Blog Political Pinatas
For this election year we adapted a recipe from sheknows.com. Instead of multicolored burros we made red white & blue donkeys and elephants. The original recipe calls for mini m&ms as a surprise on the inside but you can use custom m&ms or little slips of paper with "vote for _____" written on them. This recipe is time consuming and only makes about 8 completed cookies, so a fundraiser or large election party may be the ideal place for these, unless you have time on your hands, or lots of eager helpers. This recipe can very easily be done over a couple of days in assembly line style.
1 cup sugar
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup butter
1 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
5 cups flour
1 tablespoon vanilla
Mini M&M candies
1/2 cup powdered sugar (frosting)
2 teaspoons milk (frosting)
1. Cream sugars with butter. Beat in eggs. Add oil. Combine dry ingredients together, and then gradually add them to the mixture. Mix in vanilla and almond extract.
2. Split dough into three even-sized balls, add food coloring to each of the dough balls until desired color is achieved. Gel food coloring gives you more intense colors than liquid.
3. Use a container the same approximate width of your donkey and elephant cookie cutter, and line it with plastic food wrap. Then add dough in desired pattern. We added very small balls at a time (teaspoon size) to create a splatter effect
4. Cover the layered dough and freeze for four hours or overnight.
5. Remove the dough from the container and unwrap from the plastic. Cut slices, approximately 1/4-inch wide. Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake them at 350 degrees for 12 minutes.
6. Immediately after you take them out of the oven, use your burro piñata cookie cutter to cut the cookie shapes. Working in sets of three, be sure to cut two piñata cookies in one direction and one piñata cookie in the opposite direction. (Just flip your cookie cutter over.) That way, when you go to assemble them, the finished cookie will look "pretty" on both sides — because the baked, bottom sides will be hidden.
7. For the middle cookies in each set, cut off the ears and legs, and cut out the center where the M&Ms will go. I used a small square cutter, and made three cuts to get a narrow rectangle. Try to work quickly, because as the cookies cool, they are more likely to crumble or break. Let them cool on the baking sheet before you move them and remove the excess, outer cookie.
8. To assemble, take the first piñata cookie and lay it upside down so that the baked bottom is facing up. Outline the center of the piñata body with a "frosting glue" mixture of milk and powdered sugar. (I used 1/2 cup of powdered sugar and two teaspoons of milk. If you put it inside a Ziploc bag and cut off a tiny tip of the bag's corner, you can pipe it onto the cookie easily.)
9. Put the middle cookie on top of the frosting glue and add the M&Ms to the open center. Put another outline of frosting glue on the middle cookie and place the opposite-cut piñata cookie on top (so that the pretty side is facing out). Let these sit and harden for at least 30 minutes before you stand them upright.