Although fondant isn’t what I normally cover cut-out cookies with (I love working with royal icing), when one of our art teachers at the school I work at, Maureen Egan, asked if she could have some guidance on making 100 art palette cookies for a retiring art teacher, I advised her to go with a fondant base for a few reasons.
For the amount of cookies being covered, it would be much quicker to roll out 100 circles of fondant as a base than to ice with royal icing. The other reason has to do with the circular shape of the cookie. You might think that covering a circle cookie with royal icing would be easy (and it can be with a few tricks – I use them in this video here if you’d like to see), but getting predominently perfect circles done neatly can be tricky and somewhat time-consuming, especially for a first time cookie decorator.
My student, Stefanie Francavilla, is the talented creator of the art palette design and the fondant paint brush. She showed us how to make the paint brush in a few simple steps, which I’ll share with you below. It’s thanks to Stefanie’s design and help and Maureen’s hard work that I’m able to share this tutorial with you. I hope you enjoy making them too!
The tutorial is laid out in the steps taken to make these art palette cookies, from the sugar cookie base to the final decoration touches. For your planning purposes be sure you check what’s needed for each step if you’d like to make them to.
Artist Palette Cookie Tutorial
Sugar Cookie Recipe
You can find the recipe for the dough here. If you’d like to try a different cookie base, other recipes can be found here. You can use any size circle cookie cutter as the base. I used a 6.5 cm or 2.5 inch circle with the indentation cutter at 3.5 cm or 1.5 inch.
How to Make a Fondant Paint Brush
You can make these ahead of time and store in a cool, dry place.
*Black Fondant (My favorite brand right now is Satin Ice)
Digital Scale (optional)
Paintbrush (only used for food purposes).
*You can buy white fondant and color it using food gel coloring.
First off, apologies for the poor phone picture quality for the fondant paint brush tutorial. I’ve included close-up photos taken with a better camera below each step by step.
Brush Bristles Step by Step
Step 1: Roll about an ounce of black fondant into a ball first and then, between the tips of your fingers, narrow it on one end to form the tip of the paintbrush.
Step 2: Use a skewer or ball tool to make a little hole or curved indent at the base of the bristles, where the paintbrush handle will attach.
Step 3: Score some lines into the black fondant to make it look like bristles.
Step 4: Let them dry on parchment paper, in a cool, dry place, before you attach to the brown handle.
How to Make the Paint Brush Handle
Step 1: Take about 2 ounces of brown fondant and knead into a ball.
Step 2: Roll the fondant into a snake-like shape, with the ends being thinner than the middle.
Step 3: Using a paring knife, cut roughly in half.
Step 4: Round the sharp edges by gently patting down and shaping with your fingers.
Step 5: Using your real paint brush, dab a little water onto your thicker, rounded edge and attach the black bristle piece.
Step 6: Let the fondant dry on parchment, in a cool, dry place, for at least a few hours.
Covering Cookies with Fondant
You can find a basic video on how to roll and cut out fondant here.
To adhere the fondant to the cookie, you’ll need…
You’ll also need:
Fondant Rolling Pin (We used a large rolling pin)
*We used a 6.5 cm or 2.5 inch circle with the indentation cutter at 3.5 cm or 1.5 inch.
Covering Cookies with Fondant Step by Step
Step 1: Roll out your fondant to about an eighth of an inch or 0.3 cm thick. You can find a basic video on how to roll and cut out fondant here. Cut out your circle shape first, then the curved indentation with the smaller circular cutter.
Step 2: Using the straw, cut one small hole near the indentation. Use the barbeque skewer to push the excess fondant in the straw out.
Step 3: Adhere the fondant pieces to the cookie base with royal icing.
Step 4: Gently press the fondant down, in a circular motion, with the fondant smoother. Place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. You’re ready to add the colored dabs of icing now. If you’re not decorating the same day, cover the baking tray with plastic wrap to keep the cookies fresh.
Royal Icing “Paint” Dabs
The icing for the paint dabs needs to be a little thicker than flood icing – when you dip a spoon into the icing and pull upwards, the icing should form a soft peak. You can find my favorite royal icing recipe here.
What you’ll need:
Step 1: Pipe a dollop of each color of icing, in a circular motion until you’ve got the desired amount (you may want more or less than these). You may want to leave a little space in the middle so that the paint brush has room to be placed.
Step 2: Adhere the paintbrush with a little royal icing. You may want to use a little less than we did, as you can see some of the icing below the paint brushes.
Hope you have fun making these!
If you have any questions or comments please feel free to drop me a line below in the comment section or on social media. You can find me on Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and YouTube.