For my son’s mission farewell, I kind of channeled all my nervous energy into baking. It did nothing to stop the flow of tears, but it produced a lot of cute baked goods. I found Earth-day cookies online and modified them using an existing recipe I had for snickerdoodles. The globe is so symbolic of these missionaries and their journey that it just works well for any missionary-related event.
You could make them out of your favorite sugar cookie recipe, as well. They freeze beautifully, so you can easily make them ahead of time.
The recipe I used can be downloaded here. (Make sure to print it landscape for best results).
First, combine the shortening and sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs, beat well. Add flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt; mixing until thoroughly combined.
Divide the dough in half. Add blue food coloring to the first half of the dough.
My absolute favorite food coloring is the AmeriColor soft gel paste. Their colors are so vibrant and work really well for these cookies. You get a lot of color, and don’t have to add the entire bottle to get a dark, deep hue. The colors I used for these cookies were navy blue for the ocean, and a combination of moss and turquoise for the land. (The ratio I used was: 3/4 moss to 1/4 turquoise.)
Mix your dough well, adding food coloring until you have the desired shade for your cookies. As you can see, the colors are really rich and vibrant. I used roughly 1/2 teaspoon of the food coloring to get these gorgeous dark colors.
Next, you’re going to alternate colors, grabbing pinches of dough until you have about a two-inch cookie. You can make your cookie larger or smaller, depending on what you’re going for.
There’s no rhyme or reason to it – just keep adding dough until it looks good. If you have a spot that seems to have more land than ocean, add a pinch of blue until it looks balanced. Or vice versa. Don’t stress too much about them – they will bake up beautifully in their imperfection.
Once you’ve reached the desired size, roll each dough ball in sugar and place on a greased or parchment-covered baking sheet. Flatten each ball of dough slightly.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 7-8 minutes. Because of the food coloring, it will be hard to tell if the cookies are done. Do not overbake; trust the timer as the cookies will continue to cook as they cool on the baking sheets. Do not cook longer than 8 minutes. These cookies are best soft.
As soon as the cookies come out of the oven, gently press a heart-shaped sprinkle onto the cookie. You can also use a red hot or any other heart-shaped candy. You could certainly make them without the heart, but I think the pop of red on the green and blue takes them from ordinary cookie to something special.
Let the cookies cool on the pan completely.
As you can see, they are perfectly imperfect and look so stinkin’ cute.
Serve these at your next mission farewell, mission homecoming, or any missionary activity. Happy baking!