Hedgehogs by Vicki from Sweet Tweets

I asked Vicki of Sweet Tweets to do a guest post for me a few weeks ago. I had planned on posting it in May but I just had to share it now because they are so darn cute! See the cute little hedgehogs by Vicki? They are the cutest hedgehog cookies I have seen and I want to learn how to make some! But these hedgehogs are more than cute cookies! Vicki does something special with them. Tell us about it Vicki!

A couple weeks ago, Lisa asked me to do a guest post on her blog. I thought for a couple of days about what I wanted to do and then I noticed that my cookie friend, Jill (Jill FCS) was doing a guest post BEFORE me. How could this happen? This was like singing the National Anthem after Whitney Houston……really, could I “hit it out of the park” like Jill did?

I got to thinking about things I loved about the various blogs and realized it is the diversity in the guest posts that is so interesting……at least that is what I keep telling myself! So, I decided to take a few steps back and post a tutorial on a cookie that a beginning cookie maker could do. That was me, less than 2 years ago! There were no blogs that I can remember then, so I spent my days on Flickr trying to figure out “how did they do that?” Today, I think cookiers are some of the most generous about openly sharing tips and techniques. With that in mind, I have an “emergency cookie” tip at the end that I hope you will “rock your world”…or at the very least will “save your hide” if you get in a bind!

Let me start out by saying that I technically do not SELL my cookies. I live in a state that does not allow home-baking and therefore, I let everyone know that if they want cookies they can give to local charities. I spent about a year donating to various schools, arts and children’s organizations. I have decided this year to focus on our local zoo, which encompasses all of that. The zoo touches everyone in our community…young and old from all economic backgrounds. I asked the zoo if I could sponsor their new hedgehog exhibit and they were happy to purchase two new baby hedgehogs, which I got to name!  They will be called “Sugar and Spice”. They will make daily rounds at the zoo meeting everyone and will be permanently housed in the soon to open educational center.  No, my sponsorship will not stop global warming or bring about world peace, but I love the look of awe on the children’s faces when they get to hold and learn about an animal that they have not seen before.  What else do you know can bring a smile to a baby AND a teenager?

So, with that little intro out of the way……….let’s make HEDGEHOGS! I was so happy when Coppergifts came out with their new hedgehog cutter…I think I was the first person to acquire one! This is a great “beginner” cookie because you can use any colors you like and “freestyle” the design…no Kopykake required!  Personalize your hedgehog!

Edible Marker
Dark Brown Outline and Flood Icing  (I used a #2 tip for both)
Cream Colored Outline and Flood Icing
Black Outline (for mouth or eyes if you don’t have the edible pearls)
Pink Luster Dust for cheeks
Round Pink Candy (or any color and you can find them in the in the wedding section of Hobby Lobby in many colors)
Small Black Dragees (for the eyes)
Hedgehog cookies

I then gathered up all my “leftover” icing to use for Hedgie embellishment…..any colors/consistency you want.
Another option is to cut out from fondant some little “flowers” for the girl Hedgies….totally up to you!

Look at that cute little hedgehog cutter! I can’t wait to decorate these.

Before you bake the cookies, you can flip a few of them over so it they are looking at each other.

To make it easy, I used a brown edible marker to sketch where I wanted to pipe. This cookie is really easy because there are no small areas to “cave” and really, you just can’t mess up a hedgehog. I did them all a little different, so don’t stress over the lines!

Then, with your outline icing, outline the body in cream and back in dark brown. I had leftover pink and blue icing and thought it would look good so, I also took liberties and used them.

Then, with the flood icing,  flood the hedgehog back portion. I wanted to do wet-on-wet technique for the design, so I immediately used my leftover icing and just piped some polka-dots and other designs. You might need to work with one cookie at a time and work fast so the icing does not crust over.

Wait about an hour or so and then flood the bottom part of the hedgehog and face with cream colored icing.  Immediately drop in a black pearl candy for the eye and a round pink candy for the nose. Let this dry for a few hours.

Then, add some details. With the black icing, add a mouth.
Next, add  some “rosy” cheeks with luster dust. You can also add a cute little fondant flower or some eyelashes.

Let these dry overnight

Now, for my “911 Emergency” cookie tip!

Are you the type of person that hides a key to your front door under the mat … “just in case”?? OR do you keep a $20 bill in the car, in a “secret” spot in your purse and in numerous other places “just in case”??

I am a “plan ahead” person and hate when I get thrown for a loop or have an emergency that derails my plans.  In the cookie world, planning is important, because sometimes cookies can take 2 or 3 days to complete and if something goes awry, it can be stressful. My kids once let our “outdoor” Labrador in the house unbeknownst to me. When I heard a clanging sound in the “cookie room” I ran in to find him finishing up the last of 4 dozen cookies I had just decorated!  I was paralyzed in disbelief!

So now I have a back-up plan and that involves always, always, always having a batch of homemade buttercream fondant on hand. Find the recipe here.  It takes about 30 minutes to make and wrapped tightly will last a couple months….well worth the time spent!

So, let’s say that TOMORROW you need a couple dozen hedgehog cookies and you have not received your hedgehog cutter yet and don’t have time to outline and flood (and let dry overnight) a base coat for simple circle cookies.   Here’s the plan:

First, cut out a batch of circle (or square) cookies.  Put them in the fridge and preheat your oven.

Then, cut out the SAME number of circles (same cutter) from your “stash” of homemade fondant.

Next, bake your cookies.
IMMEDIATELY after the cookies come out of the oven, place your fondant cut outs on top of your hot cookies.  Get them on straight, but do not touch.

The fondant will almost “melt” onto the cookie and now will be almost like a layer of icing…yummy icing!
Let them cool (do not accelerate this by putting in fridge)

Once your cookies are cool, freehand an outline of a hedgehog.

Next, with our outline icing, outline your hedgehog.

Then, with your brown flood icing, flood your hedgehog back and add a few details.

Next, with your cream flood icing, flood the face and body of your hedgehog. You can add a black pearl candy for the eye and nose.

Ta-da!!!  This took me about 2 hours start to finish with MOST of that being “cookie cooling” time.

I don’t have to use this method very much, but I have been told by several people that they prefer the fondant to royal icing, so don’t let that deter you.  It is always good to have a back-up plan after all!

I would love to give everyone who is just starting out making cookies one giant piece of advice:  Don’t give up. Don’t get frustrated by looking at all the lovely cookies on the internet and Facebook and say, “I can never do that”.  I still have days where I am not pleased with what I do….in fact, I wish I had done these hedgehogs better…I see every little “fault”!  You DON’T need a kopykake or an airbrush system or even PME tips to be a great cookie decorator. All you need is PASSION! The technique will come before you know it!

Thank you, Lisa for letting me “visit” all of your friends and “Happy Baking”!!

Thanks Vicki! That was amazing! I didn’t realize you were going to give us “Emergency Cookies” also! These are the cutest little hedgehogs ever!!! Thank you so much for being here today and taking the time to tell us about Sugar and Spice.

I also make donations with the cookies I make. Vicki and I want to encourage you to give donations with your cookie work once or twice a year. Cookie make people happy but they can also make a big difference!!

Happy Creating,