Friday, April 10, 2009
Check out these adorable penguins I made for Liz's Passover Dinner!! Next year, I'm adding yamikas. They are sooo easy (yet time consuming) to create. All you need: two cans of unpitted olives, carrots, cream cheese and toothpicks. Your guests will be thrilled.
Here's how to make them:
1. First, either using baby carrots or regular carrots, create your penguin feet by slicing carrot rounds. If you're using regular carrots and small olives, stick with the tapered half of the carrot so the feet will be smaller/proportional to the penguin body. Slice as many carrot rounds as you would like penguins for. Starting in the center of each round, carefully cut small outward V's (to make the carrot look more like penguin feet). Be sure to save the V's you cut out for the beaks!!
2. Prep olives by holding them vertically and slicing one side from top to bottom. I did not have an pastry bag when I made my penguins but if you have one, your prep time will be cut in half!! Fill your pastry bag with cream cheese and pipe cream cheese into the sliced olives. This gives the penguins their white bellies. If you do not have an pastry bag, you have to fill the olives using a knife or your fingers and cream cheese will get all over the olives and then you will need to wipe them off... so invest in an pastry bag!! Set the filled olives aside, they are the penguin bodies.
3. It's time to make the heads so grab some more olives!! DISCLAIMER: If you get frustrated easily or are impatient, I recommend you pipe cream cheese into the center of each olive. This will hold the heads together while you are trying to shove a carrot nose into a small incision. If you think you have the patience or do not have an pastry bag, leave the olives plain. Take your leftover carrot V's and slice them vertically once or twice. Holding your olive horizontally, make a small X incision in the center of the olive. Stick the carrot noses into the incision and VIOLA, penguin heads!!
4. Now it's time to construct. Using a small dab of cream cheese, stick your penguin feet to a platter or dish. This is your base. Keeping your penguin heads horizontal, stick a toothpick down the center. You only need to bring the olive head 3/4 up the toothpick. When you have your head in place, slide an olive body onto the toothpick. Keep the bodies vertical and heads horizontal. Once you have a toothpick with both a head and body, stick the end of the toothpick into one of the carrot feet. You should have a penguin!!
5. TIP: Keep the platter chilled until your guests arrive, otherwise the cream cheese will melt and your penguins will slide all over the place. If you need to store them overnight, carefully place wet paper towels and/or Seran Wrap over the penguins. This will prevent the carrots and olives from drying out. ENJOY!!