Tuesday, August 27, 2013


Last week I showed you some new cookie cutters that I had bought from t'internet. I love Fred & Friends stuff and decided that these could be my 'pay day treat' this month.*
Mini Mint and I decided to give them a test them on Monday, given that we had a bank holiday weekend, and nothing planned.  We did a 'dry run' of the dinosaur Dig Ins, planning ahead for Mini Mint's Hallowe'en party, and the Munchstache cutters - again planning ahead for Movember, when my friend Andrea and I are going to be holding a bake sale in work.
Both sets of cutters were easy to use, though the dinosaurs were definitely the winners for usability as the embossing section was separate, meaning you didn't have to struggle to free the cut cookies from the cutter as you did with the Muchstache ones.
I had the bright idea of using lolly sticks on the Munchstache cookies, but I'm not convinced that they are strong enough, and they will probably collapse under their own weight.  I intended to coat the 'plain' cookies in white or milk chocolate, but Mini Mint and I ate them before I got the chance :)
The dinosaur cookies saw me utilising another one of my bright ideas, which would have worked if I made sure I had the right equipment before embarking on it.  I thought that instead of using white icing for the detailing, I would use melted white chocolate.  I melted down the chocolate, got my icing bags out, and then couldn't find my piping nozzles.  No worries, I'll just fill the bag up and cut a small hole.  Except, yep, I cut the hole too big and ended up with the chocolate coming out to quickly.  I wasn't too worried as this was only a test run before Hallowe'en.  As you can see from the photos - the T-Rex lost a couple of his feet, the dough was really delicate in that area.
This is the recipe I used (you'll get four times the yield I have shown here):
For the dough
  • 200g/8oz softened butter 
  • 150g/6oz caster sugar
  • 2 large free-range egg yolks
  • 400g/14oz plain flour plus extra for flouring
  • 1 level tsp mixed spice
  • 1 level tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2-4 tbsp milk
1.   Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4.
2.   Lightly grease 2 baking trays and line with baking paper/parchment.
3.   Beat the sugar and butter together until light and fluffy
4.   Beat in the egg yolks
5.   Add the flour and spices and enough milk to give a fairly soft dough.
6.   Bring together to make a soft dough.
7.   Knead the mixture on a lightly floured work surface.
8.   Roll out to a thickness of around 5mm/¼in.
9.   Cut out using your chosen biscuit/cookie cutters.
10. Bake for 10-15 minutes on the prepared baking trays.
11. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.
12. Decorate as you like - melted chocolate, icing sugar, royal icing...
*In an effort to get a tighter hold on household finances I have decided that instead of buying 'extra' things through the month, as they take my fancy, I will plan what I would like, and choose just one thing - and have this as a pay-day treat.  I'm encouraging Mini Mint to do the same thing, we'd fallen into the habit of having lots of little treats through the month, and then having to rein in the budget at the end of the month.  This way we're hoping that there will be money left at the end of the month for days out etc.

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