Puzzle Cookies

Desserts and Snacks Recipes

Timetable: 30 minutes/Group size: small-medium Yields: 10 cookies Toolbox:
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 8 Tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 3/4 tsp. coarse salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup unsulfured molasses or honey
  • Medium size bowl
  • Electric mixer
  • Spatula
  • Plastic wrap
  • Puzzle-shaped cookie cutters or paring knife or pizza cutter
  • Parchment paper
  • Baking sheet
  • Pastry bag with round tip or plastic sandwich bag
  • Food coloring
  • 1 pound confectioners' sugar
  • 5 Tbsp. meringue powder
  • Scant 1/2 cup water
How to:
  1. Mix together flour, baking soda, and baking powder in a medium bowl.  Set aside.
  2. Mix butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes; mix in spices and salt. Mix in egg and molasses, occasionally scraping down sides of bowl. Add flour mixture; mix on low speed until combined. Divide dough in half; pat into two disks. Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate 1 hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to about 1/8-1/4 inch thick.
  4. If using puzzle-shaped cookie cutters, cut out as many as you desire.  If you do not have the cookie cutters, cut rolled dough into six rectangles. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet; refrigerate until firm, 20 to 30 minutes. Bake until cookies are set and edges are just starting to brown, 10 to 12 minutes. While cookies are hot, use a pizza cutter or paring knife to cut out desired puzzle shapes. Carefully lift edges of parchment to keep puzzle pieces together; transfer to a wire rack. Let cool completely.
  5. For icing: Beat ingredients in a mixer bowl on low speed until smooth, about 7 minutes. If icing is too thick, add more water; if too thin, beat 2 to 3 minutes more.* Tint desired color with food coloring.
  6. Fit a pastry bag with a 5/16-inch plain round tip; fill with 1/2 cup royal icing. Tie end with a rubber band.
  7. Outline each puzzle piece with tinted icing; fill outlined area with more icing, smoothing with an offset spatula to make a thin layer.
*Don't add all the water at first; test on parchment with the stencil to determine the best consistency.

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