When I think of starfish, these beauties come to mind.
Do you know that they are called "Sugar Starfish"?! Honest! And with a name like that, I just knew I had to cookie them! After studying many starfish pictures, I thought that I would try to recreate the texture with royal icing and nonpareils.
The Wizard of Oz holds some intense memories for me. The flying monkeys. "I'll get you my pretty!" in that unforgettable voice. When the witch's legs curl up after the house lands on her- yeah, that creeped me out the most. Those scenes spawned a *few* nightmares when I was little. As an adult, however, I can't help but tear up when Judy Garland sings "Over the Rainbow". There really is no place like home. And I still catch my breath when Dorothy opens her front door in Oz. You know the scene. It's magic.
So I was thrilled at the opportunity to create a Wizard of Oz inspired cookie collection. My mind was overwhelmed with all the possibilities. And of course, there HAD to be a rainbow!
Let me show you how EASY it is to make this pretty rainbow! You'll need a dry, plain white cookie, an airbrush, and yellow, blue, and red airbrush color. If you don't have an airbrush, the Wilton sprays will work, too!
My rainbow shapes were easy. Take a round cookie shape and cut in half. Two rainbows for the price of one cookie- SCORE! Bake and flood white.
Start with the yellow airbrush color. Spray the middle third of your cookie. Since you have yellow in your airbrush, go ahead and do the yellow on all of your rainbows now. Less clean up later.
Clean your airbrush, and put blue color in the cup. This time, you'll spray the bottom third of your rainbow. Be sure to spray OVER the bottom edge of the yellow. You will get a lovely transition from yellow to green to blue! Think of that old ziploc commercial (Yellow and Blue make GREEN!- anyone remember that?). Spray the blue on all your cookies.
Clean your airbrush and add red. This time, you'll spray in two locations. First, spray the top third of your rainbow, and overlap the top part of the yellow. Red + Yellow = ORANGE! Next, spray a little hemisphere of red over the edge of the blue. Blue + Red = Violet (purple, indigo, whatever). You'll have a pretty rainbow!
Here's a close up- so easy and so pretty! Lightly brush over the airbrush with powdered sugar to "set" the airbrushed color.
These rainbows would be great for birthdays and St. Paddy's Day.
And, of course, to pay homage to The Wizard of Oz.
What's your favorite part of The Wizard of Oz?
So let me get the mushy stuff out of the way. I made these cookies for my husband (although my children will probably eat most of them) because I am, well, nuts about him. The typical Valentines hearts and flowers just doesn't "fit" our relationship. We are two crazy kids (err. .thirty-somethings) that were college sweethearts. Our offspring think we're whack-o when we crank up Young MC's "Bust a Move" and rap every word. Loudly. Some think we're bonkers because Mike encouraged me to quit my job to create cookies every day.
Yup- I am crazy about him, and our nutty ways.
Which is why I made him some cookie nuts. And some cookie squirrels too. Because nothing says "Happy Valentine's Day" like some squirrels and their nuts. At least it does in my house.
I would love to show you how I made the peanuts and pecans! Follow along with me!
I know that peanuts technically aren't nuts. They're legumes. But I have never seen a sign in the grocery store that says "Legumes, Aisle 4". And besides, they have "nut" in their name. So they're honorary nuts.
The peanut will be made with the number 8 cutter with a little squish in the middle. See the difference? You'll need an 20ish-second gold icing, and an 12ish-second warm brown (don't get hung up on the seconds). Add a little of each color to each color to make them harmonize (put a little of the gold with the brown, and a little brown with the gold.
Outline the cookie with the gold. Wait a minute or so. Then flood with warm brown.
Here's the part where timing really counts, though. We need to add the wonky grid lines to create the texture of the peanut. Wait a minute or two before piping the lines so that they partially sink into the warm brown.
See how the texture is created? I love it!
A great old pecan tree stood on our college campus. I used to pick up the fallen pecans, crack them open, and eat them on the way to class. Mike used to make fun of me. But they were the best pecans.
I trimmed a carrot shape to create the oblong pecan.
After baking, use a food marker to draw the lines like in the picture. Then paint really thin chocolate brown icing over the lines. This will create the shadows of the indentations on the pecan.
For the remainder of the pecan, use the same color brown, but in a 20-second icing. Fill in the center section of the pecan- see how it comes to a point? Next, create a squiggly outline for the pecan.
Here's where it starts getting tricky. Bear with me. Pipe two ovals around the painted brown icing.
Use the brown icing to fill in anywhere you still see plain cookie showing, except at the top of the center point.
It's hard to describe, so check out the pictures.
The first one or two pecans are definitely the hardest. It gets easier!
Get out your airbrush or petal dusts to add some shading and you're done! Your own pile of nuts.
I didn't include the walnut tutorial- you're not nuts. Let me know if you want it. I'll add it!
Thanks for following me through this crazy adventure!
I hope you're NUTS about someone too :)
By the way, what's your favorite kind of nuts? Mine are honey roasted peanuts. Oooh- and walnuts. Mmmm pistachios. . . I can't decide!
Thanksgiving and the weekend that follows are big hunting days where I live. A few extra days off of work and lots of Thanksgiving leftovers makes hunting even more enjoyable. Folks bundle themselves up, head to their favorite stand, and wait for that perfect buck to show up. Kinda like these realistic deer!
I'm Amy. Wife, Mom, former science teacher- and now full time cookie baker on Maryland's Eastern Shore. Pull up a chair and we create! I'll bring the coffee- maybe Mike (The Cookie Widower) will make it for us.