Happy Wednesday Slow Roasters! We are spending a fantastically fun week sharing Munchkin's Elmo Themed 2nd Birthday Party with you. Monday we shared Rubber Ducky Punch with you. Yesterday we shared the amazing Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Pops with you and today I bring you another favorite from the dessert table.
When we decided to have an Elmo themed party, I knew I had to make a fabulous Elmo cookie. I am known for my cookies, they are the most requested item that I make. So, when I bought the cookie cutter I started messing around with decorating and found a most simple way to get a fabulous cookie.
I am going to share that with you. I recommend you use your favorite sugar cookie or cut-out cookie recipe. There are so many to choose from depending on your preference. We prefer a cut out cookie, it is a cross between a sugar cookie and a shortbread cookie. Specially designed to hold its shape when baked.
So, find your favorite recipe and make a few tweaks if needed. I would recommend not to use any leavening such as baking soda or baking powder (although one of my favorite recipes does call for it). Also, I chill my dough overnight before I roll it out and for several hours after it is cup out and on the cookie sheet. I bake my cookies at a higher temperature for a shorter period of time. These together make a fantastic cut out cookie! Try this one from Dorie Greenspan it is a a fabulous sugar cookie recipe All Occasion Sugar Cookies.
Now icing is a whole different ball game. The easiest to decorate with would be royal icing.
Recipe from Wilton
Wilton Royal Icing (Yield about 3 cups)
Beat all ingredients until icing forms peaks (7-10 minutes at low speed with a heavy-duty mixer, 10-12 minutes at high speed with a hand-held mixer).
NOTE: Keep all utensils completely grease-free for proper icing consistency.
* For stiffer icing, use 1 tablespoon less water.
**When using large countertop mixer or for stiffer icing, use 1 tablespoon less water.
Thinned Royal Icing: To thin for pouring, add 1 teaspoon water per cup of royal icing. Use grease-free spoon or spatula to stir slowly. Add 1/2 teaspoon water at a time until you reach proper consistency.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe - The Slow Roasted Italian.com
Separate your icing into 4 bowls. Portion out in this manner: about 1/2 of your mix in the first bowl, 1/4 in the next and the last two get about 1/8. Color the first bowl red, the second black and the third orange and leave the last white. Be careful to keep bowls covered with plastic wrap or icing will start to crust over and harden.
The bowls of black icing will need to be split in half and one should be thinned to flood consistency. The bowl of red icing will need to be slightly thinned to a flood consistency, as will the white and orange icing. Add 1/8 teaspoon of warm water at a time until it is thinned to a flood consistency. (Flood is thinned enough for two lines to spread into one, without being watery).
Fill squeeze bottles with each icing. You will need 5 bottles. I really like the Kuhn Rikon Decorating Squeeze Bottle. You can use whatever tips on them that you like so you are not stuck with whatever comes out (like on a standard squeeze bottle). Also, they contain the icing well (in a stand up container) and clean up easy.
Once your cookies are completely cooled, and you are ready to start decorating...
I prefer to lay out 12 cookies on a cookie sheet and decorate them all at the same time. I take each step on all the cookies, and then the next and the next. That when you get the hang of it and are not trying to remember how you got the eyes to look like that again later.
Start with your Elmo shaped cookies facing you. Find the top of the cookie, in between the eyes. Follow this down 1/2". This is where you will make an oval with your black for the nose. Starting at the top right of the nose form a circle. Then make a circle for the other eye. In the center of the eye make a solid circle about 1/2" around (use your best judgment).
Next, using your black icing with a #2 tip you are going to create the face outline. Starting at top of the cookie next to the eye you will start your out line. Start making an oval and about an inch down you will zig zag in and out to make fur. Do this around the cookie.
The mouth starts with parenthesis at each side of the cookie, on the outer edge near the fur even with the bottom of the nose. Connect your parenthesis with a elongated 'U' to make the lower lip. The top lip will have two zig zags on each side on the center point as you see below.
Using your flood consistency black icing with a #3 tip, flood the mouth with icing.
Using a #3 tip on the orange icing (flood consistency) fill in Elmo's nose.
Using a #3 tip and white icing (flood consistency) fill the eye balls, be careful not to fill over the black.
Using your red icing and a #3 tip (flood consistency) flood the face of the cookie with red. Use a toothpick or the tip of your bottle to move the icing. I found it easiest to work from one side to the other.