Instructable Wednesday: Food Stencils

Instructable Wednesday is a weekly look at food and cooking related items from the site Instructables, a DIY site with a great community and all sorts of useful tutorials. Today, let's look at the "I ♥ Accuracy" Brownies. It has long been a staple of people who love things everywhere to make a heart that has two bumpy bits at the top and a pointy bit at the bottom. That's all well and good, but what about those of us who are pretty sure that a heart doesn't look like that? Not only is this a handy technique for the anatomically pedantic, but it's also good starting point for making stencils that will work for food. The technique can work with sweet confections such as the brownies, or you could adapt it with flour for bread. Using colored powders or edible spray-paint, you could take this technique to new heights for the stencil-ready foods. Let your imagination run wild. Think of it like silk screening: anything that could go on a t-shirt could go on food. Not that you'd want everything that has gone onto t-shirts to go onto food, but it gives you an idea of the flexibility of the technique.

That's how the cookie colors

I was watching The Cookie Clause episode of Good Eats a moment ago, and he mentioned that powdered food pigment is better in many cases than gel, paste, or certainly liquid. Liquid because it's weak in color and will throw off the recipe, gel because it'll crack a royal icing, and gel and paste because they contain preservatives and the like. It's tough to find powdered food color, at least in Charlottesville, so I figured I'd compile links to them. There's a few more, but I figured that this would pretty much get you by, plus a little bit more. I would recommend at least getting red, yellow, blue, black, and white. Red, yellow, and blue will give you your base colors, and black and white will allow you to darken and lighten the colors as necessary. If you're working with a white substance such as royal icing, then you can just add that to desaturate it rather than the white food coloring.