From country western themes to rustic weddings, faux woodgrain can be the perfect addition to many cookie sets. A woodgrain pattern can act as a subtle but realistic background on your cookie to make words and phrases pop, and can be achieved using a simple but effective method.
Brown airbrush dye
Begin by outlining and flooding your cookie using a lighter wood color such as a warm brown. This color will provide the base for your woodgrain effect, so choose a hue that contrasts your airbrush color without being too drastically different. Allow the flooded cookie to dry at least four hours in a cool, dry climate to ensure the royal icing has a hardened top layer. Painting on a cookie before it has fully dried can risk damaging and piercing the royal icing.
Once the cookie is determined to be dry, dab your fan brush lightly into the brown airbrush dye, removing any excess dripping paint. Test the brush on a paper towel before painting on your cookie.
Working in long, steady strokes, gently drag the tip of your fan brush across the cookie. Be sure not to work back and forth, as this may create a zigzag pattern that does not reflect true woodgrain. Continue to swipe your brush along the top of the cookie, working in horizontal sections until the cookie is entirely covered, making sure not to rebrush your sections. Also, be wary of oversaturating your brush, as this can blend the lines together and eliminate the desired effect. Always test your brush on a paper towel first.
When finished, your cookie should have a subtle wood grain effect that can provide the perfect neutral background for additional piped details such as lettering or florals. Allow the paint to dry about 10 minutes before piping on top of it. If you are packaging your cookies in plastic bags, lightly dry-brush a dab of cornstarch on top of your cookie to keep the paint from smudging.
There are many ways a woodgrain effect can be achieved, the fan brush method is one of the simplest and most affordable way to bring rustic whimsy to any set of cookies.