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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Basketball hoop cookies

My dad's birthday is at the end of April, and my sisters and I had planned to take him to a Knicks game to celebrate.  It's a flashback to our childhood when we used to alternate going to the games with my dad or mom, or both of them, in some combination.  The permutations were endless!  But we loved going, and over the years I even caught some pretty famous games.  The only problem is that we encountered a few little issues along the way.  Like Jeremy Lin and his "linsanity," which caused a huge influx of ticket purchases (and therefore fewer tickets for us to purchase).  A shortened NBA season.  The fact that there are only a handful of Knicks home games left, and that we can't coordinate our schedules (not even considering my dad's schedule).  We decided we'd keep the idea in place, but we wouldn't be making it to an acual game....this season.  So, we picked the first game that worked for us, which happened to be this week, roughly a month before my dad's actual birthday.

So the festivities were NY Knicks themed, or more generally, basketball themed.  The foods that we served were throwbacks to what we ordered when we went to the games: hot dogs, hot pretzels, knishes, and pizza (definitely not low carb).  The room was decorated in blue and orange streamers, a knicks balloon, and a Knicks sign.  Basketball paper plates and Knicks napkins rounded out the theme.  Of course, I made dessert.  I thought about cake balls decorated like basketballs, but my dad doesn't have a huge sweet tooth and cake balls are super sweet.  Then I came across these adorable cookies, and decided to make these.  A few little changes to make them a little more Knicks-y, and a substitution for the basketball (since I didn't have enough time to buy actual sugar basketball decorations), and I was good to go!

The finished results are these basketball hoop cookies.  I used orange Reese's pieces as basketballs, and I used blue piping icing instead of black because the Knicks colors are blue and orange.  I think they turned out pretty cute:

These would also be great for March Madness festivities!

I threw a few color-coordinated Oreo pops in, too!
Slam Dunk Cookies

6 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

1 package Vanilla CandiQuick Candy Coating (I presume that white chocolate will work, as well)
White Reese's mini peanut butter cups
Black food coloring or cake writing icing (use oil or powder based food coloring, only)
Basketball sugar lay-ons (or orange Reese's pieces or M&Ms)

1. Preheat oven to 400F
2. Cream together butter and sugar until smooth.  Beat in egg and vanilla.  Stir in dry ingredients.
3. Roll dough on a well floured surface, leaving rolled dough 1/4 inch thick.  Cut the dough into approximate 3 inch circles.
4. Place cookies on baking sheet 1 inch apart.  Bake 6-8 minutes.  Cool completely.
5. Melt CandiQuik or chocolate according to directions. 
6. Dip 3/4 of each cookie in chocolate/coating.  Place on wax paper
7. Unwrap peanut butter cups, dip on in the coating and place on the bottom (un-coated) edge of the coating.  Press the basketball (or Reese's pieces) above the peanut butter cup.  Let set.
8. Once set, pipe on the backboard and hoop lines with colored candiquik or cake writing icing.

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