Hello everyone! My name is Jennifer and I’m the CCO (chief cookie officer) over at Not Your Momma’s Cookie. I’m so excited to guest post for the uber-talented Marissa today. Sure, we come from different worlds – she from the world of beautiful fabric creations, and I from the world of unusual and awesome cookies – but we have one thing in common: mad love for The Hunger Games! When she asked me the guest post, there was no way I was going to refuse!
I bet many of you will be having HG parties in the coming weeks. The books are rife with descriptions of food to help inspire your party menu. But, what about dessert? I propose an awesome cookie platter that guests will love:
I need a larger cookie platter!
And anyone can totally do it. No really, I swear! I’ll tell you how I did it, but I’ll also add in some suggestions to make it even easier! You can’t beat that. Now, here is everything you will need:
- Sugar cookies – of course! I only used one cutter to make these cookies – a regular, rectangular one (about 4 1/2 inches long). But you can easily cut them out by hand if you don’t want to buy this cutter. Use your favorite recipe – this is a good one.
- Royal icing. This is the type of icing that people use to build gingerbread houses. Need a recipe? I usually use this one.
- Black food coloring. I use Americolor to get a deep, dark black, but I have used Wilton and achieved similar results. You can probably find Wilton paste colors at your local craft store or even Walmart!
- Brown food coloring. Ditto above, Wilton will work too!
- A food writer. It is basically a felt tip pen with food coloring as the ink. I got mine here.
- White food coloring. I’m not sure if Wilton has this one. If you can’t find it, that is ok, your cookies will still be awesome!
- Bamboo skewers. Any grocery store should have them.
- Sheet protectors. I’ll explain in a minute!
- Shortening or butter.
- A couple pastry bags, couplers, and #1 tips. I’ll offer suggestions so you won’t need as many of these, but to do the logo cookie, you will have to pipe!
- Optional: silver luster dust and a small paintbrush.
First, the logo cookies:
They look pretty impressive, right? What you don’t know is that I suck at piping letters…it never looks the way I envision. So, for beginners or those who are piping challenged, royal icing transfer to the rescue!
A royal icing transfer is when you pipe onto a greased surface (typically parchment paper or a sheet protector) to allow you to trace a design and then transfer it to your baked good. It is great for those, like me, who have trouble piping letters or if you just want to trace a design.
First, I found a copy of The Hunger Games title so I could copy the letters:
I printed several copies of this on the same sheet of paper because you will need to make more than you think – they are fragile and you will have some breakage! I had the most trouble with the G’s. Make sure the copies you make are the same size as your cookie; you want the proportions to be the same!
Then, get your sheet protector:
The nice thing about using a sheet protector is that you can slide your design right in!
Then, grease it! I used shortening, but you can use butter if you want. Can I tell you something? I forgot to grease my sheets until I had already piped a few letters. D’oh! It happens. I just greased up the rest and hoped for the best. The letters that I had already piped miraculously came off perfectly. I think I just got lucky, so don’t forget to grease your sheet!
Now, here is where you will need a pastry bag, a coupler, and a #1 tip. I dyed my icing bright white, dumped it into my pastry bag, and I was ready to go! Need some more help on pastry bag assembly? Here is a great tutorial.
I started piping, slowly and carefully, until the sheet was finished.
Ok, I lied – I only did three sets of letters. Don’t be lazy like me! You may need all of those letters.
Once you’re finished, let the sheet dry overnight. In the meantime…you need to make a black cookie! You can create a black surface with royal icing (like this), or, if you don’t want to deal with anyone pastry bags, you can dye your dough black before you bake them. It won’t be jet black like the icing, but it would be much easier! I dyed dough for my Nyan cat cookies and it is kind of fun. Plus, if you’re using Americolor coloring, you can achieve a rich color too!
If you’re using royal icing, make sure you cookie dries overnight.
Once the glorious morning has arrived, get your cookie and your transfer sheet.
The letters should be completely dry and slide off rather easily. Now, you take a tiny bit of royal icing and pipe it onto the back of the letter before placing it on the black cookie.
Press down gently and voila!
Keep going until the cookie is done – much easier than trying to pipe on the cookie and with lovely results too!
Does all of that make your head spin? If you’re feeling intimidated by royal icing, couplers, and whatnot, then try my next cookie instead:
Arrow cookie pops for Katniss!
I did make these with royal icing, but I will explain how to make them without it too, just to help ya out! Ok, here we go:
These cookies are basically a two sided cookie pop: an arrowhead cookie and a fletching cookie (did you know that the thingy at the end of the arrow is called a fletching? My husband is a fountain of interesting, albeit useless, facts). I chose not to bake them on the sticks, but rather attached them to the bamboo skewers with royal icing. I did this because I wanted them to look more like arrows. Usually, you need to use a specific type of cookie pop stick that are oven-safe and they are typically white (the ones I found anyway). I did not test using the bamboo skewers in the oven, so I can’t say whether it would work or not. I was concerned about the bamboo skewers charring while baking.
I did not have an arrowhead or a fletching cookie cutter (not sure if they even exist!), so I sketched a basic design:
Anyone can do this if I did; I can’t draw at all! I then traced it onto a piece of stiff cardboard. I actually used the cardboard box from my Birchbox subscription! Any stiff material would do (you could use cardstock, even a file folder). Once your cold dough is rolled out, use a paring knife (or an exacto knife) and the template to cut out the shape. Like so:
Just make sure your dough is pretty cold, or it will be difficult to cut.
Once they’re all baked and cooled, I decorated them the same way I did the logo cookies. I used a tiny bit of black to make the gray icing, and then used brown for the fletching cookies:
Once it is dry, you can add some more fun details.
I applied silver luster dust with a small paintbrush to the gray cookies to give them a bit of shine.
It is harder to see in pictures, but gives them a nice sheen in person!
I also used my food writer to dry some basic details to the fletching cookies.
As you can see, very basic details. I really can’t draw!
Once that is all done, time to make them into true arrows! I mentioned that I used bamboo skewers – make sure you cut them to a length that looks nice proportionally with your cookies. Mine were about 2 inches too long, so I just cut them before creating the pops.
I turned over one arrow and one fletching cookie and then applied a nice blob of royal icing.
I pressed the ends of the skewer into the icing and then added more icing to create a nice “shell.”
Royal icing dries very hard, so it will support the weight of the cookie, I promise!
Keep them upside down for several hours to dry. Now you have beautiful arrow cookies!
Now, I told you that I would tell you how to make these cookies without royal icing. Here is what you would do:
- You would need to use the proper cookie pop sticks to ensure that they would survive a stint in the oven.
- Dye the dough itself the two colors you will need: dark brown and gray. Cut them out as I have described above, but make them a bit thicker.
- Insert the cookie pop stick into both cookies (the arrowhead on one side and the fletching on the other).
- Bake and you’re done!
They won’t look exactly the same, but they will have the same effect. And, your guests will still be impressed!
Look at this super fun platter:
I love it! If you want to see directions on how to make my Mockingjay cookies, go here.
Well, I’m sad to say that my time here has ended. I hope you have enjoyed my post! I’d love for you to go visit me at Not Your Momma’s Cookies – I have some wonderful cookies and treats coming up in the future that I bet you would enjoy. Thanks again to Marissa for letting me hijack her blog for the day. And, as Effie would say,