I love it when whatever project I'm working on already happens to look like a squirt of icing; it makes the creative process that much easier. Tonight's creature is the official state fish of Nebraska, the channel catfish. These fish can grow to be 50+ pounds; I'm pretty sure this one doesn't even weigh a gram. All you'll need to pipe catfish are stiff consistency royal icing in gray (add a very small amount of a product like AmeriColor Super Black soft gel paste off the end of a toothpick to white icing), round tip #12, round tip #2, oval tip #57 by Ateco, parchment paper squares, a flower nail, a Styrofoam block to rest the nail in, a glue stick, a dusting pouch filled with a 50/50 mix of cornstarch and powdered sugar, and round toothpicks. Start by sticking a parchment square to the nail with a dab from the glue stick.
When you start, angle the tip to form the fish's upper lip.
When the surface is dry, paint in the eyes. To make small dots, I like to smash the pointy tip of a toothpick against the counter before dipping it in the black food coloring and touching it gently to the surface. In addition to Nebraska, the channel catfish is also the official state fish of Iowa, Missouri, and Tennessee; this critter would be an appropriate cupcake topper for a celebration commemorating any of these states!