something that i was taught when i moved to the farm was that farmers fall into one of three main tractor camps: john deere, case, and new holland. i had already known about john deere because remember in high school when clothes with the john deere logo were popular for no reason according to kids in the suburbs who had never been to farms? but when i got here i quickly learned all about case because eggboy is a case man and case is the best (!) and here, look at case win tug of war against john deere. so all of our tractors and things are red which look really nice against the golden yellow wheat, a bit christmas-y against the beet greens, and in general, a really nice look and i applaud past generations of eggs for their decision to go with case.
the last time mum was in town we found this tractor cookie cutter at the home of economy and the cookie cutter guy on the tractor has eggboy's hat, so we had no choice but to get one. i took him for a little spin last week to celebrate the first day of wheat harvest and naturally, i was expected to decorate my cookies with red. no green food coloring in site.
here i'm using a recipe and decorating technique from juliet sear's new book, cakeology. what a book! it is like the triple black diamond ski slopes of cake decorating, with airbrushed things and intricate hand painted things and the hamburger cake to end all hamburger cakes and they are so gosh darn beautiful. i think it's going to be a good few years before i can master one of those cakes, but it is something to aim for! the cutout cookies in her book are so tasty and fun to decorate though and i love the idea of using the same cookie cutter for both the cookie and the layer of decoration. juliet uses fondant for her doggie cutouts, but here i'm using some coconut marzipan that i picked up in new york a few months ago (and also kate's book has a recipe for it that i've been meaning to try). of course, feel free to use any cutout shape that you'd like. but if you use a tractor, you'd better decorate it red :)
coconut marzipan tractor cookie cutouts
adapted from juliet sear's cakeology
7 oz unsalted butter, softened
3/4 c sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 2/3 c all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
16 oz coconut marzipan or regular marzipan, kneaded with a bit of food coloring
about 1/4 c frosting or icing, for sticking
Preheat the oven to 350 and line two baking sheets with parchment.
Place the butter, sugar, salt, and vanilla into a mixing bowl and mix until just combined, either by hand or using a stand mixer on low. The mix should still look grainy but be thoroughly incorporated.
Add the egg a little at a time with your mixer on low or with a wooden spoon, until fully incorporated.
Add the flour to the mixture and mix until a dough forms. If the mix is a little sticky, add a little more flour, or, alternatively, if it’s a bit dry add a few drops of water. You will know it’s right when the dough comes together without leaving sticky traces on the bowl and it forms into a nice shiny pliable ball.
Dust the work surface with flour and roll out the cookie dough to 1/4 inch thick.
Cut out your shapes, place them on the cookie sheets, and Bake for 10–12 minutes until golden brown around the edges. Cool on a wire rack.
to decorate, roll out the marzipan and cut out shapes using the same cookie cutter that you used for the cookies. pipe a few squiggles of frosting onto the cookies and then stick the marzipan directly on top.