wafer papers are available for purchase here.
A step-by-step how-to for decorating cookies with wafer papers can be found here.

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Friday, September 21, 2012

Cookies of Vintage Halloween Children


I love vintage Halloween postcards—I'm doing a few different sets of them for Halloween this year. This is the second set; vintage illustrations of children with owls, bats, black cats, and, of course, pumpkins. The postcard artist for these was the famed Ellen Clapsaddle. The full set had 13 cookies (a baker's dozen), but, as often happens in this house, some got eaten before pics.

For the cookies, I used the middle cutter (2"x3" rectangle) from the Ateco 3-Piece Rectangular Cookie Cutter Set available through Amazon. I piped the border in black with a #16 star tip.


The Vintage Halloween Children wafer papers are available for purchase here.
A step-by-step how-to for decorating cookies with wafer papers can be found here.

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Vintage Halloween Postcard Witch Cookies


I love vintage Halloween postcards—I'm doing a few different sets of them for Halloween this year. This first set has witches, owls, bats, black cats, and, of course, pumpkins. The full set had 13 cookies (a baker's dozen), but some got eaten before the camera made it out :D

For the cookies, I used the middle cutter (2"x3" rectangle) from the Ateco 3-Piece Rectangular Cookie Cutter Set available through Amazon. I piped the border in black with a #16 star tip.




The Vintage Halloween Witch wafer papers are available for purchase here.
A step-by-step how-to for decorating cookies with wafer papers can be found here.

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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Downton Abbey Tea Party Cookies


Downton Abbey series 3 begins tonight in the UK. For those of us in the US, the wait is long—we won't be seeing it on PBS before January 6, 2013! The agony!

I love the costuming on the show, especially the hats, and when I ran into these beauties, I knew they were crying out to become cookies. They're from vintage trading cards from the 19-teens to the 1920s, exactly the era of Downton Abbey.

This cookie looks exactly like Lady Edith, to me. I wish the costumers showed her some mercy and gave her something fabulous to wear!


For the cookies, I used the middle cutter (2"x3" rectangle) from the Ateco 3-Piece Rectangular Cookie Cutter Set available through Amazon. I piped the border in white with a #16 star tip.


I will definitely make some for a premiere party for the show!


The Downton Abbey-esque wafer papers are available for purchase here.
A step-by-step how-to for decorating cookies with wafer papers can be found here.

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Halloween Medieval Memento Mori Cookies


Continuing along our Medieval Macabre Halloween Cookie trajectory begun by the "Dance of Death" Cookies, here are some Memento mori cookies.

These cookies are based on various Medieval manuscript images in which skeletons and zombie-like personifications of Death brandish weapons and drag people to the grave. They are part of a Medieval Memento mori tradition (literally: "Remember, thou shalt die") which served to remind the living that they, too, would die, so it was best to amend one's ways now, before facing Judgment. I like the idea of making Halloween cookies that are elegant and unusual, with a historical element. The Memento mori tradition was not, of course, for Halloween originally; it served as a year-round reminder, but I think it suits well.

I made the cookies with the largest cutter from the R & M Fluted Rectangular Cookie Cutter Set. I piped borders with a #16 star tip. These are on gingerbread, and the dough I used swelled an unpredictably huge amount; with a different dough, or even the same dough rolled thinner, I bet I could have gotten a prettier result. The border was piped in beige icing with a #16 star tip, then gilded with Wilton Pearl Dust in Gold.



The Memento mori wafer papers are available for purchase here.
A step-by-step how-to for decorating cookies with wafer papers can be found here.

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Monday, September 10, 2012

Halloween Dance of Death Cookies


Ordinarily, I'd wait until Halloween to make ghoulish cookies; but, I thought I'd make some ahead of time, so that those of you who are clamoring to buy Halloween wafer papers can do so in plenty of time and can make your own macabre masterpieces.

