I try not to mislead people and take credit where the idea is really someone elses. So, I have to start by pointing to the website of “SixInTheSuburbsBlog”. One of the authors made these cute hedgehog cookies; Mindy saw the blog about them and sent me a pointer. I was taken with the image, and decided I would try them. I also read all the comments that had been added to the blog to see what problems existed.
It would appear that once you have the cookies, there is little problem in finishing the decorations. But, a lot of the comments on the blog had to do with making the cookies; some even said their cookies looked more like road-kill. Having tried to make the cookies, I too was making a lot of road-kill; but I think I finally got the knack- the little guys have a narrow shape and their noses are lifted in the air.
So, here is how I did it.
1. I made my dough using the Ethel’s Sugar Cookie recipe that is on my website. That dough is a Sugar Cookie dough and not a Short Bread dough since it contains egg and leavening.
2. I rolled the dough to 1/4 inch thick, and then used a shot glass to cut out small circles. The shot glass is about 1 1/2 in diameter on the inside, which is the size the circles will be.
3. To form the elongated body, I turned the two sides of the circle of dough under until they met. Now I worked my way up the body to the nose, doing a partial turn-under until I had the little point for the nose. Now we have to get the nose up off the flat of the baking sheet.
4 With a strip of aluminum foil, create a V shaped trough. Start with a wide enough piece of foil (6 inches) so that the continuing folding creates a fairly robust V. I turned each long edge into the center, then did it a couple more times until the V is only about 3/4 of an inch across the top of the V. Turn the V over so that the point is up, and place it down the center of the cookie sheet.
5. Place the shaped dough of the hedgehogs on alternate sides of the foil so that their little noses are resting near the point of the inverted trough. This will hold their noses up while they bake and cool.
6. Before baking, freeze the shaped dough in the freezer for 10 minutes.
7. Bake the frozen shaped dough for about 8 minutes at 400 degrees.
8. Cool the baked dough on the cookie sheet elevated on a cooling rack for 3 minutes before moving them in any way. I cook on silicon mats on my cookie sheets; once the initial cooling on the cookie sheet is finished, I pull the mat onto the cooling rack eliminating the cookie sheet that was between the mat and the rack, and cool for an additional 1 1/2 minutes before lifting the little guys from the mat and placing them on a cooling rack to finish cooling.
To do the decorating of the little guys, I melted 6 ounces of SemiSweet chocolate chips (using the bain-marie method). The chocolate has to be in a bowl wide enough for your hand to reach in, but narrow enough to allow the chocolate to have some volume. I found that if I held the hedgehog by the nose, and then stroked it through the chocolate back first, that I could get good coverage. As you stroke, the chocolate moves up the side of the bowl and allows you to get the coating up to the critter’s neck. I used a spoon to over cover the dipped hedgehog with chopped up walnut.
While someone said to do the nose and eyes with a toothpick, I am into pastry bags, and so I used a bag with a #3 tip to dot the features. I will admit that I am still somewhat an amateur when it comes to baking. I seem to lift the bag too soon without waiting for the chocolate to stop flowing.
I hope this discussion of the technique helps you have some success with making these cute little guys.