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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Royal Icing Cottonwood Leaf

The cottonwood tree was designated the official state tree of Kansas in 1937. They have triangular to diamond-shaped leaves, which are rather beautiful; I think they'd be stunning on a cake commemorating Kansas (or even something to do with Valentine's day, because in the photos I've seen they look like hearts). All you'll need are green medium-consistency royal icing, leaf tip #104, a glue stick, parchment paper squares, a flower nail, a Styrofoam block to rest the nail in, round toothpicks, and a dusting pouch filled with a 50/50 blend of cornstarch and powdered sugar. Start by sticking a parchment square to the nail with a dab from the glue stick. 
 Hold the #104 tip almost flat against the surface. Without moving the tip, squeeze so the icing curls over itself, then move the tip along for about 3/4"…
 …then stop pressure and pull the tip away.
 Touch your fingertips to the dusting pouch and define/taper the tip of the leaf. Sometimes I like to use the surface of my fingernails to achieve that gentle, inward curve of the edge.
 Press the side of the tip of a round toothpick into the edge to make it jagged. Dust the toothpick first so it won't stick to the icing. Leave the curved top and the tapered tip of the leaf smooth; only make the sides jagged.
 Press the side of the toothpick into the surface to form veins, radiating outward and downward from the center ridge. When the icing is dry, peel away the parchment. If you're representing a cottonwood in fall, be sure to use yellow icing!

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