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Sugar Cookie Wands

makes 48-50 cookie wands
Author: Roseanne Carrara, The Lunchbox Season

Equipment

  • 50 (1/2 Package) Wooden Coffee Stirrer Sticks
  • 1-2 Rolls Clear Cellophane Wrapping Paper
  • 1 Roll Festive Curling Ribbon
  • 1 piece Colourful Cardstock or 2 Index Cards
  • Parchment Paper for Baking

Ingredients

Dough

  • 1 1/3 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4  cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4  cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbs milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 cups flour

Icing

  • 1 500g bag icing sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • food colouring

Instructions

BAKING

    Making the Dough

    • Have the kids cream the butter and sugars in a mixer.
    • Let them crack the eggs and add them one at a time.
    • Add the vanilla and milk and mix until smooth.
    • Add baking soda and salt.
    • Add flour 1/2 cup at a time until incorporated.
    • Refrigerate dough until needed.

    The Wand-Maker's Technique

    • Heat oven to 350 F.
    • Line two cookie sheets with parchment.
    • Have two more parchment liners ready for the remainder of the dough.
    • Have the kids form tim-bit sized balls of cookie dough with a teaspoon or with their hands.
    • Insert a coffee stirrer stick half-way into each ball.
    • Flatten the dough into a disc as the kids see fit: try pressing them flat between your hands, try pressing your hand onto the ball of dough on the baking tray, or try pressing it with a flat bottomed jar, a cup, or a rolling pin.
    • Have the kids align the pressed cookies onto parchment lined cookie sheets so that the sticks don't stray too far. They came up with the skull & crossbones pattern to the right. You can fit about 12 per sheet.
    • Bake for 9-11 minutes.
    • Leave on hot baking trays for 3-5 minutes.
    • With cookies still on parchment, cool completely on wire racks.

    DECORATING

      Making the Icing

      • Have the kids divide the sugar from the bag into 2 or 3 bowls.
      • Add 1/2 tsp vanilla to each bow.l
      • Add milk 1 tbs at a time to each bowl, stirring hard, until icing becomes of a thick  but drizzlable consistency.
      • Add food colouring 1 drop at a time to create the kids' choice of 2-3 colours.

      The Icing Spreader's Technique

      • This is messy. You might want to cover your table or workspace with a plastic cloth or an old cotton sheet.
      • Once cookies have cooled, rearrange each batch on their parchment paper sheets so that the cookies are in the center and the sticks jut out from the edge of each sheet.
      • Choose a "base" (usually your darkest) colour of icing. Using a tablespoon, have the kids drop or swirl icing onto each cookie, beginning in the centre.
      • Icing WILL run to the sides and off of the cookies.
      • Choose your second colour of icing. Using a teaspoon, drop or swirl icing onto each cookie, attempting to fill in the naked places on each cookie you missed the first time.
      • If you chose to make a third colour of icing, swirl, scatter, or dallop this on to your cookies now!
      • After letting the icing harden on the cookies for 10-15 minutes, remove cookies from the parchment sheets and place them on wire racks to continue to set without sticking to one another or to the gooey parchment sheet.  You might want to place the wire racks on top of the old parchment sheets or your tablecloth. The cookies WILL continue to drip. The kids will try to lick and taste the icing from the now-empty parchment sheets. Will you let them?
      • Be sure the icing is set completely before wrapping your cookies.

      Alternative Decoration Ideas

      • Instead of starting with cookie balls, roll out your cookie dough a little thicker than you normally would for cut-outs and use cookie-cutters to create special shapes for your wands. Carefully insert a stirrer stick in the midst of each cookie's thickness. Tricky...
      • Impress white or coloured sugar into the cookie before baking .
      • Add food colouring straight to your dough for a coloured cookie base.
      • Ice each cookie in a single colour for a monotone look. Or gradually darken the hue of the icing as you go along for a paint-deck style array.
      • Add coloured sugars, sprinkle or decors to a single or multicoloured cookie.
      • Make some icing a little thicker and, using a small-nosed squeegee bottle, draw faces or shapes on each cookie.
      • Use fruit juice instead of milk in your icing.

      WRAPPING

      • Cut 50, 12-in lengths of ribbon.
      • Slicing across the entire length of the roll of cellophane, cut 12-in wide strips.
      • Cut each 12-in strip into 4 equal sections (you should have long rectangles).
      • Place a section of cellophane on the flat surface in front of you such that the longer portion of the rectangle of cellophane is horizontal and the stubbier portion of the rectangle is vertical.
      • Place the cookie part of your wand in the center bottom of the rectangle of cellophane.
      • Fold the cellophane down over top of the cookie, forming a new rectangle whose vertical height is now half of its former size.
      • Fold the cellophane to the left side of the cookie at a 90 degree angle back behind the cookie, so that what was the right side of the top of the rectangle is now bent over and running parallel with the stick.
      • Do the same to the cellophane to the right side of the cookie.
      • Fold the right side in small increments at an angle towards the front of the cookie.
      • Do the same with the left side of the cookie.
      • Wrap the ribbon around the base of the cookie and tighten into a knot.
      • Tie a bow with the ribbon.
      • Curl the edges if you like.

      LABELLING

      • Finally, you can create a card listing the name and ingredients of the Cookie Wand by writing or printing on a piece of cardstock or an index card. We used the same technique to make this card as we did to create our  canning labels, scanning a photo into ipiccy.com, adding text to list our title and ingredients, and printing it out in black and white on cardstock. Then, the kids folded and taped the cardstock to make a stand-up card.  Finally, we penned in "Buy Me For: __" to leave space for the organizers to set a price. Alternatively, you could print the name and ingredients on a small set labels and attach each label like a "flag" to the stick.