Okay, confession time. I've always been a big fan of Star Wars... I'm a child of the late 1970s so I didn't really stand a chance against it! Him Indoors is also a big fan and happily introduced the Big One to the saga at the earliest possible opportunity! Male bonding, and all that! So, when the Big One asked for a Star Wars themed 4th Birthday party a few years ago my interest in Star Wars food was piqued. At the time, I stumbled across an amazing book called 'Wookiee Cookiees: A Star Wars Cookbook' which inspired the party food creations for that occasion! It's out of print now, but is still available on Amazon (see link at bottom of post).
However, a recent discovery in Williams & Sonoma - Mecca of foodie-type gadgets and accessories for cooking enthusiasts like myself - has set me off on an unparalleled Star Wars cooking spree! Star Wars cookie cutters... awesome, or what?!!
The set comes with 4 designs: Darth Vader, a Storm Trooper, Boba Fett and my favourite, Yoda! The cutters themselves are sharp and efficient and come with a spring-loaded stamp so that you create an imprint of the character's face without having to decorate the cookies once baked. This is particularly effective if you use food colourings to dye the dough first! The set comes with a recipe for sugar cookies which I found worked well and tasted good, however, I have tweaked it and created my own recipe below! Things to remember that help the cookie cutters work well: chill the dough before use and dip the cutter in flour (shaking off excess) between cuts!
3 cups (US) or 360g (UK) wholewheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
1 cup (US) or 225g (UK) butter, softened
1 cup (US) or 225g (UK) caster sugar
zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed (ground linseed in the UK!)
1-2 teaspoons of green food colouring
Then add your dry ingredients bit, by bit. I used my electric hand mixer for this task until the dough started to come together. The flaxseed is also an optional extra, but I like to add it to baked goodies because of the additional dietary benefits. Him Indoors has a propensity towards high cholesterol, so the high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids and dietary fibre in this superfood mean this treat can be enjoyed with less of a guilty conscience! Well, that's the theory anyway!
Bring the dough together into a ball. At this point, I separate it into two balls, one to be frozen for use at a later date... the recipe above yields 48 Yoda sized cookies and there are only so many Yoda cookies you can eat in one sitting, believe it or not! Wrap in plastic wrap/clingfilm and chill for at least an hour or two, but preferably overnight!
As mentioned above, there's a few techniques that help when using the spring loaded cookie cutters. Firstly, chilling the dough first is essential as it gives a firm texture and sharp lines to your outlines/imprints. Secondly, rolling the dough to an even 1/4 inch helps. Too thin and the cookies become fragile. Lastly, I found that dusting the inside of the cutter with flour before (and between) cutting cookies really helped to prevent sticking. Just make sure that flour doesn't get stuck in the grooves - a quick shake helps!
Line a baking sheet (or 3) with greaseproof baking paper and ensure that your cookies are well spaced with at least an inch around each one. Here in Texas, the heat and humidity are ridiculous even at this time of year and so I've found that re-chilling the cut cookies at this point really helps them to maintain definition. Just half an hour in the fridge really helps.
Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C), and then bake for 8-10 minutes depending on your oven. Once done, cool on a wire rack before allowing your young Padawan's to enjoy them with a glass of blue milk! Another idea... sandwich two cookies together with buttercream icing or vanilla icecream for an extra treat! As Yoda would say, "Yummy, they are. Hmmmm?!"