This year seems to be the year everyone is taking notice and trying their hands at 'stencil' cookies - whether it's with food color air pumps and sprays or with frosting. And, I am no different - I thought about it last year but 'eh' life was too busy. This year, life is just as busy, but I thought "Why not?" "I've got to ice the cookies anyway and this won't take any longer... just do it."
Since I didn't know if I would like doing cookies this way I did not want to invest in an 'air pump' sprayer but figured I'd give the Wilton Spray Mist Colors a try, as well as frosting. You can find intricate directions and instructions alllll over the internet but basically you just put a layer of royal icing on a cookie, let it dry complete and then place a stencil over the cookie and either spray or mist a food color "ink" over or use a flat spatula and scrape a thin layer of a thick icing over.
In the end, I found I absolutely was NOT happy with the spray cans of color. The color was not bright - and took numerous light coats to get a nice 'bright' red but by then the moisture content of a few layers was too much for the icing and I noticed small bubbles appear.
The spray mist also tended to mist "under" the stencil no matter taunt against the top of the cookie I felt I had it. Only about 1 in 5 was good enough that I was 'happy' with it. Not good odds. Plus, the spray cans made a lot of "over" spray and wasted so much color! I just wasn't impressed.
The frosting cookies however... not bad. Some stencils worked better than others. If it had too much open space, or tiny little intricate cuts, it could be persnickety, but the average image or word stencil worked fairly well.
If I choose to do these against next year, I will be doing the frosting/icing stencil - but not the Wilton spray mists.
FIRST: flood fill your cookies with icing that hardens (like a basic royal icing) and let dry 24 hours to completely harden.
Any size shape or cookie will do.
The food color mist sprays... not impressed.
The silver wasn't too bad but the red was a light pink unless I did 4-5 light layers. By that time the moisture of the spray sometimes caused tiny bubbles in the icing or more often than not, the fine mist drifted under the stencils. I broke 2 cookies trying to press the stencil firmly in place to avoid the drifting color mist.
Fed up with the sprays, I grabbed some excess frosting from another cookie and tried my hand at using a small spatula to spread across a stencil and lift up. MUCH BETTER.
I had some leftover red icing from other cookies so I added some powdered sugar to make it stiff and used it to finish the cookies.
Stenciled the word "hope" onto this one.
Believe was my favorite word - but the "B" on the stencil was too hard to work with as it was skinnier than the other letters.
Wish worked pretty well.
One of my stencils had a random snowflake design. It worked out fairly well!
I found cheap stencils at Walmart and found a couple more (not cheap) at Michaels.
You might also be interested in items related to this post, available to purchase through Amazon;
Christmas Snowflakes Stencils - 7 Sizes
Martha Stewart Large Stencils 3 Sheets/Pkg-Arabesque 8.75"X16.75" 11 Designs
SugarVeil® AirPen Piping Dispenser
Super Deluxe Master Airbrush Twin(2) Airbrush Cake Decorating Airbrush Kit with a 12 Americolor .7 Fl Oz Airbrush Food Colos
Ateco Natural Wood Small Sized Spatula, 4.5 Inch Blade
Wilton Master Color Mist Food Color Spray Kit (Includes all 8 Colors in 1.5 oz. Cans)