This week my family was invited to a board games day (yes that’s as nerdy as it sounds) for a family friend’s birthday, and we were asked to bring something sweet to contribute to the wide selection of food to be consumed between games. I thought these monsters were perfect for the occasion – not only because they are very snackable, but also because they would appeal to the young gamers (and those that are young-at-heart!). And it was biscuit week on the bake-off – perfect.
I got the idea for these cookie monsters from a trip to Bakewell earlier in the week, where we saw some that were kind of similar in a little bakery, and I have to admit I was quite pleased with them. They’re a good recipe for students, even if they are a little childish for some, because they’re very easy to make, they are perfect afternoon/ evening snacks and they have a bit more flavour than a plain cookie. The only problem you could possibly have with these happy characters is getting a little too attached to them! I grew quite fond of a particular one of mine, who looked so cheerful I didn’t want to eat him- that could be just me though?!
This recipe is more of a construction recipe, as these monsters could be made from any cookie recipe. I used the one in my Divine Chocolate cookbook, which creates great cookies with plain chocolate chunks and a nice soft texture. I’ve included a simple buttercream recipe below, but that’s all the filling is, so there’s a wide scope for creativity here- weird and wonderful flavours at the ready!
Preparation Time: 45 mins (depending very much on how much of a perfectionist you are!)
15 cookies, cut in half
A dash of milk
Smarties, or any other round sweets
1. Soften the butter in the microwave. Add some icing sugar and the milk and mix until combined. Keep adding icing sugar until you reach a texture light enough to pipe- you should be able to mix the buttercream without too much force, but it should be thick enough to stay on a spoon without dripping off.
2. Add any flavouring to your buttercream. *I used orange, lime and strawberry, so used the zest of these fruits and a couple of tablespoons of strawberry milkshake powder for the strawberry one. These really just need to be added to your taste.
3. If you want a strong colour, add a few drops of food colouring to the mixture.
4. Fill a piping bag with a large star nozzle with your buttercream.
5. Placing one half of the cookie in front of you, with the flat side at the back, cover the top with buttercream. I found it best to start in dots around the front crescent of the cookie (like teeth) and then fill in with dots behind this afterward.
6. Take the other half of the cookie and gently place the straight line along the straight line of the other half- you’re aiming for a jaw-like structure here, so the top half doesn’t want to lie flat along the bottom cookie.
7. Repeat for all cookies.
8. Pipe two dots for eyes on the top of the assembled monsters. DON’T press down too hard on these, or you’ll squash all your delicate piping work!
9. Press a smartie on to each dot of buttercream.
Cookies- It’s best to cut your cookies in half while they’re still warm, as then you don’t run the risk of your cookie completely crumbling when you cut it.
Flavours- If you’re using zest, I used the zest of half an orange for my orange mix, and half a lime for the lime mix.
Colouring- Don’t add too much food colouring, as your mixture will go too runny. If this does happen, add some more icing sugar until you reach the right consistency again.
Construction- I found that they looked better, and held their shape more, when I used the bigger half (yes I know technically they should all be even but such is life- I’d be hopeless on the bake-off) as the top half of the jaw.