Do you ever get stuck on something? An idea or plan or food that you MUST HAVE or MUST DO RIGHTNOWRIGHTNOWRIGHTNOW?
That happened to me this week. My friend D. send me an email that linked to this. Go ahead, click, I’ll wait. For those of you who didn’t click, it’s bread that has been made to look like a panda. See?:
So D. wanted to know when I was going to make it for her. I wrote a quick email back listing all I had to do but promising that someday I’d do it. And then I started to obsess. I couldn’t stop thinking about how I’d make a panda bread. I decided that I didn’t want to use bread. Maybe cake? But how would that work? So not cake. Maybe cookie dough? Yes, cookie dough would totally work. How could I make that happen?
See what I mean? So despite all the work piled on my desk, despite the sick little baby I’ve been dealing with all week and despite needing to make dinner, I made panda cookies. Not bad for a first attempt but clearly, I need a more white cookie and need to put the ears/eyes further apart. Nonetheless, my obsession was satisfied. Perhaps when I have some free time again (HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!), I’ll make a second attempt. I may also try it with cake because I do think it’s possible. Anyway, in case you are now obsessed as I was, here’s how I did it.
(Based on a cookie recipe from Cook’s Illustrated)
3/4 cup white sugar
2 Tb vanilla
1 3/4 c. flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
12 Tb butter- cold and sliced into pieces
1/4 cup cocoa
In a food processor combine the sugar and vanilla until the sugar looks sort of sandy. Add the flour, baking powder and salt. Pulse a few times to mix. Sprinkle the butter pieces all around and processes again until it’s sort of pebbly You don’t want the butter to be totally mixed in but in very small pieces. Kind of like making scones. Or biscuits. Add the egg and pulse until it forms a ball. Divide the dough into three pieces. Place one piece back in the food processor and add the cocoa. Pulse until it comes together.
You’ll have three different balls of cookie dough, one chocolate, one vanilla and one that needs to be pale green. I used a little bit of green food coloring and some peppermint extract (because to me, green means mint!).
You won’t need as much chocolate dough as you will vanilla and green.
One you’ve got your three doughs, go back and read how the bread was put together. Go ahead. I’ll talk you through it here but you’ll want to see the pictures on that blog. So click here and check it out.
Basically, you’re going to be making one sort of log of cookie dough that you’ll then slice. Start with the vanilla dough. Roll out a chunk of it and then roll two strips of chocolate, placing them on the top left and right of the vanilla piece. Put another strip of vanilla in between the chocolate.
Sort of wrap more vanilla dough around this. Then add two more stripes of chocolate in the same general place.
Roll out the green dough and put a strip in between the chocolate. Then wrap the whole thing in green dough.These photos are all from the bread blog. This is what my cookie dough looked like at the end:
Wrap the whole thing in parchment paper and put it in the refrigerator for about 30-40 minutes. Then slice and bake at 350 for 10- 13 minutes.
As an aside, my kitchen is in shambles. We’re in the midst of adding shelves, making even more counter space and getting a new stove top and ovens. Not sure how I’m going to cook around this but I shall prevail. Stay tuned…