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Every Little Detail with Aproned Artist: Spring’s Baa-ack

 

A couple of years ago my childhood friend decided she’d had enough of the Silicon Valley rat race. She packed up her family and relocated to a beautiful, sprawling property in Oregon. Now that she has the land and the resources, she’s become a hobby farmer. I love seeing pictures of her burgeoning farm with her frolicking goats and nosy chickens, a far cry from the confined and orderly suburb that she lived in before. My friend, her family, and her collection of animals look positively radiant and grateful for the change. This chubby little sheep would fit right in.

Supplies:

  • 1 oz (28.3 g) cookie dough that bakes with minimal spread
  • Food-safe file
  • Royal icing (I used AmeriColor gel paste to tint the icing):
    • Stiff-consistency cream (Ivory plus a tiny dab of Taupe)
    • Stiff-consistency light black (2 parts Super Black/1 part Warm Brown)
    • Stiff-consistency green (1 part Leaf Green/1 part Gold)
    • Stiff-consistency light green (add white icing to the green icing above)
  • Tips:
    • Wilton #8, 5, 59s (or equivalents)
    • PME #1.5, 2 (or equivalents)
  • Angled flat paint brush
  • 2 1/2-in (6.4-cm) round cookie cutter
  • Parchment paper
  • 1-in (2.5-cm) round cookie cutter
  • 4 1/4-in (10.8-cm) round cookie
  • Round paint brush

Step 1: Shape and bake sheep cookie

a. Shape approximately 1 ounce (28.3 grams) of cookie dough into an oval mound about 2 inches (5.1 centimeters) long. Bake the cookie, checking every few minutes and reshaping the dough with a butter knife or spatula if necessary.

Step 1a - Shape and Bake Cooke Dough

b. Use a food-safe file to shape the baked cookie into more of a teardrop shape. The thin end of the cookie will be the neck of the sheep. File the underside of the neck at a 45-degree angle to form the sheep’s chest.

Step 1b - File Baked Cookie

Step 2: Sculpt sheep’s body

a. Flip the cookie over so that the bottom of the cookie faces up. Using stiff-consistency cream royal icing and a Wilton #8 tip (or equivalent), pipe a mound of icing on the flat area of the cookie. Smooth the icing into a rounded underbelly with the flat side of a damp angled flat paint brush. Allow the icing to dry at least 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, the icing will have crusted, but it will not be completely dry. Flip the cookie over so that the icing faces down, and suspend the cookie by placing it inside a 2 1/2-inch (6.4-centimeter) round cookie cutter so that the icing does not hit the work surface. This way, the icing won't get deformed while it continues to dry. (Refer to the photo in Step 4a.)

Step 2a - Pipe and Shape Underbelly

b. With the same icing and tip, add some icing to build up the sheep’s neck, and smooth it into the body with a damp angled flat paint brush. Add some icing to the sheep’s rump as well. You may need to add icing to different places depending on the shape of your cookie. As you work, compare your cookie to pictures of sheep so that you can more closely mimic their anatomy.

Step 2b - Pipe and Shape Sheep's Neck and Rump

Step 3: Pipe muzzle and leg transfers

a. Using stiff-consistency light black royal icing and a Wilton #5 tip (or equivalent), pipe a mound of icing for the sheep’s face on a small square of parchment paper. Use a damp angled flat paint brush to shape the icing into a muzzle. (Note that the flat side where the icing contacts the parchment paper will be where the muzzle attaches to the sheep’s head.) Try to keep the size of the muzzle proportional to the body cookie. (My muzzle was about the size of a dime at the base and approximately 3/4 inch/1.9 centimeters long.) If desired, use the pointed tip of the paint brush to lightly indent a “v” at the tip of the muzzle for the nose. Allow the icing to dry completely before peeling the parchment paper away from the transfer.

