LOOKING for a playful way to sweeten a student's day? CT's kitchen staff pieced together a fittingly fun solution! With Stephanie's kid-pleasing cookie recipe, they assembled an actual puzzle complete with removable school, hand, apple and letter shapes. Since the clever confection is entirely edible, it's perfect to serve at a back-to-school party...to a child's classmates...or as a surprise anytime at all!
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 2 cups sugar
- 6 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Red, blue and green food coloring
- Black paste food coloring
- Yellow colored sugar
- 2 covered boards (15 inches x 12 inches each)
- Cookie cutters--apple, schoolhouse, hand and letters "A", "B" and "C" (or shapes of your choice)
- Small new paintbrushes
- In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add 3 eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to the creamed mixture. Cover and refrigerate dough for several hours, overnight or until dough is easy to handle.
- On a parchment paper-lined surface, roll out half of the dough into a 13-in. x 11-in. rectangle. With cookie cutters, cut out desired shapes. Remove shapes and place on an ungreased baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough. Set the two large rectangle pieces aside.
- Separate the remaining eggs, placing 1 yolk each in three small bowls. Tint one red, one blue and one green.
- With an appropriate-size paintbrush and black food coloring, outline the school roof, windows and door and the apple leaf and stem. Paint the cookie cutouts with tinted yolks to resemble the cookies shown in the photo or as desired.
- Bake cutouts at 350° for 8-9 minutes or until edges are golden. Immediately recut the shapes. If cookies cool too quickly, return to oven until softened. Remove to wire racks to cool.
- In a small bowl, beat egg whites until frothy. Brush over the two large rectangular puzzles. (Discard any remaining egg white.) Sprinkle with yellow colored sugar. Transfer puzzles with parchment paper to baking sheets.
- Bake for 12-13 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Immediately recut shapes inside puzzles. Cool completely before removing from parchment paper. Place each puzzle on a covered board. Fit cookie cutouts inside puzzles. Yield: 2 cookie puzzles.
Originally published as Back-To-School Cookie Puzzle in Country Woman September/October 2000, p18
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Reviewed Aug. 30, 2008
"This recipe turned out to be quite time consuming; certainly not just an hour of preparation. The product was satisfactory, but not fabulous, and I found the dough difficult to work with."