How to Cook: Sugar Cookie "Watermelons"

Happy July 9th, which is National Sugar Cookie Day! I wanted to make something fun to celebrate, and get it up as soon as possible! I was trying to make Strawberry cookies, honestly, but I think they look better, and are more summery, as Watermelons! You can also make them Strawberry shaped if you want to. I adapted this recipe from the Betty Crocker one, adding and reducing some
ingredients, and they came out great!


It's so hard to find a recipe to make anything from scratch these days, so I wanted to put this one up, since it's so simple and easy to make! I made them with less sugar and butter than most people, so they are a bit healthier than most versions are. So, let the baking begin!


You will need:

- A Baking Sheet
- Parchment Paper (Recommended)
- A Large Mixing Bowl
- 1 Medium Mixing Bowl
- 2 Small Mixing Bowls
- A Wooden Spoon
- An Electric Mixer (Recommended)
- Plastic Wrap
- A Sharp Knife
- A Cutting Board
- A Sifter (Recommended)

Ingredients:

- 1/2 Cup (One Stick) Butter, Softened
- 1 Cup Granulated White Sugar
- 1 Large Egg
- 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla
- 1/4 Teaspoon Almond Extract
- 1/8 Teaspoon (A Pinch) Salt
- 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1/2 Teaspoon Cream of Tartar (If you have it)
- 2 Cups All Purpose Flour

If making Watermelon Shapes:

- Red, Green, and Blue Food Coloring


First, mix together the butter and sugar, until well blended. It doesn't have to be smooth, the butter just needs to be fully integrated with the sugar.


Add the Egg, Vanilla and Almond Extract, and the salt. Blend well, for around 2 Minutes, until smooth. 


Add the Baking Powder and Cream of Tartar and mix. Next, slowly sift in the flour 1/2 cup at a time, and mix in-between. Once you get to 1 cup, mix with a wooden spoon instead. 


Once it's mixed pretty well, knead it by hand. This can be done in the bowl, if you prefer. The dough should be pretty smooth and moist, not dry. (If you don't want to shape them, skip this next part.) 


Divide into 1/3 and 2/3 sections of the dough. Leave the smaller piece in the mixing bowl. 


Divide the larger piece of dough into half, and place one half in the medium bowl. 


Lastly, take about 1/3 off of the leftover dough, and put both pieces in separate, small, bowls. You should have two larger sections in the large and medium bowls, and two smaller sections in the smaller bowls. 


Next, add 4-5 drops of red food coloring to the dough in the medium bowl, and knead. You can mix it with a metal spoon as well, but the dye washes right off, so there's no real need to worry. 


Next, add 3-4 drops of green food coloring to the larger piece of dough in the small bowl. 


Finally, add 2-3 drops of blue, and 1 drop of red, food coloring to the smallest piece of dough. (You wont put any coloring in the dough that's in the mixing bowl.)


Spread out the uncolored dough on the cutting board (or counter) into a thin, rectangular, shape. YOu can use a rolling pin, but I just used my palms and fingers. Flip it over a couple times while thinning it out. It will be about 1/8'' thick. 


The next thing you are going to do is roll out the different colors into long tubes/strips and layer them to make the shape. Here is a basic drawing of how they should be layered, I'll also go over it with pictures. When rolling these out, don't worry if they break apart a little bit, since you will squish them, and they will expand when they bake anyways. 


First, divide the green dough into four parts, and roll them until they are as long as the plain dough, place them in the middle, and press them together. 


Divide the pink dough into six parts, and roll out three of them, place those on top of the green, with some space in-between. Divide the blue/purple dough into five parts, roll out two of them to place between the pink parts, and press the layer together. 


Roll out two more pink pieces and place them on top of the blue pieces. Add two blue strips on the sides of the two pieces, place one blue on top of the pink pieces, and press the layer together. 


Roll out the final piece of pink dough, and place it on the very top of the stack. It should roughly form a triangle. 


You can either lift up the plain dough and wrap it around the colored piece, or you can gently roll over on each side. Don't worry too much if it breaks a little, just smooth it out the best that you can. 


Gently roll the dough "log" back and forth, until it about doubles in length. It should be about two feet long. 


If you want, you can reform the triangle shape at this point. 



Wrap it up in plastic wrap and place it in the fridge to chill for about an hour. If you want to make "regular" cookies, because you're boring like that, you can just roll it into a log and wrap it to chill for an hour. 


After an hour, preheat the oven to 375˚ and line your baking sheet with parchment paper.

Cut the cookie log in half, re-wrap one half and put it back in the fridge. 


When you cut the cookies out, do not just chop downwards! Cut in a slight sawing motion, mainly going forward, and cut about 1/4" pieces. Cut the entire half into pieces while it's still hard enough to do so. Once the last batch from this half is in the oven, repeat with the other half. 


The thicker you cut them, the more they will spread out in the oven, so keep that in mind while you slice! Place them on the baking sheet about one inch apart, and bake for 6-8 minutes. The longer you cook them the crispier they will be, but they also burn easily! 


Keep an eye on them, and once the edges turn a very light brown take them out. They will harden as they cool, and the bottom bakes faster than the top, so waiting until the top is all light brown will mean that the bottom is overcooked. Let them cool and repeat with the remaining cookies. 


They cool quickly, so just wait a few minutes and enjoy! 


These adorable cookies are great for the Summer! You can make them for entertaining, or to keep all to yourself. They look a bit like Strawberries, but I think they look more like Watermelon slices. These things are like potato chips, you can't eat just one! I had to stop myself from eating them! 

Any resemblance? 
There is just enough sweetness to call them sugar cookies, but not so much so that they are overwhelmingly sweet. I hope you enjoy these as much as I did! 

Enjoying the noms of their labor, 
-C.A.M.