Birthday Cake Surprise Cookies

Birthday Cake Surprise CookiesThis week my son turned 21! I openly admit bias when I say I am awed by the bright, sensitive, talented young man he has become. Twenty-one is a big birthday in the United States. At 18 my son could legally sign a contract, vote, and be drafted. At 21 he can legally buy/drink alcohol, gamble, rent a car, and check into a hotel; truly a mother’s dream come true. I can only hope that my son’s intelligent and cautious nature will prevail, or at least temper the abandon, as he celebrates this milestone.

Birthday Cake Surprise CookiesBirthday Cake Surprise CookiesWe will celebrate my son’s birthday as a family the next time we are together. For now, I created Birthday-in-a-Box 2.0 care package to enthusiastically mark the occasion. Last year’s birthday care package included mylar helium balloons and birthday cake pops. This year the balloons were accompanied by Birthday Cake Surprise Cookies.

Birthday Cake Surprise CookiesThese cookie “cakes” are made from the same sugar cookie recipe I used for my Smiling Snowmen. The easy-to-work-with dough makes delicious, sturdy yet tender cookies that are great care package travelers. I was inspired to decorate cookies to look like cakes by Anita at Sweet Hope Cookies. She even made ice cream cone cake stands for her miniature confections! The piñata cookies from SheKnows.com are well known to any Pinterest addict. They must have been viewed (and recreated) gazillion times. Those little donkey shaped cookies with a surprise candy center are as close to a real piñata as anyone is ever going to bake! I combined the two genius ideas to create 21 (plus 1 for good luck) Birthday Cake Surprise Cookies. Birthday Cake Surprise Cookies

The sugar cookie dough, in your choice of vanilla or chocolate, is first rolled then cut into sets of 3 circles (mine were 2 ½ ” in diameter). Holes are made in the center of two of the circles. One small hole in the top circle can be made with a straw. I used a small medicine cup to make the hole (or hollow center) in the middle circle. The layers of the cookie cakes are glued together with a faux (corn syrup) royal icing and mini m&m’s are hidden in the hollow of the middle layer. Dripping frosting, sprinkles, and real candles finish off these birthday treats. Birthday Cake Surprise CookiesA note about the center holes: I recommend cutting out the two center holes AFTER the cookies are baked. I know it sounds crazy, but it works. When you try to cut out the holes before baking, the circle diameter expands when the cutter is inserted. You end up with different sized layers. Also, the doughnut shaped middle layer is difficult to move onto the cookie sheet. The centers of the cooked layers are still quite soft immediately out of the oven. Cutting the holes out is easy and does not change the diameter of the layer. Birthday Cake Surprise CookiesSugar cookies are always a good choice for care packages. The icing sets firmly, sealing in moisture. These Birthday Cake Surprise Cookies will stay delicious for 2-3 weeks if wrapped and stored in an airtight container.

Birthday Cake Surprise CookiesDirections for making Birthday Cake Surprise Cookies

Adapted from SweetHopeCookies.com  and  SheKnows.com

(Printable directions)

For 12 cookie cakes you will need:

1 batch sugar cookie dough

1 batch faux royal icing

¾ cup mini m&m candies

12 small birthday candles

Decorative sprinkles

  1. Prepare and roll out Sugar Cookie dough. Cut out 3 circles for each Birthday Cake Cookie.
  2. Bake cookies according to recipe. Press out a small candle hole in what will be the top cookie using the tip of a plastic straw. Cut out the center of what will be the middle cookie to create a doughnut shape. Cool completely before moving on to the next step.
  3. Prepare icing to the consistency of honey. Spoon icing into a plastic bags or icing bags. If using a plastic bag, cut off a tiny piece of the bottom corner. If using an icing bag, cut off a tiny piece of the tip.
  4. Place the cookies on a wire rack over waxed paper.
  5. To assemble the cookie sets into “cakes”, squirt a line of icing around the top edge of the solid bottom cookie. Place the middle doughnut shaped cookie on top, pressing gently. Icing should show between the cookies like on the layers of a cake. Allow this icing to set for at least half an hour.
  6. Pour a small amount of mini m&m’s into the hole of the middle cookie. The top of the m&m’s should be even with the top surface of the cookie so that the next layer will lie flat on top.
  7. Using a scissor or knife, trim small birthday candles to a height proportionate with the size of your cookie “cake”. Insert a candle into the hole on each top cookie.
  8. Squirt a line of icing around the top edge of the middle cookie. Place the top cookie (with the candle) over the icing and press gently. Allow icing to set for at least half an hour.
  9. Pipe icing onto the top of the cookie “cake” covering the surface and dripping down the sides. Apply sprinkles to the top of each cake immediately after icing.
  10. Allow the icing to set completely for at least 2 hours or overnight before wrapping, storing, or mailing. Stored in an airtight container at room temperature, Birthday Cake Surprise Cookies stay fresh for at least 2 weeks.

