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.

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