Friday, May 17, 2013

Martha by Mail ~ Beautiful Bug Cookie Cutters


I want to revisit some of my favorite cookie cutters. 

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Baking and icing cookies in the shapes of beautiful garden bugs is a sweet way to usher in spring.  From the former Martha by Mail catalog, the quartet of copper cookie cutters were hand made by one of this country's foremost coppersmiths.  Ranging in size from 3" to 6", a fluttering Luna Moth, an industrious Honey Bee, the tiniest of Lady Bugs (or beetle) and a large Dragonfly allow for plenty of decorating space.  Aside from the charming shapes & decorating possibilities, I love the handcrafted qualities found in these particular cookie cutters, because they make each one unique & special.  The cutters can be used to make cookies for a child's birthday party in the spring or summer, a garden party for friends or to treat that special aficionado of insects in your life.  Take a closer look at these cookie cutters & decorating ideas from Martha by Mail, and get inspired this season! 



"Celebrate the lively bugs of spring and summer by creating delicious cookies in bee, luna-moth, dragonfly and ladybug shapes.  Try decorating them with icing to mimic nature or in bright colors for kids.  These four cutters were handcrafted just for us in heavy-weight, durable copper by one of America's most talented coppersmiths."

Bee & Dragonfly

Luna Moth & Ladybug

"To decorate these cookies, we used pastry bags fit with small, round tips; royal icing in green, brown lavender, pink, yellow, and white; egg wash (beaten egg whites; if preparing cookies for pregnant women, children, the elderly or anyone whose health is compromised, use a thin paste of water and meringue powder instead); two clean paintbrushes with 2" sable tips (one for egg wash, one for icing); a small bowl of water; pink and white sanding sugar; a toothpick; and a pastry brush."
1.  Beaded Luna Moth:  Outline and flood the cookie with green icing.  While the green icing is wet, draw wing designs with brown icing.  Allow the cookie to dry completely.  Outline and flood the butterfly's body with yellow icing, and flock it immediately with sanding sugar; allow to dry.  Use a pastry brush to sweep away excess sanding sugar.  Use tiny white dots of icing to make "beads" over the brown lines.

3.  Two-Toned Luna Moth:  Outline and flood the body and lower halves of the wings with lavender icing; immediately flood the upper part of the wings with green icing.  While the icing is still wet, add dots to each wing, using green icing over the lavender half and lavender icing over the green half.  Allow the cookie to dry completely, then add spots of icing in matching or contrasting colors over the dots.  Flock the wet icing with sanding sugar, allow the cookie to dry, then brush away excess sugar.

2.  Polka-Dotted Bee:  Outline and flood the body with pink icing;  immediately outline and flood the head with lavender icing.  While the pink icing is still wet, pipe horizontal lines of brown dots over the body, and allow to dry.  Add tiny pink dots directly over the brown dots, and brush egg wash over the wings; immediately dust the body and wings with sanding sugar.  Allow the cookie to dry, then use a pastry brush to remove excess sugar.  Add two brown eyes.


4.  Striped Bee:  This technique requires a paintbrush and a small bowl of water.  For the wings:  Pipe a short line of white icing, about 1/2" in length, along the outside edge of the wing.  Immediately dampen the paintbrush in water, blot off excess water, and use the brush to gently spread the icing toward the bug's body.  Continue to pipe along the border and brush the icing inward until the entire wing is covered to create a rippled-wing effect.  Allow the wings to dry completely.  For the body:  Outline and flood the body with white icing, and add a series of horizontal stripes with yellow icing while the white icing is still wet.  Flock with sanding sugar and allow the cookie to dry.  Once dry, brush away excess sugar and pipe on two lavender eyes.


 5.  Sparkly Dragonfly:  Outline and flood the body with lavender icing and the head with green icing.  Use a paintbrush to spread the egg wash over the wings, and immediately outline them with white icing.  Flock the entire cookie with sanding sugar, and allow it to dry.  Lightly brush off excess sanding sugar and add two tiny yellow eyes.

7.  Vein-Winged Dragonfly:  Outline and flood the head with lavender icing, and allow to dry.  Outline and fill the body with brown icing;  flock with sanding sugar.  Allow to dry and brush off excess sugar.  Use white icing to draw wing designs and two eyes.

6.  Brilliant Beetle:  outline and flood the wings with pink icing; immediately outline and flood the head with brown icing and allow the cookie to dry.  Outline the wings with white icing and allow to dry.  Use a paintbrush dipped in egg wash to make spots on the wings and dots for the eyes, then dust the egg wash with pink sanding sugar.  Allow to dry, then brush off excess sugar.


8.  Pink Ladybug:  Outline and flood the ladybug's wings with pink icing.  While the pink icing is still wet, add a series of evenly spaced brown dots down the center, and use a toothpick to draw each dot into the one below; allow to dry.  Outline the wings in white icing and add small white dots over the brown dots and allow to dry.  Brush egg wash over the head; dust with sanding sugar.  Allow it to dry; brush away excess sugar.

Three layer cake decorated with Beautiful Bug & Beautiful Bloom Cookies.
Martha by Mail

Easter wire tree decorated with Beautiful Bug Cookies, chenille Easter baskets, Polish decorated egg ornaments, honeycomb eggs & paper grass.
Martha by Mail

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