I dream about spending all of my free time surrounded by thick vanilla sugar cookies, cut in imaginative shapes and perfectly stacked around me, like poker chips. Waiting for their royal icing wardrobe, applied in designs that I have – hopefully – thought out well in advance. That day will come, soon I think, as a little side business. Where I get paid for my hobby and everything!
But for now, while life is still a little too busy with other projects and a couple few kids, I hunt for the occasional cookie project. The one that will take me to new cookie horizons, to try the untried.
These little dandies came by way of our babysitter’s two-year old niece and the delightful Minnie Mouse themed birthday party the family was throwing for little Avery. J asked if I could make cookies for the party and I happily accepted. Besides the chance to do something nice for a gal who is very good to us, I wanted to attempt the elusive CHARACTER COOKIE.
My husband and friends will vouch for me – I stayed up too many late nights last week – all to keep from eating mice for breakfast. Mmmm. Nice image, I know.
To get this party started, I went first to Oh Sugar Event’s blog. I can’t imagine how many thousands of cookies and fun ideas this gal generates in a year. Her Seinfeld and 2012 Valentine sets are a couple of my favorites. Oh Sugar recently posted a great tutorial on getting it right with character eyes.
The key is to pipe out the “whites” first and then add details (like eyeballs and lashes) with an edible marker when the face and the rest of the cookie is complete. While I didn’t get a photo of the whites-only moment with my cookies, I can tell you an eyeball-less Minnie is worth saving for a Disney zombie set. That is when cookie dreams become nightmares, I tell ya.
I found a KopyKake was essential to draw out the basic shape of the head, bow and ears. You can also work with a paper pattern, like I did for this set. For the face and bow details, I tried to freehand the piping as much as possible, to keep the cookie from looking “overworked.” The problem with character cookies – and I imagine why many cookiers dread them a bit – is the time and lack of creativity that goes into making them. There isn’t much room to explore new designs when people want straight up Disney.
So, to mix things up a bit, I made some accent cookies. First, I attempted Minnie’s rotund high-heel, ringed in a string of sparkly black pearls.
I also made some number “2” cookies in solid pink and inscribed Avery’s name on each with an edible marker, mimicking the Disney font freehand (Google images will get you there)… That font is relatively easy to copy because it’s based on real handwriting (right?) and it’s really got some punch if you’re using it for a name that ends in Walt’s signature “y.”