Gingerbread Mouse’s Cookie Recipe

My youngest daughter noticed that there was a gingerbread recipe at the back of her copy of Gingerbread Mouse by Katy Bratun (2007). This picture book would usually be stored away with the Christmas decorations, but it ended up being in regular rotation at story time, so I am loathe to put it away until she loses interest. I had a great deal of success with the chocolate cake recipe at the back of Amelia Bedelia Bakes Off when I tried it last month, so I was optimistic about trying out another recipe from a children’s book. I was not disappointed.

Gingerbread, to me, is usually a tough cookie, able to withstand the stresses of being assembled into a house shape and decorated by little hands. Gingerbread is also a dark, rich brown. Going by these qualifiers, the Gingerbread Mouse cookies weren’t very gingerbread-like at all. They were buttery and delicate, more like a shortbread in texture. They would never stand up to house construction. They were also light brown — coloured by the ginger, cinnamon, and brown sugar, but missing the traditional molasses. They were also absolutely melt-in-your-mouth delicious. I am definitely making them again, but I will use a different recipe if I need to build a gingerbread house.

To me, one of the best things you can eat with a ginger-flavoured cookie is vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt. One of my favourite things to do after making my way through the maze of the local IKEA is to pick up a box of PEPPARKAKOR ginger thins at the Swedish Food Market and use them to scoop up some of the frozen yogurt that they sell in the bistro just past the checkouts. For dessert after the Sunday dinner that I hosted last night, I served the Gingerbread Mouse cookies alongside store-bought French vanilla ice cream. I’d love to say that I made the ice cream too, but I just don’t have the equipment. And hey, at least it was real ice cream and not a “frozen dairy dessert”.

Valentine’s Day Cookies: Cookie Monster’s Famous Cookie Dough

My girls wanted to bring cookies for their classes for Valentine’s Day yesterday, so that meant breaking out the recipe for Cookie Monster’s Famous Cookie Dough. This is a recipe that I’ve been using since I was a child — actually, that’s probably what we were cooking in the first picture of my introduction post. In my post-childhood but pre-Internet days, my family lost the recipe, but these days the recipe can be found online via

This dough isn’t just for Valentine’s Day; in this photo we were using the recipe for Christmas cookies.

According to my research online, apparently the recipe first appeared in Big Bird’s Busy Book in 1975, which is not where I found it. Family photos reveal that we had The Sesame Street Treasury: Volume 1 (1983), on which the first part of the recipe is printed on page 6. Presumably the cooking instructions are in a later volume. The recipe was also printed The Sesame Street Library: Volume 1 (1978), with the basic recipe on page 7 and the baking instructions on page 26, under the title Cookie Monster’s Shape Cookies.

Heart cookies before baking.

I was lucky enough to snag both a copy of Vol. 1 of the Treasury and the Library a few weeks ago from a thrift shop. There were a few more volumes there, including The Sesame Street Treasury: Volume 5, which I clearly remember reading as a child. This volume has Cookie Monster’s Cookie Faces on page 27. This is a continuance of the Famous Cookie Dough recipe and also contains baking instructions.

Heart cookies after baking.

This recipe is very forgiving and, as such, is a great recipe to do with children. The dough can be rolled and re-rolled with impunity as the kids cut out the shapes. For fluffiest results, refrigerate the prepared cookies on a baking pan for an hour or more before baking. If you do so, you may need to add a minute or two to the cooking time so that they are done all the way through.

My girls painting their Christmas cookies two years ago.

One thing you may note is not in the original recipe is the coloured glaze — although that’s clearly what I was painting on in my childhood photo. ( recommends sprinkling them with sugar before baking, which would be good too.) I’m not exactly sure why we started painting the cookies. Perhaps the instructions were in another volume of the Treasury that I haven’t yet found as an adult? The “paint” is very simple: for each colour, separate an egg into two bowls or small containers. Mix a couple of drops of different food colouring with each part of the egg, and then paint onto the cookie before baking. I find that the yolk makes the most saturated colours, but since it has a yellow base it’s hard to get colours like blue (which will mix to create green). Adding a few more drops of food colouring can help “overpower” the yellow. (If for whatever reason you can’t use food colouring, natural colours work as well. For example, a few drops of beet juice can yield an amazing colour.)

Painting the cookies was my favourite part of the process as a child, and is my kids’ favourite part as well. As a bonus, glaze doesn’t make nearly as much of a mess as icing when the kids eat the cookies. Do keep in mind that the glaze will crack when baking because the cookies do expand, so there’s no point in being too precise. Save the fine detail for fancy cookies that are iced after they’re baked.