make some. Here are just some of the prettier ones I've found as made by other folks.
|Candy Corn @ Becca Bakes|
|Cookie Pinata @ She Knows Food & Recipes|
|Pumpkin Treasure Cookies @ Glorious Treats|
|Christmas Tree @ Wilton|
|Trick or Treat @ Not Martha|
|Valentine Box @ Glorious Treats|
Then just this last week I came across these at Repeat Crafter Me
With the help of this for inspiration & of course my blog goal for 2014, I decided it was finally time to give it a try. I have a team of 15 people at my work, so I had plenty of folks to share it with to and I was able to give them all a new years surprise cookie. Everyone loved the idea and I have to say it was really very fun to do.
So first I needed a recipe.
I chose one from the Favorite Brand Name Cookie Collection that I think I found at my local dollar books store. (so love that place).
Available at Amazon
dough mix 15 minutes
1 1/2 chilling time
5-10 minutes baking time
2+ hours assembly time
I made 22 2 1/2" cookies
(that's 66 rounds)
& 7 2" cookies
(21 more rounds)
In stand mixer, cream together butter & cream cheese. Add Sugar, beat until fluffy. Add egg, vanilla & almond extract, mix all until well combined.
In separate bowl sift together flour & baking powder. Add dry ingredients to cream cheese mixture and combine well.
Divide dough in half, wrap each half in cling wrap and refrigerate for about 1 1/2 hours.
Prepare Royal Icing
If you don't already have a royal icing ready to go, now is a great time to make one. I'm not going to go through the instructions on this piece, but I will offer that I've only just made my first Royal Icing & this is where I got the recipe: Sugar Kissed .net. I have included the ingredients above for your shopping trip though.
The book recommends an 1/8 inch thick cookie, and baking at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes. I found that in my oven 8 minutes burned the bottoms. From then on I dropped to about 5 minutes with a careful eye and that gave me better results. I suspect dropping the temperature to 350 would also be advisable. I lined my sheets with either my Silpat, or parchment paper - both worked well though I think the parchment might have even done just a bit better.
There is a trick to cutting the cookies out. You want to be sure you have two different cutters. Your primary outside shape, and something smaller to make the center cut out. I ended up using 2 different biscuit cutters, and the tube for my mini plunger measuring cup.
Best practice - Cut your larger cookie shape out and place it on your baking sheet. Then while on the sheet go to it with your smaller cutter to remove the centers of 1/3 of your cookies. If you do this from the baking sheet you don't have to worry so much about keeping them all the same shape.
After baking, remove to a wire rack for cooling.
All cooled and ready to decorate. Notice the colors of some are a little over golden. This recipe tastes best if you can get your cookie to just set, with little to no added color. Make sure you flip 1/2 of your whole cookies upside down so the outside is pretty all around.
Decorating. Pictures shows icing a ring around the bottom cookie. I found though, that it was easier to ice the ring and set it to the bottom. Once you've got the first cookie attached to the ring it's time to fill them up. I used mini m&m's, some sugar sprinkles and some sugar confetti. When you've got them all filled, time to ice the ring again and put on the tops.
Before you move on to icing the tops, I recommend you give them a short while to set up, then come back around each cookie and look for any gaps that might be in your seals. It ruins the surprise if the insides fall out before they get delivered.
Then it's time to decorate the tops. I used a plain white base, and added a ton of water colors (because I didn't buy any gels) to do the piping on the clock face. Not a professional look by any means, but for my first attempt ever at not only making royal icing, but also working with it, I think they came out kinda pretty.
Wrap in pretty little packages to deliver & enjoy.