Back to school means back to packing lunches – and we all know that discovering a special dessert puts a smile on every kid’s face! For a fun surprise, mix things up and pack a lunch that’s extra sweet with these peanut butter and jelly cookies!
Materials needed: square cookie cutter (mine was 2 ¾ x 2 ¾ inches), sugar cookie dough, prepared, chilled and rolled out, royal icing (I use this recipe), butter knife or offset spatula, food coloring, parchment paper bags (or plastic if you prefer), #2 pastry tip, and a medium paint brush.
Step 1: Make the cookies:
Use the square cookie cutter for the slices of bread. Place the cut squares of dough onto a parchment lined cookie sheet ¾ inches apart. Bake at 350° until the edges are golden, about 9-12 minutes. Let cool.
Step 2: Make icing for the slices of bread cookies and decorate them:
Prepare a piping bag with the pastry tip and add brown royal icing, a consistency similar to that of toothpaste. Prepare a bowl of icing in slightly off white by adding a tiny toothpick dot of brown or ivory, slowly thinning it out until it is the consistency of maple syrup.
Using the brown lining icing, outline the slice of bread on the square cookie, using the full surface of the cookie. Make indentations, and round the corners to mimic a real slice of bread. Let set for 5 minutes. Using a paintbrush and the off-white flooding icing, paint in the bread, just up to the inside edge of the brown crust line. Be careful not to cover the crust! The icing should settle to a smooth flat opaque surface. Let set until hard, 6 to 8 hours or overnight.
Step 3: Add the “peanut butter and jelly”
Prepare small bowls of icing in orangey brown for the peanut butter and purple for the grape jelly. Keep all icing bowls covered with plastic wrap when not in use to keep royal icing from getting crusty. The brown peanut butter icing should be a spreadable consistency similar to that of real peanut butter. Thin the purple icing slightly with egg white to a looser consistency similar to that of grape jelly. Using an offset spatula or butter knife, spread the peanut butter or jelly icing onto the bread, just like you would with real peanut butter and jelly. The most important thing is to get the texture to mimic the the real deal. Let set until dry.