A look at some of my cookie tools.
1. Brushes- The large one I use to brush away crumbs before icing. It's also useful in brushing away excess decorating sugar. The middle one I use for brush embroidery, and the tiny one I use for detail painting with food color.
2. Clay sculpting tools. -I use these to scrape off icing details. (see photo below)
3. Clay tools.- I use these to make shallow holes in dry icing for dragees when they have to be precisely placed. I can also make holes that go all the way through a finished cookie. (see photo below)
4. Tweezers. - For picking up and placing small objects on cookies. The pink one has little indentations to better hold sugar pearls or dragees, but my favorite is the angled one.
5. Acrylic stamping block. -I use this to get even pressure on cookie cutters that keeps them from flexing and distorting the shape of the cookie. It's also very helpful in keeping my hands from getting sore when pushing on the sharp edge.
6. Ceramic clay cutting tools.-I use these when I need to hand cut cookie dough. The top one is for thicker dough. The middle one and the bottom one are actually double sided and very thin allowing me to get more precise cuts.
7. Embossing tools.- I use these to scribe designs on dry icing for detail work, and they come in handy to make an indentation for dragees in fondant.
I kept this cookie, which has all kinds of bad things going for it, to show how I can remove a bad icing detail even when dry. I don't do this often, but when I don't want to waste a cookie, I'll resort to this. Most of the time the icing isn't this dry when I notice it needs to be redone.
Note: I use royal icing, so I don't know if this technique will work on other icings.
I use this to make holes in finished cookies. I can make a shallow hole and place dragees exactly where I want them, or make a hole completely through the cookie if I forgot to add one before baking.
Note: I use royal icing, so I don't know how this will work with any other icing.
While I was taking photos of the tools I use to make cookies, I took a photo of the tools I use to photograph them when I can't use natural lighting. This photo shows 3 of the 4 utility lamps I clip to the back of my kitchen chairs to create a well lighted area in which to take my pictures. I put a 100 watt full spectrum bulb in each one. These bulbs seem to allow truer colors rather than the yellow cast of regular incandescent bulbs.
I also use them to dry icing so I can move on to the next step of my cookie decorating sooner.
The small camera tripod seen in the photo easily stands on the table and can adjust higher if needed.
I do have a light box, but hate dragging it out to shoot a couple of photos, and I find this usually works almost as well for me. I admit there can be more shadowing than with a light box, but I'm hoping what I'm photographing is more interesting to look at than the shadows surrounding them. And my lights are being used to dry icing most of the time so they are already to go for photographing. If need be I can hold one of the lights over what I want to photograph and eliminate most of the shadows.
♥ Happy Decorating ♥