Pinterest Party! Part one: Piñata Cookies

So, Pinterest. We’re all obsessed with it (well most of us anyway) and if you’re like me you’ve saved a bunch of pins of recipes or crafts that you imagine yourself making but never do.  Well, I’m glad to announce that Hilary and I actually did it, we put a couple of those saved pins to use. Thank you, thank you, there’s really no need for applause, but continue if you must.

First up: Piñata Cookies! These were pretty fun and easy to make. My friend Chantal (Hiiiiiii!) and I made them for our friend’s birthday (Hiiii Jenny!). They’re basically a sugar cookie sandwich with a little surprise in the middle (SURPRISE! MINI M&Ms! GET IT?! LIKE A PIÑATA!). The original process in making these cookies (can be viewed here) was to layer different colors of dough in a bread pan, freeze, slice and bake, so your cookies would end up striped. It’s really cute, but was too much for my brain to handle, so I just went the easy way and made solid colored cookies. Because these are a tri-layered cookie, I would recommend making thinner cookies for the ends and slightly thicker ones for the middle.  

After rolling out the dough, we cut into pieces that would fit our cookie cutters. NOTE: try to get as close to the shape of your cookie cutter as possible, so as to not waste so much dough. That is one regret I have, though we did give Jenny a gallon bag of cookie scraps…..

We cut the cookies immediately after baking and calculated how many of each shape we needed, but when you forget to grease the pan, cookies stick and break and then you’re SOL.

We cut a little square out of the middle cookies for the mini M&M surprise.

These were ‘glued’ together with just a thick icing (powdered sugar and a little water). Cute! And a fun experiment!

Piñata Cookies Recipe 

  • After dividing dough into 4 balls (recipe below), add desired colors (I used just food coloring) and kneed dough until color is distributed evenly. Wrap dough balls in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour. 

Fast Forward One Hour Later

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease or line cookie sheet with parchment paper. 
  • Dust a clean surface and rolling pin with powdered sugar. Roll dough out to about a 1/4 inch or even a little thinner. 
  • Using your chosen cookie cutter and cut closely around the cookie cutter (we’re not cutting shapes yet, just squares that are about the size of your cookie cutter) to reduce the amount of scraps.  These cookies are cut after baking in order to ensure they’ll be the same size and shape so after assembling they will look perrrrrrfect. Remember, you’ll be using three cookies to make one of these piñatas, so you may have to do some calculation to end up with the right amount. If not, just eat the leftovers, no one will ever know. 
  • Bake for about 10 to 12 minutes. Let the cookies cool for only a minute. Cut out shapes with cutters. Using a knife cut a square or rectangle out of some of the cookies you want to be sandwiched in between two others.  Transfer all cookies to a cooling rack.  Hopefully you remembered to grease your cookie sheet (unlike us) and end up with all your cookies in tact. 
  • After cookie have been cooled, in a small bowl, mix about a half cup of powdered sugar with a teaspoon of water. The icing should be fairly thick, kind of like the consistency of Elmer’s glue. 
  • Begin the gluing! Using the icing (I spooned it into a ziplock bag, and cut a little whole in one of the corners, making it easier to apply to the cookies) drizzle a little on the bottom of the middle cookie, placing it on top of a second whole cookie. Add your mini M&Ms (Chantal just found her at her local grocery store…they usually come in a tube) or sprinkles into the cutout square and glue a third cookie on top, hiding the surprise in the middle cookie. 
  • Voila! Little edible piñatas! 

Sugar Cookies

  • 3 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) of unsalted butter, room temp. 
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Food coloring, gel or liquid
In a medium bowl, sift flour, salt, and baking soda, set aside.  In a large bowl (or the bowl of an electric stand mixer) beat butter and sugar til light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time til incorporated. Mix in vanilla. Add the flour mixture in batches, mixing slowly to incorporate. You may have to switch to a wooden spoon and hand mix as the dough gets pretty thick. Once all the flour is incorporated, divide the dough into four pieces. Kneed in desired colors to each piece, wrap and refrigerate dough til you need it. 

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