Beach themed cookies are my favorite to decorate, hands down. Yup, even more than Christmas! As soon as the weather starts getting warmer and spring is coming to an end, I get excited. I know it’s about that time for beach cookies! I’ll make them for teachers, coaches, end of school year parties, and BBQs. They are just so beautiful! From summer to summer I may tweak the designs a little bit for creativity’s sake, but after many years of decorating, I never get tired of them.
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The Sweetest Starfish
Like I said earlier, I tend to make minor changes to my beach cookies every summer, but I have favorites I bring back each year. I want to teach you all how I make those “favorites” one design at a time. This post will go over my starfish cookie. It has evolved over the years into what you see pictured today. This cookie is so easy to make, but the result sure is something pretty.
How My Starfish Are Made
I’ve created this little video to display a sped up version of how I decorate the starfish cookie, but I also will break down the steps and explain them to you here in this post.
Before You Decorate
The very first thing I did was bake and cut out my sugar cookies with my favorite shape holding sugar cookie recipe found here. I love my starfish cookie cutter SO much but, sadly, the store I purchased it from no longer exists. I was able to find a very similar cutter, here, that would work out perfectly for you. Be sure to let your baked sugar cookies set up in a sealed container until the next day before you start decorating them with royal icing.
You’re Ready To Decorate With Icing
To make the base of your starfish cookie you are going to take royal icing mixed up a little thicker than flood consistency and outline your starfish with a number 3 piping tip found, here. I like to make my colors light whenever I know I will be using my airbrush. It gives a nice contrast between your dried icing color and your airbrush color. Keep this in mind.
The next step is to immediately fill in your cookie after you outline it using the same icing. Once it’s all filled in you can smooth it out with your scribe. My cookie scribe is my most used tool in decorating. If you do not already own some you can find them here. Now set your cookie aside and let it completely dry.
When your cookie has dried you are ready to add some texture to your starfish. This part is super simple! All you are going to do is take a paint brush and dip it into the same icing you used early to outline and fill your cookie. Then, just dab all over the cookie like you are sponge painting… just with a paintbrush. Reapply more icing to the brush every few dabs. Once your cookie is covered in this texture, set it aside to dry once more.
After your cookie has dried, again, take the same icing and pipe dots along the center of each of the starfish limbs with a number 2 tip. I made the dots a little smaller the further I got from the center of the starfish.
Now, using the same icing and same tip, I piped smaller dots all over the center of the cookie by applying less pressure to the bag. Once you like how it looks you can set it aside again to dry. Be careful not to go overboard with the dots… it’s so easy to do. Haha!
It’s Airbrush Time!
Early I mentioned to you that my cookie scribes were my most used tool when it comes to decorating, BUT my favorite? That is 100%, no doubt about it, my airbrush! I remember a time where I did not yet own one and the thought of using it intrigued yet terrified me. I thought it would be hard and I would be horrible at it. Curiosity got the best of me and I purchased one a few years ago. Best purchase I’ve made when it comes to decorating cookies. I find a way to use it almost always. Now, I’m not trying to say I picked it up and was a pro first try, but it is so much easier to use than you might think. If you don’t already own an airbrush set, trust me, you gotta try it! You will love it, just keep practicing and don’t give up on it. Here is the one I own and love. The colors I use can be found here. Word of warning, though… When you airbrush, the color will go everywhere and cover everything. You might not even notice for a while, but I have to tell you. I would wipe down my fridge two rooms away from where I sprayed and color would come off of it. I did some research and found here that has become quite the lifesaver! It keeps the color from becoming airborne.
If you do not own an airbrush and you are not interested in purchasing one, no worries! You can achieve a similar look using petal dust.
For the color, I used here and started spraying on one side of each limb until I got all the way around the cookie. The airbrush station I use has a turntable which aids in this process.
Next, just go around the opposite direction and spray the sides of the limbs you haven’t gotten with the color yet. Your end goal is to have the edges of your cookie a brighter, darker orange than the center. The color will cling to some of the raised texture and dots but I like that.
That’s it, friends! Feel free to reach out with any questions and please share images of your cookies with me… I’d love to see them!