This week was all about our oldest son’s birthday. He turned 8 on the 27th of January and we had a birthday party with his best friends at an indoor playground, we went to a restaurant of his choice (sushi!), he shared homemade dino-cookies at school and we celebrated at home with family and friends. So there was a lot of cooking and baking going on this week.
We started on Wednesday right after school with hot dogs at home. Then we took 8 boys to this awesome indoor playground, called Discovery Bay. It’s like a pirate world complete with ship wreck, waterfalls, a suspended bridge (very cool!), sandy beaches, rocks to climb etc. We adults (i.e. mom and dad) actually had some quiet time, as the boys went off right after changing into their swimming clothes and only came to us for food and drinks (and the occasional FYI of ‘I’m going to the bathroom now’). They had the time of their lives!
Friday was his actual birthday and he wanted to bring cookies for his classmates. Well, he actually wanted to bring cupcakes with butter cream frosting, but the frosting is not allowed at school. Cupcakes without buttercream then? No way, too boring, unless I could make them in a dinosaur or dragon shape. Uhm, okay…. Can we settle on cookies in a fancy shape? I can manage that. In a reasonable time-frame. All right, dino-cookies then.
So on Thursday, I baked cookies. A big batch. ‘We need at least two cookies per person, mom’. Sure, we can do that. ‘And can we have extra to eat at home? I want some, too! Otherwise only Sam and his classmates have cookies, and I don’t! That is so not fair! I want cookies too!!’… theatrical performance by our youngest son, like the world would nearly end if he did not get any of those cookies. This recipe for cut-out cookies is for approximately 75 fairly large cookies. The recipe can easily be adapted if you want less cookies. Or more. Another recipe, that is perfect for cut-out cookies, is my recipe for German Butter Cookies.
To make the cookies even more fancy, I used letter cookie stamps to imprint his name and age. I bought them last year at Tchibo in Germany. I’m quite the hoarder when it comes to baking and cooking utensils and my husband could just roll his eyes when we were at the store. He’s quite used to it and usually refrains now from asking ‘Do you really need that?’. I’m glad I bought them. Sam was over the moon when he saw ‘his’ cookies. I’d say: mission accomplished :).
It didn’t end there though. On Friday night, we went to Sam’s favorite restaurant to eat sushi. And if you think he would stick to the safe choices and usual kid’s favorites like deep fried pork and grilled chicken skewers… you’ll be in for a surprise. And so was the restaurant’s owner (who probably regretted that kids pay for their age € 1,- per year for the all-you-can-eat concept). To name just a few items ordered and devoured: Thai curry soup, Nigiri with sea bass and mackerel, Spicy Tuna Maki…
Saturday was for family and friends. And of course: the birthday cake. Again, no boring theme. As if… After years of dinosaurs on cakes, I could not come up with another version of yet another dinosaur cake. Bear in mind that I had to make two dinosaur cakes a year, as both boys wanted one each time. Inspiration is hard to find after at least 8 dinosaur cakes. Luckily, Sam agreed to do something different. ‘Mom, can you make me a dragon cake?’ Oh, darn…
Think, think, think… Browsing one of my favorite web shops again, I found SILLI® by Silli.Creations. It’s a two component silicone putty that, once kneaded together, can be used to make your own mold. So cool! I used a small Playmobil® dragon to make the mold (body and wings) and voilà, I had a mold to make sugar fondant dragons!
How cool is that?!?! Well, it did impress a certain 8 year old ;-). It was the highlight of the party for the kids.
Now back to those cookies, here’s the recipe. Happy baking 🙂
- 500 g all-purpose flour
- 200 g cornstarch
- 250 g sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- pinch of salt
- 500 g cold butter
Mix everything together quickly. You’ll need a bit of elbow grease.
Divide dough into 4 discs and wrap with cling film. Refrigerate fora bout an hour.
Preheat oven to 180°C and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Roll out dough, about 0,5 cm thick. Cut out desired shape, place cookies on prepared baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes or until the edges just barely begin to brown.
The cookies will be very soft tot he touch, but will firm up when they cool. Let sit on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, then carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
You can leave the cookies as is of frost them as desired.
Note: This recipe yields ca. 75 cookies, but can easily be halved.