December 21, 2016

Hand Painted Butterfly Cookies

Hand Painted Butterfly Cookies - Anna Johnston -

Ever since I can remember, doodling, drawing, painting, arts and crafts have been where I go to find peace, relax, retreat or escape. If I couldn’t answer a question on my exam paper as a primary school student, I’d draw elaborate doodles that often the teacher would award me with additional marks for, that’s a win right?! To this day my note books and work diaries are filled with flowers, love hearts, rainbows and unicorns.

I love to sketch and I have always been fascinated with the art of hand painting, so I thought I’d try my hand at painting a cookie, and the best bit is, if it doesn’t turn out the way you want it to, you can at least eat it! My hand painted butterfly cookies ended up like psychedelic water colour butterflies, which was not my initial aim but sometimes you just need to go with what eventuates.

So tell me my lovelies, do you doodle? If yes, what do you find yourself doodling? Hands up if you laugh when you say doodle over and over…

Hand Painted Butterfly Cookies - Anna Johnston -

Hand Painted Butterfly Cookie – Recipe by Not Quite Nigella

Preparation time: 10 minutes plus an hour or so painting time

Cooking time: 20 minutes

  • 85g butter, softened
  • 140g white caster superfine sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 180g all-purpose flour plus extra for rolling
  • 500g white fondant (you won’t use all of this)
  • 1/2 cup cornflour
  • Edible colour gels in red, blue, green, purple, orange and yellow
  • Painters palette, or little bowls which is what I used
  • 6 clean small paintbrushes and a non stick rolling pin
  • You will also need a butterfly cutter, or free hand it using a stencil

Step 1 – Line two trays with parchment. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in egg and vanilla. Stir in the flour. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight).

Step 2 – Preheat oven to 200 degrees C. Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut out butterfly shapes and gently place on parchment lined trays. Bake for 15 minutes or until light golden. Cool completely on tray.

Step 3 – Dust a clean surface lightly with the cornflour. Roll out the fondant. Cut out the butterfly shape with the cutter and using a little water, attach the fondant to the cookie.

Hand Painted Butterfly Cookies - Anna Johnston -

Step 4 – Add some water to the cavities of the palette (bowls) and start off lightly with very diluted mixes before adding more colour to make a solid colour using the small paintbrushes. NQN says the key to painting is layering. I had a picture propped up in front of me and used tattoo illustrations as a guide.

Hand Painted Butterfly Cookies - Anna Johnston -

Hand Painted Butterfly Cookies - Anna Johnston -

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shenANNAgans is Anna Johnston, a 30 - something Aussie gal with an unwavering passion for the Hospitality industry. I love the quirky and unusual, designing events, travelling far and wide and eating food from all around the world. I am coffee blooded, a craft beer enthusiast, wine drinking yogi who enjoys writing about her adventures.

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Glamorous Glutton - September 28, 2017 Reply

These look so fabulous and joyful. I love the colours, it seems a shame to eat them. GG

    Anna - September 29, 2017 Reply

    Thanks GG! And I agree, I kind of did feel a little bad eating my artwork, but they tasted yummy! 🙂

Tim UrbanDuniya - January 2, 2017 Reply

Simply gorgeous!! Love these!!! I didn’t even know edible colour gels were a thing… I learn something new every time I’m on your page! And I love Not Quite Nigella – I’ve had some great recipes from her over the years 🙂

Denise Browning - December 28, 2016 Reply

These cookies are simply gorgeous. So colorful, so full of life and deliciousness. Could you please send me some? 😉 Happy 2017!!!!

Aanchal Iyer - December 26, 2016 Reply

Yipeee Cookies!!!
Cookies are my favorite, and these cookies look yummy with those vibrant colors but hope that does not affect.

Mandy - December 23, 2016 Reply

Absolutely beautiful Anna!
Love to you hon.
🙂 Mandy xo

Liz - December 22, 2016 Reply

What gorgeous, vibrant cookies! I love the caveat that these can be eaten if they’re not especially attractive 🙂 I have a feeling that would be the case at my house, but we’d happily indulge. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas!!! xoxo

Mabel Kwong - December 22, 2016 Reply

These are works of art and look too good to be eated, Miss Anna! I love how you made all the colours blend into one another. Had no idea you were into illustrating and painting, and from what it seems here, you do have a talent for the art. Also I’m guessing these kinds of cookies are a hit with everyone. If I could come over I would be grabbing every single one of these cookies and I’m sure I could finish it in a whole day 🙂

A lot of people I know don’t like fondant. But I absolutely love fondant, be it on cookies or cakes 🙂

Wishing you well and take care of yourself as you work this season x

    Anna - December 22, 2016 Reply

    Why thank you little sis, you are always so darn positive and thoughtful with your comments. I appreciate you! 🙂
    Ha, love that you like my accidental blend of colours, not what I had planned, but they did turn out pretty. Next time I will go for a more detailed finish, possibly make them all the same. But… they were enjoyed very much and all gone that very day they were baked and painted too.
    I like fondant too, not a fan of marzipan tho. Ewwwww that stuff is gross.
    Wishing you a super Christmas too beautiful one. I am going to make sure we meet in 2017.
    Big hugs and loves. xo

Elizabeth - December 22, 2016 Reply

They are too cute 🙂
I love that you are having fun painting cookies on your day off!
I hope you have a wonderful Christmas…! I’m sure you are working and will get some time off when the school holidays go back!
See you in the new year!
Liz xx

    Anna - December 22, 2016 Reply

    Happy Hello’s to you my dear friend. 🙂 I am indeed working over Christmas and NYE too, but taking a couple of weeks leave at the end of January to spend with my family. Cant wait! I hope your Christmas is most excellent and your NYE filled with all the fun. Big hugs and yes… see you next year. xo

      Elizabeth - January 6, 2017 Reply

      I hope you have a wonderful time on Jan… I will be so close yet so far 🙁 I’m off on a cruise (happy Birthday from Owen and Mum) for 7 days, but it stops in Airlie beach not Hamilton Island 🙁 but it is at the end of Jan… so it sounds like you will be back in Canberra then! Liz xx

Kris - December 22, 2016 Reply

Not sure that I could ever get to the decorating stage on a biscuit… they usually get eaten before there would be an opportunity. I love the crazy design you got with your biscuits. So colorful. Taste as well I’d imagine.

    Anna - December 22, 2016 Reply

    Teehee… nope, pretty sure the biscuits wouldnt make it to the decorating stage if you were doing this. Lol! Thanks heaps Nizz, they didnt turn out the way I had hoped they would, but heck, still pretty I reckon. And yes, they tasted delicious. Big fan of NQNs recipe. 🙂

Ala - December 22, 2016 Reply

These are absolutely WONDERFUL, lady!! I can’t draw for the life of me, but I do doodle stick figures whenever I get the chance heh. Cannot wait to give these a try. Hope the holidays are treating you well! <3

    Anna - December 22, 2016 Reply

    Thanks so much lovely one! 🙂 Ahhhh… the stick figure doodler, also fond of the ol stick figure. Especially when you draw one on each page of your note book and fan through so it looks like he is running. Animation at its finest.
    Happy holidays to you too. Hugs across the pond. xox

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