Depending on where you are and what you choose to celebrate, tomorrow is either: Carnevale, Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) or Pancake Day (Shrove Tuesday). Whatever you call it, it is the day before Lent begins and is always associated with a lot of food, wine, music and merriment.
As it turns out, I had way too many choices for what to post for this ‘holiday’; so many that I actually intimidated myself. I could have made King Cake, a recipe I’ve had and not used for over a year now. I could have made breakfast or dinner pancakes, of which I have many, many, many recipes. I could have made Frappe (Crostelli), a deep-fried pastry treat that is just pure goodness.
But none of those would do because they didn’t involve the use of a cookie cutter. You see, I just got a new cookie cutter. A Carnevale mask cookie cutter.
I may or may not have a slight mask obsession…
So I decided the food wasn’t important this time. I wanted to be part of the merriment of this day, and well, everyone loves cookies!
If you happen to be in Carnevale or Mardi Gras – I hate you, I’m jealous and you are expected to report in and tell me all about it, and in return, you can have a funfetti cookie.
Recipe very slightly adapted from Nigella Lawson, which can be found on the Food Network website.
- 85g unsalted butter (softened)
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup multicoloured hundreds and thousand sprinkles
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and moving towards moussiness, then beat in the egg and vanilla.
- In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and hundreds and thousand sprinkles.
- Add the dry ingredients to the butter and eggs, and mix gently but surely. If you think the finished mixture is too sticky to be rolled out, add more flour, but do so sparingly as too much will make the dough tough.
- Turn out the dough and form it into a fat disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
- Sprinkle a suitable surface with flour, place the disk of dough on it, and sprinkle a little more flour on top of that. Then roll it out to a thickness of about ¼-inch. Cut into shapes with a cookie cutter, dipping the cutter into flour as you go, and place the cookies a little apart on 2 baking paper-lined baking sheets.
- Bake for 8 to 12 minutes; obviously it depends on the shape you’re using and whether they are on the upper or lower shelf, though you can swap them around after about 5 minutes. When they’re ready expect them to be tinged a pronounced gold around the edges; they’ll be softish still in the middle, but set while they cool.
- Remove the cookies immediately with a flat, preferably flexible, spatula and place on a wire rack to cool.