Enchanting Elf Cookies
You know the old time Rudolph Christmas special that comes on every year– the one with adorable “Bumble,” the Abominable Snow Monster, and Hermey the Elf? I just love that movie. I catch myself humming “Silver and Gold” every Christmas as I pass windows glistening with festive decorations. And just think . . . someday I can hum the very same “Silver and Gold” song, at my senior citizen hair and teeth. Nice.
One of my favorite lines from the movie is when Hermey declares . . . “I want to be a . . . a . . . DENTIST!” Bwahaha. I don’t know why, but it absolutely cracks me up, every time.
Of course, I don’t know what the going Elf salary is, these days, but maybe Hermey had something, there, choosing to pursue dentistry, rather than a spot on the Elf corporate ladder. From what I hear, tons of out of work elves are finding seasonal employment as “elf on the shelf” candidates. But that’s just the word on the holly vine. Either way, Hermey is absolutely cute as a button. So, in honor of that adorable little guy, let’s make some elf cookies. And if you want to make one of them with some gorgeous bicuspids, I won’t judge.
What are we waiting for? Let’s do this!
With many cookies I want to make, I get all psyched up, and then realize (doom-bearing music swells in the background; thunder claps) that I have no ______ cutter. Ugh. Another great idea, down the drain.
Nope. Not anymore.
Thanks to my sweet “little” (and I use that word loosely, since he is younger but about a foot taller than I am) brother, I can now make my own cookie cutters. If you want something done right, do it yourself, right? If you’d like to make your own cookie cutters, check out my tutorial here
. It gets even easier with practice, and it almost becomes addicting– you’ll be making custom cutters anytime you get the chance.
To begin with, I sketched out the shape that I wanted my elves to be. It’s a good idea to sketch your drawing in pencil, so that you can erase and re-do until you get it right. When you get your drawing where you want it, trace your line in pen or marker, to make it easier to see what line you want to follow.
Now, go ahead and make your cutter. Again, more on how to do that, here
. This little face is so cute. I can almost see it going out and enrolling in dental school, now. “A . . . dentithst . . .”
Make your cookies and use your cute little custom cutter to cut them out. These cookies have a lot of tricky little points that will easily tear. If you have trouble getting your sugar cookies to remain the same shape, check out my tutorial, here
, for some tips and tricks to make your cookie baking experience one that you enjoy, instead of one that you dread. Elves should inspire merriment– not dread! Well . . . if you’ve been naughty, rather than nice, I suppose the coming of THE jolly old Elf may be foreboding. But, then again, there’s nothing I can do about that– unless you want to try the ancient art of bribery by making him some Santa cookies here
After your cookies have baked, allow them to cool, completely, before you start to decorate. Feel free to eat the broken ones. Ouch!!! Sorry– I just hit the table and broke a few cookies. Oooooppppssss . . . (munch, munch). Broken cookie pieces don’t have any calories, you know. 😉
To begin with, get your icing colors ready. I am using all 17 second icing, so that I can use it for both outlining and flooding. More on how to make icing and know when it’s the right consistency, here
. Start out with some peach colored 17 second icing– I was trying to go for the childlike, porcelain doll look. I basically used a squidge of copper coloring in white icing– it turned out pretty well. If you want your elves to have a little more sunburn, add a little more color to the base. Make the icing any color you like 🙂 Outline and flood the bottom of the face. Pop any rebel air bubbles that surface and crush that rebellion before it starts.
Next, outline the hat (leaving a space for the pom pom) in light blue icing. Fill in your outline and allow the elves to rest, for a little bit.
When your elf faces have dried, a little bit (at least an hour), go ahead and add the cute little button noses. If you add the noses, too soon, before the icing has a nice “skin,” then they will kind of melt back into the faces, rather than remaining 3D and separate. And who wants his face to melt???? Not me! In the North Pole, home of Frosty, I’m pretty sure “melt” is a 4 letter word. So don’t do it.
Now, add some elvish details to the ears, if you like– again, make sure the bottom layer has dried at least an hour so that these details remain distinct.
Now, using a size 1 tip, pipe black icing into 2 teeny eyes and a smile. You can experiment and make different faces, if you like– you’re the boss in your own kitchen. I tried a variety of faces, but I made them all happy faces. I figured elves should be jolly. If you want to make the face of your evil coworker and laugh deliciously while you eat it, I won’t judge. The cookies tell no tales . . .
While I had the black icing out, I added a snowflake to each elf’s hat. I tried several different designs, and you can feel free to experiment, too– the rule of thumb is just to do the same thing, all the way around, and it will look symmetrical and “snowflakey.” 😉 I started with a diagonal line, with a teeny circle of icing at each end.
Make another line across the first, to form an X. X marks the spot!
Make a set of shorter lines in a cross over the X.
For this one, I added 2 small dots above each line, and then I went back and added 2 dots to the spaces, as well.
Here is another snowflake I tried, that I liked a little better. Like I said, you really can’t go wrong, as long as you are completing the same number of dots, lines, etc, all the way around. Have fun and be creative. If you’re scared to pipe right onto a cookie, do some “icing sketches” on wax paper, first, to practice your designs.
At this point, allow your cookies to dry, completely– overnight, if you can. The next morning, take some white icing and make the pom pom at the end of the hat, a fur “cuff” on the bottom of the hat, and some random white dots. Cover the icing details in sparkling sugar, to really make them glittery and pretty. My favorite sparkling sugar comes from King Arthur Flour, here
. I have never found a product from this Vermont-based company that wasn’t absolutely top-notch. Their customer service is amazing, also. Give them a try, and you won’t be disappointed.
When you have “dusted” your white icing pieces with sparkling sugar, gently tip the cookie and allow the excess sugar to slide off. You can use one of those cheapie paper plates (that everyone hates because you have to use like 23948293847293847 of them to keep your picnic food from leaking onto your lap while you’re eating). In this case, their cheap flimsiness comes in handy– you can bend the entire thing in half and pour the leftover sugar back into the container. Nice.
Now, isn’t that little guy just as cute as a button. I love his glittery little details– they almost look like frosty snow. But, the more I looked at him, I thought . . . “something is missing, here.”
Then I remembered . . . the jolly old Elf, himself, is described this way: “His eyes—how they twinkled! his dimples, how merry! His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!” Oh, yeah . . . we needed a little . . . blush.
So I whipped out the old airbrush and gave the little guys some rosy cheeks. I didn’t “cherry” the nose, though– because I thought it might just look like cold season and too many Kleenex, rather than holiday cheer. haha. ACHOOOOO!!!! (Remember when the Bumble sneezes and blows the place around? haha!)
Aren’t they just adorable! You could just eat them up! (And please do).
Because you did it. I’m just so proud of you.
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