Tunde Dugantsi walked around checking the progress of participants at her cookie-decorating workshop Thursday at the Warren County Public Library Bob Kirby Branch.
As the Bowling Green woman meandered among her students, listening to their happy chatter as they worked, Deborah Lambert looked at her friend Alexandra Elding’s work.
“Wow, you’re going really fast,” said Lambert of Bowling Green.
Elding continued making intricate designs on her cookies.
“Well, if you go slow your hands start shaking,” the Alvaton woman said.
Dugantsi, who is originally from Hungary, told the class about the tradition of making gingerbread there. The art is so old that gingerbread was found among ruins at Aquincum in Budapest.
The gingerbread cookies she brought to class were made from her favorite recipe, she said.
“It has lots of honey,” she said. “It’s soft.”
Participants practiced making dots, drops, swirls and lines on practice cards before designing their cookies. Dugantsi held up a participant’s bag of icing that was squeezed in several places, making it hard to create designs. Each bag was held closed near the top with a rubber band.
“If your bag looks like this, you can take the rubber band off and push (the icing) in one direction,” she said.
Designs don’t have to be complicated, Dugantsi said.
“I know people who do only dots and lines and they look gorgeous,” she said.
As participants designed their cookies, Dugantsi drew shapes.
“I love these symmetrical shapes because if you repeat it six times it looks gorgeous,” she said, laughing.
Recipes for gingerbread and the royal icing used to decorate, as well as tutorials, are available on Dugantsi’s website, tundescreations.com.
After finishing her cookies, Lambert talked about why she decided to take the class.
“I just needed some time for me and I enjoy doing arts and crafts,” she said.
She believes she learned a lot from the class although it was her first try at that type of cookie decorating.
“I thought it was educational. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I look forward to making cookies at home,” she said. “I’m making cookies at home this weekend and I was just going to do sprinkles, but now I think I want to decorate them.”
Ebling said she loves gingerbread.
“I like to give it as gifts so I like to make it pretty,” she said.
Walking to the front of the room, Ebling looked through Dugantsi’s books and photo albums for inspiration.
“The hard part is just letting go and playing,” she said. “I thought it was great and I would do it again.”
Other people should join in the fun, Ebling said.
“You have this stuff in the kitchen,” she said. “Anybody can do it.”