Sunday 21 December 2014

The 3D Christmas Cookie Kit from Parragon Books *REVIEW*

For this months Parragon cookery book review I was sent The 3D Christmas Cookie Kit, which is a sweet little set comprising of a paperback recipe book, and two sets of plastic 3D cookie cutters in the shapes of Christmas trees and snowmen. It all comes in a little box with magnetic fastening, and would be the perfect little gift for any budding young bakers out there. 

The 3D Christmas Cookie Kit is currently available on Amazon for £12.

The recipe book that comes in the kit includes 12 recipes:

-3D Christmas tree cookies
-3D Snowman cookies
-Rudolph cookies
-Santa cookies
-Spiral cookies
-Mini gingerbread house cookies
-Stained glass cookies
-Candy cane cookies
-Meting snowman cookies
-Christmas bauble cookies
-Cracker surprise cookies

As well as a good introduction and the basic cookie dough recipe, which you adapt/manipulate differently for each of the recipes. 

Each recipe comes with fab full colour step-by-step pictures, so you're sure you're doing things right when you're baking at home, as well as full written instructions, ingredients lists and advice on decorating. 

Of course, as with all my cookery book reviews I had to give some of the recipes a go - I decided to make up the basic dough recipe in the book, and use it to try out both of the 3D cookie cutters that come in the kit: the snowman and Christmas tree. 

Busy making christmas trees!

Trying my hand at some 3D snowmen...

The dough recipe was really straight forward and simple to make, I followed all the instructions, coloured my dough using gel food colouring, and let it rest in the fridge for around 20 minutes before I rolled it out, and used my cookie cutters to cut out the trees and snowmen. They baked for 18 minutes until golden, and then I left them to cool completely before decorating. 

The cookies spread a little when baking and require recutting/trimming using the cutters  after they bake to ensure that they will slot together after decorating. It doesn't say to do this in the book, but previous baking experience told me to trim them up before they cooled (and become less pliable/more likely to break). 

I then set to work on the fun stuff - decorating! If you're baking these with kids this is when they will be in their element - you can really go to town with coloured icing, sprinkles, sparkles etc. I coloured royal icing using gel food colours and then smoothed it out with a palette knife, I then re-baked my cookies on my ovens lowest temperature for 15 minutes to set the royal icing, before adding the intricate decorations using a tiny icing piping bag. Again, it doesn't say to do this in the recipe book, but I know from baking previous decorated cookies that it is best to set the royal icing hard before adding detail. I also sprayed some Milky Way Stars using edible Gold spray to make the tops of my Christmas tree cookies extra sparkly! 

After the decorating was finished I found I had to re-trim the cookies in order for them to slot together, as the icing was quite thick, and was preventing them slotting together nicely. This was a pretty fiddly job, and I'm not going to lie, there were a few snowman casualties: luckily, hubby was on hand to taste test the broken one! You could easily glue any breaks back together with the royal icing, if necessary - or just ensure your icing isn't too thick (unlike mine). 

Hubby was happy to taste test the cookies for me, thanks Liam! 

Some of my 3D Christmas tree and snowmen cookies! 

Not bad for a first attempt using these cutters! 

I was impressed with how the cookies turned out - especially as it was my first attempt with these cutters, and I was doing it in a bit of a rush (during Bert's nap time!)...more importantly they tasted really good - buttery and delicious. Hubby may have had two or three, oops! The rest were taken round to our neighbours in a nice gift box as a festive treat!

I really enjoyed using this kit, and learnt lessons which means that next time I bake them I will find it a much easier process and will have to do less messing around with trimming the cookies so that they slot into each other perfectly. 

It would definitely be fun to bake them with kids to help: it is a shame that Bert is still too young to join me in the kitchen...maybe next year!?

If you have a budding baker at home, or know of some children who enjoy festive baking then this would be a lovely gift - and at the reasonable price of £12 too, bargain!

Happy Christmas baking to all my lovely readers - I have three exciting bakes planned for this week on the lead up to Christmas - I'll be baking Christmas Dinner Cake (which contains carrots, parsnips and SPROUTS - think carrot cake with a twist), Malteaser truffles, and Whisky Waffle Pudding - HELL YES!! 

Watch this space and I'll try to share recipes etc with you if I get chance...

Bye for now

Mrs B


Disclaimer: I was sent a copy of The 3D Christmas Cookie Kit for the purpose of this review - all words, images and opinions are my own. 

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