Heart Container Cookies – The Legend of Zelda series

heart cookies 2
Valentines Day is one of those holidays I just don’t get excited about like so many others seem to get delirious over. I personally associate the day with piles of terrible candy covered in pink and red tat with a dash of cheap novelty greeting cards. However, in my utmost determination to disassociate myself from these negative ideas of v-day, I thought I’d make something awesome to take my mind away from the mountains of gaudy baubles pawned off on naive lovebirds.

Heart Containers were an easy choice. Who wouldn’t love someone that gave them the gift of extra health? I know I would! One if the most rewarding things about a Zelda game, especially later on, is having an absolute ton of hearts. Unless of course you consider yourself more the type of person that walks a dangerous road and chooses to skip heart collecting. Either way, fans of both approaches can appreciate the importance of keeping your heart containers full. Or maybe empty, in the case of these cookies.

Fun Fact: There were actually three Oracle games planned, but due to time restraints, the third was scrapped.

INGREDIENTStumblr_m5mwji1Ojq1r7fk2zo1_500
3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
4 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Very finely crushed red hard candy, about 1 cup (I used a raspberry drop candy I happened across at the supermarket)
For glaze:
1 cup icing sugar
1 tablespoon milk

DIRECTIONSheart cookie
Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks and vanilla and beat to combine. Slowly add flour mixture and beat to combine. Form dough into 2 equal balls, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Working with 1 disk at a time, roll out dough between floured parchment paper to 1/8-inch thickness. Stack dough in parchment on a baking sheet; refrigerate until firm, 30 minutes. Cut out heart shapes using cookie cutters or, if none are available, cut out shapes using a clean, non-perforated knife. Place cookies, 1 inch apart, on well greased tin foil baking sheets (this makes it easier to get the glassy hard candy center off the foil). Bake until cookies are pale but set, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove sheets from oven; fill cutouts with crushed candy. Bake until cookies begin to brown at edges and candy is melted, 3 minutes. Let cool completely on sheets on wire racks.
Mix icing sugar and milk together then apply to the outside cookie and let set.

Fun Fact: The Pols Voice monster in The Legend of Zelda was originally meant to be defeated by screaming into a microphone for the NES. It was, however, scrapped in the US, and only applied to the Japanese Famicom version. The US manual still refers to them “disliking loud noises”.

DIFFICULTY: TWO MOOGLES
moogles copy

Rice Crispie Bombs – The Legend of Zelda series

Zelda Bomb 2

Hyrule is a pretty weird place. Money and health lie around in the grass. People leave active bombs around their house in clay pots. Don’t even get me started on that ocarina, have you ever tried to play one of those? Impossible!
That’s not to refute that Legend of Zelda games are an absolute blast to play. Bombs, although usually inaccurate and slow, will always be my favorite item. To me there was nothing more satisfying than say, throwing a bomb into a boss’ mouth to have it all end terribly for the brute. I almost feel sorry for them.

I made these bombs out of rice crispies, a touch of royal icing and used licorice for the “fuse”. If you’re interested in making them I included the recipe below, although its not very involved. They’re pretty fun to make and make a fun snack for kids.

Fun Fact: The famous Fairy Fountain theme used in many Zelda games was actually first used as the overworld theme for the Water Land level in Super Mario Bros. 3.

Ingredients

Bomb's Away

Bomb’s Away


3 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 package regular marshmallows
6 cups rice cereal
Black dye
Blue dye
Grey royal icing
Red Licorice

Directions:
In large saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat. Add rice cereal and black/blue dye. I used a 5/2 ratio of black to blue. Stir until well coated. Wait until slightly cool then roll into 2 inch balls. Decorate with royal icing and licorice fuses.

Fun fact: Fans have always noted how different the story of Link’s Awakening is from other Zelda titles. That’s because despite the Zelda skin, it’s more of a sequel to a little-known Japan-only title, The Frog for Whom the Bell Tolls, than Link to the Past.

DIFFICULTY: ONE MOOGLE
1moogle

Peanut cheese bar – Earthbound (Mother 2)

cheese bar
The Mother/Earthbound series of games stink! No, but really they’re just a fun, quirky culmination of both child and adult themes ranging from oh-so-silly to deadly serious. It’s almost as if the creators set out to make the player feel every single emotion in one easy to play video game. I laughed, I cried, I raged at trying to get a perfect rhythm chain each battle. It’s a super charming world in which it tries to replicate what I imagine would be a foreigners take on what America looked like if they had never visited.

