Monday, 15 December 2014

Day 11, 2014: Painted Cookies

Painted Cookies from the book Christmas Cooking  by Rebecca Gilpin. 

Made in the Soloy Family Test Kitchen by Griffin (age 5) and Holly (age 3) with limited adult supervision.

We chose this recipe mainly for the fun factor. The kids help out in the kitchen quite a bit. They also fit in a lot of painting, colouring, and/or crafting in any given day. But PAINTING COOKIES? That you EAT? “Dad! That’s silly!” said my daughter. 

I knew that we had found our cookie.

To make about 15 cookies you will need:
½ cup powdered sugar
½ cup soft margarine (we used butter)
the yolk from a large egg
vanilla extract
1 ¼ cups flour
plastic foodwrap
big cookies cutters
greased cookie sheet
To decorate the cookies:
an egg yolk
food dyes

Preheat oven to 350 F

1. Sift the powdered sugar through a sieve into a large bowl. Add the margarine. Mix well until they are smooth.
2. Add the large egg yolk and stir it in well. Then, add a few drops of vanilla extract. Stir the vanilla into the mixture.
3. Hold a sieve over the bowl and pour the flour into it. Sift the flour through the sieve, to remove any lumps.
4. Mix in the flour until you get a smooth dough. Wrap the dough in plastic foodwrap and put it in the freezer.
5. Put the egg yolk into a bowl and beat it with a fork. Put it into saucers. Mix a few drops of food dye into each one.
6. Take the dough out of the freezer. Roll out half of it onto a floury work surface, until it is as thin as your little finger.
7. Press out shapes with cutters. Use a spatula to lift them onto a cookie sheet. Roll out the rest of the dough.
8. Cut out more shapes. Use a clean paintbrush to paint shapes on the cookies with the egg and dye mixture.
9. Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes. Remove them from the oven. Let them cool a little, then lift them onto a wire rack.

*Baking supervisor’s notes: (Our baking supervisor is Jai, who works in Outreach Services)

I premeasured all of the ingredients and let the kids combine it all. For an extra thrill, I let my three year old add the few drops of vanilla. We got quite a bit less than a quarter of the bottle, so that was good. I had both a sieve and a sifter on the counter, but the team was in a hurry to get to the painting part so it all went in unsifted. After a solid “everybody gets a turn” of mixing, I found the dough to be fairly lump-free. We also skipped the whole freezer part. Our kitchen is pretty cold this time of year. If we make “Summer Painted Cookies”, I might add this step back in. I also opted for new paint brushes over the suggested “clean paint brushes”. Everything else, we followed word for word.

At our house, if a cookie gets decorated, it usually gets some kind of candy glued to it with icing. That’s if the candy survives waiting for the cookies to cool. The beauty of painting the cookies with coloured egg yolk  is that you paint them and they’re straight in the oven.  There are less sticky faced, jittery junior bakers over-sampling future gingerbread man buttons and more kids washing dishes while the cookies are baking. Right?

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