Kin of the beetle,
you glow like a star,
one you can catch and let go.
– Blaise Moritz
When he was in grade school (I like to think of him in grade school!), my husband wrote a haiku that remains as thrilling, now, as it must have been, then. Since the kids are memorizing poetry [see my previous ketchup post], I thought I’d have them memorize their father’s “Firefly” haiku and learn a little more about the overall form. To do this, I made lunchbox cookies with sections of the haiku imprinted on top along with a special index card that will travel with them every day so that they could keep track of the progress of the poem and learn about the form. Thus, Haiku-kies were born!
There are many ways to make your lunchbox Haiku-kie Happy for the week. For this particular project, I used my own Haiku-kie! Recipe [below] and Williams Sonoma’s Message-in-a-Cookie Cutter Set. This set comes with a full set of type that you arrange along their cookie cutters and impress into the face of a sugar cookie. It’s a great set, and quite flexible in its application, especially if you’re a little on the bookish side. [See my gallery at the bottom of the page for a step-by-step guide.] Still, NEVER FEAR! If you DON’T HAVE specialized cutters, you can easily DO SOMETHING SIMILAR by using thick gel icing to write words on cookies, by filling fortune-style cookies with slips of paper, or by including slips of paper alongside of the cookies when you package them up each day.
Here’s a a printable pdf version of the index card I’ve included in the kids’ lunchboxes this week: The Lunchbox Season’s Haiku-kie! Printable Index Card.
But, do me a favour, people, FIND YOUR OWN HAIKU! For a start, try some of the examples on the bottom of this webpage on the work of poet and translator Robert Hass . Even better, have the kids write Haiku of their own [17 syllables split into lines of 5 (x2) and 7 syallables] and then have them BAKE and EAT their very own Haiku-kies!
makes 36-72 cookies, depending on size
(I used .75 of this recipe for the 30 haiku-kies I made)
1.3 c butter
1 c granulated sugar
.5 c brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
.5 tsp salt
2 tbs milk
2 tsp vanilla
4 cups all purpose flour
[Optional]: Gel or liquid food colouring
In a mixer or bowl, stir butter until soft.
Incorporate sugars into butter until light and fluffy.
Add eggs, milk and vanilla until combined.
Add powder and salt.
Add flour by the half-cup until fully combined.
Divide dough into quarters.
[Optional: Incorporate food colouring as you see fit]
Wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for 2-12 hours.
Heat oven to 375.
Roll dough out .25-.5 inch thick.
[I like to roll my dough between wax or parchment paper]
Cut and “press” cookies per the cutter-instructions or use your own cutters.
Bake 7-9 minutes.
Cool completely on wire racks.
Incorporate gel or drops of food colouring into sections of the dough before you refrigerate it.
Use small purchased tubes of coloured icing gel to decorate around the words.
Or, as I did, ice around the typed words with basic powdered sugar icing:
Mix 1-2 c icing sugar, 1/2 tsp vanilla, milk by the tbsp, and a few drops of food colouring.
Here’s the poem all set to “go to press”: