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August 27, 2008 11:36 AM   Subscribe

I want to make some animal-shaped food. I would prefer savory to sweet, and I do not want to use a mold or a cookie cutter to achieve the animal shape.

Some kind of cookies would be okay, as long they aren't too sugary (i.e., no frosting). These shortbread owls are an okay example of the type of thing that I'm looking for. I need a recipe though, complete with instructions on how to construct the critters. Improvisation in the kitchen is not my forte. Also, shortbread may be more than my limited baking skills can handle.

The food need not actually be cooked. Vegetables creatively cut and arranged (like, say, with a toothpick skeleton, or using peanut butter to hold various components together) to resemble some animal or another would work. Basically, I just want something that will end up looking cute, not be too sweet, and does not rely on a store-bought mold to achieve its animal shape. Deliciousness, also, would be nice. If you have an idea, but you're not sure if it fits my criteria, please, post it anyway.
posted by waltzing astronomers to Food & Drink (19 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
 
Cream cheese penguins.
posted by Morrigan at 11:45 AM on August 27, 2008 [2 favorites]


Very cute foods that I don't know how to make, but it should give you ideas.
posted by palindromic at 11:49 AM on August 27, 2008


Thar she blows, ye scurvy melon-eatin' scalliwag!
posted by Greg Nog at 12:03 PM on August 27, 2008


Apple Swan! Animal Pancakes! For the animal pancakes, I would recommend getting one of those squeezy bottles to put the batter into.
posted by hapticactionnetwork at 12:31 PM on August 27, 2008


You could do something similar to a salmon en croute. If you didn't want there to actually be salmon inside, you could fill it with brie and some raspberry jam.
posted by Morrigan at 12:34 PM on August 27, 2008


The salmon en croute is just the type of thing that I'm looking for, savory, animal-shaped, and delicious. The only problem is, while I am looking for a bit of a project, puff pastry is far too advanced for me to manage. Thanks for all the good answers so far, though. Keep them coming.


Also, I may try the apple swan thing.
posted by waltzing astronomers at 12:46 PM on August 27, 2008


If you're in the US (at least), Pepperidge Farms makes a decent puff pastry dough that is commonly available in the freezer section of (my local, at least) chain grocery stores.
posted by rhizome at 12:48 PM on August 27, 2008


Hard Boiled Egg Mice
Here is another site with cute Bento Boxes. She doesn't give stepe by step directions but at least she tells what she used.
Flip Flop Potatoes
posted by BoscosMom at 1:11 PM on August 27, 2008


More advanced bento boxes.
posted by LiveToEat at 1:24 PM on August 27, 2008


My friend's mother used to make a mashed potato hedgehog (or porcupine) for her birthday party dinner every year:

1. Sculpt a plate of mashed potatoes into a teardrop shape.
2. Stick hotdogs into the bulgy part of the teardrop for quills.
3. Stick cherry tomato into the point of the teardrop for a nose, add raisins or olives for eyes.
posted by Rora at 1:46 PM on August 27, 2008


Egg Chicks
Mushroom Koala Bears
Klassic Koalas Recipe Book
Butterfly Bread
I do butterfly bread a lot. I use the no-knead bread recipe as a base and then just bake it on a cookie sheet instead of in a dutch oven, and at 350 insted of 450. Here is a video on youtube that shows how easy the bread recipe is if you think you can't bake bread sucessfully. Regular flour will gum up your towel so I use rice flour or corn meal, I'm not crazy about wheat germ like they show in the video.
posted by BoscosMom at 1:51 PM on August 27, 2008


You might enjoy this book (and plenty of others by the same author) full of little animals made from fruits and veggies.
posted by moonmilk at 3:03 PM on August 27, 2008




Urchins, being fake hedgehogs made from pork and almonds (scroll down to the second section.)
posted by cobaltnine at 4:18 PM on August 27, 2008


My mom used to make strawberry mice by sticking almond slivers into a strawberr for the ears and cut tails out of fruit leather.
posted by ad4pt at 5:11 PM on August 27, 2008


Thank you for all of the suggestions so far. The strawberry mice will probably make it into my future menagerie of fruit animals.

I'm thinking of abandoning the savory idea and going with the sweet but not too sweet. Anybody have any animal shaped cookie ideas similar to the owls that I linked to in my question? My cookie criteria are: no frosting, no molds, no animal shaped cookie cutters, involves nuts.

Thanks agains for all of your help.
posted by waltzing astronomers at 5:33 PM on August 27, 2008


Charlotte's Web Cookies? You can use any recipe for peanut butter cookies. Before you bake them, you press a fork down into each cookie (the same way the owl's feet were made), first horizontally and then vertically. You should get a cross hatch # that looks like a web. Add a raisin for the spider.

And yeah, hardly anyone makes puff pastry any more. In the UK and Ireland, we use Jus Rol but equivalent products made by Pillsbury are all over the US, I think.
posted by DarlingBri at 6:03 PM on August 27, 2008


Funny, one of the ones that BoscosMom links to - cookingformonkeys.com - is my wife's site. She started it as a way to record the animals and other fun things that she was doing for our son's bento box lunches because people at his pre-school were asking for ideas for their kid's lunches.

She hand draws her animals on parchment paper and then traces the drawing with a knife in the food. She also uses things like pastry tips and whatnot to cut out the eyes or spots if there are any.

It has been a ton of fun for her to do this and our kid (and I) love it.
posted by GrumpyMonkey at 7:04 PM on August 27, 2008


Once there were Flying Spaghetti Monsters at a meetup.
posted by tangerine at 11:45 PM on August 27, 2008


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