Monday, November 15, 2010

Skinner Leaf Cookies

My husband tells me that I have too many hobbies.  He might be right.  Anyone who checks out my shelving unit full of craft supplies would probably think so.  I also have a whole cabinet in the kitchen dedicated to cake decorating stuff. (not counting the pans, that's a seperate drawer.)  Once in a while, my different hobbies collide!  I'll explain...
One of my favorite non-cake related hobbies is polymer clay.  You can do so many exciting things with polymer clay.  It's a wonderful media.  The cookie project today uses a technique that I learned working with polymer clay, only here I used fondant.  Fondant and polymer clay have a lot in common.  The technique is called a skinner blend.  Hence the name of my cookies.
Start by rolling out your cookie dough.   I like chocolate rollout cookies.
Using a pizza cutter and a ruler, I cut the dough into rectangles.  They were approximately 3 1/2 in. x 2 in.  Place these in the fridge or freezer to firm while you work with the fondant.
You will need two colors for this technique.  I chose yellow and orange.  Roll each color out into a long rectangle and use the pizza cutter to cut the rectangles on the diagonal.  Notice that I didn't cut straight from corner to corner.  Come off of the corner just slightly.
Stack yellow triangle on the other yellow triangle and the orange triangle on the other orange triangle.  Place the two triangles together to make a complete rectangle.  Roll them gently with the rolling pin to get them to stick together.  ALWAYS roll in the direction of the arrows. 
Fold the fondant over on itself.  As they said in my elementary art class, fold it like a hamburger bun, not a hotdog bun.  Did that make sense?
Here is a better shot of the folding.
Roll it out as thin as you can, always in the direction of the arrows, and fold, and roll, and fold, and roll...
I meant to count how many times I folded, but I was thinking about too many things at once and forgot to.  Just repeat the process until you like the look of the color fade.  Congratulations, you've now made a skinner blend with fondant.
Use the ruler and pizza cutter again to cut the fondant into rectangles that are slightly smaller than your cookies.  I placed the rectangles to capture the best of the color fade.
Here's where cookie making meets scrapbooking.  Are there any scrapbookers out there?  Mix a little brown food color with vodka and spread it out in a flat bottomed dish.
"Ink" a stamp in the vodka paint.  I'm using a stamp that has no backing but you can also use one with backing.
Here is an example of a stamp all inked and ready for printing.  I know, it's not leaves, it's flowers.  Pretend you didn't notice, ok.
Carefully place the stamp on the fondant rectangle and press down with even pressure.  I used my little rolling pin to gently roll the stamp onto the fondant.  Be extra careful to only place the stamp once.  You don't want a shadow image.  Peal the stamp up off of the fondant.  If you have a backed stamp you will have to peal the fondant off of the stamp.
Now you can bake the cookies.  While they are stil warm from the oven, brush them with some sugar syrup.  Make sure to only coat the area that will be covered with the fondant.  You can certainly make your own syrup for this step.  I was lazy and used corn syrup thinned with a little water.
Place the fondant piece on the cookie.  The syrup and warmth of the cookie will attach the fondant.
There you go.  It's three, three, three crafts in one!  My little crafty heart is happy.

I made a whole plate full to share with friends. I really wanted to put these cookies on a square or rectangle serving platter. Would you believe I don't have one. I have been telling myself for years to get one. One of these days I'll listen.--Frostine