I have always been a bit of a mixed media artist. Even back in high school art. I love to mix things together for texture and colour. So I didn’t see why cookie decorating (or any sweet medium really) needed to be any different.
I often switch between royal icing, glaze and fondant depending on the finish I want, what the customer has requested or how things go together. There have been times I have used all 3 - on the same cookie!
There have been times where TIME is the determining factor. Those last minute orders that are needed in 2 days(in reality 33 hours away), packaged in cello bags - glaze definitely isn’t an options, royal icing would be pushing it, so fondant it is - just to be safe.
I have done similar designs in different mediums too. The results are different. Why choose one over the other? Well, which one goes with the rest of the event? What suits your clients personality? You don’t have to totally redesign something to make it unique and personal - little changes matter too.
A few of the common techniques are
Royal icing transfers
Royal icing transfers are a great way to add details to a cookie. The best part is you can do them ahead of time and you do it over a template which makes it easier to get it right.
You can do the whole design as a transfer or just the major parts and add the small details in once it is dropped onto the cookie.
Initially people were just using wafer paper as an alternative to sugar flowers but over time like everything else it has evolved. You can colour it, rip it up and paste it on like a graffiti collage. It is fabulous as feathers. The light nature of it means it suits ruffles and swirls and all manner of 3D decoration.
Essentially the design is raised slightly to give a 3D effect. Fondant is perfect for this. Royal icing is also a great medium but is more time consuming as it requires drying time between layers.
For fondant, utilise silicone molds and layer them up. This is a quick and easy technique for maximum effect.
How about adding a couple of these techniques together? What would you get? Something different again! And it would be amazing.
Rather than make this a long post with all the options, I’d rather you go and look at what some others are doing in various areas. I hope it gives you ideas and inspires you.
Don’t just look at other cookie artists for inspiration. Look at all art. Look at life and nature. Work out how to apply these to your chosen sweet medium. Liz Marek of Sugar Geek Show is a queen of this and inspires me to try new things every day!
The underlying message here is - don’t get boxed in. Try different things, try different mediums and combinations. It will allow you a lot more freedom, design options and possibly save you in a time crunch.