Step 3a - Pipe and Shape Muzzle Transfer

b. Use the same icing and tip to pipe the leg transfers. Pipe a rough leg shape about 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) in length onto a square of parchment paper (i). Use a damp angled flat paint brush to shape the icing into a foreleg (ii). It’s helpful to refer to images of sheep while shaping the icing. Use the tip of the paint brush to make a lightly indented curved line at the base of the leg for the hoof. Repeat, mirroring the leg shape for the opposite foreleg. Use the same process for the two back legs, however, make them slightly longer and wider at the top. Allow the icing to dry completely before peeling the parchment paper away from the transfers.

Step 3b - Pipe and Shape Leg Transfers

Step 4: Attach muzzle transfer to sheep’s body, and pipe ears

a. Suspend the sheep on top of the 2 1/2-inch (6.4-centimeter) round cookie cutter once again to keep it stable. Using stiff-consistency cream royal icing and a Wilton #8 tip (or equivalent), pipe the back portion of the sheep’s head on top of the neck. Smooth the icing with a damp angled flat paint brush.

Step 4a - Pipe and Shape Back of Sheep's Head

b. Immediately insert the muzzle transfer into the icing. Use a damp angled flat paint brush to drag and shape the icing around the muzzle. Carve out a small, shallow circle of icing on each side of the head for the ears (which will be added in a later step). Allow the icing to crust at least 30 minutes before handling the cookie further.

Step 4b - Attach Muzzle Transfer

c. For better access, switch the supporting cookie cutter to a smaller 1-inch (2.5-centimeter) round cutter. Add a thin layer of cream icing to any uncovered parts of the sheep, smoothing and blending with the damp paint brush.

Step 4c - Add Thin Layer of Icing to Uncovered Parts of Cookie

d. Using stiff-consistency light black royal icing and a Wilton #59s tip (or equivalent), pipe the sheep’s ears. Orient the tip so that the ends of the curve point down. Place the tip against the shallow ear indentation (carved out in Step 4b), and apply gentle pressure as you draw the tip away from the sheep’s head to create a cupped ear about 1/4 inch (0.6 centimeters) in length. If necessary, smooth the end of the ear with a damp paint brush.

Step 4d - Pipe Ears

Step 5: Attach leg transfers to sheep’s body

a. Prop your sheep on the 1-inch (2.5-centimeter) round cookie cutter so that its right side faces up. Using stiff-consistency cream royal icing and a Wilton #8 tip (or equivalent), pipe a bead of icing where you intend to attach the right foreleg. Insert the right foreleg transfer into the icing, checking to make sure the leg sits parallel to your work surface. Repeat for the right rear leg, checking to make sure the foreleg and rear leg extend the same distance from the body so that the sheep will be stable when it stands. Smooth the connecting icing with a damp angled flat paint brush, being careful not to alter the placement or angle of the legs. Allow the icing to dry at least 30 minutes.

Step 5a - Attach Leg Transfers

b. Flip the sheep over so that it rests on the opposite side. Using stiff-consistency light black royal icing and a Wilton #5 tip (or equivalent), pipe a line of icing on the flat side of the attached legs. Use a damp paint brush to blend the wet icing into the dried icing of the leg transfer, creating a three-dimensional leg. Allow the icing to crust at least 15 minutes.

Step 5b - Pipe Opposite Half of Legs

c. Flip the sheep so that it rests on the cookie cutter with its feet facing up. Attach the left fore and rear leg transfers with a bead of cream icing (just as you did in Step 5a), and smooth the connecting icing with a damp paint brush. Make sure the left legs are even with the right legs so that the sheep will be stable when it stands. Allow the icing to dry at least 30 minutes before piping and shaping the inside of the left legs (just as in Step 5b). Let the icing dry completely.

Step 5c - Attach Opposite Leg Transfers

d. Position the sheep so that it rests on its side again. Using stiff-consistency cream royal icing and a Wilton #8 tip (or equivalent), pipe a blob of icing on the area where the foreleg attaches to the body. Use a damp paint brush to shape the icing into a haunch. Repeat with the hind leg. Allow the icing to crust at least 30 minutes before flipping the sheep over and piping the haunches for the opposite legs. Allow the icing to dry completely.

