Some movie makers emulate others, but Tim Burton is the man who inspires others with his own unique visual style. We’re not saying he’s the only influencer out there, but you can call a T. B. movie from a mile away. He’s master of mixing spooky and quirky, and introducing us to characters such as Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, and Jack Skellington. His motifs make an appearance in all his movies- black and white stripes, leafless trees, pale skin, and goth style. Even his love for the outcasts of society is evident as there seems to be at least on in every flick.
His fans are die hard, and we can’t blame them, mostly because we are them! So this post is for the Burton fans out there that love to bake, or at least just love to eat baked goods.
Making the Cookies
Choose your favorite sugar cookie recipe or use the cookie recipe I’ve adapted Sweetapolita’s below:
- 2 cups of all purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1/2 a cup of granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp vanilla paste or vanilla extract
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add in the eggs and vanilla until thoroughly combined.
- Add in the flour and salt until combined.
- Press the dough into a disc and wrap the cookie dough in plastic wrap. Let chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes to an hour.
- Flour a clean kitchen surface and roll out the dough until it’s about 1/4 inch thick. Cut out the dough using either round or square cookies cutter. Place the cut cookies on a parchment liked baking sheet leaving at least 1 to 2 inches between each cookie.
- Preheat the oven to 325 F
- Place the cookie-laden parchment lined baking sheet in the freezer for about 15 minutes.
- Bake for about 12-15 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown. Remove the cookies from the cookie sheet and place on a wire rack to cool.
Decorating the cookies
Royal Icing Ingredients
- 1 egg white
- 2 cups of powdered sugar
- Edible Watercolors
- clear alcohol or clear vanilla extract
- food coloring
- luster dust
- Food safe paint brushes
- A scribe tool
For the painted cookies
- Make a thick royal icing, it should slowly drip off the spoon and hold it’s shape for a few seconds before melted back into the rest of the icing. Any looser and the icing will drip straight off the cookie. Create a border around the edges of the cookie, using a pastry bag with a piping tip or just a zip lock bag with a corner snipped off. If the icing oozes out of the bag with no pressure from your hand, you have made it too thin. Once the border is complete, fill the space with more icing and use a toothpick or a scribe tool to get rid of any air bubbles.
- Let the icing set by letting it sit out for at least 4-6 hours or over night.
- Pour a little vodka or any clear alcohol on a clean paint palette and using food safe brushes create colors by mixing food coloring with the clear alcohol. You’re essentially making a edible water painting. The alcohol will quickly evaporate, leaving the color behind on the icing without making the icing itself soggy. Just be careful not to press too hard on the icing.
- Once the colors have dried, about 30 min to an hour, take an edible food pen in black and draw the outlines.
Tip: You can use the pen to draw the outlines first, but I find that even after waiting to let the ink dry, the black ink will run as soon as it gets into contact with the cookie “water paint.”
Tip: have a small container of water and some paper towels when painting so that the other colors don’t run together. Also let the colors dry as much as possible before using another color to keep the colors from blending.
Edward Scissorhands & Beetlejuice
- Once you’ve flooded a cookie with white royal icing, let the icing set for 4 to 6 hours.
- Use a black edible pen to draw out Edward and use silver luster dust (mixed with a little clear alcohol) to emphasize his scissor hands.
- For Beetlejuice, use different colors to paint his hair (Green), face (purple) and clothes (black and white). For the white sections, leave the cookie unpainted so that background white shows through.
- For Barbara and Adam, mix together some pink and orange to get the shade of their skin tone and paint their faces.
Tip: To deepen the shade of specific colors, let the watercolor dry and then add another layer. Or add more food coloring to the clear alcohol.
Jack Skellington and Sally
- Fondant colors: white, red, black, pale blue (mix white fondant with a pinch of blue fondant)
- Black edible ink pen
For the Fondant Cookies
- Sally (she is probably the hardest): Roll out the pale blue fondant and using a round cookie cutter, cut out the shape of her face. Cut small crescent moons for her eye lids. Take a small amount of the pale blue fondant to make her nose. For her eyes, roll two small amounts white fondant to create little sphere and then squish it between your fingers to flatten into circles. Place the eyes on her face and top with the little pale blue fondant crescents. To make her stitches, I mixed some light grey fondant with the pale blue fondant. Roll out two thin thin ropes and place one across the circle for her mouth and one vertically across her left eyelid. Add the stitches using the same color. Next take some black fondant and make two small spheres (smaller than her white fondant eyes) and place in center of her eyes for pupils. Next roll out thin, short strings for her eyelashes. Take red fondant to make her lips and use the rust-red fondant to make her hair. I found that making an oval shape of fondant and rolling it out works perfectly.
- Jack Skellington: Roll out the white fondant and using the same round cookie cutter for Sally’s face, cut out Jack’s face. Take the black fondant to make his eyes and stitches.
- If you want to make the Jack Skellington with icing, just flood a round cookie with white royal icing and let it set. Use an edible food pen to draw his face.
Tip 1: When mixing fondant colors, I like to add a little at a time and mix until I get the right shade. You can always add more color, but you can never take any out!
Our friend Mimi made these cookies into Burton-esque works of art. Feel free to check out this blog post on how to do other characters from the Nightmare before Christmas!