Sunday, March 13, 2011

Science Cookie Send Off

My science teacher buddy at my school had a baby recently and I had the pleasure of working with Erin, her maternity leave sub, who was a fantastic teacher and fellow science geek.  Recently, Erin had her last day with us and I knew it was the perfect opportunity to create a cookie I've been dying to craft...Atom Cookies!  They are a basic chocolate cut out cookie with a bit more cinnamon added as the reviews said the cookie was a bit bland.  Maybe I'll add a little clove or chili powder next time.  I used royal icing to create the well known Rutherford atom model and Wilton pearlized sugar sprinkles for electrons.  They have a nice crunch and don't hurt your teeth like those little silver ball sprinkles are known to do.

Hydrogen, Helium, and Lithium
Atomic Chocolate Cut Outs (adapted from Martha Stewart's Chocolate Cut Out Recipe)
Makes about 2 1/2 dozen

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1. Sift flour, cocoa powder, salt and cinnamon into a bowl.
  2. Place butter and confectioners' sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in egg and vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Gradually mix in flour mixture. Turn dough out onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Form dough into a disk on the paper and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour and up to overnight.
  3. Lift baking mat from baking sheet. Roll out dough between baking mat and plastic wrap to 1/4 inch thick. Remove plastic wrap. Cut out cookies with a 2 1/2 inch flower shaped cookie cutter. Transfer baking mat to a baking sheet. Transfer baking sheet to freezer, freeze until very firm, about 15 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove baking sheet from freezer and trim scraps. Reroll scraps between a nonstick baking mat and plastic wrap and repeat process.
  5. Bake cookies until crisp, about 8-10 minutes. Let cool completely on sheets on wire racks.
  6. Once cooled use royal icing to create 3 orbitals (oval shapes) and add pearl sugar electrons. Cookies can be stored between layers of parchment in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week.