Sixteen years ago today, my daddy passed away. It was on a Tuesday, instead of Monday, but Easter was that Sunday, just like it is this year. Easter is inextricably linked to my family’s loss that year, but that doesn’t take the joy out of the day for any of us, and this year, I’m dedicating one of my Easter treats to my dad.
It was easy to come up with an idea… I’ve been pining for Disney pretty much ever since we got back from our last visit this past October, and there’s a weird and funny story that ties my dad to Mickey Mouse forever and ever.
When my dad was young, he injured his right hand, which led to him having to have his middle finger amputated later in life. They removed the finger in such a way that it appeared that he didn’t have a pinky. Rather than leaving a gap between his index and ring fingers, they removed all of the tendons, etc., and shifted his fingers over. What he was left with was what our family began referring to as a ‘Mickey Mouse hand’. You know, three fingers and a thumb.
People never ceased to notice, or to ask about it, and he always replied along the lines of, “Oh? This. No big deal. Just my Mickey Mouse hand.” He even bought a white glove to wear on it.
Cause he was just that cool.
The fact that my dad had no qualms about being a Disney fan only made it that much better. He never got to visit Disney World…time ran out…but he was Mickey Mouse fan for as long as I can remember. I’m even blessed enough to have his old Mickey Mouse watch.
My dad was a weird and wonderful man. I’m fortunate to have inherited much of his weirdness, and I like to think some of the wonderfulness, too. I often try to imagine his reactions to our world now; the technological advances that we’ve seen, the way the globe has become a smaller place because of it. Or his reactions to his family now, with two sons added on, and five grandsons to love. I can’t think he’d be anything but awed and enamored of it all. He was always able to embrace the world with a childlike glee that is beyond rare in adulthood. I like to think it’s my best inherited trait from him.
These cookies are for you, Dad. When I go to Disney, you go along with me, in my heart. I know you’d be crazy for it, and for these cookies, and I’m grateful every day to feel your love and pride shining through my heart into all I do.
I made these extra, extra special. They’re multi-layered, and filled with candy. Cause Easter.
Okay. So. These are involved to describe, and when I first got busy making them, I really thought I’d be at it f-o-r-e-v-e-r, but seriously…just knock those ideas right out of your head. These are way easier than they seem. Trust me.
Alright, so you’ve got your basic shape cut out…in this case, a Mickey Mouse head. Now, it’s time to cut out the building blocks that make these 3D. For these particular cookies, that meant I needed a little cookie ring. This ring would act as the base for the basket I’d be adding later, as well as providing the basket’s handle.
To make sure the cookie ring was the right size, I used the same Mickey Mouse cookie cutter, then lopped off the ears. Now I’ve got a nice round cookie, that is exactly the right size. All that was left was to cut out the center.
A little advice here: the bigger the hole in the center, the more room you have for stuffing these full of candy and frosting. However, that also means the ring will be thinner, so it’ll cook faster, and be slightly more fragile, so proceed with caution.
Next up comes the basket portion. Again, you need to make sure this is the right size, so I recommend starting with your original cutter and trimming as needed. I chose to use a large round biscuit cutter to trim my basket piece down, because it added a subtle curve to the top, but you could also just cut straight across.
I decided to cover my base cookie with a piece of fondant, becuase it gives a perfect smooth finish to the background. You could also do royal icing, but if you’ve already got the fondant on hand, it’s faster; you don’t have to wait for it to dry to proceed.
Now that that’s in place, use a little frosting to glue the cookie ring in place. I used good old buttercream, but you can also use royal icing. In all honestly, the royal is a stronger “glue”, but the buttercream still worked perfectly.
Add a little more frosting glue to the bottom half of the cookie ring, and put your basket cookie in place.
Finally, it’s decorating time. I chose to go whole hog and do a for realsies basket weave for my basket, because basket. Some simple loopy swirls along the handle and across the top of the basket are all you need to finish it up.
A word on basket weaving – notsohard. Okay, that’s three words, but really, tis truth. If my flashy little gif doesn’t make everything perfectly clear (and let’s face it, it doesn’t), here’s my tutorial: (link coming shortly…sorry!).
Here’s a side view of the cookie to give you an idea of what’s happening here. I usually roll my sugar cookies out to be about 3/8 of an inch thick, but since I was stacking these, I decided to go slightly thinner (1/4 of an inch), to keep them from being cookie skyscrapers.
And Cookie Piggy loves these cookies. I mean, really…aren’t they pretty?! They have it all…cuteness, whimsy, soft cookies, and fluffy frosting.
Happy Easter and enjoy!
Inspired by these amazing Piñata Cookies
Other great 3D cookies: