Friday, August 31, 2012

Royal Icing Columbine

The white and lavender Rocky Mountain columbine is the official state flower of Colorado. I have a boatload of fuchsia icing, so I did another version which has essentially the same shape but is more of a deep pink. Columbines are rather large; they smell beautiful, attract hummingbirds and bees, and make great cut flowers. I recommend using a large flower nail and large parchment paper squares to really do them justice. You'll also need a glue stick, a Styrofoam block to rest the nail in, a dusting pouch filled with a 50/50 mix of powdered sugar and cornstarch, leaf tip #70, petal tip #104, round tip #3, and stiff consistency royal icing in white, yellow, and fuchsia. Start by sticking a parchment square to the flower nail with a dab from the glue stick. 
 First, pipe five equal petals with the fuchsia icing and the leaf tip #70. Hold the tip in the middle and almost flat against the surface. Squeeze faster than the pace at which you move the tip to create ruffles. Stop pressure and pull the tip away. Touch your fingertips to the dusting pouch and pinch the end to taper it (unless it ends neatly on its own).
 Repeat for a total of five petals. Touch a fingertip to the dusting pouch and slightly flatten the center. Allow this part of the flower to firm up for a while.
 Using the #104 petal tip, pipe five petals that straddle the "V"-shaped gaps between each of the first layer of petals. Hold the tip with the wide side in toward the center and the narrow side facing out. Move the tip in a "U" motion for each petal, angling the narrow end upward as you pipe to give this layer a lot of depth. Allow it to dry for a while.
 Pipe a cluster of #3 pull-up dots for the stamens in the center. Hold the tip flat against the surface, squeeze, pull up briefly, then stop pressure and pull the tip away.
Allow this cluster to dry for a while, then add dots to the ends by squeezing out a little ball of icing and then touching the tip to (or gently wiping it against) each stamen. I think a hummingbird might be just as drawn to these as the real deal! 

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