This holiday season I wanted to up my sugar cookie game, and thus I made cookies inspired by the Netflix show Stranger Things. If you have not seen the show, stop everything you are doing, and spend the next eight hours getting up to speed. If you have seen the show, then you probably understand why these cookies are rad. While they are not as amazing as boxes of Eggo Waffles, they are surely better than any other holiday cookie that may rip through the time-space continuum this year. So channel your inner Barb, stay at home on a Saturday night, and bake some cookies.
Step 1: For the Light Bulb Cookies
For the light bulb cookies you will need the following ingredients:
1 light bulb cookie cutter
4 cups flour (sifted)
2 cups sugar
2 sticks unsalted softened butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
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Step 2: Chocolate Letter Cookies
Step 3: Royal Icing Frosting
Step 4: Light Bulb Wire
For the light bulb wire, it is recommended to use black string licorice. In my mind, this is purely for aesthetics. I find black licorice utterly inedible and gross, but some people really seem to like eating it.
Step 5: Dry Ingredients
We are going to start by making the light bulb sugar cookies.
Mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
Step 6: Butter and Sugar
Cream together the butter and sugar.
Step 7: Wet Ingredients
Combine the eggs and vanilla into the butter and sugar mixture.
Step 8: Dough
Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients a little at a time until a nice thick dough forms.
You may need to knead it with your hands as the dough begins to grow thicker and harder to stir.
When done, combine the dough into two equally-sized balls.
Step 9: Flatten
Press down upon each ball of dough to flatten them.
Step 10: Wrap and Refrigerate
Wrap each ball of dough with plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
Step 11: Start the Chocolate Cookies
Mix together all of the dry ingredients in a single bowl. This includes the flour, salt, and cocoa powder.
Step 12: Butter and Sugar
Once again, cream together the butter and the sugar.
Step 13: Wet Ingredients
Once again, mix together the eggs and vanilla with the butter and sugar.
Step 14: Chocolate Dough
Mix in the dry ingredients and wet ingredients a little at a time.
This dough gets very dry as you mix the flour and cocoa in. If it stop clumping together and starts getting crumbly, stop mixing in the dry ingredients and ball it up.
Step 15: Roll It Out
Press the ball of dough flat.
Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper, place the flattened dough in the center, and cover over top of it with more parchment paper.
Roll the dough out to cover the entire cookie sheet.
Cover the whole thing with plastic wrap, and refrigerate this dough for at least an hour.
Step 16: Roll Out the Other Dough
While the chocolate dough chills, now is the time to roll out the other cookie dough (presuming at least an hour has passed).
Roll out both balls of dough.
Now would be a good time to preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Step 17: Cut Bulbs
Using the cookie cutter, cut bulbs into each sheet of of dough. Don't peel them up yet.
Step 18: Holes
Cut holes into the center of the base of the bulb using a drinking straw.
Step 19: Peel Up the Dough
Peel up the unused dough and ball it up. You will be repeating this process of making light bulbs until there is no more dough left.
Place the cut light bulb cookies onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet in neat rows.
Step 20: Bake
Bake the cookies for 15-18 minutes at 325 degrees, and the leave them out to cool when they are done.
Step 21: Royal Icing
Once all of the cookies are cut, baking in the oven, and/or cooling, it is time to make some royal icing.
To make the icing, whisk together the powdered sugar, meringue powder, and water.
It is ready when the icing begins to form a slow dripping ribbon when the whisk is lifted out of the bowl.
Step 22: Four Bowls
Divide the royal icing into four bowls.
These four bowls will be used to make red, green, blue and yellow/orange color icing for the light bulbs.
Step 23: Colored Icing
Use food coloring to make the appropriate color icing for the different light bulbs.
If you need inspiration, check out the Stranger Things light bulb pictures.
Step 24: Ice the Cookies
Ice the bulb part of the cookies with the different colored icings, and a pastry (or butter) knife.
Set them aside to dry once they are coated.
Step 25: Cut Letters
Once the light bulb cookies are done, remove the chocolate cookie sheet from the refrigerator, and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Cut each letter of the alphabet out of the chocolate cookie sheet. You should be able to fit the whole alphabet onto a single sheet.
When you are done, ball up the extra dough, roll it back out, and either cut more letters, or do what you please with it.
Step 26: Bake the Letters
Bake the alphabet at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes, until they look about done (not wet).
Step 27: String the Bulbs
Using black licorice, string the bulbs together.
The technique I like to use involved passing the licorice through the hole from behind, wrapping it around, and passing it through again.
Step 28: Communicate
Once everything is completed and laid out appropriately, use your cookies to communicate with the upside down.