Our contributor, Erin Gardner of Erin Bakes, is back with a new tutorial today!
I’ve fallen in love with a wreath. A stunning wreath inspired by vintage brass Dresden ornaments. A gorgeous, artist-designed wreath that only costs about the same as my entire holiday budget. My kids would totally be ok with that, right? Yeah, I didn’t think so. I figured if I can’t buy it, I’ll bake it!
I achieved my gilded wreath design by dressing up store-bought cookies with dark chocolate and edible gold luster dust. The animal cookies I used weren’t even the name brand ones. I found the generic store-brand cookies had better details. The leaf cookies were also a house-brand from a large specialty food chain. If you can’t find those, you could also use leaf cookies commonly found at Italian bakeries or make your own with a spritz press.
As for the chocolate, use the good stuff for this project! Skip the chips and reach for chocolate in bar form. High-quality dark chocolate bars are typically found in the candy aisle, not the baking aisle. Candy melts also wouldn’t work. The chocolate needs to be very, very thin in order to let the detail of cookies show through.
GILDED COOKIE WREATH CAKE
a tutorial by Erin Gardner
Yellow or gold sixlets
Edible gold luster dust
Liquor or clear extract
Fork for dipping
Break the dark chocolate up into a small heatproof bowl. Melt over a double boiler or in the microwave. If using a microwave, heat the chocolate at short intervals, 20-30 seconds at a time, stirring chocolate between heatings.
Place a cookie onto a fork and lower it into the dark chocolate. Submerge the cookie so that it’s completely covered. Lift the cookie up out of the chocolate and tap the fork against the side of the bowl to shake off excess chocolate.
Using a clean finger, or a paint brush, wipe the surface of the cookie so that the details are exposed. Slide the cookie onto a piece of parchment paper to dry. Repeat with the rest of your cookies.
Combine gold luster dust with a few drops of liquor or clear extract to make a gold paint. Vodka is typically the luster paint mixer of choice, but other liquors work just as well. I tried rum on my cookies and loved it! It worked beautifully to create the paint and added a little extra festive flavor. Paint the detailed sides of your cookies with the gold luster paint. Set the cookies aside to dry. Repeat with another layer if you want your cookies to be solid gold.
Dip a dry paint brush into the gold luster and dust the detailed surface of the cookie. This will help make the color more uniform while giving the cookie a brighter, polished sheen.
Paint and dust the yellow sixlets the same way you did the cookies. Arrange the gilded cookies and candy on top of a freshly iced cake.
These jazzed up store-bought beauties would also work beautifully as cupcake toppers or even on their own arranged on a platter.
Find all of our holiday recipes and tutorials in our Christmas Gallery!