How to Make 3-D Cookie Topiaries  See details »

 
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  • 00:00: hey everybody I'm back with another 3d cookie project I've got a cookie topiary today this is 100% cookie and icing except for a little support that runs
  • 00:31: through this Center I've got it in the pink and red theme which is perfect for Valentine's Day but if you were to swap out the colors for white it'd be a gorgeous wedding centerpiece or you could decorate it in spring colors for Mother's Day or Easter so lots of possibilities here let's talk about what you'll need to make this project it's basically a nine cookie project we have about a four inch fluted round for the base on which the pot will sit these contoured cookie pieces is gingerbread
  • 01:01: which will form the pot and I've got two of them I'll show how to construct the more complicated pieces a little bit later and then you'll need three match sets of graduated domes that will form the topiary itself with a little skewer that will run through the center in addition to that we'll be covering the topiary with cookie Moss this is nothing more than ground cookie crumbs and food colouring I'll show you how to make that in a bit and lots of little royal icing flowers so let's get started on talking about how to make these cookie parts
  • 01:31: let's talk first about how to make these half cylinders they're going to form the pots and they've got this nice little edge on them as well I'm simply working with my gingerbread dough any other dough that doesn't spread too much or crack around curved shapes is possible here I often diminish my leavening by about half to avoid crackage or cracking and I'm going to roll this about 3/16 of an inch thick a little thinner than usual
  • 02:03: because again that also helps prevent cracking and what I want to do is just simply cut a rectangle these are going to be about two and a quarter inches tall I'm just going to mark two and a quarter inches on either end and then I'm going to drape this over a cylinder I've got a stainless steel cylinder here that's about one and a half inches in diameter which is a perfect size for my little pot the same size as the one you see up there
  • 02:33: I've also made some bigger pots and I don't need all that extra so I'm just going to cut it about halfway around because we're going to be piecing this together cutting it about halfway down and then I've got it sitting up on these little props just so that it doesn't smush you know for it in roll around when I put it in the oven this whole thing is going to go in the oven just like so these are little silicone molds that are just keeping the cylinder in place okay so I need to cut about a 3/8 inch strip and I'm just going to lay that on the top of the cylinder to form a little lip on the lid there I'm just going to eyeball it
  • 03:04: but this is about 3/8 of an inch and then I simply lay that on top of the cylinder already cut gently press it in I don't use an egg wash or water to adhere it when it bakes in the oven at my normal temperature of 375 it'll actually bake together like that they'll fuse together and become one part so that's how to make the halves and you
  • 03:36: want to do two of those for each pot of course and then let me talk a little bit about how to shape the domed parts that are going to form the topiaries I've got them in three sizes ranging from one and a half inch outer to about an inch and you can do them in any sizes I'm using silicone molds to shape them and then basically just cutting a circle and shaping it over the top of a silicone mold but if you don't have silicon mold you can also get creative and shape them over other things you might have in your kitchen such as tea spoons so I'm going to just show how to do one of these the concept
  • 04:07: is the same so I've got about a two and a half inch cutter for instance it's going to shape be shaped over this 1 and 3/4 inch diameter dome and I'm going to have to cut a little bit of extra off you want to have enough that it goes all the way almost all the way down to the bottom and then just gently Pat it on top so it is fitting the contour of this tea spoon and I often trim it back just
  • 04:38: a little bit here so that it when it spreads in the oven it doesn't hit the bottom of the pan if it does hit the bottom of the pan as it spreads you'll get a little foot on it and we don't want to have to deal with that foot later so we'll trim it back from the handle and just up from the bottom of the edge just a hair those would simply slip on the back side of my cookie sheet and go into the oven bake at 375 for my normal baking temperature and then when they're still warm from the oven I want to just gently slip my paring knife under the edge of
  • 05:11: each two piece to loosen it and then I can twist them off without any additional flour or greasing of either the cylinder or the tea spoon okay with the pieces baked in shape we're ready to start putting the top of the topiary together I am sitting down now because I like to be really close to my product so if it looks like I'm a small little person very close to the counter that's done on purpose so that I can really see what I'm doing now just an observation here this project you
  • 05:41: don't have to necessarily ice the domes you can put them together naked like so because we're going to be covering them with more icing to apply the cookie crumbs later so you don't need to necessarily do that though if you do want to dip them you can - I did dip these in icing I've got a whole nother video about how to do that you just want to make sure they're completely dry before you start the assembly process at this point before you assemble them you want to make sure that they're filed down so there's a nice tight fit and we also want to file a little hole in one
