Random House was very kind to send us some sample recipes that we can post. Let me know how your results are. YUMMM! -Bronwyn
By Kaye Hansen and Liv Hansen
From Kids’ Cakes from the Whimsical Bakehouse
I found my balloon cookie cutter online, but if you can’t find a “party balloon” cutter, an egg, snow globe, or diamond ring cookie cutter will also work.
Yield: approximately 24 cookies
What you will need
Cookies: 24 Lemon Butter Cookies (see below)
Icing: 1 recipe (or 1 cup) Simple Lemon Glaze (see below)
Decoration: twenty-four 6- or 8-inch lollipop sticks
Colors: red, yellow, green, blue, and pink liquid gel colors (or choose one color)
Miscellaneous: half-sheet baking pan, 3-inch balloon cookie cutter, pastry cones
1. Bake the cookies and let them cool completely. Prepare the Simple Lemon Glaze.
2. Place 1 tablespoon of glaze in a pastry cone and cut a small hole at the tip. Prepare the colored icing using the remaining glaze: approximately 3 tablespoons each of red, yellow, green, blue, and pink.
3. Spread a thin layer of the colored icing over each cookie. Do not hold the cookies by the lollipop stick while spreading; instead, hold the cookie or keep the cookie on the sheet pan. Use the uncolored glaze to pipe a “white” highlight on the upper right side of each balloon. Let the cookies dry overnight.
Note: The lemon glaze reacts with the colors; purple turns immediately gray when mixed in, and what is initially a vibrant red (or yellow, green, or blue) may frost over as it dries—but they are still quite pretty. If you want pure colors, use Royal Icing (page 15).
Have your child help cut out the balloon-shaped cookies and arrange them on the half-sheet pan. Teach them to press firmly into the dough so the cookie cutter cuts all the way through, and then give the cookie cutter a little shake, which will release the cookie. Then show them how to scoop up the cookies with a spatula and slide them onto the sheet pan.
Lemon Butter Cookies
The addition of cream cheese to the dough gives these cookies a slight tang that you don’t get from a plain butter cookie. I added lemon zest to give it some extra zing, and I was quite pleased with the flavor and texture.
Yield: approximately 24 cookies
Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Preheat the overn to 350°F. Have all ingredients at room temperature.
In the bowl of an elecric mixer at medium speed, mix 1 minute to combine:
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter
3 ounces cream cheese
Add and mix to combine:
1 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar
Add and thorooughly incorporate:
1 extra-large egg
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
On a piece of wax paper, sift together:
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1/5 teaspoon baking powder
Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture.
Mix until the dough comes together.
Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
On a lightly floured board, roll the dough out ¼ inch thick. Cut out with balloon cookie cutters.
Arrange the cookies 1 inch apart along the long sides of the cookie sheets. Carefully insert 6- or 8-inch lollipop sticks about ½ inch into the bottom of the balloons.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until lightly colored. Let the cookies cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
SIMPLE LEMON GLAZE
Sift into a bowl: 1 cup confectioner’s sugar, plus additional if needed. Slowly whisk in: 1 tablespoon strained fresh lemon juice, plus additional if neeed. If the icing is too thin, whisk in more confectioner’s sugar by the tablespoonful. To tint the glaze, add food coloring drop by drop until you have the desired color. Use the glaze immediately or place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the glaze. It can be stored in the refrigerator for 1 week.
Excerpted from Kids’ Cakes from the Whimsical Bakehouse Copyright © 2010 by Kaye Hansen and Liv Hansen; Photographs by Ben Fink. Excerpted by permission of Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House of Canada Limited. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.