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100

9 months.

Probably the first thing that comes to mind is the amount of time it takes for a baby to cook.  It turns out that that’s also how long it takes for me to generate 100 posts!  (Annnd, I’m one person shy of I now have 100 followers on twitter! )  One could call this blog my baby, I suppose, so it’s all connected in some bizarre-o way.

I’m not sure that I ever thought I’d go this far with this endeavor, but honestly believe that I wouldn’t have without the amount of support, enthusiasm, and encouragement I’ve received from you.  /sappy moment  And a special shout out to my trusty little camera: I thought I’d lost it last week while making my dish for the last Daring Cooks’ challenge, but am so relieved to report that uncooked rice is a miracle grain.  Phew!!!

Rainbow Jellybean Shortbread Cookies

In honor of this occasion, I’m going to share something that I made a year ago which I’ve been saving up for this time of year.  Perfect timing for Easter this weekend! 

There’s a catch with these cookies, though: their original purpose and conception had nothing to do with Easter.  The real name for these…are you ready?  Non-Racist Dragon Tears.

I promise I’m not as crazy as you think.

Well, actually, scratch that.  These were for another collaborative gift project for Bret and Jemaine by fans of Flight of the Conchords.  We wanted to make something epic like the quilts, but a little easier to pull off.  Answer: a cookbook showcasing food from and/or inspired by their music and show!

Picnik collage

It’s pretty amazing.  My friend Katie sent it off to Blurb to be printed and I think it looks totally professional (so yeah, I can pretend like I’m published ;)).  Everyone did such a great job on their recipes and page designs!

Since you’re probably wondering about the dragon tear thing: they’re actually from the same episode that inspired the Banana Balls that I made last fall.  After an altercation with the racist fruit vendor (he’s xenophobic towards New Zealanders…he thinks), Bret and Jemaine go back to their apartment and watch TV.  Watch and learn.  And wait for the striped jellybean non-racist dragon tear.


Beautiful, isn’t it? :'(  (And yes, I totally contemplated making Bubblegum Pie…)

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Non-Racist Dragon Tears AKA Striped Jelly Bean Shortbread Cookies
adapted (a lot…) from Joy the Baker

So basically I used only the vanilla part of Joy’s recipe and brightened it up with lemon zest…because jelly beans should taste bright, right?  And yes, there’s a lot of food coloring involved.  Also a given with jelly beans.

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
1/4 teaspoon salt
14 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 large egg yolk, saving egg white for brushing the dough
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
food coloring (standard red, green, yellow, blue set is fine)
special tools: oval-shaped cookie cutter (about the size of an egg), optional

1. Sift together flour and salt and set aside.  In a medium bowl, beat butter and sugar on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 – 3 minutes.  Reduce speed to low.  Mix in egg yolk, vanilla extract, and lemon zest.  Gradually add flour mixture; mix until just combined, about 1 minute.

2. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured work surface and divide into 6 pieces.  Take one piece and work food coloring in with your hands.  Start with a little bit of coloring and add more as needed to reach desired hue.  Roll into a thin log and wrap in plastic wrap.  Repeat with remaining pieces of dough and refrigerate all for about 30 minutes, or until slightly firm.

3. Remove the chilled dough from the fridge and unwrap.  Line the logs up in the order you would like (non-racist order: teal, yellow, blue, pink, red, green), then brush egg white between them.  Lightly press them together, rewrap, and refrigerate for 2 hours to overnight.

4. Preheat oven to 350F.  Unwrap the log, then cut it into 1/4 inch thick pieces on your floured surface.  Working one by one, put each piece into the cookie cutter and press down dough until it fills the space evenly.  Push out of cutter and cut the top to give the dough the jelly bean curve.  If you don’t have an oval cookie cutter, form jelly bean shapes with your hands and a knife.  Space 1/2 inch apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

5. Bake until firm, about 10 – 12 minutes.  Cool on wire racks, then store in an airtight container.  Makes about 2 dozen cookies!

Bonus fun thing to do with the scraps: press them all together, roll them out, then make psychedelic cut-out cookies!

Cookie Scraps

I was really impressed with how tasty these were!  I mean, I knew they would be, but usually find that much food coloring to be a real turn off.  The lemon zest really did make them shine!

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Oh yes, and Bret and Jemaine received their cookbooks, in case you were wondering.  :D  Any of us could buy them also, so I have my very own copy!

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