  • 06:14: side of each of the domes so as to fit the skewer through it we're going to put through like so now for filing I tend to use a broad grader or four broad filing like so these have already been filed by the way this is the process I would go through to get those nicely sanded down and then to get these pieces you can either take a paring knife to start the
  • 06:46: process and kind of carve out a groove like so just be careful you want to really shave because you can crack your icing if you're eating these of course use a knife if you're not and this is just for display I will sometimes take a file metal file and just create a small this might be maybe an eighth of an inch groove there okay and I've done that on each of the pieces and now we want to assemble them so I'd like to assemble on cardboard so that while they're drying I can push them off to the side very
  • 07:17: easily without it falling apart now running up through the center I've got this little skewer it's naturally this color some elements of it are going to be showing so I'm going to dye it with a little bit of food coloring Brown and to do that I've got my brown liquid gel food coloring that I normally use for coloring icings I'm just going to mix with a little water and sponge it whoops sponge it on the piece like so the pointed end will be going down into the
  • 07:50: pot and won't be showing so we don't have to necessarily do that and wipe off the excess and then you've got it stained and now we're ready to put this together do that I've got thick royal icing glue again the thicker the icing the less likely these pieces will be to slip around on you the other thing you might notice is I've marked the insides I should point that out of my domes generally there's a side that always looks better so I marked this b4 back and I've also marked a little notch at the bottom to indicate what is the top
  • 08:22: and the bottom of each dome and they just happen to fit together really nicely this way so I've marked that up so that when I put it together I line them in the way that looks best so I want to make sure there's enough it's going to poke out at the bottom to go into the pot leaving maybe about an inch or two at the pot but I don't need to have enough to secure the entire piece together just want to make sure to get glue in these grooves as well so that the stake doesn't slip around leave a little bit of the brown stem
  • 09:02: showing trying not to get green icing on it generally I'll choose a glue color that matches whatever I'm going to be to be gluing together so it's less likely to show and then just I want to get overhead and make sure everything's nicely centered so I've just propped up the bottom dome a little bit so that everything's aligned from the side as well because when that you stand this straight up you want it to be nice and straight I think that's good I'm just
  • 09:33: going to set this aside to dry now it needs at least thirty minutes of drying time before we start fixing the cookie Moss and other elements to it okay we're going to make the cookie moss that's going to coat the cookie topiary while it's drying and to do that I start with ground graham cracker crumbs and I've got them in a handy little ziploc bag when we're done they're going to end up looking something like this very Maas like in this little container I've got some alcohol and I'm just going
  • 10:05: to extend my normal liquid gel food coloring with it because it helps to loosen up the coloring and I'll distribute through the graham cracker crumbs more easily than just the liquid gel the liquid gel is a little too solid to get through the crumbs so I put a little yellow and green in to kind of create a lime green and I'm going to seal this back up and just give it a shake and I hope it doesn't go everywhere to distribute the color and then we're going to pour it into the bag
  • 10:36: gradually and work it through those crumbs now this will I'm using alcohol instead of water because it will evaporate off more quickly and causes crumbs to get less soggy than if you were to use water so just kind of work it through until the colors evenly and beautifully distributed okay I think that's pretty good I'd like to see some brown undertones in it because it just looks more Moss like that way but it is a little wet in certain areas and so
  • 11:08: what I'm going to do is simply dump it onto my cookie sheet and you'll see I have some big lumps in certain areas don't worry about those if you want you can knead it up a little bit more here that's going to go back in the oven I'll stick into my food processor probably and grind out those big lumps and then what will come off the tray after you grind it is something very powdery and relatively fine a few few smaller lumps or just fine as well they'll give it a more realistic Moss texture okay we're going to work on the bottom
  • 11:40: of the topiary the pot and the base for a little while while things are still drying now the first step here with these pieces we baked earlier is again to file them microplane them or using a broader grater either works so you get really nice straight edges that fit together in a perfect circle so first things first let's glue it together and for this I'm working with my thick royal icing glue which is brown to match the gingerbread just a little bit down the sides is really all I need here I think