Packing tips: Place each “cake” into a small plastic or cellophane bag and seal closed. To mail, put wrapped “cakes” into a plastic food storage box in a single layer. Add wadded tissue paper or waxed paper between the cookies and the storage box lid to ensure the cookies can’t move at all within the storage box. Use additional packing material to secure the plastic storage boxes inside the mailing carton.

Birthday Cake Surprise Cookies Sugar Cookies

From LilaLoa.com

Makes enough dough for 12 cookie cakes 2”diameter

(Printable recipes)

 Ingredients:

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1 ½ cups granulated sugar

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

½ teaspoon salt

¾ teaspoon baking powder

4 (or 4 ½ cups) all purpose flour

 Directions:

  • Pre heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar just until combined.
  • Mix in eggs and vanilla. Then mix in baking powder and salt.
  • Gradually add flour, 1 cup at a time. If making the cookies right away, use 4 ½ cups of flour. If refrigerating dough for use in several hours or several days, use only 4 cups of flour.
  • Roll out on a lightly floured surface to slightly less than ½” thick ( about 3/8”)
  • Cut out circles in sets of 3. Transfer to prepared baking sheet and bake for 6-7 minutes.
  • Immediately after removing from oven, cut out a  large center hole from one cookie in each set ( for filling with candy) and a tiny center hole in one cookie from each set(to hold a candle). (I used a little medicine cup to make the large hole and a plastic drinking straw to make the tiny hole.)
  • Cool on baking sheet for 5-10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Chocolate Sugar Cookies

From LilaLoa.com

Makes enough dough for 12 cookie cakes 2” diameter

(Printable recipes)

Ingredients:

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1/4 cup shortening

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon salt3/4 teaspoon baking powder

2/3 cup cocoa

3 (or 3 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour

Directions:

  • Pre heat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar just until combined.
  • Mix in eggs and vanilla. Then mix in salt, baking powder and cocoa.
  • Gradually add flour, 1 cup at a time. If making the cookies right away, use 3 ½ cups of flour. If refrigerating dough for use in several hours or several days, use only 3 cups of flour.
  • Roll out on a lightly floured surface to slightly less than ½” thick ( about 3/8”)
  • Cut out circles in sets of 3.
  • Transfer to prepared baking sheet and bake for 6-7 minutes.
  • Immediately after removing from oven, cut out a  large center hole from one cookie in each set ( for filling with candy) and a tiny center hole in one cookie from each set(to hold a candle). (I used a little medicine cup to make the large hole and a plastic drinking straw to make the tiny hole.)
  • Cool on baking sheet for 5-10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Faux Royal Icing

From Bakingdom.com

(Printable recipes)

Ingredients:

4 cups confectioners sugar

3 tablespoons milk

3 tablespoons light corn syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla

For chocolate icing: 2 tablespoons baking cocoa

2-3 drops brown food coloring (optional)

Directions:

  • In a medium bowl, combine sugar, cocoa if using, and milk until smooth.
  • Add corn syrup and vanilla. Continue beating together until smooth and glossy. Add additional milk in tablespoon increments until desired consistency. (Icing consistency should be thin enough to spread easily but thick enough not to drip excessively off the cookies.)
  • Mix in food coloring, if using.
  • Spoon icing into piping bags or ziplock bags.
About these ads

34 thoughts on “Birthday Cake Surprise Cookies

  1. I love this for so many reasons, Wendy. 1. These cookies are genius and amazing and something anyone would feel so special to receive; 2. It’s your son’s 21st Birthday!! That is huge and “Happy Birthday” to your wonderful son! 3. I love the way you combined 2 amazing recipes to make this extra special. I could go on…I love the surprise inside and the tips about cutting the cookies after baking…it’s all just wonderful! What a great thing to do for your son. I just know he appreciates you (and he should!).

