AROUND LA WITH AVA®: Cookies for Fun—and Eating
Are you worn out from shopping?
Do you need to keep houseguests busy?
Do you need to keep children occupied?
Do you wish you were a kid again?
Do you miss playing with Play-Dough?
Do you feel you have to bake something Finnish to make your end-of the-year complete?
All of the above?
Here is an answer for all your problems. It is so easy –and such fun!
This basic Finnish butter cookie dough can become your artistic medium for many fun versions and diversions. The beauty is in its simplicity!! Once you have mixed the dough, you can make a lovely platter of cookies for a gift or you can just throw a ‘blob’ on the kitchen counter and challenge the creativity of your children, friends, and or family.
It’s OK, I’ll give you’re a little trick that should win the first challenge round without fancy kitchen equipment, cookie cutters, rolling pins, or messy frosting. It is a quick “triple-play” delight (dough goes into thirds).
Here is what I do:
1 pound of butter [room temperature]
1 cup of white sugar
2 egg yolks [save the whites]
1 tsp vanilla sugar or 1 tsp liquid vanilla
4 ½ cups flour
For decorations, I suggest using whatever you have on hand—especially your imagination. I usually work with pearl sugar, sliced almonds, mini chocolate chips, and chopped cranberries, but the variations are endless. Try sprinkles, chopped chocolate, cocoa powder, coconut…
After creaming butter and sugar, add egg yolks and vanilla. Add flour. Chill the dough for at least 1 hour.
Cut dough into 3 equal parts.
Portion # 1:
Blend in ½ c finely chopped cranberries.
Roll dough into a 3-4 inch diameter log; wrap in plastic wrap; chill.
Slice into ½” cookies.
Portion # 2:
Roll chilled dough into ½” skinny logs or snakes. Cut into 1½ inch pieces. Brush with egg whites. Decorate with pearl sugar.
Portion # 3:
Make Mice—The Contest Winner!!
Roll dough into 1 to 1½ inch balls. Next, roll each ball to make a point at one end as if to make a nose. Add mini chocolate chips for eyes and sliced almonds for ears. Add an almond sliver or licorice tail if you like.
Bake off #1, #2, #3, or all of the above in a 350º F for about 10-15 minutes.
Voila, you are a Finnish baking genius!!