Welcome some luck and prosperity with these Chinese New Year Cookies from Confection Couture!
Here's what you'll need:
- Chinese New Year Accents Cookie Stencil
- Chinese Lanterns Cookie Stencil
- Chinese Zodiac 3 PC Cookie Stencil Set
- Cookie Cutters
- Madrid 2 Plaque
- 4" Square
- 4" Circle
- 2" Circle
- AirGenie Airbrush System
- Gyro-Cut Craft and Hobby Cutting Tool
- Cookie Magnets
- Plastic Bottle with Dropper Tip
- Quadrant Masking Tool (x2)
- Stencil Genie
- Screen Genie
- DecoPac Airbrush Food Coloring
- Midnight Black
- Malibu Blue
- Super Red
- Gold Shimmer
- Bronze Shimmer
- Glad Press'n Seal
- Paper Towels
- Long needle or chopstick
The first step, of course, is to bake and ice your cookies. Allow the icing to harden before moving on to the next steps.
For the blue-gray of the cookie backgrounds, try mixing colors. Add a teaspoon or so of DecoPac Airbrush Food Coloring in Malibu Blue to a plastic dropper bottle. Next, add an equal amount of White and a drop or two of Midnight Black and shake the bottle to mix thoroughly. Add a couple of drops to the reservoir of your AirGenie airbrush system tool and test the color out on a blank piece of white paper. Add more blue, white, or black colorant until you achieve the desired shade. Run the airbrush tool until empty before testing out a new color ratio.
Airbrushing the Blue-Gray Background
Now, load a few more drops of the color mixture into the airbrush tool.
Always test out the airflow on a stack of paper towels prior to airbrushing each color and cookie. Adjust the flow as necessary by turning the dial on top of the airbrush unit.
Apply the color to the cookie using numerous light coats while moving the tip of the airbrush tool in a small, circular motion. Rotate the cookie as you spray to evenly coat the entire cookie.
Repeat for all cookies.
Cleaning up colorant from your work surface is easy using just water and a paper towel.
Next, load some black colorant into a clean airbrush tool.
Glad Press'n Seal is perfect for masking off intricate design elements of the stencil. Cut a piece roughly the size of the stencil and lay it over the top. Using your fingers, flatten out the plastic to remove any bubbles or wrinkles. Trim away excess plastic by placing the Quadrant Masking Tool under the edge and cutting it away using the Gyro-Cut craft and hobby cutting tool.
Next, use the Gyro cutter to trim around the Chinese character symbol. Peel away the plastic covering the desired shape.
Stenciling the Black Elements
Take the Stencil Genie and separate the upper and lower portions. Place the thicker side down with the magnets facing up. Next, lay down the stencil with the segmented border design centered inside the square. Use a Quadrant Masking Tool to protect from overspray the areas of the cookie that are surrounding the stencil element. Add the Screen Genie over the top and lock everything in place using the other half of the Stencil Genie.
Next, place the entire assembly over the cookie, lining it up where you want the design to be airbrushed.
After testing out the airflow on the paper towels, add the color using multiple light, even coats. Once finished, lift away the tool assembly and place the cookie aside.
Stenciling the "2022" Cookie
Repeat the above steps for each number, 2 - 0 - 2 - 2, on half of the square cookies.
This time you will not need to use the Press'n Seal - just use two quadrant masking tools to isolate the number on the stencil. Carefully place each number so that they will be equidistant from the cookie edges and from each other.
Stenciling Black on the Mask Cookie
Now, use the Press'n Seal and Gyro cutter to mask off all of the elements of the mask stencil that you will be airbrushing in black. Add two stacks of cookie magnets, 3 or 4 each, to further assist in pressing the stencil flat against the cookie surface. Airbrush these as you did previously.
Stenciling Black on the Lantern Cookie
Continue for the black elements of the lantern stencil. Alternatively, you can purchase separate stencils for each of the different colors of the lantern pattern. When these three designs are layered, they produce the same three-colored image - no Glad Press'n Seal or trimming required!
Cleaning the Stencils and Stenciling Tools
To clean the stencil and masking tools, simply rinse them or soak them in water. For the Screen Genie, you can either rinse it under a faucet or spray water backwards through the mesh using a chemical-free spray bottle.
Once clean, dry everything completely using paper towels or a lint-free towel.
Cleaning the Airbrush Tool
To clean the airbrush tool between colors, rinse out the reservoir 4-5 times using clean water. Next, reattach the air hose and refill the reservoir with water. Run the water through the tool until it's completely empty. Repeat this step, once more using water, and then a third time using an inexpensive 100-proof vodka. Once the reservoir is empty, continue to run air through the tool to ensure that all of the liquid is gone.
Stenciling the Red Elements
Now, load a few drops of Super Red into an airbrush tool and repeat the above steps for all of the red stencil elements.
Mask and airbrush the red parts of the mask design.
If you notice that there is still some space between any of the elements and the curved surface of the icing, you can use a chopstick or long needle to help press that area flush against the cookie, moving it where you need as you move the airbrush tool over the stencil.
The Flower Cookie
Next, add the red elements of the flower stencil to the smaller circle cookies.
Mixing Honey and Gold Shimmer
The next color is a golden yellow. To achieve this, I mixed some Honey colorant with some Gold Shimmer in equal parts. As before, I tested out this color on some white paper. Because this color will go on top of the blue/gray background, I also sprayed tested this out on the paper. Sometimes layering colors can result in some surprising shades. On this note, adding darker colors on top of lighter colors usually works out fine. Adding lighter colors on to darker colors, however, usually does not.
Continue masking and airbrushing all the yellow gold elements.
Now, add the golden yellow petals to the flower cookie.
Next, switch to bronze shimmer for the remaining accents on the lantern cookie.
Adding Sugar Pearls
Finally, add some red and gold sugar pearls to give your cookies some three-dimensional flair!
Apply a tiny dab of icing on to the pearl and then use some culinary tweezers to carefully place the pearl on the cookie. Dress up the corners of the square cookies and the Lantern cookie. Add a red pearl to the center of the flower and finally a gold one to the nose of the mask design, if you desire.
Your Chinese New Year cookies are now complete an ready to help your family and friends leap into the new year!