A friend of mine had a birthday / graduation party so i wanted to make something a little special for him. We were getting him a present as a bunch so we should also of course have a card for him. So i thought, why not make an edible one? I never want to throw away the cards i get, cos well someone gave them to me, but i wouldn't really want to keep them saved up a long time either. So atleast for this card there's a good reason to get rid of it if you wish to do so. You can eat it! I had some leftover dough so i made a few extra cookies to suit the theme and gave them as a present along with the card.
First make the cookie base from gingerbread or for example some white cookie dough. This is a recipe i've been using for years. It's from a book from back then, don't really remember which one. I usually make these cookies only at christmas, but since you can freeze this dough and defrost it a little at a time when you need it, i used it now when i had some in my freezer.
- 2 dl dark syrup
- 2 dl sugar
- 1 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp ground cloves (neilikka)
- 2 tsp ground bitter orange peel (pomeranssinkuori)
- 1/4 tsp ground allspice (maustepippuri)
- 250 g margarine
- 2 eggs
- ~ 10 dl wheat flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
Boil the syrup, sugar and spices in a saucepan. Add the margarine, let it melt and then wait for the mixture to cool down. Add the eggs and flour with the baking soda mixed in it. Let the dough rest until preferably the next day before making the cookies or freeze it for later use. Roll the dough flat with some flour and cut out cookies. Bake the cookies in 200 C oven for 5-10 mins (depends on the oven, mine might burn them even in 4 mins)
Royal icing (pikeeri)
- 2 1/2 dl powdered sugar
- 1 tsp water (or more to make it more loose)
- 0,5 ml (maustemitta) tartaric acid (viinihappo) or 1 tsp lemon juice
The measurements are just guidelines and the real amounts depend on how loose icing you want to make. Mix the egg white in a bowl with the powdered sugar. Mix the tartaric acid with the water and add that in aswell. If you use lemon juice instead of the acid you might not need to add the water since the juice already adds enough liquid. Tartaric acid makes the icing dry faster than lemon juice. Use an electric mixer to beat the icing a little fluffier and make it the consistency you want by adding more water or powdered sugar or whipping it more. The recipe for the icing is originally from Mansikkamäki where they also have nice walkthrough for making it and tips for decorating with it (in finnish). I just made some alterations towards "my way".
I made my icing in 2 different kinds: a thicker kind and a more runny kind. The thicker is used for making the edges sharp and the more runny icing is for filling in the pattern. I put the icing in 2 plastic zipper bags and cut out the tip of one corner in each one. Cut out only a little at first and then try how the icing comes out. If you want to make the hole larger you can, but you can't make it smaller anymore if you cut too much. Same thing with the thickness of the icing. You can still make it more loose in the bag by adding water and squeezing it in the bag evenly, but it's harder to make it thicker anymore when it's in the bag. You can also dye the icing in the bag with some food color if you wish, but remember that if you are using liquid food color especially to make bold colors it might loosen the icing up since you have to use a lot of the color. If you have leftover icing or when you're not using it at the time, you can put a piece of tape in the tip to cover the hole and the icing wont come out or dry.
Decorate the cookies the way you like and let them dry until the icing is completely solid. If you are making wide and thick areas of icing you will need atleast several hours if not until the next day before you can start doing anything else to the cookies. For me few hours was enough even for very loose icing to dry up since i was using tartaric acid in mine. The lemon juice based might take longer.
When the icing is solid, you can either paint on it with food colors or draw with a food color marker. I used both techniques in my cookies. Be careful not to use too much water, since it may start dissolving the sugar in the icing.
Here are my cookies and the finished card wrapped up and ready to go:
Pikeeri - Piparkakkuohje - Piparkakkukortti - Piparien koristelu