I’ve been meaning to have The Cookie Architect over for a while now. It’s happening. You may remember a project from last year called The Gingerbread House of Cards. If by any chance you’d missed it you need to check it out. The Cookie Architect, one woman operation stands behind it all. Today Rebecca shares yet another beautiful cookie idea. 3D Xylophone. Are you puzzled how she made the knobs? She tells it all. Keep reading.
my artistic whims when it comes to what I decide to bake. So when I got the bright idea to make a
xylophone cookie, I thought “Why not?” I
could picture it immediately- a fun 3D project with rainbow colors and cookie
mallets. So I’m going to share with you
here how I brought the vision to life, and if you decide to try it yourself I
think it has lots of great parties and themes it could work with- a child’s
birthday with a vintage or children’s toy theme, a baby shower, or any rainbow
themed or play with your food type of party!
looking to my favorite place, Pinterest, for some inspiration. I kind of knew what I was looking for, but
wanted to find an image that would guide my process. The classic xylophone toy like my son has had
already been done to great effect by Sugarbelle,
so I knew that was not what I was looking for.
It did not take a long time searching to find the perfect xylophone to
cookie- I even loved the picture of the box it came in! I liked that the shape of the key layout had a
little interest, and I liked the overall vintage vibe of it.
Sugar Cookies for Cut Out Cookies works great!
Icing – I used a few colors from a
previous set, and added in a few colors
inspiration picture into a viable cookie size.
I knew I wanted to make the mallets with the smaller cookie pop sticks
that I had, so that gave me a sense of what the overall size wanted to be. I sketched it out full size on a piece of
paper- Overall it was 10” wide and 5” tall.
You can see that your sketch does not have to be fancy, and no drafting
program was used in the manufacturing of these cookies! (FYI-my kind of a sketch – Hani)
rectangular, but the size varies. I recommend
using a rolling pizza cutter to cut out all of the shapes in the process below,
because I find that that gives the best long straight lines and is easier than
with the end pieces. Because I had seen Yankee Girl Yummies make very thick rectangular cookies before I
knew that the ends could be done that way, by rolling the dough to about ¾”
thick and cutting out the pieces- about ¾” wide and 5” long. Bake those first on their own, as the thicker
cookie need longer to bake than the rest.
are the bottom of the frame from dough rolled to 3/8” thick. In my version they were about 9”-10” long and
1” wide. I would recommend baking these
pieces at this stage, because you will want to notch the end pieces for
assembly before they have cooled too much and you need the final size of the
base pieces to do this. Once the bottom
pieces are baked and cooled enough to move, set them up where you want them,
and use them to mark and notch out the ends so that they can overlap the bottom
pieces as shown. This can be done with a
small paring knife as the dough will still be a little soft. Now that this is done, you can set it all in
place and establish how much room that you have for the keys.
keys on a cutting board so that you can transfer it easily to the freezer. I
used one of those thin plastic ones, and rolled out the dough to 3/8”
thick. First cut it into the overall
rectangle that I knew would fit inside the frame you’ve just baked and laid into place- give yourself
a little room on the sides so that they won’t touch the frame, and make it a
little shorter than the width of the frame- 4 ½” if your frame is 5” wide, for
example. Then, cut the gently curved
shape in the top of the rectangle as in the picture, to make the keys tall at
one end, and ¾” shorter at the other. To
make the individual keys use a ruler to evenly mark out approximate divisions,
and cut the space between them and remove the dough (keys should end up about
¾” wide). I recommend a bigger gap then I left in the picture, because they
expand when baked, and I ended up having to remove a key so they would all
fit. At this point, transfer your
cutting board to the freezer for ten minutes- I put my thin board on a cookie
sheet to keep them flat. Once chilled,
they will be stiff enough to gently move to the cookie sheet without warping
their rectangular shape.
the keys, make the “wooden” knobs that look like they are holding the keys in
place. I wanted the knobs to have that
rounded edge circular shape that they had in the example picture, because I
thought it would look really neat in cookie form. For this I used a super cool
tip that I had seen by Royal Bakery– she used it for fondant but it works great
on dough too! Basically, roll out your
dough to 3/8” thick, and then put a piece of saran wrap on top of the dough and
use a small (1/2”) round cutter (I used a bottle with the right sized opening)
to cut out the knobs- the saran wrap will shape and smooth the dough as you are
cutting. I made at least two for every
key, and a few extra just in case.
baking sheet along with these little knobs, and bake as usual.
them all up in place so you don’t mix up the sizes and the colors will go the
way you want them. This will also let
you place the knobs is a straight line.
I went in a rainbow order, but you could just do two colors with
alternating keys or whatever strikes your fancy. Still, if you want a pattern, best to keep
the keys in a row. One at a time, pull
the key you are icing out of the line up and using the 15-18 sec icing, first
outline then fill the tops. You can really pile the icing on to get that
rounded top effect. A quick shake
settles out the wrinkles. I then set the
iced cookie back into place in the lineup, and gently place the knobs into the
still wet icing. I found that it was
best to push them in to the icing a little bit and that then you might want to
redistribute the icing around the knob with a toothpick so that it doesn’t
bulge out at the sides. When all of the
keys are iced- let them dry. You can set
them in front of a fan or heat fan, or do what I did and carefully transfer
them to the dehydrator for 15 minutes.
wanted them to have a very vintage feel, so I used a technique I’ve done before
to give colored cookies a “faded paint” look.
Similar to what you might do with a brown luster dust or airbrush to
make a white cookie look vintage, you can use powdered white food coloring
brushed on or applied with a q-tip to make your cookie look like it’s been in the
sun a little too long. I did mine with a
brush around the knobs and rubbed it in with a q-tip on the surface. I love the way it made the whole thing look!
thick white royal icing for assembly- first applied where the ends notch over
the base of the frame, and once that was in place, I spaced out all of the keys
and “glued” them in place one at a time with a dollop of icing on each base
piece. A tip here is that if you add a
little ivory to your icing so that it is closer to the color of the cookie, it
will be less noticeable if some of your glue shows at the seams.
that my original plan involved making them out of cookie dough. Three failed
attempts and a burning ball of dough on the floor of my oven later, I whipped
up a small batch of fondant courtesy of Hani’s great YouTube
tutorial and dyed some of it with ivory
to match the color of the cookies, rolled it into balls about 5/8” around and
stuck them on sticks, then stuck the sticks in a rack so that the balls could
dry out and firm up to hold their shape. You’ll see in the picture below I also
decided to embellish the ends of the frame with a little of the royal icing in
a diamond pattern inspired by the box in the inspiration picture.
|Beautiful diamond pattern.|
mallets, but I will say that when we ate it, the fondant mallets went first, so
if you were hosting a party, a cup of mallets alongside would be popular with
the kiddos, because Hani’s marshmallow fondant is delicious!!!! Another eating
tip- the keys were the perfect size to be individual cookies and come time for
dessert, everyone picked their favorite color and ate it up!
The Cookie Architect”
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