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Nov 29


Pico Projector, Arkon Mount and Nutcracker Decorated Cookies

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Nutcracker Decorated Cookies on Sweetopia

Hello hello and welcome to my first post sharing my new favorite cookie decorating tools, the Pico projector and Arkon mount. For those of you familiar with my tutorial on the Kopykake projector, you’ll know that I’m not overly skilled at drawing, and I love to either trace (royal icing transfers) or use a projector to help me draw on cookies.

Nutcracker Cookies on Sweetopia

These nutcracker character designs aren’t too complicated, but using a projector to make decorating as easy as tracing the design, makes decorating easier for me.

Nutcracker Decorated Cookies

So, what is a Pico projector? It’s a small, hand-held size projector that I use to project an image onto my cookie. It’s plugged into my iPad and mounted on this Arkon mount below.  The mount is called the Remarkable Creators Phone and Tablet Stand, is $139.99 and you can get it on Arkon’s site here. You can get 20% off with the coupon code sweetopia. You should know I am an affiliate of Arkon and Amazon, but only share products I use and love with you.

Pico Projector and Arkon Mount for Cookie Decorating

The photo above has been brightened a bit, so I’m sharing another photo below without the brightening…you can see the projected image quite clearly, even at the brightest time of the day. The mount for the phone (above), by the way, is also an Arkon mount, and I use it to hold my phone if I’d like to video while I’m decorating on a cookie.

Pico Projector on Arkon Mount for Cookie Decorating

To use it, I just load the image in an app on my iPad called Camera-Lucida, rotate it 180 degrees (the image projects upside down), and I’m ready to go.

pico projector for cookie decorating

The projector comes on it’s own, and it’s key to have a good mount to hold it up. I love the Arkon mount… it’s sturdy with a solid base so I don’t need to clamp it to a table and can move it anywhere, it can easily be adjusted to project at any angle and the clamps which hold the projector and iPad are adjustable, snug and tight.

How to Make Nutcracker Decorated Cookies

I’ll eventually share an in-depth tutorial showing the Pico projector and mount, but for now, if you’re interested in trying them out, here is what I use:

Pico Projector

Arkon Remarkable Creators Phone and Tablet Stand (20% off with coupon code sweetopia)


Mini HDMI to HDMI cable  (doesn’t come with the Pico projector)

Lightning to HDMI Adapter (Adapter for HDMI cable to attach to iPad)

Nutcracker Decorated Cookies on Sweetopia

Now onto the nutcracker cookies! These are sugar cookies decorated with royal icing. You can find other cut out cookie recipes here.

Decorated Nutcracker Cookies

The decorating technique for this set of cookies is fairly straightforward, so I’ll share my basic tips in case you’re new to decorating, otherwise please feel free to ask me any questions in the comment section below.

Nutcracker Decorated Cookies

Decorating Cookies

Find the cookie cutters I used here by clicking on each individual cutter below (Any links to Amazon in this post are affiliate links):

Cookie Cutters:

Lollipop Cookie Cutter

Candy Cane Cookie Cutter

Snowflake Cookie Cutter

Swan Cookie Cutter

Bon Bon Cookie Cutter

Wavy Tree Cookie Cutter

Rocking Horse Cookie Cutter

Rectangle Cookie Sticks (hand cut with a pizza cutter)

Christmas Nutcracker Cookies

Decorating Items

What you’ll need:

Nutcracker Cookies

Royal Icing Consistency

The consistency of icing is key for easy decorating. Click here to see a YouTube video on finding the right icing thickness for basic flooding and decorating. I used different consistencies for some of the details of the cookies, and will explain according to each cookie below.

How to Make Nutcracker Decorated Cookies

Cookie Decorating Basics

This video on outlining and flooding is a good place to start if you’re new to decorating cookies with royal icing. These cookie decorating basics YouTube videos may also be helpful to get you started. For each of the cookie designs below, I’ll share some additional details such as decorating techniques and design sources.

Meri Meri Nutcracker Gift Tags and Sweetopia Decorated Cookies

Meri Meri Nutcracker Characters

Thank you to Meri Meri for the Nutcracker character design! I found these adorable gift tags and couldn’t wait to make cookie replicas!

