After learning how to do decorated sugar cookies, I decided to give it another go for my son’s first birthday. I figured Nemo would be a fairly simple cookie that I wouldn’t need too much artistic talent for (as I don’t have much ability to draw . . .). Although I am notorious for underestimating the effort that goes into things 🙂 , fortunately Nemo did indeed prove to be a pretty easy cookie! (And our guests were very impressed with the results!)
So here’s what went into creating this Nemo cookie:
First, visit It’s Fitting for my new go-to sugar recipe. This recipe produces a really yummy cookie that stays soft once it’s baked and doesn’t spread while cooking. (Note: To really insure against spread, I recommend putting your dough back into the fridge in between cooking batches.)
Everyone loved the taste of the cookie. Even my sister was impressed that the cookies were still soft when she ate them, as she was consuming her cookies about a week after they were baked. (She and her family were unable to attend the party, because they live out of state. These cookies got mailed to NY and were still super tasty!)
By the way, you could really use any fish-shaped cookie cutter to make Nemo – the “character” is all in the decorating. But if you’d like to use the same cookie cutter I did, here is the one I used. (I also used this cookie cutter to cut out our “peanut butter and jellyfish sandwiches” we served at the party.
Next, check out Sweet Sugarbelle for all the “how to’s” on making, prepping, and coloring royal icing. As well as how to pipe and flood cookies. This is where I learned all I know about how to do decorated sugar cookies.
Once you have your cookies baked and your icing prepped, the next step is to take some of your orange icing and bring it to piping consistency (I used a 20 second icing.) Then use a #3 tip to pipe an outline around all your cookies.
I did a separate outline for the fins, as you can see here, because I wanted them to stand out from Nemo’s body shape.
Next, use some black icing that you’ve also brought to piping consistency (20 seconds), and use a #5 tip to pipe black outlines for Nemo’s stripes. Make sure to make a thick line (hence, the #5 tip) so that it will stand up to the white and orange flood icing that will fill in around it from both sides. If you don’t make a super-thick line, the black won’t show up after you fill in with the flood icing. (I made this mistake on my first attempt at Spider-Man cookies.)
Note: I placed the candy eye on the cookie while drawing the stripes in order to check my placement and make sure the eye would fit right on the finished cookie. I chose to go with large candy eyes (these are much cheaper at Michael’s! I provided the link here for illustrative purposes), because I thought it would give my cookie a more cartoonish look and, hence, look more like Nemo from the movie. However, this did cause some issues with his stripes. Nemo actually has three stripes, but using the large eye resulted in a very crowded look when I attempted to do three:
So I opted for doing only two stripes, even though this isn’t authentic to what Nemo actually looks like. I just personally liked the way it looked better. 🙂
Let your piping icing dry for at least two hours, and then flood in between your black outlines with white flood icing (10 second consistency.)
Finally, fill in the rest of your cookie with orange flood icing (10 second consistency).
As soon as you flood each cookie with orange icing, quickly drop on a candy eye. Do this immediately, cookie by cookie. Don’t wait until the end, because you want the eye to get “glued” on as the icing dries. If you wait until after it dries, it will be too late. (Although, in a pinch, you could probably put a dot of “fresh” icing on the back of each eye and stick it on that way . . .)
And here’s Nemo!
I bagged the cookies (let the cookies dry overnight before you bag them, otherwise the icing will smear and bleed), and put one of our favor tags on each.
And then I arranged them in rows on a silver tray we uncovered from the dining room. I love the way they look all together on the tray!
For more about our Finding Nemo First Birthday party, click HERE!
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