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Back-to-School Cookie Puzzle

 Back-to-School Cookie Puzzle
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 anyt
20 ServingsPrep: 45 min. Bake: 15 min. + cooling

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon McCormick® Pure 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

Directions

  • 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

2 of 2

Back-to-School Cookie Puzzle (continued)

Directions (continued)

  • 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.
Crafter thoughts: The decorated cutouts can make appealing treats even without the puzzle. or Adapt this idea for a birthday event by picking cookie cutters that coordinate with the party's theme.
Nutritional Facts: 1 serving (1 piece) equals 256 calories, 11 g fat (6 g saturated fat), 88 mg cholesterol, 270 mg sodium, 36 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 4 g protein.