These cookies are based on a Medieval manuscript, which has gorgeous roundels depicting the "Dance of Death"; images in which skeletons haul away persons of various estates to the grave. They are part of a Medieval Memento mori tradition (literally: "Remember, thou shalt die") which served to remind the living that they, too, would die, so it was best to amend one's ways now, before facing Judgment. Creepy & cool. I liked the idea of making Halloween cookies that were elegant and unusual, with a historical element. The Danse macabre was not, of course, for Halloween originally; it was a year-round reminder, but I think it suits well.

The cookies were made with a 2.5" round fluted-edge cookie cutter from the Fox Run 6-Piece Plain and Crinkled Double Sided Biscuit Cutter Set. These are on sugar cookies, but I think, for Halloween proper, I'll make them on gingerbread. The border was piped in beige icing with a #16 star tip, then gilded with Wilton Pearl Dust in Gold.



The Dance of Death wafer papers are available for purchase here.
A step-by-step how-to for decorating cookies with wafer papers can be found here.

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Sunday, September 9, 2012

Delicate Porcelain Bird Cookies


My aunt collects china with birds and, to me, the most beautiful are Sèvres porcelain. These cookies are made with wafer papers based on images of 18th-century Sèvres plates.

The cookies were made with a 2.5" round fluted-edge cookie cutter from the Fox Run 6-Piece Plain and Crinkled Double Sided Biscuit Cutter Set. The border was piped with a #16 star tip.



The Sèvres porcelain bird cookie wafer papers are available for purchase here.
A step-by-step how-to for decorating cookies with wafer papers can be found here.

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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Mother Goose Nursery Rhyme Cookies


These wafer paper cookies are based on images from the 1915 Volland edition of Mother Goose, edited by Eulalia Osgoode Grover and illustrated by Frederick Richardson. The images are gorgeous, and each one has the nursery rhyme with the illustration, so the cookies can be read before eating. I sent them to my cousin, whose little ones started school and kindergarten, respectively, this week.

I made the cookies with the largest cutter from the R & M Fluted Rectangular Cookie Cutter Set. I piped borders with a #16 star tip. My dog stole one, and I gave one to my toddler, and everyone was pleased :)

I only wish my photos were better, but I had already shipped the cookies by the time I uploaded my pictures and realized they weren't up to snuff. Live and learn!




The wafer papers can be purchased HERE.

For more detailed directions for how to use wafer papers,
visit: How to Decorate Cookies with Wafer Papers.

Happy decorating!
Anniina

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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Delft Blue Porcelain Cookies


Yesterday, my neighbor Marcia turned 60. She collects Dutch china, specifically Delft blue porcelain plates and vases, so making her these cookies was a no-brainer. The images are all from 18th- and 19th-century antique plates.

I made the cookies with the fluted-edge 2.5" round cookie cutter from the Fox Run 6-Piece Plain and Crinkled Double Sided Biscuit Cutter Set. The border was piped with a #16 star tip.


The Delft Blue cookie wafer papers are available for purchase here.
A step-by-step how-to for decorating cookies with wafer papers can be found here.

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Sunday, August 26, 2012

Classic Fairytale Cookies


I made these fairytale cookies for a charity auction. There are 15 different pictures of vintage fairytale illustrations from Victorian and Edwardian storybooks. I made the cookies with the middle cutter (2" x 3") from the Ateco 3-Piece Rectangular Cookie Cutter Set. The border was piped with a #16 star tip.


The fairytale cookie wafer papers are available for purchase here.
A step-by-step how-to for decorating cookies with wafer papers can be found here.

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Monday, August 6, 2012

Train Cookies for Little Engine Drivers


My son is obsessed with all vehicles, but trains especially. It all started with Thomas the Tank Engine (or Thomas & Friends, as it's now known). He then branched out to Chuggington, and the episode of Dora the Explorer where they help a little blue train win a whistle is among our most played.

Thomas and Chuggington are, of course, under copyright, so I knew I wanted to make some cookies from vintage steam engine images. I found the perfect thing in a set of Victorian trading cards—two of the trains even look like Thomas, and the green and red engines are reminiscent of Percy and James, a brown one looks much like Bash, and a dark green one is even named Belle in reality.