I made the characters as royal icing transfers, that way they could be taken off the cookie before the cookie is eaten… the gold disco dust is non-toxic, but not labelled as FDA edible. (For decoration only). Here are a few tutorials which involve royal icing transfers if you’re interested:

How to Make Lettered Cookies

How to Do Royal Icing Flood Work or Run Outs

Marbling Technique – The Marbled Ornaments

How to marble royal icing

Marbling I think is my favorite way to decorate! It’s easy and fun to play around with different designs!

Cookies decorated with marbled royal icing

Here is a how-to video for you on how to marble with royal icing on cookies.

Marble Cookie Decorating

Wavy Christmas Tree Decorated Cookie

Whimsical Christmas Tree Decorated Cookie

You can see how I decorated this whimsical, wavy Christmas tree, in this video here.

Nutcracker Cookies

Rocking Horse Cookie

Rocking Horse Decorated Cookie

Thank you to Shiori of Fiocco Icing Cookies and Arts for the adorable rocking horse cookie cutter and design!

Swan Decorated Cookies

Swan Cookies

Swan Cookies

Thank you to Anna of The Sweetest Tiers for the swan design inspiration!

Swan Decorated Cookie

I used the brush embroidery technique as wings for some of the swans, but others I left plain. Which do you prefer?

Nutcracker Cookie Instructions

It may seem strange to be sharing holiday cookies this early, but the beautiful thing about cookies, is that they freeze really well. If you’d like to start baking and decorating early, click on the links to find posts on freezing cookiesthawing cookies and the shelf life of cookies.

Nutcracker Decorated Cookies

I’m sure I’ve forgotten some details so please feel free to ask any questions below and thanks for visiting me here!

Happy baking and decorating!



Nutcracker Decorated Cookies on Sweetopia

Nutcracker Cookies

How to Make Nutcracker Cookies

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  1. November 30, 2018 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    You’ve outdone yourself again, Marian. Can you ever stop to create such cuteness?? haha this is ADORABLE, all of these cookies!! Amazing!

    This projector is so so kool, too! It is like “the next best thing” compared to the previous years, we see how the digital world just keeps moving forward.
    It is great you tried it out and showed us how it is done!

    Love all your creations so much. God bless you!

    • marian
      November 30, 2018 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

      Thank you so much Niner! xoxoxo

  2. Maria Lennartz
    November 30, 2018 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    How amazing, beautiful art work again! Love all the designs! The Swan with the feathers are my favorite. The nutcracker is just perfectly done.
    This projector is a very advanced tool! You are so talented and a great teacher! Thank you for all your hard work and for sharing it with us.

    • marian
      November 30, 2018 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

      Okay, good to know about the swan, thank you so much for your comments Maria!

  3. Barb
    November 30, 2018 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    These are just stunning! For over a year I accidentally put my PICO in Japanese mode and couldn’t get it back to English. That was fun…trying to get the projection right…not!! And then one day it was back to English! Anyway, I love my PICO! Beautiful work as always, thank you for sharing!

    • marian
      November 30, 2018 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

      Ha ha, I’ll make sure I don’t do that. Glad it’s working for you now!

  4. Loris
    November 30, 2018 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

    Marian they are just fantastic. You certainly have outdone yourself again. Very involved looking though. Well done!!

    • December 2, 2018 at 8:51 am | Permalink

      Thanks so much Loris, I really appreciate your kind comment!

  5. December 1, 2018 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

    Definitely like the winged swan!

    • December 2, 2018 at 8:52 am | Permalink

      Hi Courtney,
      I’m impressed you read that in the post! Thanks for your feedback and comment, I appreciate it!

  6. Karyn
    December 2, 2018 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    Are the nutcracker cookies transfers? Did you do them first then transfer them? Or did you do them directly on the cookie?

    • marian
      December 2, 2018 at 11:50 am | Permalink

      Hi Karyn,

      Thanks! Yes the nutcracker characters are transfers. That way the person eating them can take off the transfer first… the gold disco dust is non-toxic but labelled as ‘for decoration only’.

