Sunday, January 3, 2016

Bitten Gingerbread Men - Christmas Cookies

I was trolling Pinterest for decorated sugar cookie ideas for Christmas, and I found a gingerbread man with a bite taken out of its leg.  I know this sounds morbid, but it was so cute.  I immediately decided that the half-eaten gingerbread man was going to be my Holiday cookie.

Now my cookies don't look anywhere near as good as Sweet Sugarbelle's version, but hey, I'm just an cookie decorating hack and she is the artist.   You can see the master's cookies here.

So how did I make them?  Well I pretty much followed Sugarbelle's instructions with just a few changes.

I used my standard "No Fail Sugar Cookie Recipe", and cut out my gingerbread men.  Next I used an interesting looking pattern to take the "bite" out of the leg, arm or body.  I tried taking a bite out of the head, but that just looked to weird/sick.

Baked them next, and here they are right out of the oven. 

Onto the decorating...  I used my standard icing to dam, flood, and decorate the cookies.  It is a Corn Syrup Royal Icing.  It is nice for flooding and gives the dried icing a pretty shine, but it isn't the best for adding the details to the cookies.  Even at a stiff consistency it tends to be a little soft and runny, and doesn't hold points very well.  But I was in a rush and didn't have time to try out Sugarbelle's recommended icing.  Maybe next time...

Anyway to pipe the dam I used a Wilton Round #1 tip, and icing at a stiff consistency.  I get my tips from either Hobby Lobby or Michael's, and they cost about $1 each.  The icing is tinted with Wilton's Brown food color gel.  I usually dam 4-5 cookies in at a time, and after I finish the 4th I loop back around and start flooding the first.  I want to give the dam enough time to set, but not enough time for it to dry.  When I flood I push the flood icing on top of the dam so they both merge into one seamless surface.

For flooding I used a Wilton Round #3 tip.  I pipe the flooding icing about 1/4 inch away from the previously piped dam, and then I use an offset spatula to push the flood icing on top of the dam.  The flood icing will float over the dam, but "hopefully" won't spill over it. 

As a final step I smooth out any air bubble that float to the surface.  I let the base icing dry for 24 hours before I start the detail decorating process.

After the base is dry, I piped on some cheeks with pink tinted icing, and some faces with black.

Next I piped on a little bow tie.  Sugarbelle used a Wilton Leaf tip #67, but even at the stiff consistency my icing wouldn't hold the leaf shape so I just made a flat bow tie shape.  For the center of the tie I just used some preformed circular sugar sprinkles from Wilton.

Final touches included the orange nose and buttons, and the white lines around the head and arms (all tip #1).  In hindsight I should have used a #2 tip for the white lines; they needed to be a little thicker.

So a cute little cookies that weren't too stressful or time consuming to make.  And while they don't looks as good as Sugarbelle's they are pretty good for me.

Happy Decorating,


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