Bullseye Cookies

Eric, Abraham, and me circa 2010

Eric, Abraham, and me circa 2010

It’s the holiday season, and that often means cookies out the wazoo. Growing up, one of my favorite things about preparing for the holidays was making cookies with my brother, Eric, and my cousin, Abraham. As we got older, I often had to bully them away from their video games to come decorate cookies with me, but once we were there, we always had a blast together.

For us, and I suspect for most people, gingerbread and sugar cookies are holiday staples. So, this recipe is a new take on two cookies you might already be making. If you already have go-to cookie recipes then all you’ll need is a set of nesting cookie cutters. I have circle cutters, but I’ve seen snowflake ones too, which would be really cute. photo 4Basically, you make the dough for both cookies then use the cutters to alternate layers and you’ll get an awesome bullseye look. As another option, you could just make sugar cookie dough and then divide it in thirds. Dye one-third red, one-third green, and leave one third plain. You can then make the same bullseye using Christmas colors. Go crazy.

The other reason I like this recipe a lot is because it looks like art (to me, maybe not to you). I’m a fan of the blog Modern Art Desserts, which is basically about a kitchen in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the desserts they make that either look like or are inspired by the art in the museum. They’re stuff is really awesome, and now I can be awesome too because my cookies are art-inspired. Anyway as I was arranging my finished cookies it hit me that these cookies reminded me of a Wassily Kandinsky painting called Squares with Concentric Circles. What do you think? If you dyed the sugar cookie dough, these cookies could totally look like this art.

So there you have it, not only are these cookies holiday staples, they are also inspired by high-art. The people who you share these cookies with will be impressed… maybe.

Anyway, for real these cookies are worth the effort. The balance of butter-sugar and ginger spice is perfect. It’s literally two cookies in one. What’s better than that? Anyway, enjoy the holiday season. With this recipe, I know you’ll be ready to own that office-cookie-swap or holiday-bake-off.

The sugar cookie recipe I’ve already shared over the summer, but I’ll write again below. The sugar cookie recipe, gingerbread recipe, and bullseye idea are all adapted from my favorite cookie book, The Art of the Cookie. You’ll make about 2 dozen cookies. 

photo (19)Ingredients:

Nesting cookie cutters

Sugar Cookies-

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup butter, room temperature

1 1/4 cup sugar

1 large egg

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 tbsp milk

Gingerbread Cookies-

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp ground ginger

1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground all spice

1 cup butter, room temperature

1 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1 large egg

2 tsbp molasses

1 tbsp ground fresh ginger

Directions for Sugar Cookies

1. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

2. In a large bowl mix together the sugar and butter, using an electric mixer.  Beat for 2-3 minutes, until it’s light and fluffy.

3. Add the egg and vanilla. Beat on low until completely mixed.

4. Still on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture. Beat until mostly mixed in.

5. Add the milk and mix until totally incorporated.

6. Scrape down the bowl, press the dough into a rough ball. Then wrap it tightly with plastic wrap. Put in the fridge for one hour, or as long as over night.

Directions for Gingerbread Cookies

1. In a bowl mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ground ginger, cinnamon, and all spice.

2. In a large bowl mix together the sugar and butter, using an electric mixer.  Beat for 2-3 minutes, until it’s light and fluffy.

3. Add the egg, molasses, and fresh ginger and continue to beat on low speed.

4. Still on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture. Beat until mixed.

5. Scrape down the bowl, press the dough into a rough ball. Then wrap it tightly with plastic wrap. Put in the fridge for one hour, or as long as over night.

Directions for Cookie Assembly

1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Flour your work surface and rolling pin.

3. Roll out a portion of the sugar cookie dough, and a portion of the gingerbread dough, until each is about 1/4 inch thick.

4. Using your largest cookie cutter, cut out a circle from one dough. (In the picture, gingerbread)

photo 1

5. Using your second largest cookie cutter, cut out a circle from the second dough. Using the same cutter, cut out a hole from your first circle. Fit the second circle inside the first circle. (So here, put the sugar cookie circle, inside the hollowed out gingerbread circle)

6. Continue cutting out concentric circles. I used a straw for the smallest whole.

7. Bake on a parchment paper lined baking sheet for 12-15 minutes. You want the cookies to be a little bit browner.

photo 5

8. Serve and impress everyone who takes a bite!

photo (18)

3 spoonMessy Level- This is definitely worthy of three spoons. You have to make two doughs, and so you use a lot of bowls and measuring spoons. Also, you have to use many cookie cutters and cookie sheets. It takes a lot of detail work and flour (as usual) gets everywhere.

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