Muwhahahahahaha! These Mad Scientist cookies were inspired by something else I made...
This is my youngest son, in his Mad Scientist halloween costume from 2017. We participated in a Trunk or Treat event, and I decorated my car as a mad scientist's laboratory. I had SO much fun putting the details together, paying close attention to how it would look after dark! Check out my handiwork!
My eldest son even joined in the fun, by dressing up as the mad scientist's assistant!
As I was sorting through my Halloween cutters, I came across the perfect cutter for my Mad Scientist cookie: a flipped spider cutter from the Sweet Sugarbelle Halloween Basics Set! If you don't have this exact spider cutter, other spider cutters might work too.
Here's what you'll need:
* Baked spider-shaped cookies, using your favorite roll out recipe
* Royal icing in the following colors and consistencies:
flesh tone of your choice, 20-second consistency
white, 20-second and piping consistency
gray, piping consistency
black, piping consistency
* Food pen, optional
Let's get started!
1. After baking and cooling your cookies, use a food pen to mark the scientist's face and ears. Use icing to pipe the face and ears. Let the icing dry.
2. Use the 20-second white icing to pipe the hair. Immediately after piping the hair, add some lines with the gray icing, allowing them to sink into the white icing beneath. Now is a good time to pipe the nose. Let the icing dry.
3. Use the black icing to pipe the rims of the glasses. Use the piping consistency white icing to make a mustache. Let these sections dry.
4. Add the final details! Outline the ears, fill in the eyeglasses, add some eyeballs, add some white hairs, and don't forget the puffy eyebrows!
Feel free to change up the eyebrows to convey different emotions. It's amazing how the overall look changes with just a small tweak in the shape of the eyebrows!
These cookies would also be fun for a scientist-themed birthday party, especially if you pair them with some other laboratory-themed cookies. Electricity coil and hazard sign cookies are the favorite snacks of every little mad scientist!
Back in 2013, I had a request for baby diaper cookies. I didn't have a diaper cutter, so I hand cut every single diaper cookie for that set. I was very early in my "cookie career", and didn't watermark my cookie pictures at that point. My friend, a contributor to Babycenter.com, wrote an article about me and my small cookie enterprise, and included a picture of those diaper cookies. Although the article is no longer available, the photograph of those diaper cookies were pinned on Pinterest, and have been seen and re-pinned many times! You might recognize it from your own search!
I haven't had a request for baby diaper cookies since... until now! I was so excited to tackle this design again using cutters I now own, specifically Sugarbelle cookie cutters! This awesome cutter is found in the first collection of Sugarbelle Shape Shifters.
This cutter, as is, makes an awesome jean pocket cookie, like this one!
But with a few small modifications, this pocket cutter can make the cutest diaper cookies! To make the diaper cookies, you'll also need the curved trimmer from the Sweet Sugarbelle Shape Shifter set and a bench scraper (or knife).
What you'll need:
* Pocket cutter AND curved trimmer from Sweet Sugarbelle Shape Shifters Collection, first set.
* bench scraper or sharp straight knife
* royal icing in the following colors and consistencies:
white: thin flood and 20+ second consistency
grey: piping consistency
pink (or other accent color of your choice): piping consistency
* food safe wide paint brush
1. Prepare your favorite roll-out cookie dough. Use the pocket cutter to make the first cut. Use the curved trimmer to trim the bottom point of the cookie.
2. Use the bench scrapper or knife to trim a little from the "waist" of the cookie. Bake the cookie as directed on the recipe.
Now that the cookies are baked and cooled, take a look at the sketch to see where we're going with decorating the cookies.
3. Use a food safe paint brush to apply the white flood consistency to the leg holes of the cookies. This thin layer will dry quickly, so you'll be able to move on to the next step in no time.
4. Use the 20-second white royal icing to fill in the main portion of the diaper cookie. Allow the icing to dry.
5. Use the same royal icing (white, 20 second) to create the diaper flaps. Allow to dry.
6. Use the gray icing to pipe the metal parts of the safety pins.
7. Use the pink (or alternative accent color) to pipe the trim on the leg holes and waist, as well as the ends of the safety pins. That's it!
