First things first, you’ll need icing. Perhaps a lot of icing. I always begin by choosing a palette and mixing both piping AND flood icing in each color. Of course, you can make it as complicated or simple as you like, but as always, I seem to lean toward complicated.
If you need a little inspiration in the color department, I suggest you check out Photo Card Boutique. It is one of my favorite go-to inspiration spots when my colorator is not 100%. I made that word up, by the way…
Oh yes, and if it takes you an hour to mix all that icing, there’s nothing wrong with you. It’s completely normal.
Now for the cookies. I have these weird sequences I follow, because they make sense in my head. I usually start with the eyes. The cool thing is, you don’t have to do what I do. Do what feels right to you. I do suggest, however, letting the bottom layer dry before adding accents. Otherwise, the colors may bleed.
I work from eyes to nose to mouth, adding detail as I work, usually with a #1.5 PME tip.
After that, it’s just a matter of filling empty space. Do what feels right to you, but in case you get stuck, I shared some of my favorite designs.
In hindsight, I’m thinking that a curlicue is pretty much a swirl, but I didn’t want to redo this picture, so PRETEND they are different. By the way, did you know curlicue is REALLY a word? True story. The dictionary says so!
It is traditional to write the name of the deceased on the forehead of the skull, but since these weren’t going to anyone in particular, dead or alive, I skipped that part and I kept on working until I was satisfied with my work.
Calavera cookies are usually an all-day affair, but aren’t they worth it?! I made these gals happy, because I really enjoyed decorating them!
I wasn’t fibbing when I said I had a thing for calavera cookies. These were the very first set I worked up the courage to make. It took me about six hours to decorate them!
Since then I went crazy, making them every chance I had, in whatever colors struck my fancy.
Even pastels, although this guy looks like he has a grill to me!
I’ve even made leopard print calaveras for a fellow Day of the Dead lover. Since they were for a friend, I included my cookie interpretation of José Guadalupe Posada’s, La Calavera de Catrina, a iconic image typically associated with the holiday. Obviously, she was a good friend. They took DOUBLE FOREVER to make!