Thursday, July 5, 2012

Oh-oh say can you seeeeeee? This delicious star-spangled cookie in front of me?

Cinco de Mayo.  Celebrating the liberation of... oh wait... it is not.  Cinco de Mayo is not Mexican Independence Day.  September 16th is.  This is a fact that is missed by many although I am not sure they care to know because it would take away a drinking holiday.  I don't really want to stand in between anyone and their Corona Light, but now you know.  Sorry if I rained on your parade.  This was not always information that I always knew.  In fact, when I went to study abroad in Mexico, I arrived on May 7th. One of the first things I said to my family was that I was sad that I had missed Cinco de Mayo (which literally just means May 5th).  They looked at me with a puzzled, silly-American-Trix-are-for-kids look and asked me why.  I described to them how they celebrated Cinco de Mayo in Denver on Federal and downtown. They laughed at me clarifying it was not Independence Day but the celebration of a won battle in the city of Puebla versus the French and that they celebrated it in Puebla only.  Cool.  Ignorant American moment number one of my trip.  There were many more to come as I explored Mexico, but that one was the first.

As Cinco de Mayo rolled around this year, Pinterest was plastered with Cinco de Mayo treats.  Just about every 3rd pin in the pin market were these Pinata Cookies.  The baker in me wanted to bake them the second I saw them, but my principles told me to wait until the 16th of September to make them. I'm a purist.  But then in the middle of the night two weeks ago, I realized. Waaaaaiiiiiiit a minute.  America has one of those Independence Day celebrations too.  Awesome. Naturally I made pinata cookies for this occasion but not really pinata cookies at all.  Pinata cookie technique meets star-spangled awesome.

The cookie assembly process was an adventure in-and-of itself.  I made the sugar cookie dough in the safety of my own kitchen, Club350degrees, with my Zumbalicious Pandora cranked but then the chilled dough and I took a trip to my girl Danielle's house to assemble with her little nuggets that she nannies.  Yup! This adventure was going to happen with the help of a 4, 5 and 7 year old. As they each hopped up on their stool so they could see the counter I wondered how this was going to turn out. It turned out to be a fairly easy process.

Step one: Squish the red, white and blue dough into a rectangular tub.  Good activity for small children.  They succeeded.

Step two: Take the squished rectangular block of patriotic awesome and slice into slabs of cookie dough.  Remind children for the 23rd time that cookie dough has raw egg and we don't eat cookies until they are baked (Then sneak a little taste because you are the adult and this is one of those do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do kind of rules and cookie dough is delicious.)


Oh hello slab of cookie dough.  Don't you look festive!

Step three: Bake cookies at designated temperature.

Step four: Once baked, quickly take a cookie cutter and cut out the star shape.  Small children can do this step and you can thank them with a baked cookie scrap.  You don't get one though because you ate the raw dough, remember?  You've got to look out for your figure.

Step five: In every third cookie, cut a square out of the middle.  This is where the surprise will go.  If I were biting into most foods, I would not enjoy the presence of a surprise, but this surprise is chocolate, so it's safe.

Step six:  Okay, time to fess up!  Who ate glue during art in elementary school? It probably was gross.  I never tried it but I might have if the glue was buttercream icing like what we used to glue the whole cookie to the cookie with the square cut out.

Step seven: Fill the whole with candies.  I did red, white and blue sunflower seeds but next time I am totally doing pop rocks.  Like firecrackers! Oh yes. Happening.

Step eight: Glue with more frosting and cover with another whole star.

Voila! Star-spangled Independence Day Cookies. The presentation was mostly successful even with the aid of small children.  In the end, I've decided it is actually beneficial to bake with them around because they can unknowingly be blamed for any kitchen mishap.  I kinda like that.  Flat cookies? Oh the kids helped me bake them.  Lopsided cake?  Oh the kids helped me bake it.  Burnt brownies. Oh the kids were making them with me.  It's brilliant.  I am going to hire a kid or two from now on every time I bake.  If yours are for sale, I can take them off your hands...

So there you have it.  My tribute to America.  I didn't do much on the actual holiday to honor our country (unless you count my nod to commercialism with a day trip to IKEA) but I did make a cookie.  God bless America, y'all!

I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior…” 1 Timothy 2:1-3

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