You know what? This design could easily be turned into other "undergarment" designs! Maybe an alternative diaper design with one large safety pin. Or maybe tightie-whities for a little boy who is being potty trained (yes, I rewarded my boys for their successful potty trips and it worked!), "granny panties" for a friend's milestone birthday (nothing says welcome to your 30's like granny panty cookies LOL!). Lots of options!
It was great fun to re-create this oldie-but-goodie design, and to replicate the staging of the original photograph from years ago. But I couldn't pass up the opportunity to reminisce when my boys were small by using their real baby blankets in this updated staging:
Oh. my. heart.
This post is not a tutorial, but rather some backstory of a cookie that was very emotional for me to create. At a future date (and different design), I hope to share the main technique used to create this piece.
It's December, 1985.
I'm nine years old and in the fourth grade.
A visitor informs my family that my brother's great friend -a boy who was like a brother to me and whom I had known all of my life- had been killed in a plane crash on his return home from a peacekeeping mission in the Sinai Desert. He was a member of the US Army, specifically in the 101st Airborne Division, the Screaming Eagles.
All passengers on board, including 248 soldiers and 8 crew, were killed. To this day, it remains one of the deadliest air disasters in American military history.
The definitive cause of the crash is still unknown.
Was it due to weather? An onboard explosion?
Was it terrorism?
Look for yourself- Google "Arrow Air flight 1285". It's still being talked about, over 30 years later.
It was the first loss of someone close in my life. Not only was it a loss, but it was a tragic loss. Reports of the accident were on the news, in the newspaper.
It was tough for me as young girl to wrap her head around the loss.
A book was even written about my big "brother" David, as his life as a young kid was as tragic as his death. His death completely shaped how I handle (or rather struggle with) death to this day.
That's where my faith steps in.
I thank God that I can sometimes channel emotions to create pieces like this.
It helps me to heal.
It helps me to remember.
It helps me to honor.
Have you ever been stuck with something? Being stuck with the dishes after a big family meal. Being stuck with walking the dog when it's pouring rain. Maybe it's a literal stuck, like insisting on grabbing a live cactus at Lowe's even though your parents warned you not to touch it (ahem... youngest Clough child).
One of the worst things is having an idea stuck in your head. And you've planned out how you'll pull off said idea. But you're stuck doing other stuff instead of following through on your idea.
Cue this Cactus Cookie. Picture this: spring 2017, just as the cactus craze was really starting to take off. I pulled out a bunch of cutters, sketched out my "flips" (or ways to repurpose them). I even baked some of them! And then, I got stuck. Stuck doing laundry, stuck doing orders, stuck with the trials and tribulations of life. My sketches and baked cookie ideas got stuck on the shelf. Until now!
I thought this was the perfect tongue-in-cheek design to celebrate Mother's Day or Father's Day (imagine a Dad cactus with a mustache and bowtie!). You know the saying- you can pick your friends, pick your nose, but you can't pick your family?
You're stuck with them.
You recognize the cutter, right? You might have this exact one, or something similar. It's a mitten! Here's a line drawing so you can see where we're going.
Here's what you'll need:
* baked mitten shape cookie
* food-safe marker (optional) to sketch the design on the cookie.
* Royal icing:
-20-second in the pot color of your choice and medium green.
-piping consistency in black, white, and a different shade of green (lighter or darker than the medium green to be used for the cacti lines)
-thick icing in the flower color of your choice.
1. Use the food safe marker to map out the top of the pot, parent and child cactus. Don't go to the edge of the cookie- leave room for the cactus spines. If you're good at eyeballing stuff, skip ahead to step 2.
2. Use the piping consistency green and the pot color to outline the cacti and pot. Let the lines dry. Remember to leave room for the spines around the edge of the cactus.
3. Flood the cacti with the medium green (the 20 second consistency one). Flood the pot. Let these sections dry.
4. Add in the eyes, mouth, cactus lines, and rim of the pot.
5. After the lines are dry, pipe some spines and cactus flowers. Decorate the pot, if you want! If I were making these for Father's Day, I would do a mustache, bowtie, and blue flowers on the parent cacti at this step. You're done!
I hope that you try out these cacti family cuties, to celebrate those loved ones that you're stuck with. Wouldn't they be great for siblings too?
I'm Amy. Wife, Mom, former science teacher- and now full time cookie baker on Maryland's Eastern Shore. Pull up a chair and we create! I'll bring the coffee- maybe Mike (The Cookie Widower) will make it for us.