A mosaics class I took recently inspired these mosaic cookies!
The strategy for these is simple: make royal icing mosaic “tiles” and drop them onto some black “grout” icing. It’s a bit opposite of the actual mosaic process, but still maintains the concept of a tile and cement.
The Mosaic Cookie Process
These royal icing transfers need to be done at least a couple days in advance to ensure that they are completely dry before attempting to transfer them (see Royal Icing Transfers). Make sure the tiles are dry enough that they have loosened from your parchment or sheet cover. Handling them or trying to remove them before they’ve dried completely can result in broken tiles.
In order to pull this off, I pipe my tile design onto a circle that is exactly the same size as my actual cookies. Also, after baking I re-punch my cookies to reform my perfect circle and remove any excess cookie that might result from spread while baking. Just be sure to do this soon after the cookies come out of the oven, while they are still warm.
Knowing that my cookie was exactly the same size as my tile design, I first started on the outer edge and worked m way in. I knew this would be risky, as I could run out of space when I got to the center…and I did. You can see that I overestimated the distance between tiles on the outside, leaving me very little working space but the time I got to the center.
So I gave in and marked the center of the circle, and smeared my cement everywhere but there, so that I had a starting point. This design worked well for that, as it has a tile in the center to fill in the center space.
I made my black icing thick to act more as a cement, however, that required that I work fast. By the time I got to the end of the tiling, I needed to touch up the icing supply in some sections as it had already dried. Perhaps a thinner flood icing would’ve created a smoother finish, however, I didn’t want to risk the dark icing bleeding into my lighter color tiles.
The royal icing “tiles” didn’t end up as precise as I had envisioned. And ironically, I think the smaller tiles resulted in more handsome mosaic cookies than the larger ones did. One option for the future might be to just dry a sheet of royal icing, break it into pieces, and create a more angular tile that way.
Also, I think it might be fun to retry this project with tiles made of broken melted candy instead of royal icing, similar to the flames in this Campfire Cake.
Discuss the cookies here.
Discuss the process here
Discuss improvements here.
Happy baking, friends!