Friday, February 28, 2014
The Very Hungry Caterpillar Cookies
Earlier in the week I posted about the Very Hungry Caterpillar that I made for a friend's little boy. A few weeks before the party, my friend and I were talking about the party details and she texted me a photo of the cake/cupcakes she was going to make as well as some cookies that she loved, but wasn't planning on making. Good news for her, I was - what's a party without cookies afterall?! While we couldn't attend his party, as we were in Hawaii, I figured we could be there in Sugar Fairy spirit.
The cookies from the original photo were the fruits from the story - apples, pears, plums, strawberries and oranges with little holes cut out of them. They were really cute and something that totally looked do-able. The first step was to plan out how I would cut them since I don't have fruit cookie cutters. I figured I could start with a circle and cut from there. Here was my plan:
I started with the circle and then cut away. The first few I used the knife to cut out the shape as I had drawn it. This gave me ragged edges though and I wasn't too pleased. You can kind of see if you look at the strawberry cookie in the photo below.
After a few goes, I worked out that if I just cut straight lines, the shapes would be much easier to control and in turn look much better. After cutting the lines, then I just used my fingers to smooth out the edges. Here is the just-cut look.
Here is the post-massage look.
It worked for all of the shapes, excluding the orange which was just a circle.
Once I had it cut out, I took a small circle cutter and cut out a little hole in a corner. Then I popped them in the oven. (Apologies for the sideways photo - I don't know how I didn't notice that while I was taking the photo.)
Pulling them out, they looked like this.
I had a good amount of fruit shapes baked, so I thought with the scraps, I would try to make a little caterpillar. I started by cutting out the shape of the body and then with a knife I scored the details. I figured this would help when decorating it. I also made an oval and a speech bubble.
Then it came time for decorating. I wanted this task to be as easy as possible, so I lined the cookies up by color and tackled the project in batches. First up was red - apples, strawberries and the caterpillar's face. I outlined the hole in the cookie and then the shape. I found that my icing wasn't stiff enough, so if I got too close to the hole, it would drip in. I had to be a tad bit careful, but it all worked out. Once I had the outlines done, I went back and filled in each cookie.
I continued with all of the colors, one by one. Once the base color was done, I went in and added brown stems and a few green leaves, as well as the details on the caterpillar.
Eeeek! I love them!!! Although it's not in the photo above, once they were completely dry I also used a black food marker to give the strawberry some seeds. I was considering using my food colors to paint on each cookie so it would look more like Eric Carle's artwork, but that made me nervous and also, to be honest, I really had to get packing. While they are much simpler looking than the real images, I feel they are cute and recognizable.
The one I was most proud of was the caterpillar. To give him his segments, I started by outlining and filling in every other segment. Once they were pretty dry, I went in a filled in the rest of his body. Then it was just a matter of the face, antennae and feet. I love him.
The cookies were ready to send off to my friend. The only problem is that I had to get them to her nearly a week before the party, as we were leaving on our trip in a few days. Frosted sugar cookies can most definitely be frozen, but sometimes they get spots while they defrost. I looked into why this happens and it seems that no one can work it out - just sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn't. Frustrating. I did read that packaging them individually and then putting them in tupperware helps the situation. That is what I did, but in a photo from the party, you can see that some of them got weird. The good news is that the discoloring doesn't affect the taste. My friend said that they were a hit at the party and another friend, who had attended said the same. Perfect!!