You may have seen Mehndi — an Indian body art that uses a Henna paste to paint intricate, lace-like designs on one’s hands, feet or body — on stars like Gwen Stefani and Beyoncé. Now, this ancient art is inspiring (advanced!) cookie decorators, too.
Step 1: Do the prep work
These designs work best with royal icing. Bake a batch of cookies, let ’em cool, and then outline and flood each one with 15-second icing. (Bright-white or jewel-toned colors are fun here!) Use a toothpick or scribe to even out lumps and pop air bubbles; then let the icing dry overnight. While you wait, sketch some design inspo out on paper to help with your decorating later.
Step 2: Create a base design
Want to go totally freehand? Go ahead and fast forward to the next step. But, for first-timers, we recommend starting with a cookie stencil. A daisy shape is a nice choice because you can pipe your designs in and around its symmetrical petals. Secure the stencil over your iced cookie, and then layer on edible spray paint. Let dry for 20 minutes.
Step 3: Decorate away
Using a contrasting color, pipe your lace designs onto the cookie. (You can practice on waxed paper first!) If you opted out of the stencil, you’ll want to start by piping the center-most element of your design first and then work your way out. If you’re starting with the daisy shape, begin piping your lace around the edges of each petal. Then use a different-colored icing to add decorative elements such as a center circle, dots along the perimeter, or half-moons around the outside of each petal. Continue piping swirls, lines and dots in and around your petals until you are happy with your design.
Step 4: Add details
Once you’re 80 percent done, switch your tip out for a smaller one — Ateco Tip 00 is great for hard-to-reach places — to fill in nooks and crannies that call for extra-delicate design elements like tiny dots or swirls.
Step 5: Let dry
Allow your mini masterpieces set overnight before packaging...or just eating. Yum!