Those of you who have been here before may already know this, but I have a thing for drawing on food with edible writers. Particularly marshmallows. See? HERE. I came up with this idea almost two years ago in the midst of a housing search when our belongings were in storage, we were living in temporary housing, and then we went through a kitchen renovation. Marshmallow art is so quick, easy, kid-friendly, versatile and oven-free, so it was perfect for our transient life at the time.
Edible markers, gourmet writers, food writers, food coloring pens… the many different terms are just as confusing as the many different brands. This post is all about food writers: what brands to buy, where to buy ‘em and what you can do with them. Food writers are markers that have edible ink, NOT to be confused with “candy writers” that you find in the craft store. Those come in tubes. I don’t use those.
Americolor Gourmet Writers, set of ten. These are my favorite writers. They have good flow and are easy to use. You can get finer detail by using the tips and cover thicker areas by using the sides more. If you only buy one set of writers, buy these. The Americolor site doesn’t sell directly, but you can buy these on amazon.com, sugarcraft.com and many other online sites.
FooDoodler. My next most-used writers are the FooDoodler Fine Line set of ten. The fine line is even finer than the Americolor Gourmet Writers and I use this a lot for very fine detail. FooDoodler also carry thicker markers, which are good (here), but I rarely use those, only because I draw such small things. If you don’t need a super-fine line, then they work well. The perfect combination of markers–if you buy two sets–are the Americolor Gourmet Writers with the FooDoodler fine line set. You can buy FooDoodlers at their site, and at sugarcraft.com.
KopyKake pens. The set of KopyKake pens are also quite good. They have two ends, one thick and one fine, which is great. The fine end gives the same detail as the fine line FooDoodlers, so I love them. The other big bonus? The set has two greens, including a lime green. I use lime green a lot, and I miss this with the other sets above. The down side to these? I feel like the flow is a little dry and they run out of ink more quickly. Find KopyKake pens at the KopyKake site and at sugarcraft.com.
FoodWriters. I’m a fan of all Wilton‘s products, of course, though I use their FoodWriters the least. They are good writers and have a good flow, but the tips are a bit thick for the detail I like to draw. However, the pros: they are widely available in most major craft stores, they come in a variety including lime green (yay), and they are great for kids. When my 3-year old decorates marshmallows, I give her the FoodWriters. You can buy them on the Wilton site, in craft stores, or on amazon. The sets are smaller, so you end up needing to buy a couple different sets. I’m partial to the “neon” colors.
- fondant (roll out and cover cookies, cupcakes or cakes with fondant and draw away, or if you make dimensional designs, use writers for the details)
- royal icing that has been flooded and left to dry overnight
- candy melts. Yes, you can use edible writers with candy melts that have hardened, but the writers do react with the fats in the melts and don’t work quite as smoothly as the above. If you’ve tried making cake pops, dipped them in candy melts, then tried to draw on them, you may have experienced this. I suggest markers with good flow, like the Americolor Gourmet Writers, use the tips of the markers and use them sparingly for small details like dots for eyes.
- buttercream frosting. Frosting won’t harden fully, and the bumps and grooves make this a bad surface for writers.
- Let your surface dry well before using the writers. Let marshmallows sit out a couple hours first to stiffen a bit, and let the fondant do the same. You must let flooded royal icing sit overnight before using.
- Don’t try and layer colors, unless it’s for effect (like in my spring flower marshmallows above). The bottom color will show through. Only black will cover other colors, so I usually outline with black last.
- When switching colors, let the first color set about ten minutes so you don’t accidentally pick up another color with your marker and to prevent bleeding.
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