I made these cookies with the middle cookie cutter from the Ateco 3-Piece Rectangle Cutter Set. The border was piped with a #16 star tip.


The train cookie wafer papers are available for purchase here.
A step-by-step how-to for decorating cookies with wafer papers can be found here.

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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Cookies for Cody Charity Auction


4-year-old Cody has been fighting neuroblastoma for a year, and his aunt, The Recipe Renovator, has organized an online bakesale to help Cody's family with the high medical expenses. You can help by bidding on the three dozen baked goods (traditional as well as vegan and gluten-free) and the over 50 signed cookbooks between now and August 5.

I made 15 fairytale cookies for the auction:

Visit Cookies for Cody for more information, and to bid. Thank you.

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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Medieval / Renaissance Knight Cookies





As you know, I love Medieval manuscripts, so when I ran into these gorgeous images from the 15th-century Italian Capodilista Codex, I knew I had to turn them into cookies. The knights are arrayed in their gorgeous jousting armor, the horses and banners are rich in color. I made these cookies with my trusty 2.5"x3" cutter from the R & M Fluted Rectangular Cookie Cutter Set, piped beige borders with a #16 star tip, and gilded them with Wilton Pearl Dust in Gold. My son is just a toddler, so he doesn't understand anything about knights yet, but I bet he will in a few years, and then I'll be making them again for a boys' playdate or party!


The wafer papers can be purchased HERE.

For more detailed directions for how to use wafer papers,
visit: How to Decorate Cookies with Wafer Papers.

Happy decorating!
Anniina

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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Vintage Car Cookies





My toddler boy fell in love with cars—or, more rightly, anything with wheels—soon after his first birthday. I wanted to make a set of cookies especially for him and antique cars seemed an obvious choice. These are 2" x 3" sugar cookies with orange flavored icing; the border was piped with a #13 star tip. The wafer paper images are from vintage ads (1917-23). They were a big hit! :) 



The car cookie wafer papers are available for purchase here.
A step-by-step how-to for decorating cookies with wafer papers can be found here.

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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

4th of July Independence Day Cookies


These 4th of July cookies are made with wafer papers of vintage postcards, 1907-1912. The red border is piped with a #16 star tip. My favorite is the Yankee Doodle Dandy cookie, above top right :)


Happy 4th!
~Anniina

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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Six Wives of Henry VIII Cookies





One of the first cookies I googled, when I became interested in making cookies, was "Henry VIII cookie". Didn't find much. "Tudor cookies", no better luck. I knew I had to do a "Six Wives of Henry VIII" cookie set with wafer papers—I mean, come on, who doesn't want the chance to bite off Henry VIII's head off! :D

Two of the portraits already were round miniatures with blue backgrounds; the others, I photoshopped onto blue backgrounds, for uniformity. Each cookie has gold text with the subject's name, so you know exactly whom you are eating. Seven cookies aren't enough for anybody (right?!), so I made it a full set of ten by adding Henry VIII's three legitimate children, all of whom became monarchs themselves: Mary, Elizabeth, and Edward.

These cookies were made with Walker's Raspberry Shortbread Thins, which were the perfect size, a smidge over 2" round. The Henry VIII cookie is a 2" x 3" rectangle. I iced them with lemon-flavored icing, and piped a border with a #16 star tip, which then got gilded with Wilton Pearl Dust in Gold.








The wafer papers can be purchased HERE.

For more detailed directions for how to use wafer papers,
visit: How to Decorate Cookies with Wafer Papers.

Happy decorating!
Anniina

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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Fairy Cookies from Wafer Papers





Some days seem lacking in magic, so you have to create it yourself. These fairy cookies were made with wafer papers of 1920s fairy illustrations by Australian artist Ida Outhwaite. I used a cookie cutter from the R & M Fluted Rectangular Cookie Cutter Set—by far my favorite and most-used cookie cutter set. I piped the borders with light gray icing, using a #16 star tip. Then, I 'painted' the border with Wilton Pearl Dust in Silver. Presto! Instant magic :) 



The fairy cookie wafer papers are available for purchase here.
A step-by-step how-to for decorating cookies with wafer papers can be found here.

