Each year, when Halloween time comes around, we can't help but be reminded of the Great Pumpkin from the Peanuts series- and Snoopy too! Sharon of @thedessertpantry shows us how to make these adorable treats that incorporate some of our favorite childhood themes!
Oh-em-gee Halloween is FINALLY here!!! We’ve all been waiting for it! We all have a certain thing about Halloween that we just absolutely love. For me, it’s the chance to create some fantastic desserts themed around this holiday. This tutorial simplifies the decorating of sugar cookies…at least for me it does!
MATERIALS:- Sugar cookie dough (CookieCutterKingdom recipe here)
- Royal icing (CookieCutterKingdom recipe here)
- CookieCutterKingdom's Snoopy on Pumpkin Cutter
- Paint palette (can be found at Michael's Craft Store or Amazon)
- Wilton's paint brushes
- Americolor gel food coloring of your choice
- Pure almond extract (you can also use pure lemon extract or vodka)
Depending on the size of the details you want on your cookies will depend on the brush size you use. In the photo you can see that I have at least 3 average brush sizes for this cookie job. So prep your dough, bake those cookies, and get your royal icing ready… it’s time to get started!
First you will want to flood your cookies with royal icing and let them set for a few hours. I usually flood my cookies late in the evening and pick back up on painting them the following day. I want to make sure they are completely ready to go. If you start painting them and the royal icing is not completely dry…well that is going to damage your royal icing (crack it), and then you’ll need to start all over. ☹
Once your royal icing is all set, we get to prepare the ‘paint’ (aka food coloring). Remember that a little drop of gel food coloring goes A LONG WAY. There is no need to use a large amount. In the photo you can see just how small the amount is that I used was.
I generally squeeze a small amount from the gel food coloring bottle, and then use the brush to move it to the paint palette. Once that is done, SLOWLY place about two to three drops of the almond extract into the same circle paint palette the gel food coloring is in.
I actually put a bit too much extract than I wanted in this photo, but I was able to ‘correct’ it by adding in a bit more gel food coloring. The amount of extract and food coloring you use has an effect on your ‘paint’ consistency. If you want more of a watercolor effect, then you’ll opt for more extract. If you want a bit more of a ‘solid’ coloring, then you’ll want more gel food coloring.
So once you have those two ingredients together, use your paint brush and mix them as best you can. You will probably see tiny bits of gel food coloring linger towards the bottom but don’t worry about that. Just continue to mix until you see the two combine well.
Now for this tutorial we are using two colors: orange and black, so I will use two different paint brushes. I don’t like to use different colors for a single brush unless I want the colors to run together. Since the colors used here are very different from one another, I’ll use two brushes. The brush I use for the black coloring will be fine and distinct since it’ll be used to create the details of Snoopy.
Now that we are ready to paint the cookie, you’ll put your brush in the orange food coloring and take off any excess by brushing against or inside the paint palette. You’ll want to create your brush stroke along the lines of the pattern of a pumpkin; basically, you’ll mimic those pumpkin lines from top to bottom with a bit of a curve. Be careful not to over saturate your brush with the gel food coloring, or over saturate the cookie because this can ‘crack’ the royal icing. You want just a small amount of icing to gently go over the cookie.
Also, if you notice in the photo below, I have two colors of orange next to one another in the paint palette. I took a bit of my original orange and moved it over, then added a bit of white gel food coloring to get a lighter orange color. This additional color helped me to add more details into the pumpkin.
Once you are done coloring the pumpkin, let it dry! We do not want to immediately move to using the black because if the orange coloring is still wet, the black coloring can seep into other areas. So let the ‘paint’ dry; give it at least one hour, or lightly touch with one finger and if it feels dry then you can continue.
Now because I want the details on this cookie to be as black as can be, I did not add almond extract when using black gel food coloring. This helps the details be more pronounced on the cookie. However, word of caution, I try to have as little of the black gel food coloring out as possible when I am using it this way because it can dry up very quickly.
Now with that being said, here comes the fun part! I usually start by drawing Snoopy’s eye, and then go onto the other details from there.
When I begin working on the pumpkin face, I start by painting on the nose before moving into the pumpkins eyes and mouth. This helps centralize the face itself on the cookie so it is not crooked or misaligned.
Than you just slowly add the details. Patience is key, so take your time! Don’t rush! The first cookie or two might be a big challenging, but practice will make it easier.
And before you know it, CHECK YOU OUT! Easy peasy right?! Make sure to let the cookies dry before you serve them out to eat or place them into goodie bags. I generally let them dry over night before I try and do anything with them.