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Let's Make Mermaid Cookies! You can make almond flavored mermaids with sesame seed tails, as Mary Margaret described in her journal in Mermaid Mary Margaret. Or you might try chocolate mermaids, or any flavor or shape you like. You can decorate them creatively too, with dried fruit and nuts, or frosting, M&M's, or color sugar spinkles.

Please check with your grown ups, and read the Safety & Cooking Tips before starting this recipe.

You might want to make the dough the evening before you bake these fun cookies, as the dough needs to be chilled several hours or overnight for the easiest handling.

What you'll need (double or triple recipe for more dough): A single recipe below makes 3-5 large mermaid cookies, or many more smaller ones.

1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter
1 egg
1Tablespoon milk
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Decorations for the mermaids: sesame seeds, almonds, raisins, dried apricots, dried cranberries, frosting, candy or sugar sprinkles, etc.

Chocolate Mermaid Cookie Variation: To make chocolate mermaids, simply use the same recipe above, but replace the 1 1/2 cups flour with 1 1/4 cups flour and 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder.

Here's what to do:
1. Wash your hands.
2. Cream together 1/2 cup sugar and 1/4 cup butter. Beat in 1 egg and 1 Tablespoon of milk until well blended.
3. In a separate bowl, sift or stir together 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder with 1 1/2 cups flour.
4. Add the mixed dry ingredients from step 3 into the well-blended wet ingredients from step 2. Stir with a wooden spoon, or blend in mixer until smooth.
5. Finally, stir in 1/2 teaspoon almond extract until blended well.
6. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate several hours or overnight for easy rolling and handling.

While you are waiting for the dough to chill-- read a good book, find your favorite cookie cutters, draw some mermaids, or maybe make a pattern to use for your cookies.

If you like the shape of these cookies, you can download and print Mary Margaret's Mermaid Pattern. Then cut that shape from a clean manila file folder for use on the rolled out dough. Or draw your own favorite mermaid shape and cut it from a clean manila file folder to use as a pattern when rolling and cutting your cookies. Don't worry about the hair right now. You can roll out dough to make all kinds of hairstyles on your cookie creations. Helpful hint: try not to make any mermaid parts too thin or delicate or they might burn or break.

After the dough has chilled several hours or overnight, you are ready to roll! Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Wash you hands.

Roll out the dough about 1/3 inch thick on a lightly floured surface. (You can also roll out the dough onto plastic wrap, cut out the shape you want, pull away the excess dough, then carefully turn the plastic wrap (with mermaid shape on it) upside down onto your greased cookie sheet for easy transfer to your baking sheet. Be sure to peel away the plastic wrap before baking, of course.

Use your favorite cookie cutters, your own imaginative drawings, or Mary Margaret's Mermaid Pattern (a pdf file) cut from a clean manila file folder. Place the pattern gently on the rolled out dough, cut around the pattern into the dough with a butter knife, pull the excess dough away, and transfer your mermaid shape to a greased baking sheet. Once your mermaid is safely on the baking sheet, have fun decorating them, gently pressing in sesame seeds, dried fruits, nuts, or candies. We did most of ours with sesame seeds on their tails, almonds for the swim suit tops, dried apricot lips and noses, and raisins for the eyes. We also used dried cranberries and yellow raisins for mermaid hairstyles. Oh, and don't forget their belly buttons. Little pieces of almond or walnut work well.

You can make all kinds of hairsyles with hand rolled dough and attach it carefully to your cookie's head prior to baking.

If the dough gets too soft and difficult to roll or handle, or if your mermaid is hard to transfer, simply put the dough (or the partially shaped mermaid), back in the fridge or freezer (on a baking sheet or flat cutting board works best) for a few minutes until it hardens up again for easier handling. You might also want to use your dough in small batches, doing just a mermaid or two at a time, keeping the extra dough firm in the fridge. Excess dough from around your mermaid shape can be rechilled and rerolled into new shapes.

If your grown ups agree, your grown up can try bending a regular tin gingerbread man cookie cutter into a cute mermaid shape. Have your grown ups wear gloves, and (by hand or with a pair of pliers) they can bend the gingerbread man's legs into one big loop, then reshape that leg-loop into a nifty mermaid tail. But be careful, because tin cookie cutters can be very sharp!

Arrange your cookies about an inch apart on the greased baking sheet, as they expand and puff up a teensy bit while baking. Bake at 350 degrees and check after about 5 minutes for smaller cookies, and after 8-10 minutes for larger cookies. They should be firm and baked through, but not browned or or too crisp. Check every couple of minutes so they don't burn.

Cool a little bit on the baking sheet, then on a wire rack.

Invite your friends and family for a mermaid tea party. Or better yet, invite them over to help you make the cookies!

And if anyone finds a good mermaid cookie cutter, please tell me where I can get one. AuthorLynn@aol.com Or where I can have my design manufactured at a reasonable price. Thanks!

If the mermaid pattern pdf files are difficult to download, try downloading this jpg file.

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