Baking at Midnight: Hand-Painted Fondant Cookies & DIY Sanding Sugar

Edible watercolours! So pretty!

Edible watercolours! So pretty!

One of my friends once asked me why I didn’t turn my love of baking into a career. My answer was that while I love to do it for relaxation now, if I did it to make money, it would be stressful. (Also likely lowly paid, but that’s another issue.) I like to learn new things and new techniques, and if I was running a business I would probably be making the same things quite often.

Fun bites...of dough!

Fun bites…of dough!

The DH would be quite happy if I made his favourite meals over and over and over and over but that would be soooo boring for me. I like experimenting and trying to improve my skills and just plain LEARNING! I love learning! Oh that dopamine rush! 🙂

No cutter? No problem!

No cutter? No problem!

Case in point, fondant! I made fondant once, perhaps 5-10 years ago, and having learned how to do it and having done it successfully, I had no impetus to do it again. But lately I’ve been seeing a lot about decorating with fondant and especially about icing cookies with fondant, and then I had some marshmallows left over from a camping trip (and we all know my waste not, want not philosophy), so it was a perfect time to make some marshmallow fondant! At 8 pm on the day I returned from a camping trip. Baking urges; I get them.

Basically play dough made out of sugar. Kid fun goes grown-up!

Basically play dough made out of sugar. Kid fun goes grown-up!

I made a batch of the marshmallow fondant, and then I made fondant roses! I’m happy with them, although they’re not perfect. I had run out of icing sugar while making the fondant, but being the queen of substitutions, I made my own icing sugar by grinding granulated sugar in my spice grinder. Apparently I didn’t grind it finely enough, so it wasn’t as easy to work with as I had expected. Still, roses!

Then I stuck the leftover fondant in the fridge for a few days.

wet back of fondant and press on top of cooled cookie

How to: brush the back of the fondant with water and press on top of cooled cookie.

But leftover fondant? I had to do something with that! So I made fondant covered cookies for the DH to take to work. So much fun! I used this recipe, and then rolled out the fondant on a cornstarch covered surface and cut out circles. I wet the circles of fondant on the back, and then stuck them on the cookies to dry. Once they were dry, I sanded the edges using a zester, to get that professional look. And honestly, it makes a BIG difference!

Painting with water-down gel food colouring.

Painting with water-down gel food colouring.

Obviously I had to decorate the cookies somehow. So…more learning of new techniques and experimentation! I tried stamping the fondant covered cookies using watered down gel food colouring and a stamp. I tried painting them with a brush. I tried dipping them in homemade coloured sanding sugar. I stuck silver dragees on them. At 1 am in the morning, I finally decided enough was enough and I should probably get some sleep.

Designs limited only by your imagination!

Designs limited only by your imagination! Or your artistic ability.

I let them dry overnight and left them out for the DH to bring to work the next day. Apparently they were a hit. Yay! I love when people appreciate my baking!

Enough with the ramblings and the pictures, though, let’s get to a recipe! Here’s a quickie one for when you run out of coloured sanding sugar at, say, 1 am.

Oh sugar, sugar! (sing it with me now)

Oh sugar, sugar! (sing it with me now)

Coloured Sanding Sugar

  • granulated sugar
  • food colouring
  • plastic baggie

Put the sugar in a plastic baggie and add a few drops of food colouring. Zip the baggie closed and squish the sugar around until the colour is uniform. Open baggie and let dry. You can use it right away, but it’s better when it’s had a chance to dry overnight. And voila — customized sanding sugar! Particularly good for getting pastel colours of sugar.

I actually made this sanding sugar a year ago for a cookie bouquet that I had made for my mother, so obviously it keeps well! Mmm…sugar. So many delicious things to do with it!

Next Post: Baking at Midnight, Part Deux — Tie-Dye Cookies and Fun Bites. Or my updated version of old-school Schoolhouse Rolls! Both are yum.

One thought on “Baking at Midnight: Hand-Painted Fondant Cookies & DIY Sanding Sugar

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