Hey you guuuuuuuys!!! As we have been trying to get back into custom orders I thought it might be helpful for everyone if I put out a lil rundown on the various materials/techniques I use, and therefore can offer! That way when you see that there is a big price difference between something hand-piped, and something the edible printer can do, you will kinda know why!
Essentially cookies are relatively cheap to make, BUT I have super limited time and I like to buy all the fancy cookie toys, so Anika must price things accordingly! And I'm not allowed to say boo about it because I don't know anything about anything money-wise :) UGH I hate talking about business stuff!! MOVING ONNNNNNNNNNNN
Here is a super basic summary of what you could potentially find atop an unconventional cookie:
This is my basic go-to icing. I usually just use vanilla, but it is possible to add a wide-variety of flavors easily. It dries hard and matte.
Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting
This is usually my go-to frosting for cupcakes, but I mainly use it for filling with cookies. The recipe I use only calls for a small amount of granulated sugar and no confectioner’s sugar, which results in a richer, less cloyingly sweet (in my humble opinion) buttercream. This frosting does not dry, and remains soft and fluffy at room temp. However it will stiffen to roughly the consistency of a stick of butter (go figure) when refrigerated.
In the past I have used this as sour cream for the January box's burritos and Knoephla soup in the ND box.
I rarely use fondant on cookies because most people prefer the taste of royal icing. I actually couldn't even find a picture of a project I have used it on. It is useful for making sculptural and decorative elements.
I hardly ever use this because it is sticky and doesn’t dry BUT it remains pretty transparent and shiny so it definitely has its uses. I’ve been known to dye a little bit red with some food coloring and use it as blood from time to time.
Chocolate and Candy Melts
I'm not much of a chocolatier and every time I do a project heavily involving chocolate work I curse myself and swear I will never do it again. White chocolate seems to be easier to work with than milk or dark, and candy melts are about the same difficulty as white chocolate and come in lots of colors. They taste okay. Kinda like almond bark. Is that what they are? I know I should know this, and it would be a simple matter of opening another tab and googling it, but I know if I do that then I will see an ad for some hideous sweatshirt I need and then I better check eBay to see if there is some Pyrex I can't live without then who knows. I need to stay on-task people!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm not to be trusted.
Talk about a love/hate relationship. I'm very new to this stuff. It's temperamental and really cool when it turns out. It's essentially candy glass made from a sugar substitute. Diabetic friendly! (but we still don't let Mo eat it).
I heart me a novelty sprinkle! I painstakingly place them individually with my sprinkle tweezers and love every dang second of it!
Oh man this photo is old. This was one of the very first cookies I ever decorated!
I also like to make my own "sprinkles" out of royal icing, and sometimes other sprinkles... if that makes sense... I pipe onto parchment paper, wait for them to dry completely, then voila! Cutie tootie lil edible teeny tiny baby things!
K as far as decorating techniques here is everything I am currently able to pull off:
Its called flooding because you build a “dam” around the border with piping consistency icing and then use the much runnier “flood” consistency icing to fill in the middle. It dries flat and GORG!
Here is an example of some plain flooded cookies:
Using a stiffer, toothpaste-like consistency icing in a piping bag, I use this technique for everything from piping the border to adding tiny details. This is the most time consuming (and fun) part of cookie decorating for me :) I like to use lots of different tips to create various effects.
The various examples of piping are on most of my cookies. Here is just a simple monochromatic heart that I used piping icing on to draw the outlines.
Some people dip their cookies in flood consistency icing instead of doing the pipe dam then flood technique. I don't. Therefore I have no pics of it. I can never get it to look nice enough, but I know some people swear by it. I really have only used dipping to cover round 3-d cookies like the caramel apple one I did for the Halloween box.
I LOVE airbrushing cookies! I would say I use the airbrush in some way or another on most of my cookies. I use it to add a pearly sparkle all over some cookies like the unicorns. OR to add some free-hand shading to cookies – I use this a LOT for food cookies. OR to turn a cookie a different color. ORRRRRRRRRR to add patterns, pictures and textures with stencils. It's fun, it's messy, it's loud. It's basically me if I was a machine.
I don't do a TON of hand painting on cookies because if you think I'm slow now, just tell me to paint on something. Oh mama, its paaaaaaaainfully slow. AND FUN!
In the past I have painted with:
Gel food color & edible airbrush color (perfect for Abstract Expressionism!)
Royal icing (this... kind of works. The background on this Schitt's Creek sign is flood consistency icing painted on with a paintbrush.)
Don't worry. It's his sister.
AND luster dust. Most commonly I hand paint metallic luster dust mixed with Everclear to make a metallic paint. It looks waaaaaaaay better than the airbrushed metallics and its fun to buy a jug of Everclear on my company card. Don't worry your little mind grapes about it y'all, it evaporates almost instantly and leaves zero booze or boozey taste behind! Unless you wanted that... then just dip your cookie into Everclear instead of milk and *enjoy!
*We here at UNCO do not actually suggest you do this. Not only does it probably make you go temporarily blind, it is a waste of a perfectly good cookie.
Here is a side by side of airbrushed metallic and then the hand-painted metallic.
It is what it sounds like, except for instead of ink I use stiff royal icing. It is messy and fun and can be kinda time consuming if you're making custom stencils and screens and getting all in-depth with it, or relatively quick if you're using a ready-made stencil.
Here is a key fob cookie I screen printed a logo on.
These are great for quick, fine details. A lot of people use them for lettering but my handwriting has been likened to that of a serial killer's so I don't personally use them for that...
And the last tool in my proverbial shed is my new boyfriend Eddie the Edible Printer <3
So this is my newest and favoritist toy at the moment :) It is a printer that prints edible ink DIRECTLY onto a cookie. No printing onto fondant or wafer paper and transferring garbage!! Its so rad!! It can print graphics AND photos! So if you want to print a photo of your mortal enemy onto a cookie and then literally BITE THEIR HEAD OFF!!! You can! Just hit me up!!! I'll have Anika put a vengeance voodoo cookie in the shop for people to order...
Here are some projects I have done with Eddie so far
ALSO I am a classically trained Graphic Designer (ummmm you're not a real thing) so we can make all your most customized fantasies come TRUE!!! Want me to photoshop your head onto Burt Reynolds naked on a bear skin rug, then print it on a cookie? DONE. Anika we'll call that the "Big Daddy Special" cookie.
Wow this blog has gotten away from me. I was just trying to make a reference for people...
So in conclusion there are pros and cons to each choice, but hopefully this helps if you are trying to describe what you want for a custom order or you're trying to get ideas or whatever :)
Please let me know if you need anything clarified or WHATEVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Luv luv luv,