Step 5d - Pipe and Shape Haunches

Step 6: Pipe wool texture

a. Position the sheep on the supporting cookie cutter so that its feet are facing up. Using stiff-consistency cream royal icing and a PME #1.5 tip (or equivalent), pipe irregular circular squiggles of varying size along the underside of the sheep. Remove the cookie cutter, and carefully stand the sheep on its legs to add the same texture to the remaining cream-colored areas of the body.

Step 6a - Pipe Wool Texture

Step 7: Decorate grass cookie, and attach sheep cookie

a. Using stiff-consistency green royal icing and a PME #2 tip (or equivalent), pipe a few random squiggles of icing on the base cookie. Use a round paint brush to vertically dab at the icing. (This dabbing process is called stippling.) Add a few random squiggles of stiff-consistency light green royal icing with a PME #2 tip (or equivalent), and stipple the icing in the same manner. Continue alternating the two icing colors and stippling the icing until the entire cookie is covered.

Step 7a - Pipe and Texture Grass on Base Cookie

b. Add a dab of green icing to the bottom of the sheep’s feet, and attach the sheep cookie to the grass cookie.

Finished!

Final Sheep Cookie

This little guy is ready to usher in the spring season.

Samantha Yacovetta began cookie decorating in 2013. While working at a local bakery, Samantha became captivated by cookie art when a customer requested princess-themed cookies. Attracted initially to the precision of cookie decorating, Samantha soon found that the limitless design opportunities turned it into her artistic passion. Samantha began regularly stocking the bakery case with decorated cookies and for several years sold cookies through her own company, Aproned Artist, a cottage food operation. Having retired from the business life, Samantha now enjoys making cookies just for fun from her home in San Jose, California, USA. To learn more about Samantha, please check out her Cookie Connection portfolio, her Facebook page, and her past Every Little Detail tutorials here.

Photo and cookie credits: Samantha Yacovetta

Note: Every Little Detail with Aproned Artist is a monthly Cookie Connection blog feature written by Samantha Yacovetta focused on the special little details that make big statements in cookie design. This article expresses the views of the author, and not necessarily those of this site, its owners, its administrators, or its employees. To read all of Samantha's past Every Little Detail tutorials, click here. And to see all of Cookie Connection's tutorials, click here.

Attachments

Images (18)
  • Sheep Cookie - Where We're Headed!: 3-D Cookie and Photo by Aproned Artist
  • Step 1a - Shape and Bake Cookie Dough: Cookie and Photos by Aproned Artist
  • Step 1b - File Baked Cookie: Cookie and Photos by Aproned Artist
  • Step 2a - Pipe and Shape Underbelly: Cookie and Photos by Aproned Artist
  • Step 2b - Pipe and Shape Sheep's Neck and Rump: Cookie and Photos by Aproned Artist
  • Step 3a - Pipe and Shape Muzzle Transfer: Photos by Aproned Artist
  • Step 3b - Pipe and Shape Leg Transfers: Photos by Aproned Artist
  • Step 4a - Pipe and Shape Back of Sheep's Head: Cookie and Photos by Aproned Artist
  • Step 4b - Attach Muzzle Transfer: Cookie and Photo by Aproned Artist
  • Step 4c - Add Thin Layer of Icing to Uncovered Parts of Cookie: Cookie and Photo by Aproned Artist
  • Step 4d - Pipe Ears: Cookie and Photo by Aproned Artist
  • Step 5a - Attach Leg Transfers: Cookie and Photos by Aproned Artist
  • Step 5b - Pipe Opposite Half of Legs: Cookie and Photo by Aproned Artist
  • Step 5c - Attach Opposite Leg Transfers: Cookie and Photos by Aproned Artist
  • Step 5d - Pipe and Shape Haunches: Cookie and Photos by Aproned Artist
  • Step 6a - Pipe Wool Texture: Cookie and Photos by Aproned Artist
  • Step 7a - Pipe and Texture Grass: Cookie and Photos by Aproned Artist
  • Final Sheep Cookie: 3-D Cookie and Photo by Aproned Artist

