Cat cookies–the hard way and the easy way

I wanted to make some cat cookies, and I wanted them to be perfect, so I set about it very methodically. Here are my steps, allowing about 5 minutes in between each one for drying:

Ok, well, I guess no drying after this one. 🙂 Notice the cat in the upper right-hand corner? I started doing the face, and then thought “Oh wait, it’s silly to take all that extra time when I’m just going to be flooding over it!” So I didn’t do any other faces. However, it is ironic that I thought that; keep going and you’ll see why…

I wanted some color on the tail, so I flooded the end grey, filled in the rest of the tail with white, and then used my boo boo stick to blend them a little.

Notice the dimension I’m getting by waiting for each section to dry? I did them one section at a time, top down, rather than every other section, because I wanted to have the appearance that the paws were in the foreground, with everything else receding. Whatever you pipe last tends to have the appearance of being in front, what you pipe second-to-last looks second-to-front, and so on.

See? It’s working. Those little paws look like they’re in front, and everything else has lovely dimension receding on back.

At this point, I let the cats dry overnight. The next day, I experimented with what I wanted to pipe vs what I wanted to use food coloring pen for. If you look carefully at all the different cats, you’ll see one has a piped face (which I didn’t love), the rest have drawn faces; some have piped whiskers, some have drawn; one has drawn paws, the rest are piped… you get the idea. Pick your favorite look.

All those careful steps, and I have cute happy kitties! The joke was on me, though. Can you see it yet? Remember all my effort to get that dimension? Can you tell it’s there once I have piped outlines (which I knew I wanted to do from the start)? Noooo! As a matter of fact, the dimension made piping around everything kind of a headache, because the piped lines would fall squiggly into the grooves. So, here’s what I learned: if you plan to pipe outlines anyway, for heaven’s sake make your life easier (and quicker!) and flood the entire thing so it’s flat and easy to pipe around! 🙂

So you have the hard way in pictures; here’s the easy way: draw your outline, flood the whole silly thing, then when it’s dry, pipe away! (As a side note, I like my piping icing to be about toothpaste consistency.)

Happy kitty-cookie-ing! 🙂

Cute Halloween Critters–Hedgehogs

I signed up to make cookies for my son’s 5th grade Halloween party, and envisioned cookies with cute little woodland animals trick-or-treating. I thought of lots of different animals, but in the end, I went with a hedgehog, a fox, and a bunny.

I knew I wanted to do a hedgehog, they’re so dang cute! But I was having trouble figuring out what costume to put my little hedgehog in. I drew a sketch of a ghost hedgehog. My vision of it was so cute! The drawing looked more like a Star Wars mouse droid with eyes. Scratch that idea. So, I headed to an idea bank–my 12-year-old daughter. I asked her how the hedgehog should dress for Halloween. “A witch, mom! Flying in front of the moon!” Poof, problem solved! 🙂


To make this little guy, I first airbrushed the background. Using blank plastic sheets that I purchased online, I traced a circle cookie cutter, then cut out the circle shape. I sprayed the whole cookie yellow, and then–once the yellow had dried a little–I held my plastic circle in the middle, and airbrushed around with–purple. Yep, purple! It makes a fantastic soft black on top of the yellow, and then people eating the cookies don’t get black tongues. (Or, at least they are less black. 🙂 )

Since I wanted the buckle on the hat to have some edible glitter, I made some royal icing transfers next. hedgehog_ritransfers

I put my hedgehog drawing under some wax paper, then– using the buckle in my drawing as a guide–piped the little rectangle. Then I slid my wax paper over, and piped another. I kept going until I had about 5 or 6, at which point I sprinkled some edible glitter on. Then I moved my wax paper to where there wasn’t a pile of glitter, and piped another row. I made a lot more than I needed in case of breakage/goofy-shaped buckles (which I have a few of in this row). Then I set my buckles aside to dry while I went on to my hedgehog.

First I piped the light brown of his face/body, only filling in his foreground feet (I also piped his little nose at this point). I did about a dozen cookies, giving time for the first ones to dry when I came back to them to fill in his prickles. The dark brown was a slightly thicker icing so that I could use my boo-boo stick to pull little “pokes” upward.

Next, since the body had had time to dry slightly, I went back and filled in his background feet. The body being dried a little allowed the background feet to be separate, giving him dimension.

The black of the hat came next. After I had piped that, I did the broom handle. Then, I jumped back up to do the ribbon on the hat. While it was still wet, I used some cookie-only tweezers to carefully pick up the royal icing transfer, and place it on to the hat.

Close to finished! The broom straw came next. I used thick yellow royal icing, so the lines did not run in to each other, but looked like separate pieces of straw. Then I piped the brown across for the lash holding the straw together.

The finishing touches were his little eyes and mouth. I gave the eyes a tiny dot of white after the black had dried a little. I let the cookie dry completely overnight, then, using a black food coloring pen, drew on his mouth.

The hedgehogs were finished! On to the next trick-or-treater!