I decided to give you a Valentine’s gift of beautiful cookies; made by a talented cookie and cake artist
Diane Drake from Drakegore
Diane has been decorating cookies for several years, when I stumbled upon her work on Flickr, I was mesmerized by it instantly. Every time she posts photos of her cookie creations I’m in awe; I love Diane’s approach to cookie decorating, my favorite is the elegance that radiates from her edible artworks, she incorporates wet on wet techniques with delicate piped designs using striking colors, creating a unique piece of art, truly a joy to see. Diane is known to be using geometric cookie cutter shapes for her cookies, one of her favorites is a rectangle shape cutter.
She is among those cookie artists using glace icing, mastering this medium just like another amazing cookie artist Pam from Cookie Crazie.
Diane’s artistic approach to cookie decorating landed her a place in the well known Magazine.
~ Meet Diane Drake ~
What was first cakes or cookies? How did you get into the sugar decorating?
I had been doing cookies for about 2 years when I decided to try cakes too. My first cake was for my son’s 4th birthday party and I bit way more off than I could chew as a beginner and ended up working thru the night and finishing it at 6am (the party started at 10am). The next few cakes I did all went along the same lines (no sleep, destroyed kitchen, panic) but I got to bed a few hours earlier with each cake…it only took a couple of years but I finally got the cake timing thing down.”
Pokemon Birthday Cake
Diane: “I find many ideas for decoration from fabric and paper. I am always looking in specialty stores for inspiration.
I really love Asian, Art Nouveau, Craftsmen, and Art Deco motifs, especially the floral elements. I rarely get to make anything with vintage or floral design in cakes, so I really take the love of those motifs to my cookies where I usually can indulge myself. Historical motif and art books are a favorite place to go for those inspirations.”
Favorite cookie design?
Diane: “I started with royal and just didn’t like it. It didn’t taste good to me and I didn’t like the way it felt when I bit into it. I was reading books by Toba Garrett at the time, and decided to try her glace recipe and was amazed by the difference, and I never went back. I still miss some of the things you can do with royal that you can’t with glace (like flower piping), but I am always trying to stretch my boundaries a bit with what I can do with glace. I know there are some good royal recipes out there and I may give it another shot in the future.”
Do you have any cookie idols?
Diane: “I love Toba Garrett and Nancy Didion’s work. There are a lot of amazing cookie artists on Flickr that I love to follow like Rosey’s Sugar, GeminiRJ, Tracy LH, Montreal Confections, and SweetSugarBelle to name a few.”
Valentine Heart Cookies
Diane: “You know, I am not sure! I would be unhappy if I had to make just one or the other. I get a different kind of satisfaction from doing each one. I think I pull my hair out more when I am making a cake, but I do love that I can do more techniques with cake than cookies and have a bigger canvas to work on. Still, I think I would have to go with cookies though because they were my first baking love.”
· I know you said three, but I have to add paper towels to the list. I can’t seem to bake without creating a gigantic sugar covered mess of my kitchen.”
Butterfly Cookie trio
Diane: “Banana or Lemon are my favorites. About the only cakes I don’t especially like are carrot and spice…maybe I just haven’t found the right recipe for those yet (I WILL eat anything covered in buttercream though….).”
King of Jungle Cake
Besides books, there are a lot of great resources on the internet to help teach or share decorating techniques (I learned a lot about modeling fondant characters from YouTube because sometimes it really does help to see someone actually do it).”
Red Lacquer Chinese Flower Cookies
Diane: “When Cake Central Magazine asked me to design cookies for their premier issue. I was (and still am, lol) tickled pink about it. But a very close second, are the times my son (he’s 7) pops up at an event I’ve made cookies or cake for, and says very loudly “MY Mom made those!”. ”
Diane, thank you so much for letting me feature your edible artwork, it truly
was such a joy to work with you on this interview.
Just looking at your cookies makes me wanna bake and decorate.