Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Lego Lover's Cookies

There are now days that it legitimately feels like Spring over here, the sun comes out, the rain goes away, everyone walks with a smile on their face.  It's good, it's fun, it's time to bake something colorful to share with the kids in the parks, your neighbors, bake something they won't expect.
We're making Lego cookies!!!!

I think I found the original inspiration somewhere one Pinterest but in going through my boards could find no such cookie.  In brainstorming how these would come together I was planning on using m&m's for the bumps on the Legos (Is there an official name for those?  I know there are some far geekier readers out there!) and I still maintain that that would have worked, simply do the first layer of icing and press the m&m's in before it hardens; but in doing a brief Google search found that using a round piping tip and regular icing I could accomplish the same thing without needing to run to the store and receive bonus points for having the colors match exactly.

Feel free to use your favorite sugar cookie and icing recipe for this as I've never understood the point of having pretty cookies if they don't also taste fantastic. :)
I started off using a floured cutting board but quickly moved to the counter as the dough still stuck to the rough surface.
Roll the dough out just as you would normally do - to about 1/8"-1/4" thick
Initially I thought it would be nice to make them uniform with a ruler but eventually I gave up on this as it was very time consuming.  Be sure to use a really sharp knife and drag the tip of it through flour periodically so that you get clean cuts.  
I went will all different sizes so that I could have many different sizes of Legos
All baked, hooray!  
I used regular food coloring to dye the icing, the same ones that I used for the Easter Eggs,  If you're wondering why it's wrapped in cellophane then you HAVE to check out this tutorial!  It's completely changed how I ice things and encouraged me to try many different colors and tips all on the same project. 
After doing further research on icing sugar cookies I found that creating a border is supposed to help, and after attempting it I would say it really did help!  Once the borders are done simply toss the cookie sheets into the fridge for 20 min. or so until it's hardened a bit.
 At this point I got so caught up in icing and having my fingers stained various colors that pictures of the next couple steps were not taken so I will try to explain it as clearly as possible.  Once the border has hardened spread icing within that border.  I used a wide tip and piping an initial dollop on and used a butter knife to spread it.  Back into the fridge they go.  I let mine sit for 30 minutes to an hour wanting them to really be hardened so that the dots wouldn't be consumed by wet icing.  Then, using a small round tip place the dots on each cookie.  Because the icing you're placing on the cookies has not hardened the little peak that can form will be encompassed in the dot so that they will flatten like mine are in the pictures.  If you're a visual learner this site has pictures of the steps I left out.

This is what they'll look like right after you pipe the dots on
And ta da!  Lego cookies!
I brought a bunch of these to a women's bible study I attend where there are consistently 5-9 boys between the ages of 18 months and 3 years and I can say they were a HUGE hit!  

Tips & Tricks
  • While I wasn't going for perfection this time the next time I'll make them I will be trying to get the icing all the way to the edges.
  • You may want to double your icing recipe unless it already makes a lot.  I found the ratio of cookie to icing to not be to my liking and I ended up having a number of cookies that did not receive dots as I'd run out at that point. :(
  • While it may seem that these are really time consuming to make (and they are when you add in the time spent in the fridge hardening the icing) each step only took me 15 minutes or so and really wasn't so bad.
  • I loved that the cookies weren't all the same size as it allowed me to make rectangles of multiple sizes (or as my siblings and I referred to them as kids - "threeers and fourers" as well as a two brick, and squares.)
So there you have it, is there a small boy in your life you need to ingratiate yourself with?  I have found the solution!  If you do tackle this project I'd love to see a picture and if you know the actual terminology for the Lego pieces please enlighten me. :)

Happy baking!

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