Week 35 - Alien Cutout Cookies

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Typically, I make cutout cookies on holidays, but when we were recently invited to a UFO-themed party, I decided that it was the perfect time to break out my cookie cutters and make some alien cookies. I chose the recipe for cutout cookies in the 1982 cookbook "The New England Butt'ry Shelf Cookbook: Recipes for Very Special Occasions" by Mary Mason Campbell. What makes this book special are the beautiful illustrations by Tasha Tudor. Black and white illustrations decorate many of the pages and there are two sections of beautiful color illustrations. The recipes themselves are broken up into sections for different holidays and occasions throughout the year. Each section has a suggested menu and the recipes to create it. The cutout cookie recipe I chose to make came from the Christmas section.

 
 "The New England Butt'ry Shelf Cookbook: Recipes for Very Special Occasions" by Mary Mason Campbell

"The New England Butt'ry Shelf Cookbook: Recipes for Very Special Occasions" by Mary Mason Campbell

 Some of Tasha Tudor's lovely illustrations.

Some of Tasha Tudor's lovely illustrations.

 

I've made sugar cookies before but never this particular recipe.  It's fairly standard, but this called for almond extract in addition to vanilla flavoring, which is a bit different from other recipes I've used.

 Cutout cookie ingredients

Cutout cookie ingredients

I wanted to make alien and UFO-shaped cookies, but I didn't have cookie cutters in the correct shapes, so I had to get creative. For the alien head, I used upside-down egg shaped cutter. For one of the UFO shapes, I used a birthday cake shaped which I turned upside-down and then trimmed down further, to create the light beam.  For the other shape, I just cut a pointed oval shape, using a knife.

 
 The egg shaped cookie cutter used for alien heads

The egg shaped cookie cutter used for alien heads

 The birthday cake cookie cutter used or one of the UFO shapes.

The birthday cake cookie cutter used or one of the UFO shapes.

 

To decorate cookies, I normally used all icing but to save time, I decided to decorate with sugar and only a small amount of piped icing.  I didn't have the right shade of green sugar, so I added some food coloring to some light green sugar to make a shade more appropriate for an alien.  I decorated the UFOs using silver sugar and silver dragees.  I made black icing by tinting it with black gel food coloring.

 
 Alien-colored green sugar

Alien-colored green sugar

 Black icing.

Black icing.

 

After cutting the cookie shapes, I sprinkled them with the colored sugar and put them in the oven.  When they had cooled, I piped the  details, added eyes to the alien heads and outlines and alien abductees to the UFOs.  The icing was a bit thick, so I wasn't able to be a precise with my lines as I wanted, but they were still fun to decorate.

 Decorated cookies, ready for the oven.

Decorated cookies, ready for the oven.

 Baked and decorate alien and UFO cookies.

Baked and decorate alien and UFO cookies.

 More baked and decorate alien and UFO cookies.

More baked and decorate alien and UFO cookies.

The cookies themselves were very good. They were crispy and sweet and the the almond extract added a nice flavor.  I already have a favorite sugar cookie recipe that I use, but I would not be opposed to making this one again.  

 A plate of cookies, ready for the party. 

A plate of cookies, ready for the party. 

Week 35 Roundup

Cookbook: "The New England Butt'ry Shelf Cookbook: Recipes for Very Special Occasions" by Mary Mason Campbell, published 1982

Recipe: Cutout Cookies

Difficulty: Easy

Alterations: None

Results: Very good. The almond extract added a nice flavor

Make Again: Yes