Get the entire family involved with a delightfully edible activity that's been Test Kitchen approved! The cookies and frosting are easy to work with, letting your gang focus on having fun!
- 1/2 tube refrigerated peanut butter cookie dough
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 6 tablespoons butter, softened
- 3 cups confectioners' sugar
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Green, red, yellow and brown paste food coloring
- Assorted decorations: Peppermint candies, M&M's, mini vanilla wafers, animal crackers and red shoestring licorice
- In a small bowl, beat cookie dough and flour until combined. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to 1/8-in. thickness. With a sharp knife, cut out six 4-in. x 3-in. rectangles; save scraps.
- Place rectangles 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Reroll dough scraps; cut out a 2-in. x 1-1/2-in. rectangle for engine cab, a 1-1/4-in. x 1/2-in. rectangle for smokestack and a 1-1/2-in. triangle for cowcatcher. Attach to one rectangle; gently press seams to seal.
- Bake at 350° for 7-9 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Remove to wire racks to cool.
- For frosting, in a small bowl, beat the butter, confectioners' sugar, milk and vanilla until creamy. Set aside 1 cup. Tint 3 tablespoons frosting green, 3 tablespoons red and 1 tablespoon yellow. Tint the remaining frosting brown.
- Set aside 2 tablespoons of the white frosting. Spread remaining white frosting over cookies, leaving a 2-1/2-in. x 1-1/2-in. rectangles in centers of three passenger cars and 2-1/2-in. x 2-in. rectangles in the centers of the two animal cars. Frost the engine.
- On a 35-in. x 8-in. covered board, attach train cars and peppermint candy wheels with a small amount of reserved frosting.
- With M&M's and frosting, add a headlight above cowcatcher and couplings between the cars. Add M&M's for smoke coming out of smokestack. Use vanilla wafers for passenger faces and decorate with colored frosting. Add animal crackers and licorice bars to the animal cars. With remaining frosting, decorate train as desired. Yield: 6 cookies.
Originally published as Christmas Cookie Train in Simple & Delicious November/December 2007, p55
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