Chicken Cookie Sculpture
Updated: Dec 3, 2020
If you’re like me and enthralled with Great British Bake Off, you may remember Rosie Brandreth’s chicken biscuit sculpture from Season 10’s Biscuit Week. In honor of National Chicken Lady Day, I attempt to recreate her chicken sculpture made entirely of edible biscuits.
This is my first big showstopper bake! I’ve never tried to make an edible sculpture before and the whole project felt daunting and impossible. How am I going to get the feathers to stick? Where do I get a mold to make the body pieces? What the f is Tuile? Why do the British call cookies biscuits?!
But I decided that I’d just go for it! No guts, no glory. It’ll either be a spectacular showpiece or a Nailed It meme. Funny either way. Bok-bok-BAKE!
How I Made an Edible Chicken Cookie Sculpture
1. Make a Base. The cookie needs to be structurally sound to withhold the weight of the sculpture. Gingerbread tends to be the cookie of choice because it’s easy to make, delicious, and strong. Mold and bake into two halves of a sphere and two cone shapes for the chicken body, head and tail. Cut out two wing-shaped flat cookies. For the molds, I used a metal bowl lined with parchment, and shaped foil cones covered in parchment.
2. Bake the Feathers. Crispy tuile cookies make the perfect feather because they’re light, quick to bake (5 minutes), and sturdy. Fill a piping bag with the tuile batter and pipe into feather, comb, beak and wattle shapes. Make more than one set of the comb, beak, and wattle in case some break or don’t turn out to be the right shape. The tuile did soften from the air and humidity as it sat out overnight.
3. Sugar Glue. Heating sugar to the hard crack stage and keeping stable long enough to glue each feather. Isomalt is the way to go. It’s easier than sugar, fast to melt, and dries clear. Isomalt is an alcohol sugar derived from beets. Comes in crystalized powder form. Melt the crystals in a non-stick pan just like sugar. If it hardens, you can melt it again and reuse.
4. Assemble the Base. Dip the flat end of the sphere halves into the isomalt and glue together. Hold until the isomalt hardens, a few minutes. Dip the base of the cone in isomat, and adhere to the sphere.
5. Glue the Feathers. Dip an end of a tuile feather into the hot melted isomalt and adhere it to the gingerbread base starting at the tail. Repeat with all feathers working your way from tail to head, bottom to top while pausing in the center to adhere the wings onto the center of the body.
190 tuile feathers, 10 hours, and three burned fingertips later... ET VOILA!
I made this biscuit sculpture in the likeness of dearly departed Raspberry Magnolia. Our Barred Rock hen, Raspberry Magnolia, passed away after we noticed she was sick, weak, and something was very wrong. She had sour crop, likely an internal infection, wasn’t processing food properly, and was skin and bones by the time we rushed her to the vet. After trying to save her life and spending $602.73 at the vet for medication and fluids, she died in my arms a couple days later. I never thought I’d ever cry so hard over a chicken but she touched the inner depths of our hearts in a way that we never expected. If you keep chickens or have lost a beloved pet, you know the feeling. So pour one out for my best gal and enjoy my cookie tribute to Miss Raspberry!
National Chicken Lady Day
This chicken biscuit sculpture is my baking project for National Chicken Lady Day on November 4. Baking With Chickens co-hosted a Chicken Lady Day Collab Bake where participants on Instagram bake or decorate a chicken lady themed baked good or craft project. Just a bit of fun with fellow crazy chicken ladies.
But wait! There’s more to it than a day to celebrate ladies who love chickens. National Chicken Lady Day celebrates and honors Dr. Marthenia “Tina” Dupree, an internationally renowned motivational speaker, author, trainer, consultant, and woman of color who worked to improve education in her community and inspired people to invest in themselves. National Chicken Lady Day is about chasing your dreams and making them a reality. This resonates because this is the spirit of why we started Baking With Chickens and what we’re all about.
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Get the Recipes
Gingerbread Cookies via King Arthur Baking
Tuile Cookies via King Arthur Baking
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