Happy Monday, everyone! I hope today is treating you all better than it’s treating us. Little Man and I woke up sick today, so that’s kind of bumming us out. But luckily for all of you, being a little under the weather doesn’t keep me from sitting on the couch cuddled up in some blankets with my laptop, writing a blog post.
As you all know, if you read this blog, my sister and I make decorated sugar cookies now and again. We usually make a batch a few times a year. Well, recently I heard that Amy from Minnesota Locavore was looking for some custom cookies for a baby shower, and I said I’d be willing to take an order. She took me up on it!
Amy was throwing a gender reveal shower for her sister-in-law and the theme was “Waddle it be?” So, naturally, she wanted penguin cookies. I’m pretty sure that’s the cutest theme ever. I love penguins, and since it’s still colder than a witch’s you-know-what around here, it seems appropriate. 😉
Amy wanted to avoid too much black icing (no one wants black teeth!) so we decided to make penguin heads instead of whole bodies. She wanted them to have scarves in pink and teal, the colors of the invitation. We also gave them hats and earmuffs (or, as Little Man calls them, “earmumps”) to match.
Isn’t he just the cutest thing?
So here’s a little peek at how we made them. Since we were making so many of the same design, I wanted to do a little extra step to make sure they were all fairly uniform. So I sketched out a penguin face, and made some templates from the stiff vellum I like to use. I originally planned to trace it on the cookies with a food color pen, but those pens work much better on icing than on cookie. The cookie gunked up the tip pretty fast, so it didn’t really work. Instead, I mixed a little yellow food coloring with a little water, and used a (food-safe!) paintbrush to trace around it. Then we did the black icing first and let it dry overnight so we wouldn’t have any bleeding issues. We used 20-second black icing in a piping bag for this cookie. (20-second icing is icing that has been thinned to a consistency where a line drawn with a knife in the icing will disappear at the 20 second mark.)
We use exclusively AmeriColor Gel Paste Colors to color our icing.
For the penguins with hats, we drew a line across the top of the head where we stopped the black so the hats would sit better. So we did the black first, followed by the white for the faces, then after some drying time to let the white set a bit (a fan makes for much quicker dry times!) we added the scarves and hats. The white for the faces/background, and the teal & pink for scarves/hats were done in 20-second icing in squeeze bottles. We also had piping consistency for details in teal & pink.
After what you see above was set, we flooded the background. Then we added details on the hats & scarves, and added earmuffs on the ones without hats. Then we used black for the eyes and orange for the beaks. We let them dry overnight at this point to set completely.
The last step the next day was adding rosy cheeks. I really liked this final touch. For this, we used Blossom Dust in Watermelon. I’m not sure what the difference is between blossom and petal dust, but the color I wanted was blossom dust. Blossom & petal dust are different from luster dust, though, in that they don’t have any sparkle.
To make rosy cheeks, put a very small amount of blossom dust on a food-safe paintbrush. Tap off any excess, then carefully swirl the brush in small circles where you want the cheeks to be. It’s easiest to do this a little bit at a time because you can always add another layer if you want pinker cheeks.
Here they all are.
Here’s a closeup of the detail on the hat. We just did a simple rectangular cuff with a zigzag pattern.
On the scarf we did simple lines.
Also, at the end we decided to add just the tiniest bit of white to the eyes to make them sparkle a little. We did this by dipping the end of a toothpick into the white icing and dotting it on.
I hope you and your guests liked them, Amy! Thanks for working with me!
Hey– if any of you are interested in more adorable details about the Waddle It Be baby shower, head on over to Minnesota Locavore and check out her post on the whole thing. There are a bunch of super cute ideas for a baby shower!