Brush Embroidery Turtle Cookies and a GIVEAWAY!!


UPDATE! Congratulations to Jeanne!! Her comment number 214 was drawn to win the prize. Thank you to all for participating!! I only had an inkling before of the turtle’s significance in story, place and personal lives before you shared with me. I love turtles even more now for being so significant to so many of you!!


I’m working on another new feature and giveaway for next week so stay tuned….

I’ve been wanting to try the brush embroidery cookie decorating technique for years now, and given the title of my blog, it’s shameful I’ve not yet.  These turtles were inspired by this Lily Pulitzer pillow at Garnet Hill. To echo my own words about this pillow for my roundup of throw pillow ideas at Houzz (see all 20 pillows here), everything about this pillow is my grandmother. She grew up on the Jersey shore, so she was no stranger to beach-themed decor, but always in the most subtle, clever and tasteful way. An early-Lilly addict, she’d have loved this print. That and the piping on the border, shape of the pillow and colors are so reflective of her house when I was a kid. Sigh. But I digress…



Back to cookies. And brush embroidery. Oh right, and the GIVEAWAY!!! I’m giving away everything you need to make these cookies (minus the cookie dough and royal icing, but I do have great recipes for those, and I’m throwing in the only tricky-to-find ingredient, meringue powder). For details on how to enter, scroll to the end.


For the turtles, I think these would’ve made a greater impact had I had the detail on top be an even darker shade of green, but alas, next time. For a much more apparent contrast, use white instead of green:



How to make brush embroidery turtle cookies


you will need:*

cookie dough

royal icing

turtle cookie cutter

food coloring

5 disposable decorating bags

3 couplers

3 decorating tips, size “3”

rubber bands



small, clean, flat paint brush


*For food coloring, I prefer Americolor Soft Gel Pastes (Electric Green used here). You may find the cookie cutter in the craft store seasonally. Or click HERE for tips on finding cookie cutters. Find the decorating bags, couplers, tips and paint brush in the craft store. Or, win them from me!! See the giveaway below.


step one: bake your cookies

Prepare cookie dough according to the recipe, chill, roll out, cut out turtles and bake according to the recipe. Let cool completely.


step two: prepare your icing

Prepare royal icing according to the recipe. Divide and tint (I usually work with about 1 cup at a time) three shades of lime green.  Just use one or two drops for light, more drops for medium, many more for dark. Prepare three decorating bags with couplers and tips, fill with each of the three colors (reserving half of the light green and the medium green) and close tightly with a rubber band.


step three: decorate the background

Pipe a circle for the shell with the medium green and let set. Pipe the head, feet and tail with the light green and let set. Thin both the medium and light greens with water, a few drops at a time, until the consistency of thick glue. Fill empty decorating bags with each of the greens, snip about 1/2-inch from the tip and pipe to fill the shell with the medium green and the head, feet and tail with the lighter green, using a toothpick to encourage the icing as needed until the entire background is filled. Let set overnight.



step four: brush on the design

When the cookies have set well, pipe the design with the darkest green. First, pipe this sort of rectangular petal shape. Then dip your paintbrush in water, dab on a paper towel and brush from the icing inward in little strokes.


Repeat all the way around the outside of the shell, dipping your brush in water and dabbing on a paper towel as needed.



Then repeat with an inner circle:



Then one more little rectangle in the center:



Let dry well, preferably overnight, before handling and packaging.



And now…



For a chance to win:

a turtle cookie cutter

5 decorating bags, 3 couplers, 3 decorating tips

2 bottles of Americolor Soft Gel Pastes (Electric Green and Bright White)

a little paint brush

meringue powder


 a Sugarlicious apron and a Sugarlicious spatula



leave a comment to this post before

Sunday, April 22, 2012, midnight EST

One winner will be chosen at random. Winner has 48 hours to respond after being notified before another winner is chosen. Contest worldwide.


Feel free to share (nicely)! While my blog's photographs and text are protected by copyright, I do allow (and encourage) you to share ONE photograph with credit to "the decorated cookie" and link to this blog post. PLEASE don't reprint any part of the blog post and PLEASE don't post a photo without credit. Thank you!


