It is that time of the year to decorate the house with beautiful Christmas decorations, to put up the lights on the pine trees next to the house, get the tree out of the attic, or get a fresh one at a local tree farm.
I like to decorate my house with gingerbread. This year I played around with several ideas. Making gingerbread centerpieces and gingerbread ornaments to hang them around the house and to give to my friends. They are so pretty to look at and when you walk by you can smell the gingerbread.
You can also save them for the next year. I'm planning on conserving some with some matte finish this year.
Cookie Cutters of your choice, I used Christmas Tree Ornaments from Fancy Flours
Drinking Straw - to make a hole in the cookie before it is baked, so you can hang the cookies once the are decorated
Food Grade Silicone Button Mold from A&H Cake Design
Gingerbread dough for decoration, houses and centerpieces - Recipe
Royal Icing - recipe small batch icing
Piping bags fitted with 2, 3 and 1 size piping tips, or use sandwich bags like I do
Sugar Pearls by Wilton
Tweezers from Karen's Cookies
Silver Luster Dust from Karen's Cookies.You can also purchase Luster dust in a store, from Michael's
First bake the cookies and gingerbread buttons. Simple press small amounts of dough into the cavity and unmold them. Bake them as they are.
Once Cookies are cooled, ice them with your choice of tinted royal icing, while still wet transfer a gingerbread button of your choice onto the cookie.Let dry.
Pipe the rope border around. It is a lot easier to do this on a round or simple shaped cookies so if you are not confident, start with a simpler cookie shape. Here is a nice video tutorial on how to make a royal icing rope border. This was my first time doing this border so I practiced a bit on a piece of wax paper before I did the application on a cookie.
Using tweezers, small dots of royal icing, apply sugar pearls around the gingerbread buttons.
Let border and pearls set.
Once border is dry, paint it with silver luster dust.Directions for painting with luster dust can be found below
Transfer and position gingerbread button onto the cookies while freshly flooded with royal icing.
Practice the royal icing rope border onto a piece of wax paper before moving onto the cookies.
Luster Dust Wet Application
Luster Dust in Different Colors
Luster Dust mixed with lemon extract
To paint with luster dust you need:
Luster dust of your desired color
Small brush, make sure you use brush that hasn't been used previously with oil or acrylic paints.
Painter's palette tool, each cavity can hold a different color luster dust.
To use luster dust for painting purposes you need to mix it with
alcohol with higher alcohol content. Reason you want the higher
alcohol content is that you don't want alcohol to be sitting on your
painted decorations, this will cause a royal icing to melt and form
unsightly looking finish. You want liquid to evaporate as fast as
possible, higher content alcohol will do just that.
There are variety of products on the market that you can use, depending
on where you are located and what is available to you :
McCormick lemon extract(alcohol 83%), orange extract and mint extract
-all these extracts have high alcohol content and they will work for the
wet luster dust application. I use lemon and orange most frequently. Found in grocery stores.
cake decorators rose spirit
everclear (grain alcohol - 95%) - in USA in some states it is illegal to sell.
Gin- some people use this as well, I personally haven't tested this
When adding alcohol to dry luster dust, add only a tiny bit/by
drops/, more liquid you add to luster dust, less vibrant the shimmer
You can keep unused portions of luster dust in the painter's palette,
store it away from dust and moisture when not in use, when you are ready
to use it again, use the spoon to scrape the dry dust and reuse.
When using wet luster dust to paint fondant, gum paste or royal
icing, make sure all surfaces are sufficiently dry before application.