Let's talk about eyeballs.

So...I put eyeballs on cookies. I'm usually kind of weirded out by food that looks at me. I don't really know how I got to this point in my cookie decorating life. I mean, I never meant to be an Eyeball Cookie Maker. I remember the first eyeball cookies. I was thinking, "Just this one time won't hurt. I don't have to do it again." But then, I LIKED it. A lot. I tried to stop thinking about it. I started actually doing my laundry just so I could distract myself. I contacted relatives I hadn't talked to in years. I even renewed my efforts to learn Korean. For a few months, I thought I had moved on. But then the late nights started to wear on me. Staring into the blackness in the early hours, I started thinking about those eyeball cookies. So I made just one more. Just ONE more eyeball cookie and then I would move on for real.  Except that now I can't move on. They moved into my cookie decorating closet and are holed up in the corner. Literally. In multiple little plastic containers. They're not going anywhere.

Anyway, I was thinking that maybe you would like to keep me company on my little eyeball cookie journey. You're going to need some eyeballs.

I make two different kinds of eyes -- black/white eyes and colored eyes. They are both made nearly the same way, but you know, with different colors and all.

First, you have to start with the right consistency of royal icing. If it is too thin, the eyeballs spread and sink and deform, and unless it is Halloween, that is NOT the look we are going for. If it is too thick, your eyeballs will be pointy. Again -- not ideal. I judge consistency for eyeballs a little differently than for piping. Dip a toothpick into the icing and pull straight up. The peak should disappear in 10 seconds.

Put some wax paper on the back of a cookie sheet and start piping dots like a crazy person. I usually do about 15-20 white dots at a time. Place the tip just barely above the wax paper and squeeze without moving it. The icing will pillow out away from the tip creating a near-perfect circle. Lift straight up and move on to the next one.

Using the same consistency of black icing, pipe a much smaller black dot onto the white. I usually use a #3 tip for the white and a #1 tip for the black. But... what YOU use should depend on the size of the eyeballs you are making. Do you see how the black is above the white? That will go away in about 30 seconds because we made our icing the perfect consistency, and the top of the eyeball will be completely smooth.

Oh, and for some reason, I pipe my black dot in the lower half of the white dot. I feel like it looks less buggy-eyed that way. And it may or may not be true.

The colored eyes have a couple more steps. Start as before by piping white dots all over the place. Come back and pipe in the eye color of your choice. Again, I have this thing about not piping the dots in the exact center, but by all means - do whatever you want.

Pipe a much smaller dot inside the colored part of the eye. If you have previously piped your dot in the very center, then pipe the black dot in the exact center. If you have piped your color dot in the bottom half, make sure your black dot is in the bottom half as well. You could be done right here if you want to. Or...

you can add the shine dot. Dip a toothpick into some of the white icing and pull it out at an angle so it has a tiny little tail.

Touch the tip of that tail to the eyeball where the color and black dots meet. I always do mine on the top right, but that's because I'm obsessive.

Anyway...let your eyeballs dry at least over night, if you are going to use them right away.  If you are going to store them, you should probably let them have a full 24 hours of drying. To remove them from the wax paper, pull the wax paper away from the eyeball and gently encourage it to just pop right off.

I keep my eyeballs in recycled baby food containers. I know, I'm super classy. But as long as they stay dry and out of humid environments they will keep for a real long time. So...basically the perfect addition to any cookie.


Royal Icing Recipe with Dried Egg Whites.

 My favorite piping tips.

Use your new eyeballs to make these guys.

Or these guys.


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