I have recently started back working one day a week at my old job from before I had the kids.
I'm really enjoying the work, and they are a lovely bunch of people, but one of the biggest perks is that it's in the city and I get to go shopping at lunch time........without 3 kids running around screaming.
As well behaved as my kids normally are and as much as I adore them, clothes shopping is just not fun with them along. I have lost count of the number of times they have crawled under the change rooms into someone else's stall so in respect of those other shoppers I have mostly given up.
Black bow with cameo, part of cardigan from Kitten D'Amour
But with my new found one day a week freedom I was able to venture into, actually try on and buy a few pieces from the latest clothing collection at Kitten D'Amour. I totally loved them so much I was inspired to make some delicious cookies.
Disclaimer - these cookies are in no way affiliated with Kitten D'Amour - I just really like their packaging and stuck one of my cookies onto the spot where their cute stuff normally rests. Pop over and see the lovely stuff they actually do sell.
Plus I have those gorgeous Cameo molds sitting around that I have not used for about a year, and this seemed like a really good excuse to use them.
I took these along to a BBQ for everyone to try and they were a hit, although as a word of warning everyone's teeth were temporarily turned blue for a minute or too. I used premade black fondant that someone kindly had given me. Normally I try to use less food colour and make my own with chocolate fondant which uses a bit less black colour. Or you could make them in blue and white which would be a bit Tiffanyish and super pretty as well.
Hair fascinator by Kitten D'Amour
Anyhoo before I start on the how to's just a couple of house keeping things.
In case I haven't mentioned it a squillion times I have a book coming out in December which is available through preorder. So every post I'll be having a link to it....... sorry to bore anyone if you've already seen it (and yes I do feel like a tv commercial).
Also I am having stacks of trouble with my blogger account and I might be moving to a new one soon. But I'll give y'all plenty of notice if that's the case.
Baroque and Black Velvet Cameo Cookies
Chocolate cookie dough (click here for recipe)
Black fondant, pink fondant and tiny amount of white fondant
Royal Icing in black and white
Small amount of gold disco dust (like edible glitter) optional
Square cookie cutter with ruffle edge# (mine were 5cm (2") square)
Cameo mold - (mine are aldaval 9003 and 9007 the finished cameos are about 4cm (1 5/8") X 2.7cm(1 1/8"))
icing bags with #1 tip (small round tip)
Small flower ejector
Small rolling pin
small sharp knife
brush and a little water
Cornflour (cornstarch) for dusting
#My square cookie cutters are a set of d.line ones I picked up from Kitchenware Plus, I have noticed them at Robin's as well.
#I picked up my Cameo molds quite a while ago from the UK. I'm not sure where you can purchase them at the moment but on the back of the pack they have an email address firstname.lastname@example.org
Make up the cookies using the square cookie cutter with ruffled edges and allow to cool.
Work out how many of each type of cookie you will need and make the corresponding amount of decorations. So for example if you are making 18 cookies, half pink and half black, you will need 3 pink cameos, 3 pink bows, 3 black/white cameos, 3 black bows and 6 small flowers.
Use the cameo mold to make up some cameo's. Make sure before you start to pop a little oil/shortening into the mold. I rub a little crisco on, but use what ever you would normally use. Press some fondant that you have kneaded a little to make pliable into the impression in the mold, pressing in well and then use a knife to cut off any excess from the top of the mold so that the back of the cameo will be flat. Pop the mold into the freezer for 30 seconds and then pop the cameo shape out onto some parchment paper until you need to use it. Repeat and make as many as required. I made some in all pink and some with white and black.
Make up some bows using the pink and black fondant, I was really lazy with this bit as I was going to make fondant pearl centers to cover the middles but then I just dolloped some royal icing which didn't work out so good. Use a knife to cut strips of fondant and then fold the edges into the middle to make the top bow section, pop little bits of plastic wrap (Glad wrap) into the loops to help them hold their shape. Cut out more strips to make the ends of the bows look like ribbon hanging down. Use a little bit of water to stick the bits together. Make up a white fondant pearl for the middle and stick it into the center of the bow.
Press out a couple of small flowers using the flower ejector. If you like dust them with a small amount of water and some edible glitter or disco dust and pop a little round dot of fondant into the middle.
Roll out the black fondant onto a cornflour dusted workbench until a couple of mm thick (1/8") and using the cookie cutter cut out fondant shapes. I used the square side but you can just use the ruffled one. Take a knife and cut a few mm (1/8") off each side so the fondant will be a little bit smaller that the finished cookie. Brush a little bit of water onto the cookie and adhere the fondant to the cookie using the rolling pin to press in down. If necessary use the knife to even up the edges. I do this by pressing the fondant back into shape by putting the dull edge of the knife against the cookie and pressing it gently in towards the middle. Just a little to make the edge even. If you are having trouble with the cornflour making the black look all white and dusty you can try using a little white shortening to grease the workbench instead.
Repeat with the pink fondant so that you have some cookies with a black background and some with a pink background.
Mix up some royal icing, it's a good idea to do the black the night before if you have a chance. Get the icing to a consistency that you can pipe with. This is kinda the tricky part, too stiff and it will be peaking with pointy dots, too runny and it will not hold it's shape. So when you are mixing it the consistency should be still quite thick, but if you run your spoon through it drops down after about 10 seconds....yeah ok if like me your not quite that perfect I'll share a little trick and all the perfect cookie pipers please close your eyes and look the other way ;)
Pop the black and the white royal icing into the piping bags with #1 tips. Royal icing dries up really quickly so I use a bit of damp paper towel wrapped around the tips to stop it from drying out in between uses and stick it into an airtight container.
Start by sticking the cameos and the bows into the middles of the cookies with a bit of royal icing. I stuck pink cameos and bows onto the black cookie backgrounds and correspondingly black and white cameos and bows onto the pink background cookies. Pipe little dots all the way around the base of the cameo.
Pipe on the 'necklaces' I practiced on a piece of paper first by drawing a shape the size of the cookie and drawing in three lines to represent the 'strands' and drawing a flower on one of them. Then I piped dots along the strands to work out how many dots might be needed on each strand. Once I was happy with that I just piped them onto the cookie freehand. I piped the top six dots, three on each side and then worked my way down, adhering the flower with a little royal icing.
You can allow the cookies to rest a little and set, or like me just keep on going and risk smudging them. Pipe dots around the edge of the cookies. I used white royal icing on the black fondant background cookies and black royal icing on the pink fondant background cookies. Once again practice on a piece of paper first if you like, I used a #1 tip but if you like you could swap up to a #2, you just need to squeeze a little bit longer with the #1. Pipe dots around the whole edge of the cookie, I made mine correspond with the ruffled edges.
OK now if you didn't quite get the icing perfect and its too stiff and it's a bit 'peaky' pop a small amount of water onto your finger and push the edge of the peak down a little to make the edge look rounded. Make sure your fingers are clean (y'all would be doing that anyway I know) or use clean new gloves and remember just a tiny amount of water or you'll make the icing smudge and with the black it might run onto the pink fondant and you will need to wipe bits off with paper towels and it'll get super messy. If in doubt practice on that bit of paper first.
Once the pink fondant cookies with the black royal icing are set, you can go around and pipe a tiny white dot onto the top of each black royal icing or you can just skip that step, they look good either way.