I usually use shortbread to make this pair of mice as I like to use natural colouring (charcoal and strawberry paste) and make the cookies relatively icing-free. Since the requester wanted it in sugar cookie form with iced features and mounted on sticks, I made it differently from my preferred style.
The recipe for sugar cookie is adapted from the rolled cutout butter cookie dough in "Crazy about cookies" by Krystina Castella that I bought recently. I couldn't resist buying this book because there are so many wonderful recipes and creative ideas in this book! I would have chosen my good ol' brown sugar cookie recipe that my recipients rave about but the reference picture I was given was of a regular sugar cookie base. Doing things differently this time meant that I get to challenge myself and learn something new :).
Ingredients (makes about 36 Mickey/Minnie cookiepops):
227g unsalted butter, softened
225g caster sugar
1 large egg yolk
1 large egg
1/2 + 1/8 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
438g plain flour
1. Cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. I was feeling really tired and for the first time, I used an electric mixer to do the creaming *gasp*. I usually get a good workout creaming by hand.
2. Gradually add in lightly beaten egg and egg yolk, mixing well with each addition. The mixture will separate if you add too much egg at once. Add in vanilla extract and mix until well combined.
3. Add sifted flour and salt in a few additions, mixing the flour in with a spatula until just combined.
4. Chill the dough in fridge for 30 minutes before dividing into 3 portions and rolling them to 1/4" thick between 2 baking sheets. It's easier to work with 3 smaller batches of dough than one large portion of dough.
5. Chill the rolled dough in fridge or freezer until firm. At least 30 minutes.
6. Prepare a Mickey head outline template on paper with the head the same size as a 5cm diameter round cookie cutter. The ears are cut from round cutter slightly smaller than 3cm. Place a small piece of baking sheet over template and cut out the Mickey shape as shown below. Carefully insert a wooden stick into the head. Place the whole assembly, including the baking sheet, onto a baking tray. Remember to lightly press the dough at the boundary of the ears and head such that the dough sticks together. I used a reusable freezer pack as my work surface to keep the dough chilled for a longer time. Dust with a bit of plain flour if the dough is sticky.
7. Preheat oven to 170°C. Chill the tray of cutouts in the freezer/fridge until firm (at least 15 minutes). Bake at 170°C for 13-15 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool on tray for 5-10minutes before transferring to cooling rack to cool.
8. Decorate with royal icing when completely cooled. It is advisable to let the cookies rest overnight before icing but I was in a hurry to finish so I started to do part of the icing on the same day that I baked the cookies. I used cocoa powder and charcoal to colour black, and strawberry paste with a bit of red and burgundy gel food colouring to colour red. The result is a fragrant cookie with Neapolitan flavour :). Vanilla cookie base and chocolate - strawberry icing.
Be sure to let the base icing dry completely before adding on the white dots and bows! I dried mine overnight before adding the bows and dots.
I secured the stick with some royal icing at the back of the cookie as I had difficulty inserting the sticks until the dough completely covers them. You may make two thin round cutouts for the head to sandwich the wooden stick like I used to do for my previous cookiepops but I was trying out this faster method of inserting the stick into the side of the dough cutout for this bake.
Individually wrapped with red ribbons was requested...
Looking sweet :).
It was a good learning experience for me :). Glad the cookies turned out well!