I grew up with Disney cartoons. And I had a wonderful childhood growing up away from my parents under the care of my beloved granny (and only went home to them during the weekends). Things were much simpler back then without supplementary lessons that many children nowadays are expected to take up. So long as I finished my homework and took my naps, I was allowed to sit in front of the television set and wait patiently for the cartoons to commence.
Being somewhat an unruly and impish kid who loved to tear around the neighbourhood with my cousins, I would always prefer to be outdoors having fun rather than being cooped up in the house with granny. But come 6.30 pm, I would, like clockwork, proceed home to wash up and wait for my cartoons. Life was simple and I was an easily contented kid, like all kids of my time.
I don’t watch cartoons much any more. But my love for the Disney characters never dwindled, and where practicable, I would still be indulging in my childhood fantasies like regularly visiting Tokyo Disneyland and buying any merchandise associated with Pooh Bear and his gang.
About half a decade back, cookie cutters in the shape of the more famous Disney characters produced by a Japanese company took the Asian baking world by storm. The cookie cutters were so cute most couldn’t resist buying them to either bake cookies for their children, or to satisfy the inner child in them. Guess it was a no-brainer that I must lay my hands on these adorable cookie cutters.
They were not easy to locate, and impossible to find in Singapore (back then). My first two sets of these cookie cutters (Mickey-Minnie, and Pooh-Piglet) were found in a extremely-difficult-to-locate bakery supplies shop in Taipei. Subsequently I added more sets to my collection and every time I visited Tokyo, I would make it a point to check out Tokyu Hands in case they came up with other designs. At last count, I have 5 (or 6?) sets of cookie cutters. I’m a hoarder, I know.
Recipe: Simple Butter Cookies
- 180g cake flour
- 20g corn flour
- 100g butter, room temperature
- 80g caster sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- Sift together the flours in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, add the sugar to the butter in 3 additions. Beat till light and fluffy.
- Beat in egg until combined.
- Add in the dry ingredients in 3 additions. Stir with a spatula to form a soft dough.
- Double-wrap the dough in cling wrap, flatten with a rolling pin and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 150°C.
- Line a baking sheet with baking paper or silpat.
- Remove dough from refrigerator and roll it out on a slightly floured working surface.
- Cut out dough with slightly-floured cookie cutters.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes, one tray at a time.
- Cool on baking sheet for 1 minute, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
Yield: 25 cookies
I swear by this simple butter cookie recipe because it is so simple the dough could be prepared by anyone, even a child, under supervision. Another important reason for my love of this recipe is the step of chilling the dough prior to cutting it out. I have warm palms so most roll-and-cut cookie doughs are usually not very manageable for me to handle. Not for long anyway.
To maximise the output vs. effort, I usually double or triple the recipe whenever I bake these butter cookies. Instead of stirring by hand, my trusty KitchenAid will complete the deed on my behalf so there really is not much extra effort required on my part.
Of course, any other cookie cutter would work fine with this recipe. However, given my partiality towards Disney, I like coupling this recipe with my Disney cookie cutters. The partnership churns out the most adorable of cookies, don’t you think?