Here is a great cookie idea for your favorite computer nerd. Yes, I know a few =) How about some old school 8-bit Christmas Cookies? That’s right, watch your favorite geek freak out when you bring them these cute little cookies. Best of all, here are 2 different techniques to make them:
- for the cookies:
- 12 tbsp butter (1½ sticks)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 2½ cups flour
- for the icing:
- 1 2lb bag of confectioner sugar
- ⅓ cup meringue powder
- ¾ cup water
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together on high speed until light and fluffy.
- Add the egg and vanilla extract. Mix on medium speed to incorporate.
- Add the flour and mix on low speed until the dough comes together.
- To make royal icing, place all 3 ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Mix on low speed for 1 minute to incorporate. Then increase to high speed and mix for 8 minutes. Split the icing in 2 bowls and add red food coloring to one of them.
Technique #1: the cut-off method
Roll out your cookie dough to 1/8 thick:
Cut cookies in festive shapes using your favorite cutters. Here I am using a candy cane cookie cutter:
Take a cookie cutter shaped like the letter “i” and cut off any round edges into square pixel-like lines:
Technique #2: the grid method
This method seems a bit more tricky at first but if you plan on icing your cookies, this is the better option. To start, you first need to put together pixelized versions of Christmas icons. I used Excel and drew my shapes using colors. Here is the template I made:
Roll out your cookies dough and imprint a grid on it using a ruler or a carving knife. First, vertical lines:
Then, horizontal lines:
Now using your Excel template, count how many squares you need for your first shape and cut away. For instance, to make a candy cane, we will need a piece of dough that is 9 squares by 5 squares:
Following the template and using a pairing knife, cut away the details:
Voilà! Now that you got it, you can easily work in batches:
Bake your cookie creations at 350°F for 12 minutes:
I love the fact that the grid stays on the cookies even after baking. It makes decorating so much easier. In fact, it’s a bit like painting by numbers. Just follow the same Excel template we used earlier.
Start with red details first:
Let the red icing dry completely before filling the rest of the cookie with white icing or the colors will “bleed”.
That’s it! =)