This is not the first time I have expressed my love of pop culture in baking. For the Lost season six premiere last year, I made cookies in the shape of Dharma fish biscuits. So it was really only a matter of time before I decided to do another food-based art project. A visit to my boyfriend’s family in Houston (his mom loves the game) seemed like the perfect opportunity.
These are actually much easier to make than they may seem. The cookie recipe takes no time at all and requires no special ingredients, but you will have to go out for the detailed decorations. I got the sugar eyes at the most dangerous store in the city, New York Cake & Baking Supply on 22nd Street for $2.99, but you can definitely get them on Amazon. For the snouts and other details I used a small tube of black gel icing, which you could also use for the eyes with a tube of white.
This recipe makes twelve cookies, but since I halved the recipe I adapted it from, it can be easily doubled if you’re making them for a party. You can use all all-purpose flour instead of using some whole wheat, but it won’t affect the taste and the whole wheat gives the cookies a nice golden color. I strongly suggest rolling out the dough and cutting circles with a cookie cutter–I was in a rush for time and just rolled the dough into balls which I then flattened, which made for messy edges. You’ll still need to form the snouts by hand, unless you have a very tiny cookie cutter. Note that these pig bases do not have ears because they will burn before the cookies are baked through. They just won’t hear you squeal with delight. Heh heh heh.
For the Dough (recipe adapted from Bon Appetit Desserts)
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
6 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup whole-wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
For the Glaze
1 to 1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
green food coloring
small tube black gel food coloring (also white if not using candy eyes)
Beat butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer at medium speed until fluffy, about four minutes. Add egg and vanilla and beat until combined (batter will look curdled). Add flour mixture and mix on stir until just combined. If making the quick, ball-and-smash way, form dough into a disc and chill until somewhat firm, one hour. If rolling cookies out, separate into two, form into discs, and chill until firm, at least two hours.
After chilling, line two baking sheets with parchment paper and preheat oven to 350 degrees. If using quick method, grab large tablespoonfuls of dough and form twelve balls (you should have some dough left over). Space evenly apart on one cookie sheet and use the bottom of a glass to flatten to 1/4 an inch thickness. I highly recommend dipping the glass in flour before each flattening. Cookies might touch; this is okay. If rolling out, roll out dough to 1/4 an inch thick and cut twelve circles using a 3-inch cookie cutter and place on one cookie sheet. Using remaining dough or dough scraps, take a scant teaspoon at a time and form into ovals, also about 1/4 inch thick. You may have a few extra snouts, this is okay because you now have a snack. Place snouts on other cookie sheet.
Put sheets in oven and bake for six minutes, then remove snouts and bake bases for six more. Let snouts cool on sheet, but immediately move bases to cooling rack.
In a medium bowl, stir together milk, vanilla and 1 cup sugar until smooth, adding more sugar if necessary to create a glaze that is thin enough to spread, but not too drippy. Add green food coloring until desired shade is achieved. If you use liquid food coloring (I used gel), you may need to add additional sugar to reach the right consistency. Working one or two cookies at a time, spread glaze on base, then a snout, and then gently press snout into base to adhere. If using candy eyes, gently press one next to each side of snout. Once all cookies are assembled, let glaze set for 20 minutes, then pipe on snout nostrils and little smiles. If using gel colors for eyes, let white set a few minutes before adding black. Store in a single layer, and try not to get blown up by birds.