graphics courtesy of Marvel Comics
“These are the times that try men’s souls: The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict the more glorious the triumph.” -Thomas Paine, The Crisis, December 1776
Well, Mr. Paine, today the Fourth of July represents parades, barbecues, and fireworks to most people. Tyranny is more likely to be vicariously experienced via pop entertainment.
So,who is better to remind us of the just cause worth fighting than Captain America? With a new movie premiering later this month, this super hero is ripe for baking. These cookies are whimsical and have just the right sparkle for Independence Day entertaining.
Though simple, these cookies do take a bit of preparation and patience. The good news is you can prepare and/or bake them ahead of time. Have a safe and wonderful holiday weekend and Happy Independence Day!
Captain America Cookies
recipe inspired by Cook’s Illustrated
yield: about 24 cookies
2 large egg
2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoon granulated sugar (5-1/2 ounces)
2 teaspoons lemon zest, from 1 lemon, freshly grated
2-1/2 sticks (10 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (15 ounces)
1 teaspoon large egg white , lightly beaten
food coloring: red, blue, white (if you want a super white cookie layer)
fondant for star decoration
1. Place egg in small saucepan, cover with 1 inch water, and bring to boil over high heat. Remove pan from heat, cover, and let sit 10 minutes. Meanwhile, fill small bowl with ice water. Using slotted spoon, transfer egg to ice water and let stand 5 minutes. Crack egg and peel shell. Separate yolk from white; discard white. Press yolk through fine-mesh strainer into small bowl.
2. Add sugar and lemon zest to a bowl. Use finger tips and rub the mixture until in resemble pale yellow wet sand.
3. In bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter, sugar mixture, salt, and cooked egg yolk on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl and beater with rubber spatula. Turn mixer to low, add vanilla, and mix until incorporated. Stop mixer; add flour, mix on low speed until just combined, about 30 seconds. Using rubber spatula, press dough into cohesive mass.
4. Divide dough into approximately six equal portions; add blue coloring to one piece and mix to achieve desire color. Apply white coloring to another portion and repeat. Combine the last 4 portion, add red coloring and mix.
5. Roll blue dough into a log, about 9-inches long. Wrap log with parchment paper and twist ends to seal and firmly compact dough into tight cylinder (see illustrations below). Chill until firm, about 1 hour.
6. Roll white dough, between two pieces of plastic wrap, into a rectangle, about 6 x 9 inches, 1/4 inch thick. Divide red dough into two and repeat the rolling process. Chill all four pieces of dough until slightly firm, about 30 minutes.
7. Place one piece of red dough on a cutting board, peel off top layer of plastic wrap and brush with egg white; place blue log on top. With the help of the bottom layer of plastic wrap, lift red dough over the blue until wraps around the entire blue log. Wrap the dough in parchment tightly and chill for 15 minutes. (This will make it easier to wrap the next layer).
8. Repeat with white dough and then red. Don’t worry if it’s not perfectly wrapped all the way around, trim dough from ends to patch. Make sure you chill each time you wrap to get clean edges.
9. Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Using chef’s knife, slice dough into 1/4-inch-thick rounds, rotating dough 1/4 turn each time you slice so you won’t get flat edges. Place cookies 1 inch apart on baking sheets.
10. Bake cookies for 15-18 minutes, rotating baking sheets front to back and top to bottom halfway through baking. Cool cookies on baking sheet 5 minutes; using thin metal spatula, transfer cookies to wire rack and cool to room temperature.