Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Pirate Cookies! From the Whimsical Bakehouse Kids' Cakes Cookbook


Parent or friend to a swashbuckler? Make these adorable treats for your wee hearties or for your next block party and you will be sure to be spared the plank.

Pirate Cookies

By Kaye Hansen and Liv Hansen
From Kids’ Cakes from the Whimsical Bakehouse

This rather youthful buccaneer is ready for adventure. The skull and crossbones emblem on his chocolate sugar cookie hat warns that he is mischievous, but that cherubic face tells you it’s all in fun.

To create a swarthy pirate or change the skin color, knead one tablespoon at a time of chocolate sugar cookie dough into the plain sugar cookie dough, until you have the desired tone. For added fun, cut out additional cookie circles, cut the circles in half, and use them to form the pirate’s torso. Pipe colored stripes across the shirt with tinted chocolate or royal icing.

Optional: Replace all of the chocolate detail work with royal icing.

Yield: 30 pirate cookies

What you will need
Cookie: 1 recipe Chocolate Sugar Cookies (page 88) for pirate hats and 1 recipe Sugar Cookies (page 48) for pirate faces (recipes below)

Decoration: 1 cup dark wafer chocolate and 1 cup white wafer chocolate; an assortment of candy colors

Miscellaneous: 2 half-sheet pans, pastry cones, pirate hat template (page 165), and 3-inch round cookie cutter

1 Bake the pirate hat and face cookies and let them cool completely.

2 Melt the dark and white chocolates separately. Pour the chocolates into separate pastry bags. Cut small holes at the tip of each bag. Keep the chocolate warm on a heating pad or on a half-sheet pan over a barely simmering double boiler.

3 Pipe a ¼-inch dot of chocolate on the top of each round cookie. Before the chocolate sets, place the pirate hat on top so that it covers the top of the head. The chocolate, once set, acts as glue.

4 Using the white chocolate, pipe a skull and crossbones on each hat.

5 Using the dark chocolate, pipe hair coming out from under the hat, eyes, nose, smile, and stubble.

Excerpted from Kids’ Cakes from the Whimsical Bakehouse Copyright © 2010 by Kaye Hansen and Liv Hansen; Photographs by Ben Fink. Excerpted by permission of Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House of Canada Limited. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.



Sugar Cookies
By Kaye Hansen and Liv Hansen
From Kids’ Cakes from the Whimsical Bakehouse

This basic sugar cookie dough is strong enough to be cut into any shape, and the cookies are durable enough to stand up to a lot of decorating. Make mask-shaped cookies for your Halloween party, a cookie card for the birthday boy or girl, pirate faces for your little buccaneer, or magic wands for your fairy princess.

Yield: approximately 24-30 wands, 12 masks, 20 pirate faces, or 4 cookie cards.

Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Have all ingredients at room temperature.

In the bowl of an electric mixer at medium speed, cream:

4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter
2/3 cup sugar

Add and thoroughly incorporate:

1 extra-large egg
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

On a piece of wax paper, sift together:

1 ¾ cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt

Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture.
Mix until the dough comes together.

Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.

On a lightly floured board, roll the chilled dough out to ¼ inch thick. Slip parchment paper under the rolled dough and transfer it to a half-sheet pan. Chill for 30 minutes. Cut out shapes (see below).

If making magic wands: Cut out stars using a star cookie cutter (2 inches to 3 inches across; larger stars need longer handles). Arrange the stars 1 inch apart along the long sides of the cookie sheets. Carefully insert lollipop sticks into the hollow created between two points of the star about ½ inch deep.

If making pirate faces: Cut out circles using a 3-inch round cookie cutter. Arrange the circles 1 inch apart on the cookie sheets.

Chocolate Sugar Cookies
By Kaye Hansen and Liv Hansen
From Kids’ Cakes from the Whimsical Bakehouse

Here is the chocolate cousin of our versatile and delicious Sugar Cookies (page 48). If making the pirate cookies, place half of the heads and half of the hats on the same baking sheet. Sometimes it is difficult to tell when chocolate cookies are baked, so this will help as they bake at the same time.

Yield: approximately 20 pirate hats

Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Have all ingredients at room temperature.

In the bowl of an electric miser at medium speed, cream:

4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter
¾ cup firmly packed light brown sugar

Add and thoroughly incorporate:
1 extra large egg
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

On a piece of wax paper, sift together:
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt

Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture.
Mix until the dough comes together.

Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

On a lightly floured board, roll the dough out ¼ inch thick. Slip parchment paper under the rolled dough and transfer it to a sheet pan. Chill the dough for 30 minutes.

Cut out the hats by tracing the pirate hat template (page 164) with the blade of a paring knife. Carefully slide a metal spatula under the cookies and transfer them to the prepared cookie sheets. Arrange the hats 1 inch apart. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until set. Let the cookies cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.