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Saturday, September 8, 2012

Royal Icing Maple Leaf

Today's project is a leaf off the official state tree of West Virginia (and Vermont, Wisconsin, and New York): the sugar maple. I piped it in green, because that's what they are most of the year, but check out this link; you'll see all the colors of leaves borne by the same sugar maple in the fall! You could pipe piles of these leaves well in advance in every color and have a lot of fun decorating a cake with them for fall (or for any Canadian celebration). All you'll need to pipe maple leaves are stiff consistency royal icing, leaf tip #104, round tip #3, parchment paper squares, a flower nail, a Styrofoam block to rest the nail in, a glue stick, round toothpicks, and a dusting pouch filled with a 50/50 mix of powdered sugar and cornstarch. Start by sticking a parchment square to the flower nail with a dab from the glue stick. 
Lie the #104 tip almost flat against the surface, and pipe two leaves in "V" formation. Note how the "ridge" in the middle of each leaf touches at the bottom to form that V. Dust your fingertips by touching them to the dusting pouch and pinch the ends of the leaves to taper them. 
 Pipe a third, larger leaf in the middle. With a dusted fingertip, tap the edges of it gently where it lies over the first two leaves to blend them all together somewhat.
 Work quickly so the icing won't have a chance to dry. Using a round toothpick, drag out a few points on each leaf. Lie just the pointy tip flat on the surface, press down to the parchment, and drag outwards.
 Wipe the toothpick clean on a paper towel after every few points.
 Switch to a round #3 tip and pipe the stem of the leaf. Allow the leaves to dry thoroughly (you might want to place them under a desk lamp to speed up this process) and then use them to decorate any dessert (particularly maple-flavored ones!).

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