Monday, August 22, 2011

Dog Bone Sugar Cookies for Humans

After last week’s success with the Owl Cupcakes, I’ve gotten requests for more treats from the same bunch at the office: doggy themed sugar cookies! This quirky fun group threw a little farewell party for the office Chihuahua, Chloe. Chloe is moving out of state and these cookies are in her honor. Except the cookies are not for Chloe, they are for the humans (I'm hoping Chloe got a nibble anyway!). I should mention that these people are entertainment industry folk.  And it's LA. Now it’s making sense, right?

Ok, so for these dogbone cookies – I went to Sur la table, the toy store to my inner child. They have a really great selection of all kinds of gadgets. I’m giddy right now just thinking about it. Really. Well, they had every cookie cutter I could have wanted – except for the one I wanted. When I probed an employee to see if he was hiding the one shape I was looking for in his apron pocket, the security guard dutifully chimed in that a group of hoodlums had hit the display the day before and shuffled all the shapes together. I just didn't get that - I was the OCD kid that was sorting the items by type, size, shape and color while my mom shopped. Well, Security-Man was also absolutely certain that there was exactly one dog bone cookie cutter somewhere in the pile. One. That much confidence is always inspiring and contagious, so the three of us were now crouching, reaching and squinting about this massive rotating cookie-cutter tower, up to our elbows in crimped aluminum. You should have seen it – quite the collective effort. The outcome did not look good, and just as I was about to throw in the towel, Security-Man shot a triumphant fist in the air with gleaming copper dogbone cookie cutter safely in his possession. The entire store broke out in sustained applause. Ok, not really, but I was quite grateful.

For this cookie, I used Bake at 350’s recipe with the addition of a vanilla bean. It’s awesome because the dough is quite manageable and easy to roll. It maintains it’s shape well after baking, without the requisite hour or two of refrigeration normally called for. For decorating and transporting, however, I found that it was not as sturdy as I would have liked. For eating – it was perfect. I think I would like to have baked these a couple minutes longer just so they would have been slightly crisper.

The royal icing was also from Bake at 350 and it was a pleasure to work with. The recipe calls for corn syrup, which I think adds to the drying time. While the icing was in the mixer, a friend popped by and totally distracted me in conversation. Of course I didn’t forget about it – please, I’m not an amateur – but I assumed it was like Sweetopia’s royal icing, where you could walk away for half an hour while the mixer was stirring away with no problem. Problem. The icing was fluffy and meringue-like and dreamy to pipe with, but I realized later that the extra air and fluffiness resulted in an icing that lacked the density to withstand the Throw Your Cookie Across the Room at Your Cat/Family Member/Neighbor’s Kid Test. I suppose you could probably get away with just holding and packaging your cookies very gently. The cat/family member/neighbor’s kid would probably prefer that too. But that's no fun.

Vanilla-Almond Sugar Cookies

3 C AP flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 C sugar (you can use sugar stored with vanilla beans in it)
2 sticks (salted) butter, cold
1 egg
¾ tsp pure vanilla extract
½ tsp pure almond extract

Preheat oven to 350. Combine the flour and baking powder, set aside. Cream the sugar and butter and then add the egg and extracts. Gradually add the flour mixture and beat just until combined, making sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. Knead the dough just so the crumbly bits come together when taking it out of the bowl. Roll on a floured surface and cut into shapes. Place on parchment or silpat lined baking sheets and freeze for about 5 minutes before finally baking 10-12 minutes. Allow to set for a few minutes out of the oven before transferring to a cooling rack.

Royal Icing
Adjusted for yield from Bake at 350
(Enough to cover 4 dozen cookies)

6 tbsp meringue powder
¾ C water
1.5 lb. powdered sugar
1 tsp light corn syrup
A few drops clear extract (I used lemon)

With the paddle attachment your stand mixer, mix the meringue powder and water on low until foamy. Sift in the powdered sugar continue to mix until combined. Add in the corn syrup and extract and increase speed to med-high/high and beat for about 5 minutes and glossy stiff peaks form. The corn syrup is optional, really, and I think I’ll skip this next time as it added to the drying time. Divide and color using gel paste food colorings. Use this consistency for lettering and decorating. Use a portion of the divided and colored icing to dilute with water into flooding consistency (the streak of a butter knife swiped through should disappear completely in 10-12 seconds).

Au revoir, Chloe!


  1. These are the cutest dog bone cookies ever! Love the colors! Chloe looks pretty cute too:)