At this year’s Artist’s Table at the American Adventure Pavilion, we tried the Artist Palette Jumbo Chocolate-Chip Cookie ($5.50). The cookie, however, was underwhelming, and we thought that the non-edible plastic paintbrush was uninspiring. So we tried to create our own Festival of the Arts-inspired cookie at home.
First and foremost, I do not recommend using chocolate chip cookie dough, as it makes decorating the palette difficult. Instead, I used gingerbread dough. A sugar cookie dough would also work well.
Artist’s Table is also the home of Beef Wellington: Mushroom Duxelle, Prosciutto, and Puff Pastry with Red Wine Demi-Glace and Fennel Cream ($8.25), as well as Pan-Seared Scallop with Chorizo, Roasted Red Pepper Coulis, and Parmesan Crisp ($7.00). Both dishes and the cookie are available as a snack for those on a Disney dining plan.
So without further adieu, here is how to create a Festival of the Arts-inspired cookie. Herewith, I give you the cutout pattern I used to create the cookies. I used simple cardboard from the back of a notepad.
For my cookies I used gingerbread dough. Making the dough from scratch is time-consuming, and acceptable results can be achieved with a readymade package. However, if you are brave, here is how to make gingerbread dough from scratch.
6 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
4 teaspoons ground ginger
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves or allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, firmly packed
2 large eggs
1 cup dark molasses
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon finely grated orange or lemon zest (optional)
Mix together flour, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and salt in a large bowl, and set aside. In another large bowl, beat butter and brown sugar with a mixer on medium speed. Add eggs, molasses, water, and, if desired, zest; beat until well blended.
Add half of the flour mixture to the butter mixture until blended and smooth; repeat with remaining flour mixture. Knead dough until firm and manageable. (Add more flour if the dough is sticky.)
Wrap dough in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 2 hours. Once you’re ready to make the cookies, take the dough out of the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature.
Preheat oven to 350º. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to about 1/4 inch thick. Using the cardboard artist palette pattern, cut out cookies and place on prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 11 to 15 minutes; let cool before icing.
SUGAR COOKIE DOUGH
3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon milk
Powdered sugar, for rolling out dough
Sift flour and baking powder into a large bowl; add salt. In another large bowl, using a mixer, beat softened butter and granulated sugar. Add egg and milk. With mixer on low speed, slowly add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating until dough is smooth. Divide dough in half, wrap in wax paper, and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 375º.
Sprinkle countertop and rolling pin with powdered sugar. Working with half of the dough at a time, proceed to roll out dough to 1/4 inch thick.
Cut into desired shapes, and place at least 1 inch apart on a greased baking sheet. Bake for about 9 minutes or until cookies are just about to turn brown around the edges. Remove cookies from oven and let cool on a wire rack before icing.
Note for all doughs: Place cookies on parchment paper treated with nonstick spray or use a silicone baking mat, which is what I did.
The paintbrush was made out of breadsticks and cutup fruit rollups. You can also consider using thin pretzel sticks and licorice.
4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
3 tablespoons meringue powder
9–10 tablespoons water, at room temperature
In a large bowl, using a mixer fitted with a whisk, beat all ingredients together on high speed for 2 minutes. (Start slowly, as the meringue powder will swirl into the air and onto your kitchen counter.)
The icing should drizzle down and smooth out within 10 seconds. If it’s too thick, add a little water. If it’s too thin, add a little powdered sugar.
Note: Icing completely dries in about 2 hours at room temperature, so you need to plan ahead. Separate the royal icing into 3-4 bowls, depending on how many colors you want to use.
Important: When you’re not working directly with the royal icing, place a damp paper towel over the bowl to prevent the icing from hardening.
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