Saturday, January 30, 2010

Why are dinosaurs green?

Really. I'm asking.

I feel like dinosaurs are green, green in cartoon form but drab browns and greys in the Museum of Natural History form.

The reality must have been somewhere in the middle. If you think about it... the animals with cool colors are the most badass ones... the ones that afford to stand out because if anybody starts anything, they are ready to lay the smack down.

Now answer me this: who, if not a dinosaur, is ready to kick ass and take names?

Exactly. So... I believe that the dinosaurs must have come in some pretty rad colors. Like pink. And electric blue. And paisely (Yes, it's a color. Don't fight me on this one.)

All of that said, I have no idea why - when given free choice - I chose to make my dinosaur cookies green. Call me traditional.

Brownie Roll-Out Cookies
from Smitten Kitchen

Recipe from Deb’s mom

3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup lightly salted butter, softened (Deb note: I don’t really see “lightly salted” much these days, so I used one stick salted, one stick unsalted)
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa (I used the “good” stuff–Droste or Galler–but I can assure you that my mother only used Hershey’s growing up, so your choice)

Preheat oven at 350 degrees. Whisk dry flour, salt and baking powder in bowl and set aside. Mix butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla and cocoa in mixer. Gradually add flour mixture, and mix until smooth. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least one hour.

Roll out cookie dough on floured counter. Cut into desired shapes, brushing extra deposits of flour off the top. (It does disappear once baked, though, so don’t overly fret if they go into the oven looking white.) Bake on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 8 to 11 minutes (the former for 1/8-inch thick cookies, the latter for 1/4-inch cookies) until the edges are firm and the centers are slightly soft and puffed.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Royal Icing
(Wilton method)

**For Piping Outlines**

1 and 1/2 tablespoons Meringue Powder
2 cups confectioner's sugar
3 tablespoons lukewarm water

Mix sugar and meringue powder until combined. Add water slowly (you may not need all of it) until consistency is right for piping. Mix on medium low speed for 7 - 10 minutes until icing loses its sheen. Add coloring if desired.

**For Filling In**

Slowly add up to another few tablespoons of water to leftover piping icing. Be sure to mix thoroughly before you add more water. It doesn't take much to make a difference. "Flooding" icing is ready when you raise the blender and the icing that drips from the beater is invisible in the bowl after a few seconds.

Royal Icing Tips:

+ Royal icing sets up hard very quickly. Keep all icing bowls, utensils, piping tips, etc. covered with wet paper towels when not in use.

+ Allow piped edges to dry for 1 - 2 hrs to prevent color bleeding. If you are piping and filling with the same color, you can be impatient like me and cheat on this.

+ Use a spoon to drop some thin flooding icing onto one cookie at a time. Use the back of the spoon to spread icing to the piped edge.

Delish, right?



Amber said...

Amazingly, your question about dinosaur colors was answered earlier this week:

I heard that on NPR.

In other news, didn't someone really cool give you those dinosaur cookie cutters? wink wink. Glad to see they got such awesome use!

kmari03 said...

Mmmmmm...brownie roll out cookies?? such a good idea. i want to make them. are they chewy? i only like chewy cookies.

That was kind of rambly, but I am exhausted and on a sugar high after eating junk for hours while trying to finish grading stuff.

On a somewhat related note, it really kills me that you use imitation vanilla extract. The real stuff is so much better!! It is overpriced most places, but if you ever see it in bulk, buy it! I get mine at Cosco for like 9 bucks for a huge bottle. I'm not snobby about most ingredients, but I think the real vanilla actually does taste different.

Jecca Andrew said...

what the heck-a-loo is that "dinosaur" in the middle on the top?

Amanda said...

Amber: What a timely find! Chestnut & white feathered mohawk tail?! Heck yes, that is exactly what I'm talking about. The dinosaur that rocked that swagger knew what was up. I'm just sayin.

Yes, Kira, these cookies are chewy. Not incredibly so, but chewier than the average sugar cookie. And... I have vanilla bean paste that I use for special occasions, but I do use the imitation stuff if I don't feel like it makes a big splash in the recipe overall. Maybe one day I'll splurge.

Jess: The cookie on the top middle was the one I taste-tested before decorating. I didn't want to eat the whole thing though... so half was still hanging around when I iced... so I iced around the bite marks. :)

Kate said...

These are wonderful. I really will be hunting through my cabinets tomorrow in the hopes that I find some cocoa I didn't know we had.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Me! said...

I'm with you on the vanilla. I read somewhere about it though I forget where.

If the vanilla is the primary flavor and you can appreciate the fine nuances of it then use the good stuff. If it is a backup player (ie to chocolate) then all you pick up from the vanilla is the vanillin so you may as well use the cheap stuff.

I have like 5 different bottles of vanilla depending on what I am making. Imitation, vanilla bean paste, 2 bottles of madagascar, 2 bottles of mexican, tahitian and then 3 vanilla beans for the really good stuff. I guess that's more than 5. I'm an engineer, my estimates are order of magnitude.

Ash said...

I didn't know there was such a thing as 'roll out brownie cookies'? this is friggin' amazing!

aubrey said...

these look so good- I had no idea such a recipe existed and thank you for opening my eyes to it. Love the commentary too!

A Slice of Concentrated Love said...

Next time I make cookies I'll try those. It will be awhile though since I still have a lump of dough in my fridge waiting to become cookies.

How To Eat A Cupcake said...

brownie cookies!! dinosaur brownie cookies!! GREEN dinosaur brownie cookies!!! did we just become best friends?????????

ashley said...

this post is why you are like a god to me. but seriously- the icing was practicly perfect, who are you!? man or immortal?!

Anonymous said...

Love your cookies - and totally agree that dinosaurs should be green. You did an awesome job icing those babies!

christine louise said...

Oh my gosh!! I have these same cookie cutters! Cute! Cute! Cute!

kitchen koala said...

Hey, I've been looking for a chocolate roll-out cookie that keeps its shape! Thank you :) I've got those cutters too, but have never used them. I just might make a batch of green dinosaurs for St. Patrick's Day!

Anonymous said...

hi. where did you get the dinosaurs cookie cutters?

Amanda said...

The cookie cutters were a gift, so I can't help you hunt them down. Have you tried Amazon?

Amanda said...

The cookie cutters were a gift, so I can't help you hunt them down. Have you tried Amazon?