I have an enormous amount of optimism about the creativity and potential of the human race. Just when we think that every idea has been thought, every invention must have been created, someone comes up with something so brilliant and simple that the rest of us all slap our foreheads and wonder why WE didn’t think of it! It’s so OBvious, right? This is a silly example of that but take, for instance, those cookies that are as big as cakes. When I was growing up, we had cakes and we had cookies. And then suddenly, there were cookies as big as cakes and they were being decorated for birthdays! Who had that idea first? I’ve done a little research and even Wikipedia doesn’t seem to have a clue. And those people make stuff up when they don't know. I'm certain of it. (In other news, I’m thinking I could write a Wikipedia article and take credit now.)
Anyway, to cut a long story short (I know – too late!) I’ve made a cookie cake for this month’s Creative Cookie Exchange Pink and Red challenge because I have a red silicon heart-shaped pan and there’s hardly anything prettier than a huge cookie Valentine. Plus, this falls right in the middle of Appetizer Week, which started with Cocktail Day and it's also my birthday week! So I couldn't do a regular sized cookie, it had to be something big and fun!
For the cookie:
2 cups or 250g flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups, firmly packed, or 300g light brown sugar
1/2 cup or 115g butter, at room temperature plus a little more for buttering your baking pan
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 12 oz or 340g bag M&Ms (I used the red, white and pink Valentines edition milk chocolate ones.)
For the icing, to write your message of LOVE:
1 cup or 125g powdered sugar
2 teaspoons butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
2-3 teaspoons milk
Paste food coloring (I used Wilton No-Taste Red.)
Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C and butter your baking pan really well.
In a small mixing bowl, combine your flour, baking powder and salt and mix well.
Cream your butter and sugar together until you have a nice smooth homogeneous mixture.
Add in the eggs and vanilla and beat again.
Now take a heaping 1/4 cup or about 55-60g of M&Ms and set them aside to decorate the top of the cookie before baking. Mix the rest of the package into the dough.
Spoon the dough into the prepared pan and spread it around evenly to all corners.
Decorate the top with the reserved M&Ms.
Bake in your preheated oven for about 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the middle.
Allow to cool for few minutes before inverting and removing from the pan. Turn pretty side up once more and allow to cool completely before adding any icing.
To make the icing, combine the sugar, butter, salt and vanilla together with two of the teaspoons of milk and mix thoroughly.
Depending on your powdered sugar you could need the last teaspoon of milk to get a writing consistency. Add it in, if necessary. Then add in some food coloring paste.
Mix the coloring in thoroughly. If you want to add more, always use a clean knife to dip into your color pot. Keep in mind that the icing will darken somewhat as it rests and even once it's on the cookie.
When the cookie cake is completely cooled, decorate it with the icing in a piping bag and a small round tip. Have fun with it! (You'll probably have icing left over for another project. It can be kept in the refrigerator or even frozen.)
Cut in small squares to serve.
If you are looking for inspiration for Valentines Day, I’ve got some great cookies for you today, all following the theme of Red and Pink:
- Big Be Mine Cookie from Food Lust People Love
- Glazed Doughnut Cookies from Karen's Kitchen Stories
- Iced Vovos from All That's Left Are The Crumbs
- Jam Sandwich Cookies from A Baker's House
- Pomegranate Cheesecake Cookies from It's Yummi!
- Strawberry Rhubarb Meringues from The Spiced Life
- Valentine Fairy Cookies from NinjaBaking.com
- Valentine Heart Cookies from Noshing With The Nolands
You can also just use the Creative Cookie Exchange as a great resource for cookie recipes - Be sure to check out our Facebook page, our Pinterest Board and our monthly posts. You will be able to find them the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month!
Big shout out to our host and organizer, Laura at The Spiced Life! The Creative Cookie Exchange is her baby.
If you are a food blogger who would like to join the Creative Cookie Exchange, send an email with your URL to Laura at thespicedlife AT gmail DOT com and she will get you added to our Facebook group, where we discuss our cookies and share links.