Saturday, October 8, 2011

Panda Cookies

To make up for last week's missing post, I've decided to make two this weekend! These panda cookies follow a basic, vanilla refrigerator cookie recipe which can be modified to make different shapes / flavors (such as Pinwheels). Experiment as you please! :)

Vanilla Refrigerator Cookies
1. 2 cups flour
2.  3/4 cups (1.5 sticks) butter, softened at room temperature
3. 1 cup sugar
4. 2.5 tsp. vanilla
5. 1 egg
6. 1 tsp. baking powder
7. 1/2 tsp. salt

1. Cream butter and sugar until smooth and creamy.
2. Add egg and vanilla, beat into wet mixture.
3. In a separate bowl, sift flour, salt, baking powder.
4. Mix dry mixture into wet mixture in two portions.
5. Split dough in half. Roll each half into a rectangle (how thick your rectangle is depends on how long you want your log to be) on plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Wrap dough-log with the plastic wrap / aluminum foil. 
6. Chill logs in refrigerator for at least 15-30 minutes (or until dough is firm).
7. Preheat oven to 375F.
8. Take out logs from refrigerator. Using a sharp knife, cut logs into 1/4" thick slices.
8. Place cookies on un-greased baking sheets (you can line the sheets with parchment paper if you wish).
9. Bake for ~8 minutes. Let cookies cool for 2 minutes on baking sheet before transferring to wire rack to cool completely.

Panda Cookies

1. Same as for Vanilla Refrigerator Cookie
2. 1/2 oz. (1/2 square) semisweet chocolate
3. Black sesame seeds
4. 1 tbs. confectioner's sugar
5. 1/4 tsp. milk
Directions for Panda Cookies:
1. Steps 1-4 same as for Vanilla Refrigerator Cookie.
2. Split dough into 5/6 and 1/6 portions. Set the 5/6 portion aside. 
3. Melt 1/2 oz. (1/2 square) of semisweet chocolate in microwave (about 20 seconds) and pour over 1/6 portion of dough. Incorporate chocolate into dough through mixing or rolling with hands.
4. Separate the 1/6 chocolate dough into 4 piles and roll into thin logs (for ears, eyes).
5. Roll the 5/6 portion into a log.
6. Cut two slits lengthwise along the top of the 5/6 portion log where you want eyes to be located. Optional: cut a slit down the center on the bottom of the log to give form to the panda's face.
7. Widen the eye-slits and place the chocolate logs into them, then close and seal with vanilla dough.
8. Add ears using other two chocolate logs.

9. Bake cookies at 375F for approximately 8 minutes.
10. When cooled, mix confectioner's sugar with milk to make glaze. Using a chopstick, dab a bit of glaze into the center of the chocolate eye, then add a sesame seed on top of the glaze. Using some glaze, secure a sesame seed for the nose.

Makes approximately 4 dozen cookies.


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