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Comments (27)

Newest · Oldest · Popular

I simply love your creativity and techniques!!Incredible real looking and can't believe all those weight standing on royal icing feet only without wires,or wooden stick!!How it is possible and they didn't break?Tis is another amazing piece dear Samantha❤️Thank you to sharing whole progress with us😘

Last edited by Petra Florean

I simply love your creativity and techniques!!Incredible real looking and can't believe all those weight standing on royal icing feet only without wires,or wooden stick!!How it is possible and they didn't break?Tis is another amazing piece dear Samantha❤️Thank you to sharing whole progress with us😘

Thank you, Petra! I was worried about whether the icing would support him too. Having four legs definitely helps to disperse the weight. He’s been standing strong for over a month now.

Thank you, Petra! I was worried about whether the icing would support him too. Having four legs definitely helps to disperse the weight. He’s been standing strong for over a month now.

Amazing work dear Samantha,I really love it ♥️

Last edited by Petra Florean

Amazing Samantha @Aproned Artist!! The detail is what creates such a realistic finished sheep. This is what you do so well with every single project! Such a creative and unique idea. Love it.

Thank you for the clear explanation and pics of the process so that the sheep can be duplicated exactly. Incredible work ❤️❤️❤️ Hugs...

Whoa. This is amazeballs! I am wondering if you have any additional tips on how to ensure that the legs are equal and will be stable when you stand the sheep up. I am pretty sure that any sheep I made would walk with a gimp lol!

Until this tutorial, I have believed royal icing thin legs couldn't hold a cookie without even trying.   Wow, this is really something!!!  Thank you, Samantha, this is so new to me.

I love it Samantha ! Thank you so much for sharing all the details with us. I learn so much about process from you. I must say, seeing the little guy in various states and positions on the cookie cutter absolutely made my day!

Amazing Samantha @Aproned Artist!! The detail is what creates such a realistic finished sheep. This is what you do so well with every single project! Such a creative and unique idea. Love it.

Thank you for the clear explanation and pics of the process so that the sheep can be duplicated exactly. Incredible work ❤️❤️❤️ Hugs...

Thank you so much, Carol! As I’ve put in more time with cookies, I’ve realized better how to incorporate the details that play to my strengths and hide my weaknesses. “Wool” hides all blemishes and a dark face means I can skip the facial features that give me such a hard time.

Whoa. This is amazeballs! I am wondering if you have any additional tips on how to ensure that the legs are equal and will be stable when you stand the sheep up. I am pretty sure that any sheep I made would walk with a gimp lol!

Thanks, Christine! I just eyeballed for evenness figuring I could shim any wobbly legs with extra grass.

Until this tutorial, I have believed royal icing thin legs couldn't hold a cookie without even trying.   Wow, this is really something!!!  Thank you, Samantha, this is so new to me.

Thank you, Ryoko! I had my doubts, too. Many of my experiments end in catastrophic failure, but those legs ended up being a lot stronger than I expected.

@LisaF posted:

I love it Samantha ! Thank you so much for sharing all the details with us. I learn so much about process from you. I must say, seeing the little guy in various states and positions on the cookie cutter absolutely made my day!

Thanks, Lisa! Some of the belly-up pics are pretty ridiculous (not to mention the unshaped muzzle picture). Context is crucial.

What a fantastic Tutorial Samatha! Your attention to details and great instructions. Had a few grins at the positions you put that poor sheep in LOL. Beautiful cookie work of art. Glad to hear he's still standing strong after a month too - Royal icing is Amazing isn't it!!

What a fantastic Tutorial Samatha! Your attention to details and great instructions. Had a few grins at the positions you put that poor sheep in LOL. Beautiful cookie work of art. Glad to hear he's still standing strong after a month too - Royal icing is Amazing isn't it!!

Thank you, Kat!

Royal icing is the best! And the absolute worst, depending on the day and my mood and how successful my current project is going.

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