Brayden just turned 4-years-old and he is quite the fan of Thomas the Tank Engine. For his birthday, his mom asked me if I would do a Thomas and Friends themed batch. I was very happy to oblige.
I’ve see many great Thomas cookies on the Internet but I wanted to do a batch that was a little different from the rest. Instead of an ordinary flat cookie, I thought why not try to make it more 3D-like? The kids would get a kick out of that.
The first step was the dough prep. I used my basic sugar cookie recipe, but set aside about a quarter of the dough. With that quarter dough portion, I added black food-coloring and used a cookie cutter to cut them into small circles. With the un-dyed dough, I carved out the train body bases of Thomas and his two friends, Percy and James.
These trains have really expressive facial features– it seems to be all about the nose and cheeks. I wanted to see if I could captured those features in these cookies. A while ago, Sugarbelle posted a guest tutorial from Vicki’s Sweet Treats on how to make lumpy potato cookies. I used that same technique to create these faces.
1. Take one of those black circles.
2. Using 15-second icing, outline the edge and around where the eyes should be. Then immediately flood the middle part with that same 15-second icing.
3. Wait about 2 minutes for the icing to kind of set and slightly “crust over”. With your icing tip, place the tip directly INTO the flooded areas of the cookie where the nose and cheeks should be and inject more icing. You should be able to see those areas pump up.
Since this was the first time I tried this technique, it was trial-and-error before I got the wait time correct. I made sure to make a lot of extra faces just in case I messed up a few. That was the hard part.
The rest of the cookie was pretty typical– just outline and flood. Once the body part of the cookie was completely dry (over night), I attached the faces to the body with a little royal icing.
I’m really pleased how Thomas, Percy, and James turned out (I think the red James engine is my favorite though). The stacked cookie, along with the 3-dimensional facial features really added some visual depth that I was aiming for.
Happy Birthday, Brayden! I hope you and your friends had fun with this batch.