  7. Karyn
    December 2, 2018 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    They are so beautiful! Great job!

  8. Sandy Dickson
    December 3, 2018 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    Absolutely stunning – as always!!! I’ve been thinking about purchasing a Pico, but haven’t quite taken the “purchase” step yet. This info. certainly helps!! I love the swans with feathers – they’re so delicate. Thank you for including so many details for those of us who aren’t as experienced as you!

    • marian
      December 3, 2018 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

      Hi Sandy, thanks! Yes, the Pico isn’t a cheap cookie decorating tool, but I’ve been happy with my purchase. Thanks for the feedback on the swans and thanks for visiting me here! xo

  9. Mercedes
    December 6, 2018 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    I love my Pico but that stand!!! One day. I have the regular stand that Amazon had is what I bought. It does the job fo now. I love this nutcracker set. I want to make them!

  10. Mercedes
    December 6, 2018 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    BTW you do such an AMAZING job in everything you do!

    • December 6, 2018 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Mercedes! I appreciate the comment and continued happy decorating to you!

  11. Jennifer
    January 13, 2019 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for sharing! Did the sweetopia code expire? It won’t accept it on the Arkon site. Thank you in advance!

    • marian
      January 16, 2019 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

      I will email them right away, thank you for letting me know!

    • marian
      January 16, 2019 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

      Hi Jennifer,

      Here is the email response I received from Arkon:

      “Yes, your coupon code is still active at 20% discount in 2019.

      Please ask your blog reader friend what device they were using (if a phone, please tell me the specific model). I’m guessing if the person clears their browser history / cache, the code will work for them. Or, if they try ordering from their laptop or PC, that too might solve the problem.

      Please see if you can get more information about the device they were using so I can forward to our ISP for troubleshooting.”

      I will send you an email so that you don’t need to share your device information here. Chat soon!

    • marian
      January 22, 2019 at 11:56 am | Permalink

      Hi again Jennifer,
      Thanks for letting me know via email that it worked!

  12. Tamara
    February 1, 2019 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the info on the Pico projector and stand. I am ordering this weekend. Is this the correct cable for an IPad —- Mini HDMI to HDMI Cable, Rankie 6 Feet High-Speed Mini-HDMI to HDMI Cable (Black)
    by Rankie?

    Love your cookies. You are very talented.

    • marian
      February 2, 2019 at 10:18 am | Permalink

      Hi Tamara,

      I’m not sure about brand, sorry! I know that I had to buy an adapter for the iPad connector (in my list above) and the cable has to be a MINI HDMI to a REGULAR HDMI connection. Hope that helps!

  13. Tina
    March 18, 2019 at 6:02 am | Permalink

    Lovely cookies! I would love to see a tutorial on the PICO and the nutcracker cookies. Thinking I may make this set for my daughter 1st bday. XOXO

    • marian
      March 19, 2019 at 10:07 am | Permalink

      Thanks so much Tina! xo

  14. Jacqueline Bartolotta
    April 2, 2019 at 3:17 am | Permalink

    Does your Pico projector die on you while using even if the charger is connected? I’m having this problem. What would you recommend to prevent this from happening?

    • marian
      April 2, 2019 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

      Hi Jacqueline,
      No, I’m sorry, mine doesn’t die when plugged in. If there’s a way to contact the maker of the projector, I would try. Sorry that’s not more helpful!

Show Pingbacks & Trackbacks

  1. By Royal Icing Cookie Decorating Tips | Sweetopia on December 14, 2018 at 10:59 pm

    […] as royal icing transfers, and used my pico projector to help me draw the designs. More on that here. More on how to make a royal icing transfer at the links […]

  2. […] I usually use the Arkon mount to hold my Pico projector. What is a Pico projector? It’s a small, hand-held size projector that I use to project an image onto my cookie. It’s plugged into my iPad and mounted on the Arkon mount above.  The mount is called the Remarkable Creators Phone and Tablet Stand, is $139.99 and you can get it on Arkon’s site here. You can get 20% off with the coupon code sweetopia. You should know I am an affiliate of Arkon and Amazon, but only share products I use and love with you. You can see more about the projector and mount in this post here. […]

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