This is a fun gift or activity for the child (or child-like person) in your life. An edible puzzle, to be decorated to your heart’s content and then eaten afterwards. Who says you can’t play with your food?
These are a lot of fun to make and after snapping the above photo, I let my son have at ‘er. He had a blast smearing the frosting and mixing all the colours together into an unappealing grey mass. It may not have looked very appetizing but he had so much fun and after scraping off an inch of frosting, it was still very edible. :)
You can make these as intricate or as simple as you like. It’s all left up to your imagination… or time.
The process is simple:
- Roll cookie dough into a rectangle (you’ll want it to be a little thicker then normal for stability). Lay desired cookie cutters on top of the rolled out dough to figure out placement. Press cookie cutters into the dough, then press walnut, pecan or almond halves into the dough to create handles. Remove cookie cutters and bake according to recipe instructions.
- Once baked, immediately re-cut the shapes with appropriate cookie cutters. Allow to cool completely before carefully removing them (it’s best to roll these out and bake them on the same piece of parchment paper so that you can pop the pieces out easier).
- Once removed, decorate all pieces with frosting (recipe below) and allow to dry before putting the puzzle back together, to avoid smudging. Package up in cellophane to give away or eat and enjoy. :)
The frosting I used is perfect for kids. It can be made thick enough to spread or watered down just a tad more so you can put it into resealable plastic bags and pipe it on. It also dries nice and hard so you don’t have to worry about any of the pieces smudging if you are wanting to gift it. But of course, you can use royal icing if you prefer.
- 5 cups icing sugar (confectioners sugar), sifted
- ⅓ cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 7 + tablespoons milk
- Mix together all ingredients until smooth, adding more milk as necessary to get desired consistency.
- If piping onto cookies check the consistency by doing the 10 second ribbon test. Drag a knife through the frosting and lift to make a ribbon. It should smooth out in 5-10 seconds. If the icing comes together before 5 seconds, add more sugar. If it comes together after 10 seconds, add more liquid. This will ensure that it is firm enough to pipe but still loose enough to flood the cookie.
Frosting adapted from Annie’s Eats.