Continuing with the Around the World cookie theme, we’re travelling to Japan with these Kokeshi cookies.
But first, a little bit about a new section on Sweetopia, the FAQs.
So, I’ve created a place, besides the tutorial section here, where you can hopefully find the answers to your cookie decorating questions. They’re in this post below and you can always find them at bottom of Sweetopia here:
Frequently Asked Questions – Cookie Decorating
Click on the pink questions below to find the answers:
Kokeshi Decorated Cookies
So what are kokeshi?
According to Wikipedia:
“Kokeshi (こけし kokeshi), are Japanese dolls, originally from northern Japan. They are handmade from wood, have a simple trunk and an enlarged head with a few thin, painted lines to define the face. The body has a floral design painted in red, black, and sometimes yellow, and covered with a layer of wax. One characteristic of kokeshi dolls is their lack of arms or legs. The bottom is marked with the signature of the artist.”
I’ve been seeing them around everywhere, and am drawn to their cuteness, or as I’ve recently learned, how ‘kawaii’ they are. (Kawaii means cute in Japanese).
There are so many more Japanese-themed cookies I’d like to make, like cherry blossoms and traditional temples, but I’ll have to leave those for another time. If you’d like to make these and would like a little more variation, these fan cookies here, would go nicely together, I think.
Thank you so much to author of the Kokeshi Kimono Book, Annelore Parot, for the cookie design! Her work is simply adorable, and besides publishing several kokeshi-themed books and journals, she even has a site dedicated to her Kokeshi dolls.
I changed the color palette and patterns a bit, because the tiny print patterns were a bit difficult for me to achieve on a small cookie. If you’re interested in trying these, one thing which could work, would be to print the patterns out on edible ink paper link – that way you’d have an exact match!
Some of my colour and pattern inspiration came from this My Little Shoebox scrapbooking paper…
which I played around with on a simple circle cookie first. I’ve learned with experience (the hard way – lol), that a design I might like to do doesn’t always work out. So I’d rather experiment on simple cookie, or on parchment paper, first, before I use up the cookie shapes I need.
By the way, the reason why the smaller kokeshi cookies are a darker base colour than the larger ones, is because I forgot to put the timer on when they were in the oven, and almost ended up burning them! I generally like the look of a just-baked shortbread cookie, but actually didn’t mind how the small kokeshis turned out… and I ended up enjoying the slightly caramelized taste too.
The kokeshi below was inspired by the colours of this small bowl from Anthropologie.
The fan pattern on the cookie below, was inspired by a Japanese kleenex pouch, given to me a few weeks ago by my dear friend Kim, who was recently in Japan to watch her son compete in the Karuizawa International Curling Championship in Karuizawa Japan. Congrats to Cory and his team on winning Men’s Silver!
If you’d like to make these cookies, besides a recipe of your choice, royal icing, and the cookie decorating basics (list of materials I use and tutorial there), a few extra items I ended up using were:
- to the fan, was a little bit of gold luster dust.
- the blush on the cheeks; pink luster dust. For more ‘blush on cheeks’ examples, click here and here.
- the eyes and mouth; food coloring markers.
- I used a Kopykake projector to help me pipe the kokeshi dolls.
And if you like video, you can find some video tutorials here.
I’d love to see some of your Japanese-themed cookies, if you’d like to share them on my facebook page here, or if you’ve got some ideas for a Japanese theme, please feel free to leave a comment below! In case you missed it, I began my Around the World travelling series of decorated cookies in Paris, France, and asked you:
Where in the world do you live? Are there buildings, things or symbols from your city or country which you think would make great cookies?
Have fun creating!
p.s. I hope Google translate worked. 😉
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