A friend of mine was celebrating his birthday today with a day full of board games, so I figured now is probably the best time to try out some of the cookie recipes from the Hunger Games cookbook. That way I don’t eat them all on my own!
Butter Cookies from Peeta’s Father
“I quickly open the window, toss the cookies Peeta’s father gave me out of the train, and slam the glass shut. No more. No more of either of them.” – The Hunger Games, Chapter 4
The butter cookies were prepared just one day ahead of time, and they were pretty easy to make. It makes sense that these might be the cookies Peeta’s father gives Katniss before she leaves for the Capitol, since the ingredients are simple and easy to get your hands on.
Everything was mixed together in a bowl, and then the dough was kneaded until it was nice and smooth. At this point, it was all rolled up into a long “log” and put in the fridge for a couple of hours.
After two hours in the fridge, the dough kind of reminded me of Pillsbury dough during the holidays. You slice the dough into rounds using a knife, and then pop it into the oven to bake. The only difference was that this dough was a lot tougher to slice than Pillsbury, and I had to use one of my good knives (not just a regular butter knife).
The recipe says to bake for 15-18 minutes, but the first batch ended up being a bit overcooked. The cookies were still good, just a lot more crunchy than they should have been.
The second batch was in for 11 minutes instead of 15, and came out perfectly.
I thought the cookies were really good, but not my favorite. They’re a really straight-forward cookie.
My friends, however, seemed to think that these were the greatest things since sliced bread! They disappeared very quickly!
What I did really like about this recipe is that the dough can be made well in advance and then sliced as needed. You don’t need to cook all of them at once!
All butter cookies taste more or less the same to me, so if you’ve ever had them before then you know exactly what these taste like.
Mostly the cookies taste like butter and sugar (of course), but are more buttery than a sugar cookie, and the cookies are crunchy, not soft.
These would go great with a cup of tea!
For the most part this recipe was easy enough, but I almost always bump these types of recipes up to average once kneading of dough is involved. It’s just such a pain, especially when the dough sticks to the table.
This recipe has very simple ingredients: butter, sugar, flour, eggs, vanilla, and salt. You probably already have most of these!
Check the cookies around the 10-minute mark, and then every minute or so after that, to avoid over-cooking the batch.
Peppermint Sweets for Prim
“I buy a bag of sweets for Prim. I stick one of the candies in my mouth, feeling the peppermint melt on my tongue, and realize it’s the first thing I’ve eaten all day.” – Catching Fire, Chapter 11
These cookies were a bit more involved, and I actually got started on them two days ahead to make sure they were done in time.
The first day, I made the actual peppermint part of the cookie. This meant combining a TON of confectioner’s sugar with condensed milk, vanilla extract, and peppermint extract.
I really mean it when I say a ton of confectioner’s sugar. They say to keep adding sugar and kneading until “no longer sticky”…apparently you want to keep going after that, because while I thought mine stiff enough and no longer sticky, I ran into some issues later on.
Once the dough is made, I rolled the dough into a bunch of little balls, about 1/2″ wide, and then put them on a baking sheet and flattened them.
The recipe was very vague about how flat these dough patties should be, which was frustrating. As I would find out later, thicker is better than thinner.
The patties then air dry for about one hour, then they are flipped and they air dry one more hour before being popped into the freezer for 15-20 minutes.
The problem was my dough patties were too flat, and so when I tried to flip them they stuck to the wax paper and ripped. I made the last dozen or so slightly fatter, and those ones were much easier to flip.
I continued making these the next day, after the dough had been in the freezer all night and day.
Once again, the instructions were vague here. After leaving the dough in the freezer for 15-20 minutes, it says to melt chocolate and shortening over a double boiler. I wasn’t clear on whether I should keep the dough in the freezer during this time or not, so I took the dough out figuring it’s been more than 20 minutes.
Don’t do that! I was wrong! Leave the dough patties in the freezer right up until the moment you need to dip them in the chocolate!
Once the chocolate is completely melted, it’s left to cool completely before you start dipping.
Dipping the patties into the chocolate was a mess. Both literally and figuratively.
The first batch was my thinnest dough patties, and they had been out of the freezer for about 20-30 minutes by the time I finally dipped them in chocolate. So they weren’t exactly cold any more. They would bend and rip apart while I was dipping them, and I found it at lot easier to spread the chocolate on with a knife instead of dipping them.
When I realized that I should have kept these in the freezer the entire time, I popped the second batch back in there while I continued to painstakingly add chocolate to the rest of the first batch.
The second batch was frozen and thicker than the first batch, so it went a little more smoothly, but they were still pretty thin overall and several of the patties snapped or broke into pieces while they were being dipped.
But the second batch did go by a bit quicker and with less headache than the first one.
Finally, the cookies were left to cool overnight (I put them in the fridge to speed up the process).
Despite the frustrations and difficulty level of this recipe, these cookies were awesome!!!
They weren’t eaten as quickly as the butter cookies, because a) not everybody loves peppermint and b) they are very sweet and filling. But these went over very well too, and I liked them much more than the butter cookies.
These are delicious! They taste (and look) very similar to the York Peppermint Patties I used to eat as a kid. Yummy!!!
The recipe is not detailed enough, and that can lead to some frustrations during this recipe. See my suggestions below to make this recipe less of a headache to prepare.
You’ll probably need to purchase the condensed milk, peppermint extract, confectioner’s sugar, and chocolate chips. Even if you already have confectioner’s sugar and chocolate chips in your pantry, you’ll need more.
Other ingredients include vanilla extract and shortening.
Do not press the dough balls too flat, or it will be much more difficult later to both flip the dough (while drying out) and dip the dough in chocolate.
Also, leave the dough in the freezer right up until you dip them in the melted chocolate. That way they are less likely to bend and break while dipping.