  • 12:12: that's good and now I'm ready to put the lace on it so I've got two pieces I made and pre-cut earlier then I'm going to pull out of my baggie it's quite fragile so be careful with it you can see how pliable it is if it's stored properly and now to get that up on the pot I'm just going to stick it up with a little bit of corn syrup because I happen to have that handy this piece has already been trimmed to fit the pot and you'll see there's a finished edge and there's a cut edge and I want the finished edge
  • 12:43: actually to be on the bottom because that's the part that's going to be exposed so just to touch a corn Siras all that's needed and I'm just going to locate it in little spots along the lace and kind of gradually add it you can see why this might be harder to do if I were to do this directly on my finished cookie base that's why I love to do it on my cardboard I'm going to rotate it and just add more glue or corn syrup I should say to get it all the way around so when I come around to where it meets
  • 13:14: up I want to cut off the extra the handy thing about this needlepoint grid is its grid so it allows me to cut a straight line just by following the pattern on the lace just want to make sure it's flush all the way around and looks pretty good now I am ready to secure the upper lace I'm choosing a frosting sheet for this because it's more opaque and we're less likely to see through it I've
  • 13:44: just trimmed a sheet here here's a nice little punch piece but it normally comes like so in eight and a half by 11 sheets on a backing paper and it too will dry out if not stored in plastic baggies which is why I have it contained that way but to get this cool punch defect I'm using craft punches I'd love to use crafting supplies in my cookie projects and this is a Martha Stewart punch which is designed to make these trim borders for scrapbooking it also works well with frosting sheets the
  • 14:17: key thing though before you punch a frosting cage is to make sure that backing paper is off of it if you try to punch through the backing paper you'll actually break the punch so always separate the backing paper from it first so give it a punch then the key thing with this punch is to make sure that the punched piece you just punched aligns with their little their little marker here perfectly and that the trailing piece is also fitted up against the edge if it's not you won't have a connected looking seamless looking strip when you're done when you're done with that
  • 14:49: just trim it to the length you want like so and you've got a nice little punished piece of trim and to attach this I'm again using a little bit of corn syrup at the upper edge you don't want to use too much because it can bleed through the frosting sheet and leave a little spot and we don't want to see that you can apply it either to the frosting sheet or to the gingerbread itself so I'm going to cut right here along my seam where they have to match the other seam even one more corn syrup there
  • 15:19: because you see it's pulling off the corn syrup will drive is in place eventually but it's going to be a little slippy slide II before it completely dries you just want to be careful handling the sugar veil or the lace at this point because once it dries and is exposed to the air it can't get more brittle so I'm handling by the frosting sheet so there it is all trimmed out the last step on this pot is to actually fill in a little pattern and I'm going to pipe into the pattern with sugarveil as well but before we do that I think I
  • 15:50: am going to now place it on the pot or rather on the pot on the base and to do that I just need a little bit of royal icing glue brown icing on the bottom you could use red here match your pod just make sure I Center it nicely just gently press it into place so now I'm ready to fill my pattern in on the sides of the basket and you can go as elaborate or as simple
  • 16:20: as you want I'm going to try to keep it pretty minimal like the one in front of me it just has a little white zigzag and it's filled in with some pink and red a little bit later so I'm working with three colors white pink and red I'm just going to count up five grids from the bottom and do a little a little diamond pattern across the other thing to notice is I like to work from the front and then to either side until I meet in the back rather than going all the way around in one direction and that's just to make sure that my piping ends at the seam as well visit that they may not
  • 16:51: connect perfectly at the back and I'd rather they if they don't connect perfectly at the back that they do that all in the same spot I'm just going to show you how to lay in a couple of the other colors just to give you an idea I'm going to add pink here next do you like to pipe one color at a time as opposed to swapping out bags so I'll go all the way around with the white all the way around with the pink and then add a few little red accents at the last minute I just want a little pink dot in
  • 17:22: the center of each of these diamonds and I'm also going to put another little pink diamond kind of right I'm looking at the one on the counter because I'm trying to match it right in between the white diamonds so they're got my pink added into the front and I'm just going to come back with a touch of red to give a little highlight in between those pink
  • 17:53: diamonds not press very hard on my piping bag to not get too much in that hole so that's the general idea it would just continue all the way around and this same pattern you'll see is one that I did earlier on this finished cup and you can see how lovely it looks like when it's completely done and you'll also notice that this is dry but it's still shiny and that's because I pipe
  • 18:23: with sugarveil and not royal icing so we're ready to put all the decorations on the top of the topiary including the cookie moss we made and dried earlier royal icing roses and wafer paper bows and I have a whole nother video about how I made the wafer paper bows and the roses so we won't get into that today we'll just be sticking them in place now give an appropriate dry time the topiary is easy to handle and you should allow at least an hour so
