Saturday, March 12, 2011

Purim Masks

Purim celebrates the rescue of the Jews of ancient Persia from a plot to destroy them as told in the Book of Esther, which is read at this time. Purim is a joyous holiday, celebrated by wearing of costumes, giving gifts to friends, giving to the poor, and socializing. 

So in the spirit of this holiday I made gingerbread masks.  I made gingerbread because I think this is a cookie that should be made all year round not just for Christmas -- plus one of my sister's LOVES gingerbread.

The recipe I used is modified from my favorite Betty Crocker's COOKY Book.  I mentioned this book in my Yoga Cookie blog for Frosting for the Cause but I always need to always give it credit.   This book is falling apart and held together with an elastic but still has great cookie recipes and I love that is must be over 40 years old (no publication data in the book).

The Gingerbread recipe is:

1/3 cup shortening (I use Earth Balance for a healthier trans fat free cookie)
1 cup brown sugar (packed)
1 1/2 cups dark molasses
2/3 cup cold water
7 cups flour -- maybe a little less -- I always use Five Rose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. allspice
1 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. cinnamon

Mix shortening, sugar and molasses thoroughly.  Stir in Water.  Blend all dry ingredients; stir in. Chill.  Now the recipe calls for 7 cups of flour but I probably used about 6.5 cups in the recipe and the other half cup for rolling the cookies out.

Heat oven to 350.  Roll dough 1/4" thick on lightly floured board.  Cut with gingerbread boy cutter or other favorite shape cutter (in this case I used a mask with eye cut outs which I got at Copper Gifts).  Bake 10 to 12 minutes.  I think this made about 3 dozen masks but the number of cookies, of course, depends on the size of the cookie cutter and this mask is a pretty nice size.

Materials Needed for Decorating :
· royal icing – my new favorite royal icing is made with Ateco meringue powder — it tastes like marshmallows. I coloured the icing white, purple and black -- but also had some other colours left over from some birthday cookies I was making so I used that too for some polka dot masks which looked pretty cute -- I do love those polka dots and could probably polka dot just about any cookie
· piping bag and round tips I probably used a variety from #1 to #4
· Wilton White Pearlized Sugar Pearls
· Wilton Pearlized Sprinkles in Gold & Silver
· Wilton Sprinkles in Black and Purple
· purple disco dust
· dragĂ©es in gold & silver
· candy tweezers to put it all together – you could use your fingers but I find the tweezers way easier for manipulating the small candy decorations

Decorate as you wish and have fun creating delicious disguise mask cookies.
Happy Purim! 
Polka dots are just cute on everything!