Read more »

Friday, June 1, 2012

Peter Rabbit Wafer Paper Cookies


These were the very first wafer papers I made (and among the first cookie photos, hence the poor lighting, &c.). I used a 2.25"H cookie cutter from the R & M Fluted Rectangular Cookie Cutter Set—it seemed pricey at the time, but has turned out to be the set I use most. There are 3 different designs, and I piped a pearl-like border for them. Grownups and kids alike wanted to gobble them up. I only had one, because they were so pretty, I just couldn't!

Start with sugar cookies iced white.
Icing must be hard (about 2 days).

 
Cut wafer paper images to the size
of your iced rectangle. 

"Glue" with light corn syrup. 

 
Pipe dots on the edge.

 
Finished!

The wafer papers can be gotten HERE.

For more detailed directions for how to use wafer papers,
visit: How to Decorate Cookies with Wafer Papers.

Happy decorating!
Anniina

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Monday, May 28, 2012

How to Decorate Cookies with Wafer Papers


Each time I make a set of cookies with wafer papers, I get asked, "How do you make those?" Cookies with edible images look really impressive (and like you're a superhero of cookie decorating), when, in fact, they are super easy and require almost no skill. I always say, "If you know how to glue, you know how to make these." 

 WHAT YOU WILL NEED 

 1. Wafer Paper Images. Edible images printed on wafer paper are available at a few places. Through my Cookie Pixie Etsy Store, of course, but I've only a limited selection at present. They are also available through Fancy Flours, and searching for "wafer paper" at Etsy is always a good idea. Alternately, you can purchase a new inkjet printer, a set of edible ink cartridges, as well as blank wafer paper. It's quite an investment (and a pain in the patootie, if you ask me), though, so you might want to try your hand at it first and see if it's something you think you'll do a lot of before you make that kind of investment of time and money. If you do decide to go that route, spend the extra money and get the edible inks from Kopykake—my first set of inks, I didn't, and they ended up ruining my first edible printer.

2. The Cookies Themselves. You can make your own cookies, using any recipe you like. Gingerbread, shortbread, or sugar cookies are all great. My favorite at the moment is this sugar cookie recipe by Sugarbelle. The dough is not sticky (!), which makes getting the dough out from between even intricate shapes easy—not the usual hairpulling, stressful cookie prep most of us are used to. Furthermore, the cookies spread incredibly little in the oven and rarely lose their shape. The resulting cookies look uniform and smooth, perfect for decorating. Someone will really have to twist my arm to get me to ever try another sugar cookie recipe, I'm so in love with this one. 

Cheat: Instead of spending 1 day baking, you can use store-bought cookies. For the Medieval Alphabet Cookies in these photos, I used Lorna Doone shortbread cookies straight from my grocery store's cookie isle. 

3. The Icing. You will need Royal Icing in 2 consistencies—"piping" and "flooding" (see the icing post for recipe & clarification). For the Medieval Alphabet Cookies in these photos, I used beige Royal Icing in a thicker-than-usual "piping" consistency, because I needed the final gold border to really hold its shape. The "flooding" icing needs to be white, because that is the background for your wafer paper image, and anything other than white will not bring out the best in your wafer paper images. 

4. Light Corn Syrup. This will act as your glue for the paper and needs to be clear. I once tried with molasses and... well, it was a sad and sordid end result including lots of hairpulling and ruined cookies. 

5. A small brush. Some say to use a foam brush, but I prefer these synthetic children's paint brushes. I got them at Target (in the aisle with the crayons and kids' paints)—I've "glued" countless cookies with them and have never had a hair come loose. 

The rest of the ingredients you only need if you're making a gold border:

6. Wilton Pearl Dust in Gold. The gold dust comes in a little vial—you mix some with a few drops of lemon extract until you have a thin, gold "paint". You can get it through Amazon

7. Lemon Extract. You can use pretty much any clear (or nearly clear) alcohol-based baking extract. Lemon just happens to be my favorite—it adds a hint of flavor, without being overpowering. By the spices in just about any grocery store. 

