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Back-to-School Cookie Puzzle Recipe

Back-to-School Cookie Puzzle Recipe

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 a child's classmates...or as a surprise anytime at all!
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 45 min. Bake: 15 min. + cooling YIELD:20 servings


  • 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
  • Yellow colored sugar


  • 1. Directions: Cover each board with gift wrap, taping wrap on the back side of boards. Cover each wrapped board with clear cellophane in the same way.
  • 2. Prepare the cookies (enough for two puzzles) according to the recipe.
  • 3. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add 3 eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla.
  • 4. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to the creamed mixture. Cover and refrigerate dough for several hours, overnight or until is easy to handle.
  • 5. 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.
  • 6. Separate the remaining eggs, place 1 yolk each in three bowls. Tint one red, one blue and one green.
  • 7. 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 at left oar as desired.
  • 8. 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.
  • 9. In a bowl, beat egg whites. Brush over the tow large rectangular puzzles. (Discard any remaining egg white.) Sprinkle with yellow colored sugar. Bake on parchment paper 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.

Recipe Note

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 piece: 256 calories, 11g fat (6g saturated fat), 88mg cholesterol, 270mg sodium, 36g carbohydrate (20g sugars, 1g fiber), 4g protein.

Reviews for Back-to-School Cookie Puzzle

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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."

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