Hi Cookie Lovers,
With the Football Season upon us, I thought it appropriate to make my first tutorial a Football Player Cookie I recently featured on my website for a couple of reasons…
One, it is a relatively easy cookie to make and decorate, and two, it utilizes two cookie cutters in different ways; which is always nice to be able to do and can sometimes inspire you to look at your cookie cutters in different ways! So, without further ado, let’s get started. Here is what you will need:
Wedding Cake Cookie Cutter
3″ Round Cookie Cutter
Decorator tips: #1 and #2
Red Royal Icing – flooding consistency
Royal Blue Royal Icing – flooding consistency
White Royal Icing – outlining and flooding consistency
Additionally, a couple of handy tools I like to use, 1) to mix my icing – these mini spatulas are great!, and 2) the ball fondant tool I use daily to help icing flood into small spaces, drop small noses onto face cookies, and more. This tool, for me, is indispensable!
When I make this cookie, I like to roll my dough out (about 1/8″ thick) and then transfer it to my baking pan lined with parchment paper or a Silpat mat “before” I cut out the shape. This allows the cookie to remain intact for baking without ruining the shape.
Use the Wedding Cake Cutter first to cut out your first shape.
Next, take your 3″ Cutter and place it so the cutter intersects the first layer of the Wedding Cake outline you just cut.
When you finish, your cookie cutout should look like this…
Just a little helpful hint at this stage…before I remove the excess dough, I take my finger and gently nudge the lines together to make sure the cookie does not separate while baking. You don’t want to press to hard, just enough to stabilize the overall design of the cookie. Now remove the excess dough.
The first picture is what my cookie looks like before it bakes. The second picture is what it looks like after baking. Easy, right!? You still have a solid cookie and the design is right there for you to follow as you decorate!
At this point, I typically will sketch in anything that my hand might not be steady enough to get straight or even. Of course you want to use an edible food marker for this task. Sometimes, especially if the cookie is chocolate, I use my etching tool (A simple metal tool with a sharp point. If you can’t find one, use a sewing needle or a trussing needle; both work fine) to lightly scratch the design into the cookie.
In this photo, I simply dotted the lines that will become the stripe in the Player’s helmet (red).
Next, I outline the entire cookie in white.
When you flood a cookie with icing, you can do some shapes freehand, which some people are very good at, or you can outline like I have (using a #2 Decorator Tip) in this picture and then flood the cookie so the colors are sure not to flow off the sides. Additionally, I outline A LOT in white, not necessarily because the color or final detail outlining will be white (as you will see in this cookie), but because, well, uhm, I get lazy and don’t want to mix three different colors of outlining icing!! There, I said it!
Okay, let’s flood the cookie! I started with red on this cookie.
After flooding this small area, I took a toothpick and ran it through the icing a bit to get out any air bubbles and to help the icing set without sinking in the middle when it dries – a particular problem that often occurs when you flood small areas (but more on that in another post). Let this color set for about 20 minutes. I know, but trust me, it’s worth it. Once it is set you can then add colors around it and they won’t bleed into each other. Plus, it helps you to get a puffy kind of look and will sometimes eliminate the need for adding a lot of unnecessary detail at the decorating stage.
Next I flooded the face. My “go to” food colors to make flesh-colored icing are Pink and Ivory. I use the smallest, and I do mean THE SMALLEST, amount of pink first to get a base color. This is usually the size of the top of a toothpick lightly dipped into the food coloring gel and mixed into about 3 Tablespoons of royal icing. Next, I add a small amount, more generous than the pink, to the pink icing and keep adding it until I get the color I like. Experiment with this process; you’ll get the hang of it and find the color that you like best.
Again, after twenty minutes of drying, I then flood the rest of the cookie with the Royal Blue Royal Icing.
Nice, huh? Just goes to show you, it’s all in the details you add at the end that bring it all together, but the cleaner the look you get at this stage, the nicer the cookie will be.
After another 20 minutes, I add a small “blop” of the flesh-toned icing for the players nose. I do this by using the plastic fondant instrument with a round ball tip that I mentioned at the beginning. Careful not to touch the icing when you do this. Even though this part of the cookie has dried for about 40 minutes in total, it will still crush in if you touch it, especially with tools. I load up the ball of the fondant tool with icing and simply let it fall onto the cookie. I slightly coax it into place and shape that I want. You can also do this by putting the icing into a decorator bag and you will get more leverage and control but I skip that step unless I am doing a lot of these cookies…like 50 or more. Otherwise, I just “blop”.
And this is what your cookie will look like. I then let it dry overnight. YES, OVERNIGHT! Why you ask? Because after making cookies for over 20 years, this is one part of the process I don’t like to rush. Your cookie will dry to a solid, hard base overnight and it will make the entire decorating process SO MUCH EASIER and less frustrating “IF” you make a mistake. Trust me on this one, don’t ruin all of your hard work up until now. Additionally, in the past, when I have tried to layer white details on top of the darker colored icing (red, blue, etc.) before letting it dry overnight, I find that the colors bleed into the white, or, the lines sort of melt into the icing which takes away the “crispness” of the look you are trying to achieve.
After a full day of drying, I then add the details. For me, this is the best part because the cookie really comes together. I started with the eyes and eyebrows which are done in black with a #1 tip. You don’t have to let this dry (Yaaay!) before you do the white because the colors will not touch.
I then go ahead, using a #2 tip, and add the mouth grill (is that what Football Players call it?).
I then add the white lines around the red stripe on the helmet and the jersey stripes, one in white, one in red (both using #2 tip).
At this point in the decorating process, you want to assess where your cookie might need some more detail. Some cookies are best with less detail, some with more. One of the hardest things for me to do is to “keep it simple.” Luckily, there is a great blog I reference for inspiration and tutorials which has helped A LOT. Her name is Callye and she is Sweet Sugarbelle. Visit her at www.sweetsugarbelle.com. You will not be sorry. She is fantastic and always strives to keep it simple. And…you’ll be inspired as well. You can also follow her on FACEBOOK.
With this cookie, I decided to outline the entire cookie.
TA-DA!! Your first cookie using my tutorial! I hope you like it…let me know in the comments section. Try your hand at a couple of other designs featured in my Football Season 2014 Collection to make a complete gift set for someone special. There aren’t a lot of cookie designs out there for men so this one is typically popular and is well received by men who LOVE sports! Make a platter for your Superbowl Party using your team colors and use it as your table centerpiece. It will surely impress your guests.
Thanks for visiting my blog!