8. Scissors. For cutting the wafer paper images to size/shape you need.

STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTIONS:


1. For a gold-bordered cookie, pipe a border on the cookie with the beige "piping" icing; for all other cookies, pipe border in whatever your icing color is. Then, fill with the white "flooding" icing. Even if your borders will be a different color, the flooding needs to be white, to serve as a backdrop for the wafer paper image. As you see from the picture, the piping edges don't have to be perfectly neat—all minor sins will be hidden under the wafer paper and border. 

 2. Wait at least 24 hrs for the icing to have dried perfectly hard. With small cookies, 24h will suffice, with larger I usually wait 36-48 hours. The waiting is the hardest part of this whole process. 

 3.Cut the wafer paper images to size—by this I mean the size of your iced square, not the size of the cookie. I like to snip off the corners.


4. "Paint" the whole back of the wafer paper image with corn syrup, making sure to cover the edges well. Careful not to get corn syrup on the image side—the corn syrup splotches will show up shiny (but not in a good way). If there is high humidity, or the wafer paper is not sticking down, the alternate method is to "paint" corn syrup directly onto the hardened royal icing, a few cookies at a time then waiting 5 minutes while the corn syrup dries some and gets stickier (it'll bead up and look weird, but don't worry), then paste the papers on.


5. Gently paste the wafer paper image on the cookie. You will have a couple of moments to wiggle it into place perfectly. Make sure to press down the edges well. You will need to return to the cookie a few times to press down the edges again. If/when your fingers get sticky from the corn syrup, wash your hands. Some days, I'm so clumsy I have to wash my hands between each cookie! Make sure your hands are completely dry before continuing--moisture on your hands will ruin your wafer paper images the second they come into contact.

  6. Wait for the corn syrup to dry. If you are in a huge hurry, an hour or so will be sufficient, but I like to wait until the next day.


7. For a gold border, pipe a border with super-stiff beige icing; for a non-gold border, pipe the border in any color you wish. For small cookies like these (1.5" square), I like to use a #13 star tip. For bigger cookies, bigger star tips or leaf tips—your choice, really. (I apologize for the poor focus on the photo—I was piping with my right hand, and my clumsy left hand was trying to snap the photo). For more on piping, see this piping post at Karen's Cookies.

8. You guessed it. Wait for the border to dry—depending on its thickness, a few hours to a half day.

If you are doing a plain white or colored border, that's it! The steps that follow are for a gold border:

9. When the border is dry, put only a few drops of clear(ish) extract (or Everclear, Vodka, or other super-strong clear alcohol) in a dish. Tap some edible gold powder into it and mix with your brush. This is the trial and error portion of the process—you don't need it to be thick or pasty, but too little gold powder and you won't be able to really "paint" with it. You'll get the hang of it really quickly. The alcohol will evaporate as you work, but don't worry: just add a drop more liquid when it happens and you're good to go again. The alcohol evaporates fully, by the time your border is dry; these will be safe to feed to infants as well as alcoholics in recovery.

For the love of all that is holy, do not add any water—water, even the tiniest hint of it, anywhere near the wafer paper, and it's game over. The wafer paper will curl and melt right in front of your eyes like the Wicked Witch in The Wizard of Oz. 

10. The fun part: PAINT! You don't have to press at all, just gentle strokes. As you see from the photo, in addition to the edges, I sometimes like to gild the parts in the manuscript, which would've been gilt in the original. Provided your "paint" isn't too wet, it's perfectly safe to gild wafer paper without it bubbling.

That's it, really. It doesn't take a lot of skill, just a lot of patience. If I make cookies from scratch and wait the proper amount of time for everything to be dry, it takes me about 4 days from beginning to end. If I have store-bought cookies & I'm impatient, I can do a set in 2+ days. I recommend trying it—it's fun and the end results really are worth it!

 Happy decorating!
 Anniina


Another post with step-by-step images is the Peter Rabbit Cookies post.

The Medieval manuscript wafer papers seen in these photos can be purchased here.

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