Do you know that someday, Legos will rule the world? Well, at least Lego-loving people will rule the world.
Believe it. Someday we'll all wake up and there will be a Lego fanatic in charge. He (or she) will make a law that we have to play Legos for at least an hour a day. He'll (or she'll) most likely make a national holiday too. It will be called "Lego Day" (creative huh?) and everyone will get a paid day off to play Legos. I can't predict for certain but this person will probably be around 12.
Lord help us.
As much as it pains me to admit, I'm ready for it. Heck, I've been ready for it for several years. Because if Legos have already taken over part of my house - why not the world?
Exhibit A. Our playroom. I vacuum it maybe twice a year. If I'm lucky.
It's not as if I haven't seen it coming. In our house, love of Legos started when Matthew was 5 and has only gathered momentum and popularity over the last 7 years. I see no end to it. Especially when I'm in the store, having been dragged to the Lego aisle by the boys, and notice grownups frothing at the mouth over new Lego sets.
Yes, grown ups. Grown up males, to be exact. It appears you don't grow out of loving Legos. Which - if I'm going to be honest with myself - is not a bad thing!
So, two weeks ago when my sweet, eldest, Lego-loving son turned 12, what better choice to celebrate than with Lego cookies? It was a no-brainer, baby. Here's how we did it!
I started out with some cookie dough.
I am nothing if not a master at stating the obvious. (My heartfelt thanks to Bridget at Bake@350 for a fabulous cookie recipe! Her cookies are art. Plus they taste good. You should go check her out.)
Here's the recipe:
3 c. unbleached, all-purpose flour
2 t. baking powder
1 c. sugar
2 sticks salted butter, cold
3/4 t. vanilla extract
1/2 t. almond extract
Combine the flour and baking powder and set aside. Cream the sugar and cold butter, occasionally scraping the mixing bowl. Add the egg and extracts and mix. Gradually add the flour mixture and beat just until combined, scraping down the bowl, especially the bottom.
The dough will be crumbly, so knead it together with your hands as you scoop it out of the bowl for rolling.
Roll the dough out onto a floured surface to about 1/4 inch thick.
I cut an index card into a 2" x 4" shape to make a Lego brick template. Then I laid a stick - formerly a pastry cloth holder - on the dough and used it as a straight edge. I used my pizza cutter to cut the long, straight lines.
Then I evened out the edges of the dough . . . .
. . . and, using the template again, cut the shapes.
About 30 seconds into it I thought, "Gee, a cookie cutter would be GREAT about now."
Did you know rectangular cookie cutters are not for sale? Anywhere?
Just an FYI.
See how thick the cookies are? This dough is FANTASTIC for keeping it's shape. They spread a bit but I think I was supposed to use parchment paper and I didn't. Because I'm a rebel. And also because I didn't have any.
Freeze the cut out shapes for 5 minutes then bake 10 -12 minutes at 350F.
Because mine spread a bit, I cut the edges while the cookies were still warm. It gave them a nice clean Lego brick edge.
I'm all about accuracy when I make Lego cookies, you know.
Then came the fun part - decorating the cookies. Of which I took no play-by-play pictures. You already knew I wasn't a real food blogger so there shouldn't be any surprises there.
For the first time in my life, I did the whole - outlining and flooding technique using royal icing. I've been intrigued by this kind of frosting for a long time but I gotta tell you - it's intimidating. Mostly because the cookies come out looking so professional and perfect. And I'm more of a let's-eat-the-cookies kind of gal instead of a let's-admire-the-cookies kind of gal.
However, this was really fun AND easy AND the frosting tasted good and didn't crack our teeth. Bonus! Intact teeth! I got the frosting recipe from Amanda on Tasty Kitchen. Amanda also has a blog about baking and she makes the most beautiful cakes and cookies - again, ART. Check her out, people.
Anyway, back to the Lego cookies - I had a helper . . .
This helper was in charge of the M&M's. Although it looks like she's eating them . . . . HEY WAIT A MINUTE . . .
Helper-girl was supposed to be dividing out the red and yellow M&M's. We settled on red and yellow cookies and needed the matching color, you know.
FACT: did you know the round, raised dots on Lego bricks are called studs?
This is the only stud I'm familiar with but if Lego wants to appropriate the word, so be it.
(Hey I'm married to him!)
Back to the cookies.
Here's the frosting recipe:
2 c. powdered sugar
2 T. milk
2 T. light corn syrup
When you mix it up, go easy on the milk - just a drop at a time until you get the consistency you want. When I outlined the cookies, as you can see up there in red, I wanted the frosting to be really thick. Once they were all outlined, I diluted the rest of the frosting to make it almost pourable. It needs to be thin enough that it can "flood" the area inside the outline, but thick enough to cover the cookie.
This frosting was enough for 13 Lego brick cookies.
When you flood the cookie, little air pockets will rise to the surface. Katie was standing by with a toothpick to pop them.
Then she put on the Lego studs. We started out putting them on the frosting right away, but the M&M's sank in the wet frosting. It looks better if you let the frosting set up before you put the studs on.
I suppose you could even let the frosting dry completely, then use more frosting to "glue" on the studs. Being the highly trained cookie expert that I am, I elected to go for the former because a) I needed to finish this project and b) I knew the 5th-graders eating them could care less if their Lego cookie studs were slightly sunken into the frosting.
It's my reality, man.
I let the cookies dry on the counter overnight, then sent them to school the next day.
Lego brick cookies.
Someday they'll be a required part of every citizens diet.
And I'll be ready.