I’m still recovering from the sugar coma that was my son’s third birthday party, not to mention the (completely justifiable) death stare another mother shot me when the cotton candy cart rolled out. But you only turn three once. And Tiny G wanted a pirate party, and pirates love sugar, so arrggh! Tiny G’s preschool classmates were arriving at 11 am, so this morning—because I’m a supreme procrastinator—my sister and I got up at 6:30 am to make and assemble the party favors: little treasure bags for little pirates. First, I printed out a recipe for Tiny G’s Desert Island Cookies (my favorite sugar cookie recipe from my grandmother) on mottled paper, rolled up each and tied with a red string.
Meanwhile, Claire rolled out the dough and cut out little sharks using a cookie cutter I got at Sur la Table for $1. (I ended up getting a few dozen for favors.) Claire frosted the cookies and dusted with pale turquoise sugar crystals I found at Surfas in Culver City. They have the BEST colors of sugar crystals.
While at Surfas, I also grabbed some cellophane treat bags. I was concerned about the shark tails snapping off, so I cut out 4″ x 2″ red card-stock rectangles to put the cookies on, then slid into the cellophane bags and affixed the backs with pirate stickers.
For the treasure bag itself, I found these 4″ x 6″ old-fashioned drawstring bags made of organic unbleached cotton mill cloth. They were 19 cents each. We stamped each with a red pirate.
Then we filled the muslin bags with a cookie and a treasure map recipe, and then tied a shark cookie cutter on the drawstring of each bag. The cost of each goodie bag came in at under $2. Which left plenty of room in the budget for Dark & Stormies for the grown ups…
Tiny G’s Desert Island Cookies
1 ¼ cups sugar
3 cups flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 sticks softened unsalted butter
1 teaspoon Madagascar vanilla extract
4 cups sifted powdered sugar
3 tablespoons whole milk
1/2 teaspoon Madagascar vanilla extra
Colored sugar crystals (optional)
To make cookies: In a large bowl, mix together flour, salt and baking powder. In a separate bowl, using a hand mixer, beat together sugar, butter, eggs and vanilla until fluffy. Add flour mixture to egg mixture and stir to mix well. Gather dough together; divide in half. Flatten each half into disk; wrap in plastic and chill at least 1 hour. Roll out dough (1 disc at a time) on floured surface to ¼-inch thickness. Cut out cookies. Transfer to parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Repeat with remaining dough. Chill on sheets for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 5-10 minutes, until golden brown. Cool on rack.
To make icing, Combine powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla in medium bowl. Stir until icing is well blended, smooth, and spreadable. Spread thin layer of icing atop each cookie. If using colored sugar crystals, sprinkle over cookies before icing sets.