Cookies for International Speak like a Pirate Day

On Monday 19th September, my day off, I wanted to try out a new chocolate cookie recipe from The Biscuiteers. I also had a set of pirate cookie cutters that I had been wanting to use for ages. And it turned out to be international speak like a pirate day. So everything came together very nicely, and I stayed up until 1 am to ice them nicely as well. That was maybe not so well planned, but it was pretty much worth it.

The recipe was pretty easy to make, and the fact the dough does not need refrigerated before you use it is an added bonus. Sift the cocoa and the flour together, and rub in the butter. Then spend ages getting the bits of mixture off your hands. The egg goes in a well in the entre before being mixed in, and then you have your dough.

For rolling out, I used a silicone mat on the bottom, and baking paper on the top – it means you keep the recipe as is, rather than using flour on the surface which then gets added in to the dough, which can dry out your biscuits.

With cookies, they can sometimes spread and loose their shape. There are many different tips and tricks to help them keep their shape, but I actually did not use any of them this time. And they kept their shape exactly, so while it is related to technique and the temperature of ingredients, it is also the sign of a good reliable recipe.

After cooling down on a wire rack, it is time for the icing. I cheated and used a royal icing mix, and for something like this it works really well. I didn’t really follow a decoration idea from the book, although they do have a pirate theme in there, I followed the decoration idea on the cookie box.

The first step in decorating the cookies is to outline them with a slightly thick royal icing.For the hat, I also used some white to make a stripe, before doing the outline in brown.

Then you can thin the icing down (I just used a little water) to fill in the sections. And for the hat, I used a little black icing to make a buckle.

For the skeleton, I had outlined and filled in white. Then I decided as well as the black facial features, I wanted a black outline to make the details to stand out more.

I did a boat as well, once the sails and main part of the boat were done, I used the thicker line icing to add a mast.

These cookies were also easy to do because of the limited colours. I only have one piping tip, so every time I swapped colours, I had to wash it first. For getting the colours, I used cocoa to make the brown. Then I used what was left of the brown, and added some black. Starting with a colour like brown means you need to add less colouring, so it doesn’t affect the taste or texture too much.

Having so few colours keeps life simple, and I think that made it a lot more enjoyable for me. Really, I do not know if I have the patience for much more intricate cookies. But having done these I do feel quite inspired to try something a bit more fancy. And of course, there is the more festive tale of what I did with the left over dough…

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