Cookie People

“We’re going to make cookies today!” squealed J, my favourite 5 (almost 6) year old as he ran through the house on Sunday excited about the prospect of getting his hands messy with cookie dough and chocolate!

We made shortbread cookies and decorated them with melted chocolate and cut them into various shapes such as hearts, stars, bells, bears, people we even had a car and aeroplane! All for a school project for J – wooooo J i hope you win i mean do really well and that you learnt lots about chocolate!

Shortbread cookies are extremely easy to make and likewise for the chocolate ‘icing’ 🙂 Here’s how:

Shortbread Cookies adapted from Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc at Home

Equipment Needed

Mixer with Paddle attachment
Rubber Spatula
Pastry Board
Plastic Wrap
Cookie Cutters
Rolling Pin
Your Hands!
Baking Sheet
Baking Paper


200g unsalted butter (at room temperature)
½ cup caster sugar with a little extra for sprinkling
1 tsp vanilla paste or pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour


1. Mix butter and sugar in a mixing bowl with the paddle attachment on low speed until it combines.

2. Increase to medium speed and beat for about 3 mins until light and creamy.

3. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix in the vanilla.

4. Turn down the speed of the mixer to low, mix in the flour to combine.

5. Increase the speed to medium and beat until the dough begins to cling to the paddle and no longer looks dry. Don’t wait for it to form a solid mass.

6. Bring the dough together with your hands, using the heel of your hand to press down.

7. Put the dough on a large piece of plastic wrap and pat it into a rectangle ½ – ¾ inch thick.

8. Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes. (Dough can be refrigerated for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 2 weeks: defrost frozen dough overnight in the refrigerator)

9. Roll out the dough between 2 pieces of baking paper to about ¼ inch thick. Remove the top sheet of baking paper and place on a baking sheet.

10. Preheat the oven to 180°C.

11. Cookie Cutting Options:

a) Square Cookies: use a knife to cut the dough into 2 inch squares. Once cut place on the baking paper -lined baking sheet. If cookies have gone soft place in the refrigerator for 15 minutes until firm and transfer to baking sheet.

b) SHAPES!!!! – with your cookie cutter shapes, press the cookie cutters through the dough. Remove the excess and ball up for re-rolling. Repeat cookie cutting until all the dough is used.

12. Sprinkle sugar over the cookies. Place the cookies in the oven on the 2nd or middle rack of the oven and bake for 12 minutes. For even baking, rotate the baking sheet halfway through baking and bake cookies until crisp and light golden brown.

13. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and allow the cookies to cool for 2-5 minutes. Cookies can be kept in an airtight container for up to 2 days.

14. Optional: Decorate with Chocolate Icing (recipe below) or other types of icing

Chocolate Icing

Equipment Needed
Small Pot of water
Non-metallic Bowl slightly bigger than the mouth of the small pot
Small Piping Bag
Bag Clip


about 100g of Valrhona Equatoriale Chocolate pieces (55% cocoa)


1. Bring water to the boil in the pot.

2. Place bowl on top of the pot.

3. Place chocolate in the bowl and melt.

4. Once melted remove the bowl from the pot and allow chocolate to cool.

5. Spoon melted chocolate into the piping bag and clip the top end with a bag clip to prevent chocolate from ‘regurgitating’ during piping.

6. Snip a small opening at the mouth of the piping bag for the chocolate to ooze through.

7. With your cookies ready, Pipe away! It’s now time to showcase your creative prowess! Make patterns, write letters, ‘dress’ people 🙂 possibilities are endless!

8. At any point of time if you need to take a break, place the piping bag upside down in a glass and let the chocolate rest.

9. Once you’re happy with all your chocolatey cookies, place them in the fridge to set the chocolate (making sure not to stack the cookies on top of each other or they will stick!)

Cheat Sheet: No time to pipe? Dip instead! With the melted chocolate in a bowl, dip the cookies top side down in the chocolate for a smooth glossy coat 🙂



5 thoughts on “Cookie People

  1. i shall indulge in reading about your baking feats for now. my last attempt ended in tart shells still soft even though i left them in the oven for a million hours. :p


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