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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
Mini HDMI to HDMI cable (doesn’t come with the Pico projector)
Lightning to HDMI Adapter (Adapter for HDMI cable to attach to iPad)
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.
Find the cookie cutters I used here by clicking on each individual cutter below (Any links to Amazon in this post are affiliate links):
Rectangle Cookie Sticks (hand cut with a pizza cutter)
What you’ll need:
- Piping Tips – PME #1.5, PME #2 and PME #3
- Piping Bags
- Gel paste colors
- Scribe Tool or Toothpicks
- Gold Disco Dust
- Frosting Sheets
- Small Snowflake Punch
- Transparency Paper
- Gold Luster Dust
- Black Edible Ink Marker
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.
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 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:
Marbling Technique – The Marbled Ornaments
Marbling I think is my favorite way to decorate! It’s easy and fun to play around with different designs!
Here is a how-to video for you on how to marble with royal icing on cookies.
Wavy Christmas Tree Decorated Cookie
You can see how I decorated this whimsical, wavy Christmas tree, in this video here.
Rocking Horse Cookie
Thank you to Anna of The Sweetest Tiers for the swan design inspiration!
I used the brush embroidery technique as wings for some of the swans, but others I left plain. Which do you prefer?
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 cookies, thawing cookies and the shelf life of 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!