When most people go to Browne Trading Co. in Portland to buy fish, it’s usually the kind that’s been out of the Atlantic Ocean for just a day or so. Susan Gauthier’s colorful shortbread trout, on the other hand, are hatched from her mixer and give off a luscious scent of lemon when unwrapped.

Gauthier is an artist and baker who paints watercolors on cookies and cakes. Her business is called Buttercream, and her specialty is painting custom wedding cakes that often re-create works of art. She also teaches the occasional class, and hosts the occasional “cupcake war” at Fork Food Lab in Portland.

Her cookies, in addition to trout, take the form of the state of Maine, lobsters, moose, and nature scenes. She uses two techniques for decorating them.

“Sometimes I will use a traditional buttercream and put an edible sugar paper on top of that,” she said, “and then I do an actual physical watercolor painting because the paper acts as watercolor paper.”

The trout cookies at Browne Trading ($4.99 each), on the other hand, are topped with homemade fondant. “That one is more like painting on porcelain,” Gauthier said. “It’s a little finer detail and doesn’t bleed and run like the paper does. It gives a little different effect.”

Don’t be put off by the homemade fondant, if you are a fondant hater. The layer is thin and tastes more like traditional cookie icing.

Whenever she can, Gauthier uses natural, fruit- and vegetable-based dyes to paint with, but they are hard to source; the trout is made with traditional, artificial dyes. “My (pastry) palette looks exactly like my watercolor palette, and I use a brush,” Gauthier said. “I usually paint with grain alcohol instead of water because it evaporates very quickly and doesn’t gum up the fondant itself. That is something a little different, and it gives a cool effect.”

The only downside? The cookies are so pretty you won’t want to eat them. You can see more of her designs on the Buttercream Facebook page.