Friday, December 12, 2014

Puppet Cookies make a come-back

    About 40 years ago my creative friend Adrienne Robinson passed on a recipe for puppet cookies. I made them up and Estelle Guralnik wrote up the activity in the Boston Globe magazine and Better Homes and Gardens. Back then, my children were the age of my grandchildren today. Last week, a holiday luncheon request for a recipe made me remember puppet cookies.  I could share these animated magical cookies with the grandchildren and the recipe wouldn't be lost to the Internet! Perhaps I should have let sleeping recipes lie! That was exhausting; and it was easier in my youth.

     I made up the dough, put it
wrapped in the refrigerator overnight and sketched possible designs. You can use gingerbread dough, surely; but I combined 6 C flour, 1 C butter, 2 C light brown sugar, 1 C milk, 1 t vanilla, 1 t salt, 1 t baking powder and 1 t baking soda. I took from the fridge a handful of dough at a time to roll out on floured marble and looking at my designs, drew with a toothpick and cut out with a pointed knife shapes to place on foil-lined cookie sheet. I used a toothpick to poke holes where appendages are attached. I baked for 8 - 10 minutes in 400 degrees. After a break and cooling of the cookies, I made up a decorator frosting or royal icing of 3 healthy egg whites, 1/4 t cream of tartar and 1 lb confectioner's sugar. This dries quickly, so I put it in several small bowls with coloring and covered with a plastic wrap.

    When it was time to paint, I gathered brushes and a bowl of water to keep the brushes damp. After the icing was dry, I cut pipe cleaners about 2.5 inches long, twisting one end for the back of the cookie to go through the holes to be secured on top with gumdrops. Before securing, I carefully put a toothpick through all holes, entering from the back of the cookies, to make certain the opening was big enough.

    Once Joe and I made a gingerbread two-story with wrap around decks to celebrate son's get-away mansion in the Bahamas. We were up past midnight securing walls. For gingerbread houses, I have decided to stick with a simple kit as I did this year. Let me tell you, this is the last time I will make puppet cookies...although I can't wait for Erika to finish up Spiderman, Santa and the family dogs, painting at random, attaching appendages anywhere, when she comes tomorrow to see her treats. She broke her arm so will miss the family ski trip. "Art" will certainly lift her spirits.