Sunday, July 4, 2010

Watermelon Cookies

(You have to scroll to the bottom of this page to see the final product -- sometimes you have to save the best for last).

I told Nathanael I wanted to make watermelon cookies for our 4th of July bash today, and he looked at me in surprise. As if he thought I was contemplating making something really disgusting. No, not cookies made of watermelon, I assured him. Cookies that look like watermelon. 

And then he gave me the knowing look that says  "oh, she's about to put way too much effort into baking something simple like cookies again." 

Well, that may be true. But it's always worth it, I promise!

I remember making these cookies with Mom when I was a kid, so while a little time-consuming, they are a great family project. The cookies are just your basic butter cookies:

With a few extra-special ingredients:

Watermelon Cookies

2/3 cup butter
1 1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
3 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla

1. Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla, mix well.
2. Combine flower, salt, and baking powder. Add to creamed mixture until well mixed.
3. Form dough into a ball and cut into thirds. Leave the smallest portion white (yes, I'm assuming you all, like me, can't make equally-sized balls of dough ;)). Color the other two green and red. To do this, I flatten the ball of dough, and squeeze a few drops of food coloring on it. Let the coloring soak in a little, then knead with your hands to distribute the color. I usually do 3 drops at a time until I get the dough to my desired color.

See, watermelon colors!

but wait, there's more!

4. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and freeze for 15 minutes, until firm enough to handle.
5. On a lightly floured surface, roll the red dough into a log about 1 inch in diameter.
6. Roll the white dough into a rectangle as long as your red dough, and wide enough to wrap around it once. Don't worry if the ends aren't even -- you need imperfect cookies for taste testing!  Gently roll the white dough around the red log, rolling with your hands several times to ensure there are no pockets of air between the layers.
7. Roll the green dough into a rectangle in and roll around the red & white log in the same manner.

8. Wrap the log in plastic wrap and chill until very firm (freeze for 1 hr, or fridge for 2-3).
9. Preheat oven to 350 degrees a few minutes before you are ready to bake.
10. Cut the log into 1/4 inch slices, rotating the log every few cuts to ensure it stays round.
11. Cut each slice in half and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Hey that looks like watermelon now!

And the final touch....

12. Push mini chocolate chips, pointed side down, into the red dough on each cookie, to resemble watermelon seeds

13.  Bake for 12-13 minutes, until firm. Remove from cookie sheet right away and cool on a wire rack.

14. Take to potluck and impress all your friends: