Pokéball cookies! I think it’s things like this that made me want to start baking in the first place…
Okay, backstory. I have this friend who is a genuinely kind man. He has two children who love Pokémon and I work in a video game shop, so I said that I’d try and get some Pokémon things to send them. Problem is that there’s no new Pokémon games out at the moment, which means no Pokémon goodies. I wanted to send something though, and Garry had the frankly brilliant idea of Pokéball cookies…
- 200g very soft butter
- 140g golden caster sugar
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 300g of plain flour
- Extra flour for rolling
- 300g royal icing sugar
- Cochineal food colouring
- 120g dark chocolate
- 50g white chocolate
To make the biscuits I used this recipe, because the biscuits were shaped and I didn’t want the biscuits to lose their shape when cooked.
So, pre-heat the oven to 180C. Put baking parchment on two baking trays — or, if you don’t have baking parchment, you can use foil.
Put the butter, the sugar, the egg yolk and the vanilla in a large bowl. I didn’t have one large egg, so I used two medium ones. I’ve never said about separating eggs before — I usually crack the egg and pass the yolk between the two halves of the shell over the bowl. This way the yolk stays in the shell but in the process of passing it back and forth most if not all of the white falls in the bowl.
Beat with a wooden spoon until the mixture is smooth and paler. Add in the flour (it didn’t say sift, but I sifted anyway) Stir it in until it makes a dough. Mine was kind of sticky — in hindsight, I should have added a little bit more flour.
Then split the dough in two and make two discs, before putting it in the fridge to chill for 10 minutes. Whilst it’s chilling, clear off a large work surface and dust it with flour.
The recipe says to roll the dough out until it’s about as thick as a £1 coin and use a cookie cutter to cut out as many cookies as you can. I don’t know how wide my cutter was…about this wide:
Rolled it out…
Oh, damnit. Try again.
There we go. Cut it out…
…and pick it up…
Yeah, that works.
The dough is really hard to work with. Flour everything. Flour the surface. Flour your hands. Flour the rolling pin. You will get flour everywhere. But you need to. Next time I make this I may use a different biscuit dough because rolling this out was a pain in the bum.
However I ended up with this:
Yay! I put them in the oven for 15 minutes. Check them after 10, however, because some of mine were a little bit…uh, burnt.
Leave them on a wire rack to cool. Then the fun can start…
Icing. I only had 160g icing sugar in the house. However it wasn’t comfortably enough. Considering I had to throw away a lot of my biscuits because they were burnt and how much I had to stretch the icing, I recommend using 300g royal icing sugar in total,150g per bowl.
Colour one using red food colouring. I used cochineal because my experience with my other red food colouring was terrible. It came out a raspberry pink in the bowl but dried red, so if this happens to you don’t worry. Drop in some water too; the icing needs to be quite thick. You don’t want it runny; it needs to be able to hold its shape.
When you’ve got evenly mixed red icing, take just over half a teaspoon and put it on one half of the cookie.
Then spread it out into a semi-circle over the cookie. The best way to get the icing neat is to wash your hands thoroughly and dip your finger into cup of cold water; this makes the icing much easier to work with.
This takes a while, but it probably took longer than it could have done for me because I had to contend with making limited amounts of icing spread over the cookie. They looked good when they were done, though.
Then just do the same on the bottom half with the white.
Almost done! Just need the detailing in the middle now.
I used melted dark chocolate. I melted 120g dark chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water, with a splash of vanilla essence because these cookies were for children and I didn’t know if they’d like the bitterness of dark chocolate. Then I used my Magic Piping Nozzle…
…to pipe in a straight line across the centre of the biscuit where the red and the white meet, with a circle in the middle.
…yeah, this takes practise. I got some of them totally wrong.
Finally, melt some white chocolate (about 50g; I did it in a microwave for 2 minutes rather than bother with a bain-marie) and pipe a tiny little white blob in each one. When they’re dry, you’re finished!
So, so, so so so so cool. I was squeaking with excitement when they were finished; they were almost exactly what I wanted. They’re supposed to look like this:
And mine looked like this:
I gotta get kudos for doing the pose, right?
These Pokéball cookies are awesome, and no-one will tell me otherwise.
Anyway. I packed them all up and sent them to my friend. However there was one that wouldn’t fit in the box so I got to eat it. As well as looking cool, these cookies taste YUM!
There’s a Flickr photoset of me making these cookies here, and if you want to make them please do. They are wonderful, I am really happy with them, and I already have a huge list of people who want me to make them for them.
And the children? They said they liked them, and sent me a really sweet picture of them holding the cookies in the Pokéball pose. I would post it here because it genuinely made me smile from ear to ear, but y’know, they’re not my kids.
If you want to make them for kids and send me a photo of them with the cookies, I’d be MORE than happy to receive it and/or post it :-)