The theme of the month has been to celebrate the launch of Blaise’s new book of poems, Zeppelin (Nightwood Editions, 2013).
We had been searching around for a while to try and find him a set of zeppelin cookie cutters. We finally found some cute ones on Etsy, but they weren’t quite the right shape (the airship on B’s book is long and narrow, not quite so blimpy), so we decided to make some ourselves! Rather than going the home depot route for plumber’s strapping or strips of copper or aluminum (though, we were sorely tempted!), we decided to hit the dollar store for some work gloves and el cheapo aluminum baking pans. Cost of our supplies? $2.26 – and we could have made about 4 more cutters from the supplies we had!!
DIY Cookie Cutters: The Zeppelin Edition
Disposable Aluminum Lasagna Style-Pan or Pan Lid [we only used the lid]
Ruler or Folding Bone
[Optional] A Printed Silhouette of Your Desired Shape [We just googled "Zeppelin Silhouette"]
[Optional] Ruler and Pencil for shaping
Wearing gloves, cut a long rectangle shape [about 4 inches wide] from the aluminum pan or lid.
Fold the aluminum in half lengthwise and re-open it.
Fold each of the sharp long edges of the aluminum inward toward the crease.
Refold the aluminum along the original crease so that you have a long lovely aluminum strip with no exposed sharp long edges.
Once you have your aluminum strip, begin to shape it into a ring so that the short edges meet.
Carefully insert one of the short edges into ONE of the v flaps of other short edge as shown below.
We had about an inch of overlap.
Crimp the v-flap shut again.
No glues or fixatives needed. It just stays put!
Using your printed silhouette as a guide, begin to form your aluminum ring into the desired shape.
[We left the "join" of our ring in the wide tail part of our airship.]
Use rulers to help make sharp bends and pencils or markers to help make curved bends in your shape.
When you have finished making your cutter, be sure to “cut” your cookies using the side of the cutter which is folded as opposed to the double-edged side.
Et voila! You’re done!
Here’s a recipe to get you started on your own zeppelins or other designs!
2/3 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tbs milk
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
.5 tsp salt
2 cups flour
for the icing
2 cups icing sugar
.5 c milk (to be added by the tablespoon)
blue and red food colouring (we actually used neon blue and neon fuscia)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit.
Cream your butters and sugars before adding the remainder of the wet ingredients.
Then, sift in the dry ingredients.
Once the dough forms into a ball, divide it in half and wrap each half in plastic film.
Refrigerate the dough for an hour or so (if you can wait that long!).
Roll refrigerated dough to between 1/4 and 1/8 of an inch.
To make things quick and easy, I roll my dough between sheets of waxed or parchment paper.
Cut and press cookies with the finer side of your zeppelin cutter and place them on parchment lined cookie sheets.
Bake for 7-9 minutes.
Cool on wire racks.
Add milk to the icing sugar by the tablespoon until it reaches a spreadable consistency.
Add food colouring to make a turqouise icing.
Ice the cookies and let the icing set completely.
Add the fuscia icing to the remaining turquoise icing to create a dark purple.
Use a butter knife to create lines and dimension on the zeppelin cookie.
Allow icing to set completely.
- in Ahma the Spirit Bear, Art Projects, Baking, Cookies, Cookies & Bars, Emma with Bears, Holidays, Honey Graham Cracker Cookie Cut-Outs, Honey Marshmallows, Illustrate-Your-Own-Books, Kermode Bears / Spirit Bears, MARCH breACK! 2013, March Break, March Break & St. Patrick's Day Crafts, Spirit Bear S'mores, Sweets
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MARCH breACK! 2013: Spirit Bear S’mores: Honey Graham Cracker Cookie Cut-Outs and Honey Marshmallows From Scratch
Today, we’re making Spirit Bear S’mores from scratch, with Honey Marhsmallows and Easy-to-make Honey Graham Cracker Cookie Cut-Outs. Since the dough is egg-free, the kids can snack on it as they cut out their cookies! We would have made our own bear-shaped chocolates, too, I suppose, but the kids have this tendency not to actually eat “cute” chocolates such as bears and bunnies, because they find them too much like the real thing – and so we just opted for good old fashioned Hershey bars. The marshmallow recipe, by the way, may appear a little tedious, but it’s actually quite fun and easy to make. And it doesn’t really take that much time. We’ve made marshmallows at least four times now, over the years, and always with ease and success. You’ll need a good candy thermometer and a mixer…but that’s about it in terms of fancy kitchen gizmos. Best of luck! And Cheers!!!
