Sunday, June 8, 2014

Cookie Tools - Update

As I've been slowly getting back up to speed with my cookie decorating I realized that it might be time for an update on my not-your-everyday cookie decorating tools. For a look back on some more of my unconventional cookie tools check (here).

As a disclaimer I will say the tools below work for me, but they may not work for others, but thought I'd share just in case someone finds something useful.

This is my cheap DIY bottle drying rack made with materials I had on hand. Basically it's a 1" thick sheet of Styrofoam poked with skewers and sandwich picks to suspend everything for better air flow.
 I add cut lengths of soda straws slipped over the picks if my icing tips are too big. (front row r.)
I can also dry my detail paint brushes as well.

Whenever I had to do the dreaded "cookie in a bag with a bow thing", I used to grab my EZ bow maker board.
I kept using the old board for years even though it was really too narrow. It's much better suited for making bows.
Finally I got wise and realized I've got skills and power tools sooooo......
With a chop saw, a drill, leftover dowels from oh so many diaper cakes, and scrap wood from a closet makeover, I already had everything I needed.
I cut the scrap piece down to 12 inches which is long enough for any cookie bag I want to tie, and as an added plus it makes an easy measuring guide to cut my ribbon to length. When I need a lot of ribbon I wrap it multiple times around and cut through both ends.
The 2 dowel pieces were cut to 4 inches and the tops rounded with sand paper. They were glued into 2 holes drilled a little less than 1/8 inch apart.

To use: I bag my cookie, twist the bag and slide it between the two dowels. Now my cookie stays anchored while I tie it.

A, B, and C are palette knifes.
I use A and B when lifting thin fragile fondant shapes after rolling them out and cutting. 
 C- is a lot thinner and more flexible so this is great for removing small icing transfers from the acetate backing I pipe them on.
D- is called a fluid writer or a gold pen when used for ceramic over glazes.
It comes in two sizes, this one being the small size for fine lines.
E- Usually comes with the pen to clean out the tip, and will work in a pinch to unclog piping tips. I've used it for 00 PME tips.
I use this pen for very fine lines, detail work, and even writing when I want to use white as well as gold and silver. Americolor airbrush metallic sheens seem to do well for this. Usually a drop or two right out of the bottle. Most of the other colors (gels and airbrush) are too concentrated to use right out of the bottle, so the color ends up being too dark.
When I want white, I use Americolor regular gel white food color as it is already quite thin.
There is a learning curve to this, but it's worth it for me to be able to write or detail with colors that I can't find as food color pens.

And last but not least - My new cookie bling toy!!!
There are many vacuum pick up tools out there, but this is one I thought would work best for the price and ease of use.
 It's marketed for picking up and placing beads or rhinestones using variable speed suction.
I've discovered it's great to pick up and place sugar pearls or dragees (cookie beads) when making my royal icing jewelry transfers. It made making all the jewelry transfers in my previous post go so much faster.
The suction will vary depending on how you turn the dial. Not shown is a rubber tip that can be added for the larger beads.
Note: Just make sure the item you're picking up is not too small as you don't want to clog the unit.

♥ Happy Decorating ♥