Viking Shield Cookie Tutorial

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Have you seen the AMAZING How to Train Your Dragon party by Frog Prince Paperie? It's beautiful, it's clever, and I wish I'd been invited!  

(Photo Credit:  Frog Prince Paperie)

I didn't get to make the trip to Florida to crash the party, but I did have a lot of fun making these Viking shield sugar cookies for the event.  

Are you planning your own Nordic shindig and want your own completely awesome shield sugar cookies?  You're in luck, because today's tutorial will show you how easy they are to make!

Start by baking up some plain round sugar cookies, using your favorite  recipe.  This is my favorite recipe for No Fail Sugar Cookies.  

I usually use royal icing to decorate sugar cookies, but this time, I experimented with fondant-covered cookies.  Once the cookies are cool, color some fondant grey, roll it out, and cut circles using the same cutter you used for the cookies.

Paint a little clear corn syrup on the surface of the cookie, and set the circle of fondant carefully on top.

next, I wanted to create the outer rim of the shield.  The easiest way to make a perfect, smaller circle, is with a second circle cutter.  I have this set of graduated circle cookie cutters made by Ateco, and I love it.  SUCH a useful set, and since they all nest together, the collection takes up very little room.  Just choose a slightly smaller circle than the first one used, and press to make a perfect circle indentation.  

I was working with these images as inspiration for my cookies, and I knew I wanted to use silver and gold nonpareils in the cookie design as the rivets and metal studs on the shields.

So while the fondant was still soft, I took the wrong end of a paintbrush, and made indentations for the little silver confectionery balls.

I used the same end of the paintbrush, just more gently, to create the hammered metal effect for some of the shields.

For the wooden shields, I created the wood texture with a sharp paring knife.  Deeper lines for the panels of wood, then light, uneven scratches to create the wood texture on each plank.

I painted the wood areas with brown food coloring, thinned with vodka (it dries more quickly than water).  The outer rim of each shield was painted with silver luster dust mixed with vodka, and while the surface was still wet, I dropped a silver nonpareil into each divot.  The moisture combines with the sugar on the cookie and makes the perfect edible glue to keep the nonpareils in place.    

The final touch, once the brown wooden area had dried, was to paint the design on with white food coloring.  These cookies were really easy to make, but I absolutely love how they turned out.

The new shield design from How to Train Your Dragon II was a little more complicated to draw on.  I actually had to try to draw an actual design, with acceptable, but not great results.  The wooden shields were way easier to paint.  

My girls were so sad when they found out I had to ship all of the Viking cookies away.  Maybe I'll whip a couple up tonight (I still have some circle cookies in the freezer, ready to bake) as a surprise and take them to the movie tomorrow.  

Nicole Wills, creator of Tikkido