Wedding Cookies

This post has been sitting around in my drafts folder for almost an entire month, so it’s about time I posted (plus, I’m super proud of how these cookies turned out). My friend’s father got married in early June, and she asked me to make some cookies for his wedding. The request was for a butterfly-shaped cookie, and I ended up purchasing two different cookie cutters (I wasn’t sure how small I could get my writing to fit everything on one cookie).

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The large cookie cutter is around 5″wide, and the smaller one is about 3.5″. Once I received them, it was apparent that the smaller cookie cutter would fit everything, and I found it the prettier of the two.

This order was for 60 cookies, but I ended up making 7 extra in case any broke or didn’t come out well enough.  Even on their own, these cookies are rather pretty:

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I was asked to write out full names on the cookie, but I asked if initials were alright – I thought this would look better (in that the writing wouldn’t have to be squished in) and would allow for more consistency between the cookies, since I could focus more on the shape and fit of the initials inside each cookie.

The wedding colours were white and royal blue, so I started by flooding all of the cookies with white royal icing.

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Since there were so many cookies, by the time I finished flooding the 60th, the first few were dry enough to write on. This meant I could do all of the cookies in one go (though I don’t recommend it – the whole process took close to eight hours! Clearly I need to work on speed when it comes to cookie decorating).

I used an outlining consistency in the royal blue, with a 00 tip so I could do nice thin lettering. I think my royal icing consistency was just a smidge too runny, so the lettering wasn’t quite as precise as I would have liked, but it held its shape well enough. I started by writing the initials (K & H), with the date of the wedding underneath:

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I wanted a nice, loopy set of initials (my original sketch, below, shows a little more clearly the look I was going for), but I kept the date nice and simple – I tried cursive here and the lines just blended together and it didn’t look as nice as I was expecting.

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Yes, that’s physics above and below my drawing… I may have written this over lunch on one of my school notebooks. I have several of these that are half white space and half equations, perfect for cookie doodles!

At the end of this process, I had an army of blue and white butterflies:

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I could have stopped there (it was already around midnight) but I wanted to add a little more detail to the cookie by making a small dotted border around the edges in blue. Now, if you’re going to do this on a cookie, I didn’t realize going in, but you need a softer icing than the stiff outlining consistency  I was using. When the icing is just a little less viscous, it settles into a nice rounded shape when piped on. Here, the icing kept a little bit of a point at the end, so as I did the border I had to go in with a toothpick and poke each little dot down (I really didn’t like the look of a spiky butterfly). Next time I’ll definitely thin out my icing, it’s totally worth it for the time saved and the consistency in the final look.

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I finished these around 2am, so I went to have some well-deserved sleep before packing them up in the morning. It took a surprising amount of time to get these all done (I wasn’t anticipating being up quite so late), but the finished look was worth the effort:

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I finished off by packaging each and tying with a blue or white bow. I found this great white/silver and blue/silver ribbon at the dollar store, which was perfect for tying in the wedding colours, but unfortunately they were low on ribbon so I had to choose just one colour ribbon per cookie, instead of tying each bag with both colours of ribbon (which looked much nicer, in my opinion). I think I’ll have to go buy some bulk ribbon in the future so I don’t run into this kind of problem.

I had the best of luck with these cookies; three of them broke while I was packing them up (I know, this doesn’t sound like good luck yet), but when I checked my freezer I still had three butterflies and I was able to ice those with the leftover royal icing. Earlier on I said I made 7 extras, but 4 got used up in the icing stage (either from  mistakes or issues with the icing drooping off the side of the cookie). The luck comes into it because only three cookies broke – any more and I’d have to start over at the baking stage again!

On the day of the wedding, my friend sent me a picture of the cookies “in action”. They look so fancy alongside a proper place setting!

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The cookie pictured above was one of the replacement cookies I made after the others broke. As you can see, I got a better icing consistency in the blue (note that the ‘e’ in June has a better defined shape, and the lettering stayed slightly thinner). I love having a takeaway lesson when I bake, and these definitely helped me expand my understanding of what to look for in an outlining consistency icing.

This weekend I’ll be working on a test gluten-free wedding cake (my first tiered cake!), so stay tuned to see how that turns out. Soon I’ll be able to serve an entire wedding’s worth of desserts, cake, favours, and all!

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