2 eggs (whites only)
1+ c icing sugar
3.5 envelopes unflavored gelatin
1 c cold water, divided into two half cups
1.5 c granulated sugar
.5 c honey
.5 c clear corn syrup
a pinch of salt
2 tsp vanilla
Additional honey for drizzling [optional]
Separate egg whites from yolks. (Save yolks for another recipe.)
In a cold mixing bowl and with cold beaters, beat egg whites into stiff peaks.
Transfer the stiff-peaked whites to another bowl, cover, and refrigerate.
Clean the mixing bowl and beaters (unless you have a spare!)
Liberally BUTTER a 9×13 pan (you can use the wrapper from the butter in the graham cracker recipe below) and liberally dust the greased pan with icing sugar.
Place 3.5 packets of gelatin and .5 cup of the cold water into the bottom of the mixing bowl of a stand mixer and let sit.
The kids will enjoy watching it become a gooey sticky alien shape.
Fill a thick-bottomed saucepan with that other .5 cup of cold water, the granulated sugar, honey, corn syrup and salt.
Stir over low heat until the sugar is dissolved.
Then, boil over medium heat without stirring for approximately 10 minutes.
Watch for the mixture to bubble, thicken, and clear. Be patient.
When a candy thermometer reaches 240F, remove from heat and pour on top of the thickened gelatin.
Mix the gelatin and sugar mixture on low for a few moments. It will be hot, so best have the adult take charge.
Gradually adjust the mixer to higher and higher speeds and let mix for 5-6 minutes.
Watch it circle round! The sugar will turn into a marshmallow fluff!
Add vanilla and stiffened egg whites, and mix for another minute.
Pour half of the fluff into the prepared dish. It usually spreads out evenly on its own, but use a spatula or icing spreader if you wish.
[Optional] Drizzle over the top of this layer of fluff with a very thin swirl-pattern of honey.
Pour the rest of the fluff into the prepared dish.
[Optional] Drizzle over the top of the fluff with a very thin swirl-pattern of honey.
Using a wire strainer or a mesh tea ball dust the top of the marshmallow wtih additional icing sugar.
Refrigerate for at least two hours, until stiffened.
Loosen the edges of the marshmallow with a butter knife.
Overturn the marshmallow onto a cutting board.
Use a mini- or small-sized bear-shaped cookie cutter to cut out of the marshmallows (you waste marshmallow this way)
OR, cut the marshmallows into cubes with a large knife.
Dredge the sticky sides of the individual marshmallows in a bowl of icing sugar if desired.
1.5 c all purpose flour
1 c whole wheat flour
[may also be evened out to 1.25 c of each type of flour]
.5 c brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
.5 tsp ginger
.25 tsp cloves
.5 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
.5 c unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
.25 c water
.3 c honey
Heat oven to 350.
Pulse the flours, sugar, spices, baking soda, and salt in a food processor until just combined.
Add the cold cubes of butter and pulse until the mixture becomes a coarse meal.
Add the water and the honey and process gently until a dough forms.
[If the dough is still super-sticky, form into balls and refrigerate for an hour.]
Divide into two balls.
Roll the balls of the dough between sheets of wax or parchment paper to .25-in thickness.
Cut the dough into bear shapes with cookie cutters.
Bake your grahams on parchment lined sheets for 12-14 minutes, until slightly brown on the edges.
[Note: if you are having a "sticky" time with the dough, just roll it into a large flat rectangle and underbake just slightly. IMMEDIATELY cut shapes into the crackers with the bear shaped cutter. WORK QUICKLY ! and BE CAREFUL! Wear a glove. The cutter will conduct heat from the grahams and the cookie sheet. Let the crackers cool right there in the pans for a while. Save the excess from around the cut-outs for graham cracker crumbs and ice-cream topping.]
Cool on pans for a few minutes, then cool completely on wire racks.
Spirit Bear S’mores!
You know the drill!!!
Place a square of chocolate on top of the Graham Cracker Cookie Cut-Out.
[Optional] Microwave for a few seconds.
Grill a Marshmallow or place the marshmallow on top of the chocolate topped cookie and microwave or broil for a few seconds.
Top with another graham cracker cookie.
Today’s High Tea? White Kermode Bear Paw Cookies
…and for an After-Dinner Treat? White Grape Gummy Bear Popsicles.
