We may be headed in the paperless direction in work, home and office environments, but not when it comes to desserts. If you can create it with paper, you can make it edible and a print, photo, pattern, words, etc. can be incorporated into cakes, cupcakes, cookies and other desserts. Edible paper is really an icing sheet, icing rolled out very thin. Anything you can do creatively with paper can be done with edible paper.
The printing of any design, whether it's scanned or printed from your computer, can be done in edible ink on to an icing sheet. The icing sheets come in both legal and letter sizes to fit in your printer. The printer you use must be devoted to this type of printing because the toxins from regular ink should not touch food products.
The same technique applies for transforming any photo in your computer into an edible one. You've probably seen this on cakes from Baskin Robbins and other custom bakeries. You can create them yourself on a full icing sheet or icing sheets that have been pre-cut to standard photo sizes. You can then take those images and apply them to buttercream or fondant cakes or to gum paste. You can create a picture frame out of gum paste, too, which can stand on top of the cake.
Icing sheets come in a variety of colors and in chocolate. They can be embossed, quilled, stamped, or simply cut with scissors to create any shape you want. Let's say you want to decorate a cake with hearts. You could take red and pink icing sheets and cut out hearts either with scissors or a punch, found in most craft stores.
For $10, you can get a bucket of different plastic craft scissors in Michaels. They have all different types of designs to create zigzags, wavy lines, etc. Any of these scissors can be used to cut out a border for the side of the cake, create a lattice pattern, create boxes, etc.
The list of possibilities is endless. In fact, if you look around your craft store, you'll find all kinds of inexpensive tools that can be used to transform icing sheets into fabulous designs for your baked goods.
If you're already experienced in cake decorating, you'll be amazed what you can do by combining printed icing sheets with isomalt. You can create jewelry by punching out circles of a design and then putting them in the silicone molds. You can cut out letters and apply isomalt over it to make interesting, 3D words or monograms.
Paper may be going out of style for most, but it's just picking up momentum in the cake decorating world.
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