Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Turtle Cookies - Part 1

These are the little turtle cookies I made for my son's first and second grade soccer team.  Their jerseys were green and they named themselves the snapping turtles.  How cute is that!?  I always like to have something for the players at the end of the season.  My husband is the coach so it's nice to present them with something along with their trophy.  After all you can't eat a trophy.  In the past I have tried cake and cupcakes.  Both require plates and utensils and preferably a table.  Way too much hassle.  I found cookies to be the perfect thing to pass out.  Every year is a different design.  One year I made soccer balls with the players names in sparkly orange(these are in the slide show at the top left of the site).  This year I couldn't pass up the cute turtle idea.  I also liked the idea of making their shell as soccer balls.

You will notice that these are not your regular sugar cookie.  If you have read some of my other posts, you know that my family prefers chocolate above all else.  My husband thinks that regular sugar cookies are "boring".  So I went in search of an alternative and found this wonderful recipe.  It's the Brownie Roll-out Cookies from Smitten Kitchen.  They really do taste like a Brownie... only in a cookie!

I have over 100 cookie cutters, scouts honor, and would you believe not one turtle shape?  I found some online but decided to go the cheaper route and not add to my pile of cutters.  I found a clip art image of a suitable turtle shape and printed it the size that I wanted my cookies to be.  I cut this out and had a template for my cookies.

I like to roll my dough out between two pieces of waxed paper.  Flour the bottom piece of paper, you don't want the cutouts to be stuck down.  Roll out to the desired thickness, about 1/4".  Peal the top sheet of paper off.  It's always a good idea to use as little flower as possible with roll out cookies.  With these chocolate cookies it's particularly important.  If you bake the cookies with flour on the surface, it is very hard to dust that off later. 

Next I used the paper template and a long needle to "cut" the cookies out.  When I planned this process I thought cutting out 12 turtle cookies would be no big deal. 

By the time I was on cookie number 10, I decided that I need to learn how to make my own cookie cutters.  Cutting the cookies this way was tedious and made the edges rather rough.  In the end I got them all cut and everything worked out.  I'll probably find myself cutting cookies this way again some day.

Believe it or not, while I was cutting out turtle cookies, my husband came back from jogging with this little fella.  I know he's not a snapping turtle.  We call these box turtles.  Isn't he cute?  The boys enjoyed playing with him in the back yard.

When I bake these cookies the time really varies based on the size and shape I am making.  Thankfully, I have a window in my oven and I watch them very closely.  I do not like crunchy cookies.  When the edges begin to look firm and are loosing their shine, it's time to take them out.  Usually this is somewhere between 8-10 minutes.  Straight from the oven, these cookies are quite fragile.  Let them sit on the pan for about 2 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.  Remove them sooner and they are likely to crumble.  Remove them later and they get too stuck to the pan.  Once they are cool, I place them on some waxed paper and they are ready to decorate.  If you will not be decorating them immediately, store them in an airtight container to keep them moist.

After writing this post I might have to go bake some cookies.  I can almost smell them in the oven.

Coming up next---Glace` Icing and the conclusion of Turtle Cookies


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