It’s Sister Bear’s friend’s birthday today —let’s call her Panda Bear—and my daughter requested that we make her some panda cookies!
I thought this was an awesome idea because: A) she loves pandas and she’s such a sweet girl, B) I think we have a cookie cutter that would work perfectly for making the bear and C) what a great excuse to work with cookie dough (and have a little bit of nibble for the chef :p).
For the cookie I decided to use the same recipe I used for the Snickerdoodle Brownie, except that I added 1/4 cup of butter and 1/4 cup of sugar to make it a bit more moist. Ok… I admit, these are the leftover dough from the last project which I had frozen since I didn’t use much for the brownie. But while I was kneading it, it was very crumbly and not easy to work with especially when I needed it to be rolled out and cut into shapes. After the addition of the creamed butter and sugar, it was the perfect consistency 🙂
I used my Mickey Mouse cookie cutter to get the shape of the bear’s head but as my daughter pointed out, it doesn’t quite match a panda bear’s head so we reshaped it a little bit by pushing down the ears closer to the head so that it wasn’t so circular. Lastly, we used a rounded tip to create a dip on where the ears would be.
Then off to the oven they go which was preheated at 325F. Since we were making panda bears, I wanted to make sure that the cookies stay light in color and not brown too much as they bake.
While the cookies were baking, I placed about 1 c of semi-sweet chocolate in a piping bag and 1 tbsp of shortening. I microwaved the bag for 30 seconds and as it softens I “massaged” the shortening into the chocolate so that it is mixed in completely. You may warm up the bag again in 10 seconds interval until you get the desired consistency. Be patient (there’s that word again, it keeps popping up every time I’m in the kitchen)…do not rush the process of melting the chocolate because you can actually end up burning it.
Once your remove the cookies from the oven, allow to cool.
Once it has cooled long enough, you can start to pipe the chocolate to form the ears, the eyes (I used white chocolate to dot the eyes) and the snout.
What I would’ve done differently? Hmm, I think that it would look much better if I had used a layer of white chocolate on top of the whole cookie before adding the darker accents to make it really stand out like a panda bear…as it is, it kinda looks like a racoon! Hahaha
But the most important thing was that Panda Bear liked it, which equals Sister Bear being happy which ultimately equals Mama Bear being Happy 🙂
Anyway, til next adventure… Would love to hear back from you guys…Happy Birthday (Part 3) is in the works.