  • 18:53: you can pick it up and move it around like this because you are going to have to move around a lot to coat the front and back of it I'm just going to do one dome the bottom to give you a general idea the same steps would apply to all three of them so my first step is to give it a little more icing to give the crumbs something to adhere to which is again why you didn't need to necessarily dip the domes in advance if you worked with the bare cookie that would have worked just fine this gets a little messy I like to work over over a plate
  • 19:24: if I can or a bowl I'm actually just literally going to Pat it in to wherever I have icing I'm going to work before that icing sets up you can also roll it in it sometimes that's effective sometimes it's not want to make sure you get all the way to the top and around the bottom as well it's a nice little soft mossy texture
  • 20:02: I'm ready now to arrange flowers just a point on my royal icing roses one thing I do to give extra dimension to some of these projects that use sugar flowers is to pipe them in all the same color but then apply other finishes on top to give them a little little subtle variations in color so for instance I'll be working with the pink flowers today most of them were this shade but I sprayed with a an edible luster spray to give them a
  • 20:32: whiter look in the shimmer and others I dusted the center's with a little bit of super red luster powder which I'll do to give them a little bit of depth and shadow in the center I'm just taking a dry brush the luster powder and just applying it to the middle it's also luster dust the one I'm using now so it's giving it a little bit of shimmer as well now we're simply just going to glue them down and for that I'm
  • 21:02: using thick that same moss-green relatively thick to apply it because if any Keeks out it's not going to matter it's going to look like a leaf because we're going to be piping leaves with the same stuff a little bit later I think that's enough for this front face I'm going to now go ahead and stick down a few little wafer paper bows and again as I said I have a whole video about how to make those same royal icing for glue
  • 21:32: you can also finish it this piece has little little dry J's on it again I'm not too worried about the glue showing because I am going to come back in and use the same color for leaves so I'm going to pop a few dredges down and then
  • 22:04: just fill it out with leaves and that completes the process of decorating the topiary sometimes you need a little more glue than usual because it doesn't like to stick to the crumb let me get a few more on this side and then I'll go ahead and put some leaves in so I tend to decorate more towards the center of the dome because it will be standing up if you get too close to the bottom you a lot of your
  • 22:35: decoration will disappear you won't see it as well when it's oriented up right now for little leaves just to fill it out I'm using a 349 Wilton tip which is a quite a small leaf tip same very thick icing you want to thick icing for the leaf to hold its texture and I'm just going to push in pull out push in pull out to give it kind of a variegation to the leaf so I finished my topiary top it's
  • 23:07: completely dry now I'm ready to put these together a couple of different ways you could assemble this if you want something that's easier to pull apart you can just fill the center the entire center with ground cookie crumbs I've ground up chocolate graham crackers now to look like dirt and just simply place that in that but I'm going to I want to create a more stable situation here so that this can stay on display for a little while this is not going to be mine here isn't going to be for eating so to do that I'm going to actually
  • 23:37: wedge some fondant in here that'll just create more of a structure for this to sit on it to is completely edible but you may not want it if you're serving this you probably wouldn't want all that fondant on the inside crumbs would probably be better I think I went a little more on top and then I'm going to add a lot of icing on top onto which to toss crumbs because I want the dirt sitting on the very top and again you could just fill up completely with
  • 24:09: crumbs if you wanted to instead and then now is the time to put down crumbs using a spoon is kind of clunky so I've actually put them in my parchment cone to allow for more precise distribution of them using it kind of like a funnel that way you don't spill it all over everything you just decorated making sure it gets way down into these corners and stuck into the icing as well and then we're ready to slip this in place I do want to put a little bit of glue also on the stem and before I stick it in
  • 24:40: there I want to make sure the stem isn't going to be riding too high I think it's the right height just putting it next to that and we're just going to put the front facing towards the front as close to the center as possible I'm looking at it from all directions now and there you have it finished topiary now before I were to live before I were to lift this and move this I would give it some drying time it's and make and make sure it's sitting straight before I leave it
  • 25:12: aside to dry because you want it viewing well from all angles ultimately that's it the for Valentine's Day and again you can swap out colors and make it for any other time of the year beautiful as wedding centerpieces I think as well till next video live sweetly you
  • 26:10: you