These conch shell cookies are near and dear to my heart. The inspiration for them comes from the conch shells my husband and I have from our honeymoon in Jamacia over 13 years ago… sheesh, time flies! Every time I have a reason to bake beach themed cookies, my conch shell cookies are a given! They are a go-to summer cookie for me not just because they make me think of a happy memory, but also because they are SO easy to make!
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How To Make Conch Shell Cookies
Before you start reading about how I decorate these beachy cookies, please take a moment to watch me make them. I would love for you to follow me on YouTube so you are able to catch all of my videos when they are posted. Enjoy!
The first thing you want to do is bake your cookies about a day in advance. I used my favorite shape holding sugar cookie recipe and conch shell cookie cutter. Once your cookies are baked and cooled, place them aside in a sealed container to set overnight.
When your cookies are ready to decorate, you can prepare your royal icing. You can find my recipe, here.
Next, place some icing into two bowls. In one bowl you want to have a very light tan. I achieved this by mixing very small amounts of ivory gel color and brown gel color. The other bowl will be very light pink. For each of the two colors, you want one bag of icing mixed to piping consistency (not very stiff, though), and one bag mixed to flood consistency. I do this by adding small amounts of water (with a spray bottle) to the bowl. When it looks right for piping, I remove a little bit and bag it. I then add more water (still with the spray bottle) to the remainder of the icing in the bowl until it is flood consistency. You definitely don’t want it too thin, though so be careful. Place your piping icing into piping bags fitted with size 2 tips, your flood icing into bags with the tip of the bag snipped off, and you’re ready to decorate!
Time To Pipe
The First step in making your beautiful conch shells, is to outline and fill the “wing” (that’s not what it’s called… but I’m stumped) of the shell with your light pink icing. Smooth the icing out with your scribe and leave the cookie to dry before moving on to the next step.
Next up, you are going to take your light tan icing and pipe a line on the outer edge of the pink section you piped earlier.
Immediately after you pipe your line you are going to grab your flat bristle paint brush and use a technique called embroidery. I take my paintbrush and sweep the icing towards the center. I keep a damp paper towel around when I am using this technique to wipe the excess icing off of my brush as I go. If you have not yet watched the video I posted above, this is a good time to check it out and see just how I do this step.
Let your embroidered line dry for about 15 minutes and then you’re ready to start filling in the rest of your shell with icing. I broke the remainder of the shell up into 4 sections that would be flooded with icing. You want to do two sections at a time, but in an every-other-one fashion. See below…
Once the two sections you have filled in are a bit dry ( about 20-30 mins should be fine) fill in the missing sections. Again, see below…
To Airbrush Or Not To Air Brush
At this point, you can certainly stop decorating and have a beautiful cookie! You could even use petal dust to achieve a similar look. Before I had an airbrush, I certainly was done at this point and thought they looked beautiful. BUT… I do have an airbrush now and I am addicted to it. Haha! If you have one, you know what I mean! If you don’t have one, I urge you to consider changing your cookie decorating life and purchasing one. Here is mine.
Airbrushing Your Cookie
Once my cookie has completely dried, I wanted to add a bit of shading to it. I tend to want to do this on all of my cookies. For the conch shell, I used the color warm brown to get the look I wanted. Just lightly spray the edges and seams to add a little dimension. When you are finished, just make sure you let your cookie dry.
And….. Voila! You have a pretty conch shell cookie!
Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions.
Happy decorating! xoxo, Katie