Butterscotch Icebox Cookie Dough for Kermode Bear Paw Cookies
1 c unsalted butter, room temperature
1 c brown sugar
.5 tsp salt
1 tbs vanilla
2.5 c all-purpose flour
In a mixer, beat the butter, sugar, and salt until fluffy.
Add the egg and vanilla until incorporated.
Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour until just incorporated.
Divide dough in half.
One half at a time, remove the cookie dough to a board lined with plastic wrap, wax paper or parchment.
Work the dough into a cylindrical log shape.
Use the wrapping to make the cylinder smooth and to wrap it for the refrigerator.
Refrigerate for at least two hours (and up to two days) before slicing.
Or double-wrap and freeze for up to two months.
Kermode Bear Paw Cookies
makes 3-4 dozen cookies
1 roll of Butterscotch Icebox Cookie Dough [Above]
Peanut Halves, Almond or Pecan Slivers for the Claws
Hershey’s Cookies and Cream Kisses, Hugs, or White, Beige, or Chocolate Rounds for the Paws
Heat oven to 375.
Slice the Butterscotch Icebox Cookie dough into .25-in thick circles.
Lay cookies on parchment lined sheets.
Place a Kiss or Chocolate Round into the center of each circle.
Place 5 nut halves (flat sides down) towards the top 1/2 circumference of each cookie.
Bake for about 7 minutes or until the edges are almost set
Remove cookies from the oven and place a Kiss or Chocolate Round into the center of each circle.
Bake for 1-2 more minutes.
If desired, use a spoon or butter knife to flatten the tip of the chocolate kiss a bit just after removing the cookies from the oven.
Cool on wire racks.
White Grape Gummy Bear Popsicles
White Grape Juice
Fill Popsicle Molds 2/3 full with White Grape Juice
Drop in a nice amount of gummy bears. We used 6.
If necessary, top up molds with juice, but do leave a bit of of room for expansion.
Insert popsicle sticks/bottoms.
I wanted to make a festive weekly treat for the kids a bit before the sugar rush of the actual holiday…so here they are, and a week early…our cookie Conversation Hearts!
You’ll want to save this sugar cookie recipes. It’s one of the best I’ve ever come up with. And the icing…let’s not even get started on the heavenly icing!!
Cream Cheese Sugar Cookie Conversation Hearts
Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies
Makes 3 Dozen
1 c butter
3 oz (6 tbsp) cream cheese
.5 c sugar
.25 tsp salt
1 tbs vanilla
3 c flour
Heart Shaped Cookie Cutter
Butter Icing [Below]
Script Icing [Below]
Cream the butter, cream cheese & sugar in a mixer or by hand.
Add the egg, salt, & vanilla until combined.
Add the flour by the .5 cup until a soft dough forms.
Refrigerate for 2-24 hours.
Heat oven to 375.
Roll cookies on a floured surface or between parchment or waxed paper ~.25-in thick.
Cut into heart shapes.
Place onto parchment or silpat lined pans.
Bake for 7-10 minutes or until slightly brown at the edges.
Cool cookies completely.
Make Base Icing & Script Icing
Ice Cookies with Base Icing.
Allow icing to firm up for at least 30 minutes before applying Script Icing.
Apply words to your cookies with the Script Icing.
Phrases to try: LOVE, BE MINE, FRIENDS, URGR8, LOL, SAY YES, MARRY ME, SWEETHEART, FATE, KISMET, XOXO…
Butter Icing for Sugar Cookies
3c icing sugar
6 tbs butter, slightly softened
1 tbs vanilla extract
2+ tbs milk
gel or liquid food colouring to suit
Blend the butter, sugar, milk & vanilla in a mixer, starting on low speed and moving to medium-high as the icing comes together.
Add additional bits of milk by the tablespoon until the icing just reaches a spreadable consistency.
[Optional] Divide icing into several bowls.
Add gel or liquid food colour [to each batch] to suit.
We used pink, purple, blue, and green
Script Icing [3 Options]
1) Small gel decorator icing tubes from the grocery store, or a larger tube fitted with a small circular icing tip.
2) Reserve left-over base icing, add additional icing sugar [and food colouring] if necessary to get to a pipe-able consistency.
3) Add small amounts of milk by the tablespoon to 1 or more cups of icing sugar until you achieve a thick, pipe-able consistency. Colour as desired.
Options 2 and 3 should be placed in a piping bag fitted with a very small circular tip for writing.
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