  1. Jennifer K says

    Oh my goodness these are so cute!! My sister loves turtles so this would be awesome to win and make for her!

  2. Khandra Henderson says

    I hope I win this give away to try brush embroidery, and make roal icing for the first time while using this awesome cookie cutter.

  3. SummerRae says

    My sister LOVES turtles. I can’t wait to make these for her birthday! Shes going to be so suprised. Thank you!

  4. Lisa says

    Interesting…I have never heard of brush embroidery for cookies? Great instructions and pics – thanks for sharing!

  5. Alice says

    I LOVE these cookies!! My grandson would go crazy for them!! I love all of the wonderful ideas I see on your page! Thanks for always sharing!!

  6. Kayla says

    Wow! Super cute, I have a friend who would love these! I never knew how to do the brush embroidery with royal icing!

  7. Katie says

    So cute! I was really excited when I figured out what this technique was just by looking at a cookie that used it. Simple!

  8. Sheila Booth says

    What a creative idea for a technique! I have only done flowers and butterflies with it, this will be a fun summer addition! Thanks for the opportunity to win great stuff too!

  9. Cynthia Rathunde says

    Love these turtles, totally awesome! My daughter has a pillow just like this. Thank you for this tutorial, it is wonderful!

  10. Stacy says

    Wow the turtles are so cute. I would love to win and give these a try. Thanks for sharing another great technique!

  11. Sandra Hockenberry says

    Who’d have thought using the brush technique for the turtle shell? It totally works! How cute!

  12. Judith A. Vilà says

    They are really beautiful. I love turtles so does my 2,5 year old. I hope you can ship oversees, he he. Don´t worry, I am sure I am not going to be the lucky one to win this giveaway!!!!

  13. Jamie maassen says

    How cute r these!!! I can’t wait to try this technique on a few other shapes. I do not have a turtle but would love one !

  14. Rikki-Dee says

    My aunt who just passed away loved turtles. I would so love to try and make these for when we scatter her ashes.

  15. Shannon Wilckens says

    My daughter loves loves turtles:) I cant wait to try and make these:)Thanks so much for the How to and a chance to win some great stuff:)

  16. KristinaA says

    These are soooo cute! I LOVE sea turtles! There’s a volunteer sea turtle project in Costa Rica that I’ve been wanting to do for some time. My schedule hasn’t allowed but but I think it would be great! Thanks so much for sharing and putting together this great package! I’d love to win it and make these at home!

  17. Kathrynn says

    My daughter would love these cookies, she adores sea turtles. I would love to win this prize so I can make her cookies for her birthday in June.

  18. Melissa says

    I have been enjoying your cookie decorating posts SOOOO much! I made all the easter ones & now am looking forward to trying these cut little turtles! Never thought I could make cute cookies! So glad you taught me that I can!! Thanks!

  19. Kristin Jenkin says

    Awesome cookies and very cool technique. I bet the pictures don’t even do them justice! Love the step by step decorating instructions. Thanks to blogs like this, I’m a much better decorator and would love to give these cookies a red hot go! 😉

  20. Roxana Morcan says

    very good idea for an animal cookie! thank you for the giveaway! It is nice, because is one of the few open worldwide.

  21. Malia Alatasi says

    The Tokelau (a Polynesian nation in the South Pacific, accessible only by a three day boat’s journey) is “Fonu”. The Fonu is considered an Ika Ha, a sacred fish. I would love to win and bake some for my Elders who find joy and great appreciation in the artistic aspect, the yummyness, and the cultural significance of this cookie. Good luck to all that enter! :)

  22. Robyn says

    My future daughter-in-law has turtles as pets, so I know she would love these, and I would love to make them for her because I love her!

  23. Marisa says

    I would LOVE to have everything needed to make these! DS just saw them and now he wants mama to make turtle cookies!

  24. Karen says

    I have seen so many people trying this technique. It guess I need to try it too. And I love the cookie cutter!

