How to Make Gingerbread Man Skeleton Cookies
It's funny to think where you end up pulling creative inspiration from. For instance, I remember a few months ago a post on these dissected gingerbread men by Jason Freeny was making its rounds on social media. Aren't they the coolest?
Well, fast forward a couple months later to now. That's where these gingerbread man skeleton cookies came into existence. Taking inspiration from Jason Freeny's design, I modified my favorite gingerbread man cookie cutter from last year for this idea. To simplify things for easy decorating, I changed up the original skeleton design to look less scientific and more Halloweeny.
I really love how these cookies turned out. Kinda creepy. Kinda cool. Perfect for Halloween. Here’s how you can make your own gingerbread man skeleton cookies.
Gingerbread Man Cookie Cutter
For the cutter used in this tutorial, I pulled out this gingerbread man cookie cutter from last Christmas season.
This gingerbread man cookie cutter is a favorite of mine because I just love his big head and stubby limbs. That being said, using this particular cutter isn't necessary for this tutorial. Feel free to grab any other existing gingerbread man cutter you might already own. Any gingerbread cutter should be able to work for this idea.
Template for the Gingerbread Man Skeleton Cookies
I provided a downloadable PDF template file for the gingerbread man skeleton cookie design shown in this tutorial. As an added bonus, in the file I also included a full skeleton design without the gingerbread man for another fun Halloween option.
You can download the gingerbread man skeleton 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 cutting out the template and tracing the design onto the cookie with an edible food marker.
The Decorating Process
The "gingerbread man" half of these cookies follow the same steps as my original gingerbread man cookie tutorial. You can view that post as a reference reminder, however I also briefly go over the same steps below.
Overall, I would say this design is a bit intricate due to the small skeleton bone sections. Because of that reason, I highly recommend using a projector if you own one.
With black flood icing and a food-only paintbrush, begin by painting the right side of the cookie, as shown below. Let the icing dry completely (about 30 minutes to an hour).
Next, mark where the outline of the gingerbread head and body sections should be. I made a template from the template file above and used a scribe tool to etch the guideline onto the cookie.
Then, outline over the body guidelines with dark tan icing using a #2 icing tip. Let it set up for about 15 minutes before moving on.
Once the outline had time to set, fill in the individual sections with the lighter tan icing. Then immediately add darker accents dots. Be careful not to fill over the outline.
Be sure to fill in non-adjacent sections first, then fill in the remaining after the icing has set. Below is how I progressed through the flooded sections. Let this side of the cookie set and dry (about 20 minutes).
Next, it's time to work on the skeleton side. Because of the intricate design, I etched guidelines in the black icing to help guide me. Again, I would use a projector for this part if you have one.
Using medium (15 to 20-second) white icing, fill in the bone areas of the skeleton. Let the icing dry completely (about 1 to 2 hours).
Once the base layer is completely dry you can add the finishing touches, shown below.
For the bone teeth lines, I used this fine-tipped food pen in black ink. It's a great pen for adding tiny details and I love how thin the fine tip end is.
The steps above are summarized in the time-lapsed video below.
I hope these cookies puts everyone in a festive Halloween mood. I'm really loving this season and I'm looking forward to seeing all your spooky sugar creations!