Jelly Bean Sugar Cookies
Tips and Hints: Preheat your oven to 250 degrees. I prefer using a toaster oven. I do not like to bake clay in an oven where I bake food. The fumes from the clay can get into your real food. If you are not going to bake clay a lot, it's OK to use your regular oven on occasion. But if you plan on working with clay a lot, please invest in an inexpensive toaster oven. Always make sure your oven is heated to the desired temperature before putting your project into the oven. I like to use an oven thermometer and I keep it in my toaster oven at all times and check it regularly while baking.
You can use an index card as a baking pan or if you are using a tile to work on and don't want to disturb your work, you can place the tile into the oven. Tiles are less than one dollar, come in several different sizes, and can be purchased at any hardware store in the flooring section. These are great to work on because they are hard and smooth and you can put them into your oven. They are indestructible (unless you drop one on a hard surface) and can be easily cleaned. I clean mine with baby wipes. You can also use a damp paper towel. Be sure that the tile has a smooth surface and is either light gray or white. Sometimes while baking clay on a tile, it will leave a shiny surface on the bottom of your project. Be careful. You can always test it first. Personally, I prefer using the index cards. I also save old business cards and these are ideal for baking. Do not bake clay in a foil pan or on aluminum foil. The foil will leave a shiny spot on your clay. If an aluminum pan or tray is all that you have, line it with a paper towel first. The paper towel will not burn.
Jelly Bean Sugar Cookies
This basic sugar cookie can be decorated in any way that you'd like. Suggestions: Paint the top of the baked cookie with Mod Podge or Matte Varnish. While still wet, sprinkle with fine white craft sand or ultra fine white glitter for sugar. The glitter sparkles and is more realistic. You can use colored sand or ultrafine colored glitter to turn it into a Christmas cookie. You can use a star shaped or heart shaped cutter. You can make red or green cherries from clay or use tiny colored beads for the cherries and press them into the center of each cookie before baking. If using clay, prebake your cherries so that they don't distort when you press them into the cookie. Be creative. Look through recipe books for pictures and ideas. Reproduce a family favorite. Have fun with this recipe.
Today we will be making jelly bean cookies.
Supplies and tools needed: Fimo or Premo brand clay: Translucent Premo or Transparent Fimo, Orange, Golden Yellow Fimo or Cadmium Yellow Premo, Red, Green, Purple, and White; Mod Podge or Matte Varnish, ultra fine white craft sand or untra fine irridescent glitter for sugar (I prefer the glitter because it sparkles), tacky glue, single edge blade, masking tape, ruler, x-acto knife with a round handle or an acrylic roller, 5/16" round Kemper cutter, pasta machine or 1/32" stripwood cut into two 3" pieces, medium pointed paintbrushes.
Both the roller and cutters are sold in craft stores in the clay section. You can purchase the artists' pastels at an art supply store or online.
Jelly beans: Mix 1 part Transparent Fimo or Translucent Premo with ¼ part Orange. Mix well until all of the streaks are gone. Repeat by substituting the Orange with Golden Yellow Fimo or Cadmium Yellow Premo, Repeat again substituting the Orange with the Red, then again with the Green, then again with the Purple clay. You should now have 5 balls of different colored clay. You will have mixed the Transparent or Translucent with each of these colors.
Roll each color to a snake 1/16” in diameter.
Lay the snake across your ruler, your ruler will be horizontal and the snake will be vertical. Measure the width of the snake so that it is 1/16” wide.
Cut 1/16” pieces from each colored snake. We will be using 3 jelly beans for each cookie. If you are making 10 cookies, you will need 30 jelly beans - 6 of each color.
Roll each piece into a ball then form an oval or jelly bean shape with each piece. The easiest way to do this is to roll the clay on the palm of your hand, not the middle or the soft part, but on the hard bone right below your little finger. Can you feel it? This acts as a great rolling surface. Place the clay onto the bone and using the tip of your index finger on your other hand, use gentle pressure to roll the clay into a ball. Gently roll the clay back and forth a couple of times to form an oval. You will get the hang of this after you do a few. The secret is to use gentle pressure. If you press too hard, you will distort the clay.
Transfer your jelly beans to a baking card or leave on our tile and bake in a 250 degrees preheated oven for 15 minutes.
Basic Sugar Cookie Mix: Mix 4 parts Transparent Fimo with 1 part White Fimo and just a sliver of Golden Yellow Fimo or mix 4 parts Translucent Premo with 1 part White Premo and just a sliver of Cadmium Yellow Premo. You want your mixed clay just to have a hint of yellow.
Roll to 1/32” thick. You can use a pasta machine or 2 pieces of 1/32” stripwood. If using the stripwood, lay the ball of clay in between the 2 sticks and use the round handle of your x-acto knife or an acrylic clay roller to roll out the clay. Pretend you are rolling out a pie crust. When the roller or x-acto knife handle hits the wood, you know you have the thickness that you want. If your clay is sticking to the roller, gently brush some cornstarch onto your clay before rolling. Important: Do not peel up the clay from your work surface after rolling it.
Cut the cookies with a 5/16” round Kemper cutter and use as you would use a cookie cutter. Hold the cutter by the shank, not the plunger. The shank is the round part with the hole. Place the cutter on top of the clay and gently push straight down. Turn the cutter clockwise and gently pull the cutter up. If the clay did not release from the cutter, push the plunger and release the clay. Start over. If this problem keeps happening, dip the end of the cutter into some cornstarch and lightly tap off the excess before using.
Swipe your paintbrush across the Yellow Ochre artist pastel stick and light brush the edges of the cookies by brushing from the outside to the inside. Brush just the edges. Repeat with the Brown pastel but use just a little bit. This color can be potent so be careful. Use just a touch and brush here and there on the edges. This will make it look like the cookie has browned while baking. Practice with the brown on a piece of scrap clay. If you do not have artist’s pastels, you can bake the cookie and once the clay has cooled, dry brush the edges with some light brown acrylic paint. Be careful not to have too much paint on your brush. Start off light. You can always add more paint but you can’t take it off if you use too much. The same is true with the artists’ pastels.
Place 3 jelly beans in the middle of each cookie – press into the clay until only the tops are showing. See the photo for placement or use your own design. Once the jelly beans are in position, use the flat end of a small wooden dowel or the flat end of an x-acto knife to press down on the jelly beans.
Slide a single edge blade underneath the cookies to release them from the tile and transfer them to a baking card. If you are baking on the tile, just leave them where they are. Bake at 250 degrees for 30 minutes. Let the clay cool.
Attach each cookie to a piece of masking tape. This will secure them for the next step.
Brush the tops of the cookies with Mod Podge or Matte Varnish. Brush 3-4 cookies at a time.
Sprinkle the tops with ultra fine glitter or sand. Let dry.
Glue 10 cookies to a plate. Glue one in the middle and then glue 7 cookies around the rim of the plate, overlapping each other and the cookie in the middle. Glue remaining 2 cookies on top.
Now that you have the hang of it, you can start your holiday baking. Have Fun!