The Subtleties of Eye Placement


I’ve mentioned before how shaping eyes on your figures can do a lot to convey different emotions.

Now I want to show you how even something as simple as placing candy-coated sunflower seeds on snowman cookies can communicate a variety of emotions, sometimes unintentionally.

First, a little bit about the sunflower seeds themselves: they’re awesome. Tasty, cute, reasonably inexpensive, and they come in a wide variety of colours, including seasonal mixes. The shape comes out as a tapered oval; round on one side, slightly pointy on the other. This makes them ideal for Christmas tree lights (as shown here on my 2010 Biscuit Brothers’ Holiday cake), or in the case of the cookies below, eyes and noses on snowmen cookies. I actually purchased the black and orange ones for a simple sprinkle on Halloween cupcakes to donate to Bake a Wish but I had some left over and they were much more convenient than rolling out little balls of fondant.

Plus you can totally pretend they’re healthy. On a cookie. A chocolate cookie made with piles of butter and at least some sugar. Covered in royal icing. Um. Yeah. Healthy.

Anyway, I plonked the seeds on the still-wet royal icing. I tried to stand the orange ones on their end but they were drooping, so I tried instead to stick the round end in at an angle so they’d sorta kinda slightly poke upward, but if they sank, at least still be carrot-like.

And carrots are healthy too. Yes. Shhhhhhh…don’t shatter my illusions…

For the black eyes, I noticed quickly that if I did them point up, the snowmen kind of looked worried, and if I found more rounded ones, the poor things looked worried and a bit shell-shocked:

Worried snowmen

"OMG. We're totally going to get eaten."
"What of it? Our existence was ever only tenuous at best. We merely now live to be consumed instead of to wane as the sun reaches its zenith."
"Dude, I never should have bought you that Sartre book."

Pointing them downward made them look depressed (and their grief was so intense that apparently it made me forget to take a photo of that sort but trust me, it was total sad-snowman land).

Pointing them inward made for a good look if I wanted alien snowmen, which I didn’t:

Alien eyes

"Your species considers this to be a representation of your males? Fascinating."

Pointed outward looked like the snowmen had definitely been into the “snow”:

Crazy eyes

"Whoa! Like WHOA! Aaauuuggh! They're all over me! *snnnnrrrrt!* PARRRTY TIME!"

So then I started doing them point up, but sort of digging the point down into the icing first to bury it. That worked well some of the time:

Acceptable, neutral eyes

"I am the very model of a neutral individual,
I haven't any wonky eyes or icing blobs residual!"

But other times, the icing would flow down over the sunflower seed, and result in some frightening expressions:

Angry eyes

"What are you looking at? Why don't you come a little closer and let Frosty whisper a special magic word in your ear?" *ka-CLICK*

Um. So yeah, there’s that.

The point is, getting eyes right is important, because a small variance can mean the difference between a nice snowman, a crazy snowman, or a – no, Frosty, I didn’t mean you. Frosty, come on, put the switchblade down. There’s no need to – OW! Hey! Back off, cookie boy or I’ll….AIIEEEEEEEEEEEE!

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3 Responses to The Subtleties of Eye Placement

  1. chris says:

    these were the only cookies from the cookie exchange that my daughter would eat. You get the "Approved by Zoey" stamp.

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