After rolling the idea around in my brain for a few years, here they are!!
I tried three different materials for the ears… carrot, radish, and parsnip. The parsnip seemed to hold up the best, though the radish ears got a bit floppy and were pretty cute. Maybe if they were thicker they wouldn’t flop.
Cut a 1mm sliver and then carve the ears out:
To insert the ears, first assemble the penguins. Then cut slots on each side of the toothpick and insert the ears. It’s helpful on these if you put the beak in parallel to the + on the head, because then you can use each side of the + as a starting point for the cut, and it will cut very easily, without squishing or mangling the head.
After transporting the penguins to their destination, I added cream cheese tails, and set them on a plate covered with green plastic wrap.
They would also be cute sitting on Easter basket grass. If I were taking these to a party, I would probably make up a poster board with “Happy Easter” and covered with green plastic wrap, something like the birthday penguins or Super Bowl penguins.
To make the baskets, slice a large sweet onion in half and separate out the bottom into cups. Cut a ring off the top part and separate those to make the handles.
Put the handle into the basket, load some curly parsley as a base, and fill with small red grape tomatoes, small yellow grape tomatoes, small olives, and cocktail onions. Tuck some more parsley around the edges to fill it in.
We transported this batch using a muffin tin, and that worked well. The baskets sat nicely in the cups, and two or three penguins fit into each cup.
After your guests have seen and admired your work, disassemble the baskets, cut up the onion, and serve with ranch dip.
This batch of 20 penguins and 4 baskets took almost 2 hours to create. To make these, follow the recipe and then decorate.