And what’s better is that the intentionally kooky interpretation of western food churns out an array of wacky items. Hot Dog Sushi and Strawberry Tofu make an appearance in these games, just to list just a couple of the weirdest consumables (I later looked up “Hot Dog Sushi” and apparently it’s a ‘thing’ in Hawaii).

When eaten, you recover about 100 HP

When eaten, you recover about 100 HP


A Peanut Cheese Bar is also a treat Ness and the gang enjoy. However, before you take the bars name at face value, I must remind you that cheese can be sweet, ie cheesecake. Its not a gross cheddar cheese concoction (Although I’ve also seen that cheese and peanut butter sandwiches are enjoyed by Americans). So to pay my respect to a game I love, I made Peanut “Cheese” Bars myself. These feature a pretzel crust and a frozen peanut butter cheesecake filling. Enjoy!

Fun Fact: “This Game Stinks!” was the slogan for Earthbound. This is referring to the scratch and sniff stickers featured in the games manual.

Ingredients:

Crust
3/4 cup margarine, softened
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 1/2 cups crushed pretzels

Filling
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
2 (5 ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk
3/4 cup peanut butter
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup whipped cream

Directions:

In a medium bowl, mix together margarine, sugar and pretzels. Press the mixture into a 9×13 inch baking pan. Chill for 10-15 minutes.

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually beat in condensed milk and peanut butter until smooth. Stir in lemon juice and vanilla. Fold in whipped cream. Pour into prepared tin. Freeze for 4 hours or until firm. This must always remain frozen! (Serves up to 12 as it is very filling).

Fun Fact: There are hundreds of pop culture references in Mother. A whopping 14 confirmed references are dedicated to The Beatles alone, including the bonus alternative names of the main characters themselves.

DIFFICULTY: ONE MOOGLE
1moogle

Donkey Kong’s Cake – Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze

A cake fit for a gorilla!

A cake fit for a gorilla!


Nintendo recently unveiled a new trailer for their upcoming game “Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze” featuring DK and the gang having an apetastic party being crashed by a flock of chilly enemies. Whats wrong with bad guys nowadays anyway? They don’t even have the common decency to let a gorilla enjoy his banana topped cake. I’ve always been a fan of DK and his chimp sidekick Diddy, with Donkey Kong Country being one of my top five favorite games ever. It has been and always will to such a thrill to play, no matter how many times I’ve played it. And in my honest opinion this new entry looks stunning, I personally cannot wait to get my hands on it, especially if its anything like Country.

Going back to the trailer, a glorious banana topped cake is displayed front and center, waiting for DK to blow it’s candle out. Unfortunately for this dexterous gorilla he couldn’t enjoy his cake. However, I recreated the same cake and DK is welcome ’round to share some with us!

Our time together was short and sweet.

Our time together was short and sweet.

Fun Fact: The fourth world in the first Land game is in fact the city that the very first Donkey Kong took place in, the one where the original Kong held Pauline hostage on top of a skyscraper.

Banana Cake:
125 g butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup mashed bananas
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons hot milk
2 cups plain baking flour
1 teaspoon baking powder

Directions:

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add mashed banana and mix thoroughly.Stir soda into hot milk and add to creamed mixture.

Sift flour and baking powder together. Stir into creamed mixture until combined.

Divide into two greased and lined 20 cm round cake tins.Bake at 180°C for 50 minutes or until cakes springs back when lightly touched. Leave in tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack. Cakes can be filled with whipped cream and sliced bananas.

K-O-N-G

K-O-N-G

Banana Icing:
1 cup white sugar
1/3 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon banana milkshake powder

Directions:

In a saucepan, stir together the sugar and water. Cook over medium-high heat until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is bubbly. Stir constantly.
In a medium mixing bowl, lets eggs whites and salt sit for a couple minutes. Whip the egg whites, salt and vanilla to soft peaks. Gradually add the sugar mixture while whipping constantly until stiff peaks form, about 7 to 10 minutes. Finally stir in the banana milkshake powder, add more if desired.

Optional:
I covered the cake with a royal icing that I dyed brown, and topped with sprinkles and DK letters. It was almost too sweet, so if you do attempt to make this cake, be advised for future cavities.

Fun Fact: “Jungle Fantasy”, the Japanese OST for the original DKC, contained seven arranged songs, all exclusive to the soundtrack. The OST was eventually released in Amercia as “DK Jamz”, though out of all the arrangements, it only contained Jungle Groove, leaving out the other six songs.

