Welcome to a special DIY Friday here at A Little Blue Book. Today I’ve put the glue and the scissors away and instead I’ve been throwing around flour and juggling eggs.
As some of you may know, Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon starts tomorrow, and I’ve been making bookish snacks for this epic event. Reading for 24 hours will require energy and lots of it, which makes these cookies the perfect treat. These little beauties are also perfect for bookish birthday parties, cosy tea parties and anytime you want to spoil yourself with a tonne of sugary goodness!
What you need
For the cookies (approx. 50-75 – I didn’t really count them):
- 340 g/ 1.5 cups of butter, softened
- 2-3 cups of white sugar (I went with 3 cups which makes them VERY sweet – so I need some extra sweetness in my life, don’t judge me!)
- 4 eggs (room temperature)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 5 cups of all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- Icing/powdered sugar for rolling out the cookie dough (optional)
TIP: I used salted Lurpak butter because I’m Danish, and it would be national treason to use anything else but Danish butter (only somewhat kidding here). However, if you don’t use salted Lurpak, I would go for an unsalted butter and then add 1 teaspoon salt to the dough. I know other brands of salted butter can be very salty which we don’t want for our sweet cookie dough.
For the icing:
- 6 cups of icing/powdered sugar
- 25-0.5 cup milk (whole milk would be ideal, but you can use skimmed too)
- 25 cup light syrup
- 2 teaspoons tasty extract (e.g. vanilla, almond, raspberry)
- Food colouring
How to do it:
These bookish cookies are both fun and easy to make, but you might want to set plenty of time aside to bake them. The dough needs to be cooled down which can take some time. It’s well worth the extra time, though!
In a large bowl, mix the softened butter and sugar until smooth. I like to use my hands to get the sugar and butter combined before giving it a thorough beating with a mixer – that way I don’t end up with sugar all over the place when I start the mixer.
Next, you beat in one egg at a time – mixing thoroughly in between. Once all the eggs are in, you add the vanilla extract and mix it in too.
Now you mix the baking powder and flour before adding it a little at a time to the dough. Using a spoon, stir the mixture together until the dough is sticky but smooth.
Cover the dough with clingfilm and put it in the fridge for at least a few hours or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C (400 degrees F).
Then you roll out the dough on a floured surface – I used icing sugar instead of flour, but if you’ve got neither, regular white sugar will do too. The dough should be between 0.5 – 1 cm thick.
Then you cut out the cookies using cookie cutters or a regular cup and place them about 2,5 cm apart on some ungreased parchment paper. I went with a few different shapes and decided that the bookish aspect of my cookies would happen once I added the icing.
Now you can either bake them in the preheated oven for 7-9 minutes OR you can freeze them for a few minutes and transfer them to an airtight container and bake them later (do turn off the oven if you decide to freeze them…). I did the latter as I didn’t have time to bake them when I cut out the dough. Just stick the frozen cookies directly in the preheated oven, and they turn out great!
Step 8 – The icing:
Whilst the cookies cool completely, you can make the icing.
The first thing you do is combine the icing sugar with 0.25 cups of milk using a mixer. Keep adding a tiny amount of milk until the icing is thick but smooth.
Add in the syrup and your choice of tasty extract and mix everything together. I had some raspberry flavour, almond flavour and caramel, but a bit of lemon flavour might have been a good way to create a balance with the sweet cookie and a more tangy icing. I’ll need to try that next time!
Now you divide the icing into different containers and add your food colouring.
For the outline icing, you are aiming for a consistency similar to toothpaste whilst the icing for filling in your patterns can be a bit thinner.
Decorate your cookies by using bottles, food brushes, icing bags or a spoon!
I went with bookish slogans like: Keep calm and read, love to read and read-a-thon – but the sky’s the limit here, so feel free to be more creative than me!
Also, the icing will become hard once it’s dry, but it can take a few hours before you can stack your cookies in a cookie tin.
TIP: If you don’t use all the icing, you can keep it in an airtight container and use it at a later date. The icing will keep for a few weeks at room temperature – not that mine ever lasted that long!
And that’s it! You’ve now got your very own bookish cookies! And as always, I would absolutely love to see your bookish cookies if you decide to give them a go. Do share the tasty result with me on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook!
If you’re participating in the readathon, which snacks will you be munching on?