  25. says

    These are gorgeous, I went to Hawaii in September and I fell in love with the sea turtle, I am not sure I’ll be able to do these justice, but I’m willing to give it a shot. Heck yeah I want to win

  26. amanda says

    This is so awesome! My nickname is turtle and this would be an awesome set to win to bake cookies and give them to my friends as an inside joke!

  27. says

    Found your blog through Pintrest and saved it to my Favorites and came back for another look. My neice is having a baby shower May 12th and her nursery theme is turtles. These are so cute and would match her theme perfectly! Love the fact that you also have cookie and icing recipes. I’d love to win the contest so I’d have to make the cookies for the baby shower, I’d have no excuse not to! LOL

  28. Tracy turner says

    So cute.. I have seen this in a few different mediums, but I must say on a turtle it’s the best!! Would love to win this one for sure!

  29. Cynthia says

    You´re like my “sensei” for this matters… I secretly follow you, but I just LOVE everything you do. Halloween??? Your designs were THE hit in my party :)

    Wanna win!!! we all do!!! :)

  30. Eva Royo says

    Son preciosas y parecen sencillas de hacer. Lo intentaré seguro. Gracias por enseñarnos tus maravillas. Besos desde Zaragoza (España).

  31. Rebecca Bell says

    These would be great to make for a weekend beach trip! I’ve yet to attempt the brush embroidery, maybe if I win it will give me the extra push to do it :)

  32. Julie Haan says

    Wow! What a great idea using the brush embroidery technique on a turtle shell! Thanks for the giveaway!

  33. Martha T says

    These cookies are adorable. I have never thought about doing brush embroidery on cookies, but I plan to try it in the near future. Thanks for sharing!

  34. Donna says

    Absolutely adorable! My granddaughter loves going to the zoo and especially loves the turtles! Why? Because they don’t move away so fast and make loud noises! lol! She’s a mess! :) Anyway, I am definitely going to order this cookie cutter if I don’t win because she would love this! Too cute! Thanks for the contest AND tutorial!

  35. Gina says

    I will so try again to win one of your great giveaways. This idea is sort of scarey for me but I will try it. So, bring on the supplies and I promise I will make them sort of as good as you do, lol. Love your stuff. Thanks.

  36. Lorna says

    I for sure have to try this embroidery stuff. Looks amazing ( at least when YOU do it ) Thanks for the giveaway.

  37. Teresa says

    So in love, turtles are my favourite animal!! I haven’t seen them done with the brush embroidery before, looks great!! Thankyou for offering a world wide giveaway :)

  38. says

    Beautiful turtles, Meaghan. I was lucky enough to see turtles nesting and swimming many years ago on vaca in Greece. I’d love to win this set but not sure I qualify with being an international subscriber/reader.

  39. Theresa Murphy says

    I love your turtle cookies they are super cute and I would love to make these myself and this give away is super nice of you!!! I love all your stuff and I stock your blog lmao

  40. Yvette Melvin says

    I would love to win this giveaway. My 3 year old grandson loves turtles! And he begs me daily for cookies. What a combination!

  41. Sandra K M says

    Adorable turtle cookies! Reminds me of Hawaii and the sea turtles encountered every time we snorkeled.

  42. Debby says

    Just starting to teach myself decorated cookies and I so far I only have bags and couplers so this would be great to add more to the supplies I know I will need.

  43. Anne Schroeder says

    These are fabulous! If I won them I would make them for all my friends at school! We all know that teachers need lots of treats at the end of the year!

  44. Jaan says

    Ooo! Love the turtle cookies. What a neat idea to use for encouraging everyone to save the Turtles. Would love the turtle cutter.

  45. Yatie says

    Reminds me of the turtles back at my grandparents village. Whenever it’s the mating season, we’ll go to the beach and watch the turtles lay eggs for hours. They are so cute, you just want to hug them!!

  46. Linda Shurlow says

    I have never tried the brush technique. It makes a very interesting pattern; will have to try this. Thanks.

  47. Kristina Stephens says

    This brush technique is fantastic. It looks much more natural! Definitely want to try this one.

  48. says

    Wow, Meaghan, you’ve done it again! Those turtles are adorable. I love how the royal adds contrast AND texture. That would work for other animals and flowers. Thanks for the idea and another great giveaway!

