Have I mentioned that I love fall? I do. I love the leaves, the crisp air, apples, pumpkin pie… I think Thanksgiving may be my favorite holiday. I love Christmas too, and I can’t wait to start doing some fun Christmas cookies. But I have to tell you, I get a little cranky when I’m in the stores and they’re already playing Christmas music, and have all their Christmas stuff up as if Thanksgiving is already passed and gone. It’s not! It’s still 2 weeks away people!
Thanksgiving gets no respect.
I’m going to give Thanksgiving its due, by golly.
With leaves! And acorns! And a squirrel!
I’m proud of this squirrel. I’ve tried decorating him several times, and never could get him right. The best I could do before this was this guy:
Ha ha! He’s pretty rough! I wanted something a little more stylized with clean lines. Mike told me I should ignore the tail shape and do my own thing. That Mike, he’s (almost) always right!
Speaking of that… I have a new toy.
It’s an airbrush!
This is kind of a funny story. Mike has been telling me for probably 2 years or more that we should get an airbrush and try airbrushing cookies. I kept saying “I don’t know… not crazy about the idea.” Because when I thought of airbrushing on food, I thought of the kind of cakes that end up on Cake Wrecks. And I actually hadn’t seen very many cookies done with the airbrush, but the ones I had seen were… um… aesthetically challenged. It was a tough sell for poor Mike.
And then I went to cookie camp! There was a demo there on airbrushing cookies, and I was instantly sold. I came home and said “Hey Mike! We need to get an airbrush!” And he said “yep.”
So I just got it recently, and I’m still not a pro– at all. But it’s fun! I am loving it, and I’m seeing the potential. I started with some fall leaves– because it’s fall, and leaves are pretty forgiving. And they’re colorful.
I made a few, and made them very basic, solid colors.
I used Meringue Powder Buttercream, and let them dry overnight. Notice I left a few of them white, with no outline. I wanted to see what I could do with only airbrush color.
Here’s what they looked like when they were done:
Yes that middle one has a big gouge out of it. I’m such a klutz!! But I had to leave it in the picture, because I wanted all of them in the same spot as they were in the pre-airbrushed picture, so you could see the comparison. So there you have it.
Anyway, I played with all kinds of colors– red, orange, green, yellow, brown. Even the plain white ones got nice and colorful. It actually made them very shiny, too! Which is kind of fun, if you’re looking for shine. And it dries very touch-able. Once the airbrush color dries on there, there is no danger of smudging the color. (Unless you drop something on the cookie. But that’s a whole different situation.)
Here they are all pretty on a plate.
I was going to pipe veins on them, but decided to try airbrushing the veins. It took some getting used to! It’s funny– it’s kind of like an Etch-a-Sketch, where you don’t really know where you’re aiming for a while. I would do the main vein down the center of the leaf, and then want to come back and have a vein coming off of that one, and I had no idea where to aim and how to match it up with the existing line! So you’ll see LOTS of mistakes up there in those cookies. But by the time I was done, I had a pretty good handle on it. Not perfect, but the learning curve isn’t huge.
After I did these, I thought they looked a little bit muddy. I wanted to try doing a batch where I glazed them one solid color, and only used one airbrush color on each. So I did these:
Unfortunately, I forgot to get a picture of them before airbrushing, but it was pretty much the same as the first picture up there– minus the white ones. This is what they looked like before piping some veins on them.
Here they are finished:
I can’t decide which ones I like better. I like the simplicity of these, but the multi-color ones are growing on me.
Here they are all together.
I like them all together like that.
So what do you think about airbrushing on cookies? Have you done it before? Do you want to see more? I will keep practicing and pass along what I learn. I’m going to be selling the airbrushes in my shop, and as soon as I get them, I’ll do a how-to post and maybe a video, and most likely a giveaway. So stay tuned for that.
In the meantime…. Enjoy the fall!!