Geez, it’s been a roller coaster month. There was a major lay off at my job, a terrible dentist appointment, opening weekend of Deadpool, an interview and acceptance of a new job and a surprise 40th birthday party for my friend, RB! And, of course, that last one warranted some sweet treats for the party!
She is a huge fan of Pusheen (who isn’t?) and there would be no other cake theme that would do. Her mom and I decided cupcakes would be best for such a large group to just grab-and-go, but how to incorporate Pusheen??? And then it came to me: Little Pusheen cat head cookies as cupcake toppers! In preparation, I ordered a cat head cookie cutter on Amazon.
I thought I’d also create a small 6 in. cake for RB to have as her candles cake (a.k.a. the “smash cake” a 1-year old gets). This would give me the opportunity to create a full Pusheen and not just a head. Pusheen is not exactly mainstream enough to have cookie cutters on the market, but I did find this cat cookie cutter that was a good starting point to mold into the more full-bodied shape of Pusheen.
I combined some sugar cookie recipes online and planned to make about 75 cat heads, a few full-bodied Pusheens and also a large amount of heart cookies (for Love Day that weekend). There was no way I was going to make gray and dark gray cookie icing and design all of those tiny Pusheen cookies, so… As an alternative, I decided to melt some chocolate chips, place in a decorating bag with a tiny hole and draw the eyes, nose, mouth and whiskers. It was very easy to do, easy to work with and went by fast.
With my cookie cutters in hand, I began the Pusheen cookie adventure!!! I made the cookie dough in the morning and let it refrigerate until after lunchtime. Once they were baked, cooled and designed, cookies were placed in the freezer for a week so I could do the cupcakes and mini cake the following Friday. On Saturday morning, they all traveled in the car for 5 hours and, with the grace of God, nothing was damaged!
Delicious Sugar Cookies:
2 cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature for 1 hour
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
2 cup sugar
2 large egg
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 teaspoon lemon zest
6 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1) In a bowl, zest 2 lemons until you get an amount that’s pretty close to 2 teaspoons, then set aside. Use your electric mixer to cream the butter and cream cheese with the sugar. Beat for a long time until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, vanilla and almond extracts. Then add your lemon zest. I happened to have a stick of Kerrygold unsalted butter in the fridge that I had been wanting to try for the first time. Boy, is it yellow! It’s handy that it comes in an 8 oz package (1 cup), unlike Land O’Lakes which comes in 4 oz. sticks.
2) Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl then gradually add to the butter and sugar mixture until fully incorporated and a soft dough is formed.
3) If making cookies in the near future, divide the dough into 4 balls and roll each out to 1/4 to 1/8-inch thickness between large pieces of parchment paper. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. You can also flatten each dough ball into a disc wrapped in plastic wrap and a freezer bag, for up to 1 month. To thaw, leave in the refrigerator overnight then proceed with the recipe.
4) To bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350°F and prepare baking sheets by lining them with parchment or a Silpat. Since dough is already pretty rolled out in your parchment paper or plastic wrap, the dough just needs a little bit of rolling to get the desired thickness before using cookie cutters to create your kitties! Since Pusheen’s ears flow right into his body, I did try to mold out that little dent that the cutter makes at the base of the ears.
For the full-body Pusheen, I decided to bake with toothpicks as little legs. These would make the cookie into a cake topper… however, this cookie was HEAVY and I did end up putting 2 candles behind Pusheen when mounted on the cake to help hold up the heavy body.
5) Bake cookies for around 8 minutes, depending on thickness and your oven. Just keep a close eye on them to determine the right amount of minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet, then remove to a wire rack. Look how cute all these little cat heads are!!!
6) After cookies are fully cooled, then you can create some cookie icing, or be lazy like me, and just melt some chocolate chips in your double boiler for decorating.
7) I really couldn’t do the melted chocolate trick for the the full-bodied Pusheens though… so I took what little powdered sugar I had and created some gray and dark gray icing. I used a toothpick to help drag the icing around to fill in the outlines. It was tedious as all Hell and I’m glad I didn’t do it for the small cookies. At the end of it all, I was pretty pleased with the result.
THE PARTY WAS A SUCCESS! Did I mention it was a surprise party? RB was totally surprised and everyone loved the Pusheen sweets.
Again, the full-bodied Pusheen cookie cake topper was a bit too heavy to be held up with toothpicks. Candles behind the body did the trick! The 40th birthday was shared with the birthday girl’s niece, who was born the same day (hence the 2 names on the cake).
And it was a good idea to have a backup because someone accidentally made a bobcat out of the first Pusheen. 🙂