  49. Alice says

    This turtle lover must take a chance on this giveaway. Gotta go check out the link to find this cookie cutter. Love both colors of icing. Thanks for sharing this beautifully decorated cookie.

  50. Maren says

    I think it’s an amazing idea to use the brush embroidery technique for animals and I love how this turtles turned out. They actually remind me of the pet-turtle I had as a kid.

  51. Caitie says

    I’ve seen this brush technique around and loved the look, but not a fan of flowers. I LOVE the idea of it on a turtle! Totally inspired me to try it soon 😀

  52. says

    Oh my gosh, those turtles are adorable! I’ve piped on cookies and I’ve used my paint brushes on cookies, but I never thought of piping and dragging for this technique. Thank you so much for sharing!

  53. marianne says

    i love turtles like cute little squirt from finding nemo 😀 hope i can win this totally awesome gift pack!

  54. Kim @ The Cookie Puzzle says

    Oh those are sooo cute! I have wanted to try this technique for awhile now, but I only use glaze so I am not sure how it would work! Thanks for the great giveaway!

    The Cookie Puzzle

  55. Claire says

    What a very sweet giveaway, I have liked you on FB. I would love to win this and beable to make them with my grandchildren. Thankyou for the chance to win your giveaway.

  56. Carol S. says

    Just discovered your blog through one of the needlework blogs I read. What fun!

    LOVE these turtles! My totem is the sea turtle, and it would be so cool to make these.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  57. Abbey R. says

    This is so awesome! I have always wanted to learn how to do this technique and I can’t wait to use it. Would love to make some cookies for my best friend, turtles are her favorite animal!

  58. Christine B says

    How cute! My neices have all grown up, but they’re having babies, so I’ll be able to teach them to make cookies. Thanks for the chance to win.

  59. Barb says

    OMG! My 3 year old daughter just loves turtles. I absolutely have to try to make these now. You are so creative!

  60. Christina says

    Adorable cookie that is not girly. It’s a big possibility for my little one’s first birthday. What a perfect idea for this method!

  61. Hayley says

    These are just gorgeous – always sucked in my animal cookies – they are so cute! Love the embroidery technique – never seen that done before. Well done!

  62. Jodie B says

    LOVE these turtles! I am so glad that you decided to try the embroidery technique. You did a beautiful job.

  63. Judy S says

    I am gathering up your list for decorating cookies to give to my daughter for her birthday at the end of ythis month. PS your blog address will be very promenent in the package! Thank you so much for all the wonderful information.

  64. Patti says

    I have been wanting to try the brush embroidery technique also. I wouldnt have thought about using it for turtle shells! What a creative mind!!

  65. says

    Oh, what lovely turtles! The green-on-green one is my favourite. I, too, have been wanting to try brush embroidery for ages, but have never got round to it… Maybe these turtles will motivate me to try the technique (even when I don’t need flower cookies!)

  66. Tracy C. says

    How cute are those. I love the brush embroidery technique. I have been seeing it everywhere these days. Thanks for the giveaway.

  67. smfsprout says

    I love turtles and I can’t wait to give the brush embroidery technique a try. Thanks for making it appear easy.

  68. Gayle says

    These turtles are too cute! I would love to have a go at trying to recreate them! Thanks for the opportunity to try :)

  69. Brenda says

    I love the turtle and you blogs. I have bookmarked your site for future ideas and how to’s. I really like your work.

  70. Holly says

    Thank you for showing how the brush work was done. I think your cookies are too cute and my little boy keeps pointing at every pic saying “I want Mama, peessee!”

  71. Sandy-Lee says

    Woohoo!!! finally a competition that us South Africans can enter! :)

    Those cookies remind me so much of my honeymoon in the seychelles… boy do i miss it there. That would be such a wonderful surprise that I could make for my hubby for our 1 yr anniversary!

  72. says

    My husband loved turtles and I would really like to make some of these for his grandsons. And it looks like a great technique to learn. I could see using it for some flower detailing.

  73. Lilia says

    Love them and I think it will be more forgiving to start with this technique on this project than on flowers.

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