Slightly crunchy, delightfully buttery cookies dipped in bright royal icing.
Koopas first appeared in Super Mario Bros. and have been showing up in Mario games ever since. I went with green shells as they’re the most popular Koopa color. Plus, red shells make Mario Kart players, well, see red. I’ve heard many a race foiled as the player was sent spinning by the deadly red shell, mere inches from the finish line. So, green shells it is.
These cookies take awhile to put together due to the drying time of the icing. They’re worth it!
Ingredients for cookies:
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar, divided
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup finely chopped pecans (walnuts work as well)
Ingredients for Royal Icing:
2 egg whites
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
Green food coloring
White decorators’ gel or white frosting
Black decorators’ gel
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Blend the softened butter and vanilla extract until it looks like mayo.
Add in the flour, 1/2 cup of powdered sugar, and salt. This is a thick dough, so it will take a few minutes for the dough to become well mixed.
Mix in the chopped pecans or other chopped nut of your choice.
Form into one inch balls and place on cookie sheet. These cookies don’t spread, so you can pack a lot of them on a cookie sheet.
Bake for 10-12 minutes. The cookies are overdone if the tops are brown, so check out them often. They’re done when they are firm and the bottoms are golden brown.
Pour the remaining 1/2 cup of powdered sugar into a bowl. While the cookies are still warm, roll them in the powdered sugar. I rolled the cookies right after pulling them from the oven; it was like playing the game Hot Potato. If the cookies are allowed to cool for a minute or two, you won’t have to bobble the hot cookie around.
Once the cookies have been rolled in powdered sugar, allow to cool. While they cookies are cooling off, you can put together the royal icing.
Mix together the powdered sugar and egg whites. You’ll want a pretty thick frosting, otherwise it will run right off the cookie.
Add the green food coloring. It took quite a bit to get this bright green color. I used coloring gel; it took four good squeezes of the bottle.
Royal icing hardens quickly so you’ll have to be quick with this dipping part!
Grab a cookie and dip halfway into the frosting. Shake off any access frosting, then place on a sheet of tin foil to dry. Drying time takes about an hour.
Once dried, use black decorators’ gel to create the turtle shell pattern on the top of the cookie. Use white gel or frosting around the edge of the green frosting to complete the cookie. I found that using the smaller gel container was less awkward to use than the bigger frosting can.
Makes two dozen Koopa Shell cookies.