I recently had the pleasure of making some owl cookie party favors for an owl themed baby shower. It was my first time decorating cookies with royal icing so I had to do some searching around to see what the best method might be in addition to my own trial and error. The first thing I needed was an owl shaped cookie cutter. After doing some searching, I came upon this post from My Owl Barn that suggested using tulip cookie cutters and cutting off the stem. I just happened to have a tulip shaped cookie cutter in my baking drawer and actually preferred the wide shape over the longer cookie cutters I was able to find online so this was perfect! That was the easy part. Next, I had to actually figure out how to properly make the royal icing. I used the following recipe that can be found on Prudent Baby:
3 tbsp meringue powder
1 1lb bag of confectioners’ sugar
6 tbsp warm water
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
Beat all the ingredients together for approximately 12 minutes or until it forms stiff peaks.
While the icing is getting beaten, I prepared my pastry bags and decorating area. Once the icing was ready, I scooped some into separate mixing bowl and covered the remaining icing with a damp towel. I added coloring to the scooped out portion and then added more warm water by the teaspoon until the icing was the right consistency. The first time I attempted to make these cookies, I didn’t add any additional water and not only was the icing difficult to pipe out but, it also solidified too quickly and would leave a border on the cookie. That was not the look I was going for so I decided to add more water and followed Marian from Sweetopia’s “10 second rule” to get the right consistency. Marian has great tips for cookie decorating on her site and I highly recommend it. Once the icing was ready, it was just a matter of putting it in the pastry bag and starting to decorate. This was the fun part but also the part that required the most patience and the most practice. My plan initially was to just make the first layer (the base of the owl) with no additional decoration and let it dry overnight However, I tried the marbling technique for the feathers on some practice cookies I used for my son’s valentines in preschool and I loved how they came out. Instead of the traditional arched feathers, I made little hearts for feathers on the body and think it came out quite cute. I basically made 2 rows of little v’s and then dragged a toothpick down the middle making sure to clean it off each time.
Then, the following day, I added the eyes and instead of using chocolate chips for eyeballs as I had planned on for the baby shower cookies, I decided that hearts came out so nice that I’d put them in the eyes as well (plus, I had some leftover pink icing I wanted to use up). Here are the final pictures for the valentines I made for my son’s classmates.
By the time I had to make these cookies for the baby shower, I was an owl cookie making machine . I was able to pump them out relatively quickly. Instead of heart shaped feathers on the body, I made upside down archs by drawing two straight lines and then running a toothpick down them twice.
Once the first layer was nice and dry, I made the eyes, beak, wings, and eyeballs (chocolate chips). Here were the final products.
I’m really excited about how they came out and with Easter coming up this weekend, I’m hoping to find the time make some cute Easter cookies as well. These cookies are great fun to make and are delicious but they are very time consuming!
Are you a cookie decorating afficionado? How do you think these came out? I’d love to hear what you have to say!