Here’s a crazy cool cookie idea that will bring out the “ooohs” and “aaahs” at your 4th of July bash!
Who hasn’t seen these adorable little Cinco de Mayo burros? A cookie with a surprise in the middle is a great idea for any holiday, so why not patriotically colored stars for 4th of July?
The method for Star Piñata Sugar Cookies is so easy, and even easier if you start with Pillsbury refrigerated Sugar Cookie dough (I used three 16.5 oz tubes).
Open one package of cookie dough, add a bit of red gel food coloring to the dough.
I found that it’s easiest to mix the coloring in with your hands, kneading it gently, like bread dough. Add the food coloring a little at a time, until the dough is a vibrant red color.
Next place the dough ball in a bowl, and add 1/4 cup flour and mix until combined. It seems a little backward, but I found the food coloring mixed smoother this way. Repeat with another tube of dough and the blue gel food coloring. For the last tube, just add the flour. (I added flour because the Pillsbury dough is so chewy and delicious – a slightly firmer dough is needed for these little guys.)
As I colored the dough a couple days ahead of time, color bleeding was a worry (there’s a fair amount of food coloring used!). So I just wrapped each color tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerated until I was ready to proceed.
Remove all three dough packages from the refrigerator. Split each into three equal parts. Layer in alternating fashion, placing into a plastic wrap lined loaf pan, and patting each layer out until the dough evenly fills the pan. Top with another layer, again patting until even. Repeat with remaining dough. Cover tightly and freeze for four hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove the dough from the pan and unwrap. Cut thin slices, approximately 1/4-inch wide. Place on a baking sheet lined with a Silpat or parchment paper. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 14 minutes.
Immediately after the cookies are removed from the oven, use a star cookie cutter to cut the cookie shapes.
You will need two side pieces, and one middle for each. Cut a round out of the center of 1/3 of the cookies. Try to work quickly, as the cookies set up very quickly and will be difficult to cut as they cool. Also, I used a tiny cookie cutter to make adorable little stars from the scraps. (Who wouldn’t want to nibble on these? And wouldn’t they be cute on an ice cream cone?) Once you’ve cut all the shapes, allow the cookies to cook on the baking sheet before moving.
To assemble, take the first star cookie and lay it upside down so that the baked bottom is facing up. Take the middle cookie (with the hole) and dot some frosting on the center of each point. I used leftover white cake frosting because I had it on hand, but you could also use a mixture of 1/2 cup of powdered sugar and two teaspoons of milk.
Place the middle cookie on top of the frosting glue and add about a teaspoon of mini M&Ms to the open center.
Put another outline of frosting glue on the middle cookie and place another star cookie on top (so the top side is facing out). Let the cookies harden for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Hope these cute little cookies add some delicious fireworks to your celebration!
Michelle Palm created the Jelly Shot Test Kitchen blog after discovering a lack of cocktail-style jelly shot recipes. Look for her posts here, and check her Tablespoon member profile often to see what she’s already gelled up!