Monday, April 4, 2011

using a stencil on a cookie

As requested...I am going to tell you everything I know about using stencils. This should take about 3 minutes. Seriously, these red egg cookies were the first time I had ever used a stencil. So I'm definitely not what you would call an "expert" or even "good" with stencils. This is just how I did it.

Some basic needs of stencil work:
1) A stencil. The stencil I used is part of a set called "Flower Explosion." It was designed for cake, not cookies. I do what I want. You can too.
2) Thick royal icing. THICK. Like cookie dough thick. If you think it's thick enough, turn the bowl upside down. If you hesitated -- it's not thick enough.
3) Some sort of flat edge to spread the icing -- spatula, scraper, firm ruler...
4) Cookies. You can stencil on a nekkid cookie, cover it in fondant, or flood it with royal and let it dry overnight before stenciling. I went with fondant because I'm impatient like that.

If you have never used a stencil before, just stop right here for a minute and breathe. Then put your stencil down on the counter. 

Then put some icing on whatever straight edge you choose. Hold the stencil down with one hand, and with the other hand that is holding the iced up straight edge at an angle, lightly sweep it across the top of the stencil. (It really should be angled. But I couldn't angle it AND take a picture. I'm not that capable.)

Try to make it smooth-ish. Its okay if its not perfect after the first swipe. As long as you are firmly holding the stencil to the surface, you can sweep your straight edge across again. Or switch it out and use a scraper to make it smooth. That's your choice. Don't let anyone else make it for you.

Holding on to both sides of the stencil, gently lift STRAIGHT UP. Gently. And you have a beautiful, if not weirdly incomplete, stenciled pattern on your counter. Easy peasy.

Just remember that you used thick royal icing. It gets dry quick. So as much as you want to just stand there and bask in the joy of your very first stencil work...better get to scraping that off soon.

Once you feel comfortable with your counter top designs, you can try it out on a real live cookie. Since I used a stencil that was not designed for cookies, it definitely hangs off the edge. (I like that look in the finished product...but its trickier to apply.) And since it hangs off the edge, I can't hold it firmly against the cookie. See that gap between the stencil and the top of the cookie? That is NOT ideal.

So...seriously...don't judge me for this. I put cookies on either side of the one I am going to stencil. And then I put notepads under each cookie that are the exact thickness of the fondant. Then I put the stencil on top of the whole shebang (actual, real word--look it up if you don't believe me) and press down on the edges of the stencil that are resting on the other cookies.

And then put the icing on just like you did when the stencil was on the counter. As much as I like being normal...I could sure use an extra arm sometimes. I tried to get my 4 year old to take a picture but he just wanted to eat the icing. So imagine a beautiful picture here that answers all your remaining questions. Got it?

As before, gently pull the stencil straight up. Then I take a toothpick and gently wipe off the icing that went over the edges of the cookie.

 And then just stand there and stare at the amazing-ness of your stenciled cookies. Your cookies, not mine. Don't look too close at these little gems. You all make me nervous.

And because I know you're going to *need* them --



Get the Tier 1 Stencil HERE.





Get the Tier 2 Stencil HERE.





Get the Tier 3 Stencil HERE.



Get the Tier 4 Stencil HERE.








Or get the entire set HERE.

16 comments:

Bea @ CancunCookies said...

Love stenciled COOKIES... Yours are amazing!

Renette said...

love the cookies! thanks for the instructions. I was thinking of attempting the technique all weekend. I went to a thrift store this weekend and found flowered patterns that I want to make stencils out of....:)...Oh and also found a set of gingerbread house cookie cutters!!!

Lora said...

Great tutorial, thanks! Now it's time to dust off tose unused stencils and give this a try.

Glora said...

I keep thinking that one day I will be brave enough to try out these awesome techniques. You are amazing! Hugs- Glora

lizy b said...

RUNNING out for stencils right now!!!!! Thanks for the tutorial! It always seems so much easier when you can see all the steps!

Signature Sugar said...

I think I can, I think I can.....will try soon! Thank you very much for the tutorial. And teach that 4-year old to take photos! LOL :)

Sue said...

Thanks for sharing such a great technique! It looks beautiful and so impressive!

Susie said...

I had this vision of an exacto knife...this actually looks like something I could do! Once again, many thanks for the tutorial....

Yaneri said...

Oh my word! Girl, you rock with your designs!! You for sure wow me!!...lol! For sure will keep up with what your doing! Got lots to learn! I'm hooked!! hehehe!

Brittany said...

I love your commentary Georganne. You crack me up! And thanks for the tutorial. I will have to try it sometime soon!

paddle attachment said...

Very pretty. Thanks for the tutorial!

Kimberly Chapman said...

"I do what I want. You can too."

I heart you. Wish more people believed this!

Added you to my blogroll at eat-the-evidence.com. Your fearlessness and writing style are right up my alley. Awesome.

SweetSugarBelle said...

This makes me feel much better! i always do that too! How else can you do it?! I have been trying to talk my hubby into making me a little 1/2 inch plywood with a notch cut out but we will see how that goes...

Roxana GreenGirl said...

for more than one hour I've been looking at your perfect decorated cookies and read more than 25 posts.
I'm speechless. You pipe icing so perfect. and since you're not an outliner makes it more difficult.

I'm your new stalker, i mean follower. can't wait to read and drool more at your sweet treats.
thanks for taking the time to share your knowledge with me

Unknown said...

Great info. Laughing the entire time. Love it!!

Miss_Toni said...

I am SO excited to have found this. I have a plan to use this. I'd never even considered stencilling with icing (on cakes OR cookies) and I was brainstorming for a cake I'm planning and I stumbled across this! I think it's going to be amazing. I may even be so impressed by my LilaLoa inspired stencil that I'll email you a picture to show you that you are an amazing and talented woman, baker and teacher.
Thank you Thank you Thank you!!
Unless I fail then damn you damn you! haha

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