How to Add Bushy-Tailed Animals to Any Cookie

Written by Mike Tamplin • Oct 15, 2015

How to Add Bushy-Tailed Animals to Any Cookie
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Oh, cookie cutter crushes. Not to sound crazy,but I have them, and surely some of you must too. It's nice to have those go-to cutters you can rely on to do multiple jobs. For instance, the skull cutter has always been a favorite multi-tasker of mine (as evident here, here, and here). However, I have a new cutter crush is climbing amongst the ranks.

The flip flop cutter was previously used in my sitting hula girl post. Its generic, curvy, peanut shape leaves plenty of room for creative interpretation. Like these animal cookies in this post, for example. The flip flop cutter has a great bushy-tail shape quality that would work for a number of animals.

Here's an idea on how you can use the flip flop cutter to add bushy-tailed animals to any cookie cutter shape. This post is an autumn themed as well, hence the squirrel, fox, and raccoon designs. However, I'm sure you could easily use this method for beavers, domestic cats, and... well I'm out of examples but you see what I'm getting at.

Preparing the Dough

Like I mentioned, I was going for an autumn theme for this set, so I pulled out a pumpkin, an acorn, and a (sun)flower cutter to pair with each animal. While the cutter choice is totally up to, I recommend choosing shapes that are no more than 3 inches tall. That size works well with the size of the flip flop cutter.

For this tutorial, I'm going to demonstrate the squirrel-with-an-acorn design but the same technique can be applied to the other two designs.

Using your favorite sugar cookie recipe (you can find my favorite here), merge the two dough shapes, as shown below, and bake as directed.

Animal Cookie Design Template

For these bushy-tailed animal cookies, I tried to keep the design as simple as possible (which can be a challenge for me). I drew up some design options that would only involve decorating a minimalistic tail, a semi-detailed head, and a set of super easy fingers.

That being said, I also provided sketch templates to help guide you during the decorating process. The template file includes the squirrel, the fox, and the raccoon designs.

You can download the bushy-tailed animal cookie template HERE.

If you have a Kopykake or Pico projector, just print it out (or pull it up on your mobile device) and you are good to go. For those without a projector, follow the suggested steps below by tracing the design onto the cookie with an edible food marker.

The Decorating Process

Step 1

Begin by filling in the bottom section of the acorn. I used Rainbow Dust Progel olive green for this. Give the icing time to set (approximately 15 minutes). Then, with chestnut brown icing, fill in the tail section using the dough imprint line as a guide. I added a little divot on the side to give the tail a touch of whimsy.

Step 2

For those without a projector, this step is handy. (This step is optional for those with a projector.) Using a template cutout, outline the head shape with a food pen or marker.

Step 3

For the facial details, I broke them down into four steps illustrated below. Be sure to wait at least 15 minutes for the icing to set between steps. The wait time will give your squirrel face nice dimension.

Once the face is finished, it's important that the icing sets for about an hour before moving on to Step 4. (You'll see why in a second.)

Step 4

After the icing had time to dry, it's time to add the acorn top. I used brown sanding sugar as an easy way to give these tops some texture. Just flood the top section with dark brown icing and wait 2 to 3 minutes for the icing to firm and slightly crust. This will prevent the sanding sugar from sinking in the icing.

Next, I like to use Sugarbelle’s method of sprinkling over wax paper for easy cleanup. (Another tidy alternative method is to use a coffee filter, as demonstrated by Michelle at Make Me Cake Me).

Sprinkle the sanding sugar over the entire flooded surface. Once the acorn top is covered in sugar, lift and gently shake off the excess.

Step 5

Lastly, add the finishing touches like the acorn stem with dark brown icing and the fingers with chestnut icing, in the order as shown below.

Video Tutorial

The steps above are summarized in this time-lapsed video I put together.

Like I mentioned before, this technique can be used on a menagerie of different animals. Here's the finished squirrel cookie along side the raccoon and fox, all looking pretty coy behind their articles of nature.

For the sunflower design, I used Sweet Sugarbelle's pretty sunflower cookie tutorial. I loved the pop of green she placed around the center.

I hope everyone is having a great October. Happy Fall, Ya'll!

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