My first experience with edible images came when I received a request for ‘LOL doll’ Paint Your Own cookies. Now being a mom of two boys, I was like “LOL what??”... I mean if it doesn’t have to do with ninja turtles or hockey I just don’t know. And once I googled what they were, the panic set in with how on earth I could cookie-fy these freaky little things...
There are a few options when it comes to paint your own cookies - or any cookie that requires a complex design like logos etc. You can 1) freehand or use a projector to pipe it on, 2) order a custom stencil to airbrush or spread icing over, or 3) use an edible image.
Now the first two options are usually great ones - but have you seen the detail on these dolls? Piping them would be a mess and a stencil wouldn’t give the detail I would want for them. So I searched for edible images and sure enough was able to find someone who I could order them from. If you are really handy and have an edible image printer, even better!
With a little help from google university, I was able to pull off my first time applying edible images. And once I shared my work, I was bombarded with questions from fellow cookiers on how to do them. Do you apply to a wet or dry cookie? What do you use to make it stick? How do you apply it smoothly? I too had all of these questions the first time around, so here I am my second go with them and as promised have created this blog to help those navigating this technique for the first time (or looking for new tips!). Like everything, I don’t claim to be a pro and just share what has worked for me!
What you'll need:
- Pre iced and dried cookie
- Edible images
- Edible adhesive
- Paint brush
- Flat edged icing scraper
First up, your images should come in plastic wrapping. Do not remove this until you are ready to use them as they will dry out and become brittle.
Before baking your cookie, you want to ensure that your cutter fits a closely as possible to the image. This way once you add the border later, there won’t be a visible line between the image and the cookie.
Once your cookie is baked, you’ll pipe your border and fill with the flood icing to create your base (see my very first blog post for my royal icing recipe and tips). The key here is to ensure your icing is free of any lumps and bubbles so that you have a nice, flat surface to apply your image to.
You will be adding your image to the cookie once it is completely dry - this typically takes 8-10 hours for royal icing. Planning wise you could ice your cookies the night prior to adding the images.
Once your cookies are dry, remove your images from the wrapping and cut if needed. Again, you want them to fit your cookie properly to avoid the appearance of the lines.
You’ll need to apply a “glue” to your cookie prior to placing the image. For this I like to use Wilton’s Edible Adhesive, you can also use corn syrup. You will then brush a light layer onto your dried icing, peel off the backing of your edible image and place onto the cookie. Make sure there are not air bubbles or crinkles and give an hour or two for it to set.
Once your images have set, you can then add a royal icing border to reinforce the image to your cookie just in case it wants to peel back on you. It also gives the cookie a nice completed look and you can use a colour that ties into the theme. For this, you’ll need a thick consistency royal icing, and you’ll want your border wider than just a regular line so that it provides that extra security for the image.
And that’s it! It really is simple, the most important part is the size of your cookie and prepping the icing base so that your image applies smoothly. Many people have asked about the taste of the glue and image, and you can’t taste anything at all! Texture wise you can sometimes tell there is an image, but most wouldn’t notice if they weren’t already aware.
See the video below for how I used these as a paint canvas. For a detailed tutorial on the paint pallet cookies, see my blog all about Paint Your Own Cookies!
Corianne Froese is the owner and operator of Corianne's Custom Cookies in Chestermere AB, Canada. When life as a wife and mom of two young boys allows, she loves to create and share her love of decorated cookies with others. You can follow her on Instagram and Facebook for her most up to date work!