When I was home in December, I discovered a drawer with old table linens in it. [“Table linens” is a generous way to describe some of the treasures I found, including plastic placemats from the early 1980s.] Among disintegrating laminated alphabet placemats, I found a true treasure: the Hungarian folk art table runner I brought back from Szeged at the end of my study abroad program.
Studying abroad in high school was a formative experience for me. I learned to be adventurous in a city whose language I did not speak. I traveled a part of the world that was, in the late 1990s, in the midst of significant transition. Most importantly, I met people who continue to inspire me.
AND I brought back a table runner to inspire these cookie designs! Making these cookies made me happy, nostalgic, and very grateful for that experience. These cookies are dedicated to the people who made that experience so special to me: my American peers and my Hungarian host family. Köszönöm szépen.
To make these cookies, I started by painting the basic outlines on a blank white cookie (this can also be done with a food marker.) As I went on, I became bolder about adding details here and there. The trick with folk art is color, balance, and symmetry– it took more than one try to get the colors and placing right. Be patient!
Step 1: paint or draw the design onto the cookie:
Step 2: Using 15 count royal icing, pipe along the painted lines, being sure to overlap the outside edges.
Finally, pipe a border around the edge of the cookie. I have used red borders for all of these because I think it makes the cookies stand out more.
And here’s our happy little cookie with all of its friends waiting for Easter.