    • Thank you so much, Monica, for your good wishes and kind words!! This is a special number for my son but every birthday of my “kids” is special to me. I can’t help but reflect back starting with the day they were born and marveling at the speed of time. :) I really do have fun searching the internet and pinterest for amazing ideas to help make birthday-in-a-box memorable. :)

  2. Happy birthday to your son! 21 is a HUGE deal! I hope he celebrates in style. At least he has these gorgeous, ingenious cookie cakes. What an incredible idea. He’s so lucky to have you for his mum :)

    • You are so sweet Nancy! Thank you! 21 is such a funny age. You are legal to “do what you want”, but you haven’t quite figured out what that is yet (and if you have figured it out, you probably don’t have the money to do it)!! I love it when my son opens a package and says, “Wow….what are they?”….meaning what are they made of (I hope), not what are they supposed to look like! :)

  3. Ohhh my !! How sweet are these cake !!! A huuuge mazal tov to your son ! I’m sure that you are so proud and so happy about that event !!! Sharing that happiness with you !
    And what a great moment it must had been with these amazing little cakes ! I love the surprise inside and everything about that ! It’s amazing ! A huge mazal tov to the birthday boy and to the amazing baker :)

    • Thank you, Sarah, for your kind good wishes and enthusiasm!! I think when someone is away from home, its important to let them know how much they are missed and loved. These cookies helped make my son’s birthday care package into a celebration. :)

  4. Oh my gosh Wendy I love these! They are so cool and I love that they are sugar cookies with a sort of royal icing! I can’t get over how much they really look like little cakes. And the surprise in the middle is well, just downright fun! : )

    • Thanks, Ashley! They were fun to make. :)You HAVE to try this faux royal icing. It is incredibly easy to make and work with. It drys firm, wrap-able, but easy to bite. Royal icing can be tricky with the egg whites. This icing is untricky. :)

  5. these are WAY too cute for words; JUST like the snowmen from this past winter! adorable, even without the little surprise middles, but with the surprise middles, they are even better. Your son has the best birthday ever this year: I may make those cookies for mine. :)

    • Thanks, Shannon! I believe I have the urge to stack cookies out of my system now. (she says until the next time….) In my many hours of official blog research (omg Pinterest in a black hole time drain!) I seem to collect cute. I look all year for a novel way to mail “birthday cake”. Candles are imperative. What’s a birthday cake without candles?

    • Thanks, Laura! I am not sure that my son fully appreciates the “adorable” factor ( not in guy vocabulary) but he did appreciate the delicious factor! :) Birthdays are definitely for celebrating!

    • Thanks, Chris! My son never knows what to expect in his care packages! He did note that my birthday surprises seem to be getting more and more complex. :) (Thank goodness college lasts only 4 birthdays!) But he knows he is loved. :)

    • Thank you so much, Gloria! The job description of a mom is constantly evolving as our kids turn, quite suddenly, into adults. I am with you, “mind blowing” is the perfect description of the process!! Only the love stays the same. :)

  6. Wendy, those cookie cakes are a stroke of pure genius. Your son is so lucky to have you as his mom. I love them so much. Your tutorial is so perfectly detailed. I love how you shared the fact that you have to cut the hole after they are baked. I am very excited to recreate these for my baby’s 21st birthday in April.

    • Thank you, Cindy! I am so glad you love these as much as I do! I can’t take credit for the original cook-cake idea. I just adapted the idea into a surprise-inside cookie. :) They did come out just the way I hoped, and I think my son got the message that his big birthday deserved a 21 (plus one for good luck) cake salute! :) I hope your son has a wonderful 21st birthday as well! :)

  7. These are so ADORABLE Wendy! I can’t stop staring at them! They look like just like cakes. I love that they’re not. I bet your son is having fun eating them. I HAVE to make them someday soon. . . I’m trying to think of when the next birthday is. Not until May. I don’t know if I can wait that long! ;-)

    • Thank you so much, Reeni! Sometimes, adorable desserts are just adorable to look at, but I love that these taste as good as they look! Wouldn’t some little green iced cookie cakes be cute for St. Patrick’s Day?The leprechaun’s gold could be inside!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s