A sweet tribute to the candy-lovin’ Soot Sprites from Spirited Away. These are relatively easy for a beginner cookie decorator: a cheerful end result no matter how imperfect!Instagram
Soot Sprite CookiesCourse: CookiesDifficulty: Easy
½ batch of No-spread Lemon-y Shortbread Cookie Dough, cut in 2″ circles and baked
250g confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons or 35g light corn syrup
½ to 1 teaspoon water
Black gel food coloring (see “notes”)
- Edible Decorations
Black sanding sugar
Konpeitō, or pastel star-shaped sprinkles
- Equipment Used
Immersion blender, with whisk attachment (see “notes”)
2 small piping or plastic bags
- Bake No-spread Lemon-y Shortbread Cookie Dough as instructed. Set aside, and allow to cool before decorating.
- Combine confectioners’ sugar, corn syrup, and 1 teaspoon of water in a medium-sized bowl. Mix, and reserve ⅕ of the mixture in a small bowl to make white icing. Set aside.
- Add cocoa and 40g of water to the remaining ⅘ mixture. Use an immersion blender with whisk attachment to blend until smooth. If needed, add ½ teaspoon of water at a time until a thick, viscous icing is formed. Avoid thinning out the icing too much, as that will make it difficult to use.
- Add black gel food coloring to the mixture. Use immersion blender with whisk attachment to distribute the coloring evenly. Add gel coloring until you’ve achieved a desired a deep hue, but be careful to not add too much: black food coloring can impart a bitter flavor (see “notes”). Fill a small piping bag with ⅕ of the black icing, and fold the large opening closed to prevent air exposure. This icing will be used for the pupils. Cover the remaining frosting in the bowl with plastic wrap: you will want to keep it covered while completing remaining steps and during decorating to prevent hardening.
- Add ¼ teaspoon of water at a time to the reserved white paste, and mix until combined and a thick, viscous icing forms. Transfer icing to a small piping bag, and fold the large opening closed to prevent air exposure. This icing will be used to pipe the eyeballs.
- Using a small spatula, dab black icing onto the center of a cookie. Use the bamboo skewer to spread the icing into a circle about half the diameter of the cookie. Using the pointy-end of the skewer, drag lines from the center of the icing circle outwards to the edge of the cookie: the goal is to create spiky lines around the perimeter of the icing.
- Place the iced cookie inside a flat-bottomed casserole or shallow bowl. Sprinkle black sanding sugar on top of the cookie, until evenly coated. Shake off excess, and set the cookie aside. Repeat steps 6 and 7 for all the cookies, one or two cookies at a time. If you try to apply the icing all at once, the icing will dry and the sanding sugar will not adhere.
- Snip a small opening in the piping bag with the white icing. Pipe eyeballs on all the cookies, in both round and oval shapes.
- Snip a small opening in the piping bag with the black icing. Pipe pupils on all the cookies, with a variety of expressions.
- Using the black icing in the piping bag as glue, attach 2-3 Konpeitō to each cookie.
- Learn from my mistakes: achieving a deep color, such as red or black, for icing or other edibles often results in a very bitter end product. This is why the black icing recipe calls for cocoa–not for flavoring. You can also purchase specialty products like “no taste” gels, or powder coloring to circumvent bitterness when starting from white or a light color.
- I use an immersion blender with whisk attachment to forego sifting the confectioner’s sugar and cocoa. You can use a regular whisk if your powder-y ingredients are sifted before adding liquid.