DIFFICULTY: THREE MOOGLES
3moogs

Fallout 3 – Fancy Lad Snack Cakes

fallout

Fallout seems to be one of those game franchises you either love or hate, the Marmite of gaming, if you will. With rumors currently running rampant about the probable announcement of Fallout 4 I remember the old style charm and wit it so often summoned in its quirky post apocalyptic world. That’s what makes Fallout such a great game, the sheer size and vastness of the wasteland, along with the massive quest list you can complete (or not) and all in what would have been a brilliant retro 50’s era.

Another reason Fallout is such a great series is its countless nods to pop culture. It can be seen in many places in the game, and one of those places are in its food items. Fancy Lad Snack Cakes, a clear take on Hostess Snack Cakes, not only makes mention of such an iconic American brand, but also pokes fun at the dubiously long shelf life of the things. I mean, do they ever really expire?

So very fancy.

So very fancy.

Anyway, here is my take on what Fancy Lad Snack Cakes would possibly look like. There is never a clear picture of them, possibly out of fear Bethesda might be sued. However, it isn’t hard to imagine that they would look like Hostess cupcakes, with a bit of a twist: I made them in a round disc-like shape with a cursive “fl” on top instead of loop-de-loops. After all, you have to keep these cakes fancy.

Fun Fact: “The Plunger Room of Death” is a small area unmarked on the Pip-Boy world map. It is located South of the Chryslus Building, and East of Farragut West Metro Station. The entrance is a door underneath an intact bridge. Inside are dozens of toilet plungers and bloody hand prints on the walls.

Ingredients:

Chocolate Cakes
1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 cup boiling water
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated white sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Chocolate Fudge Frosting:

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
2/3 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/3 cups confectioners sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS:

Tastier than a Stimpak.

Tastier than a Stimpak.

Chocolate Cakes:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly oil a pudding tin and set aside.

In a small bowl stir until smooth the boiling hot water and the cocoa powder. Let cool to room temperature.

In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture and beat only until incorporated. Then add the cooled cocoa mixture and stir until smooth. This will be slightly runny, don’t panic.

Fill each depression about two-thirds full with batter and bake for about 16 – 20 minutes or until risen, springy to the touch, and a toothpick inserted into a cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Once the cakes have completely cooled, frost with icing. You can either spread the frosting on the cake with a small spatula or if piping, fill cakes will white cream or custard then cover with chocolate frosting. Finally a simple milk + icing sugar frosting is piped on top to create the FL logo.

Chocolate Frosting:
Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.

Beat the butter until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar and beat until it is light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla extract. Add the chocolate and beat until incorporated.

Makes about 24 cakes.

Fun fact: Wastelanders’ favorite cereal, Chocolate-Frosted Sugar Bombs, or also known simply as “Sugar Bombs”, are shaped like miniature nukes.

DIFFICULTY: TWO MOOGLES
moogles copy

Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars – Muku Cookies

muuku
With Christmas mere days away, I’m in full swing with baking Christmas themed cookies. I wanted to bake a few different kinds and although normal Christmas cookies are all well and good, I pulled some inspiration from my usual source: video games.

Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars is one of those anomalies of a game that sounds like quite an odd concoction of ideas. However, a Mario RPG developed by Square and published by Nintendo just seemed crazy enough to work, and work it did. Featuring on many “Top [insert number here] Game” lists, SMRPG touts a colorful soundtrack, clean visuals (for the time) and chirpy dialogue. It really is a must play, and comes highly recommended by myself.

It even features cookies! When the item is used, the party summons a Mukumuku, who tries to hit a member of the party, but fails. The creature then hurts himself by throwing a bomb. For some reason, this recovers 69 HP for all party members.

A Muku Cookie

A Muku Cookie

For these cookies I used a simple shortbread recipe with buttercream icing, it makes it look nice and tastes great! Not to mention quite hard to mess up for anyone who is baking challenged.

Fun Fact: In the Japanese version, Bowser’s Haiku was instead a free-verse poem, which translated to “Why does everyone say ‘Mario, Mario’? My heart is very sad”, with his name at the end (as a sort of signature) instead of “Haiku”.

Shortbread Recipe

Ingredients:
175g butter, softened
½ cup Icing Sugar
1½ cups plain flour
½ cup cornflour
Pinch of salt

Too cute to eat.

Too cute to eat.

Directions:
Preheat oven to 150°C. Grease or line an oven tray with baking paper.
Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Sift in flour, cornflour and salt and mix thoroughly with the butter mixture until it forms a dough.
Knead dough, then roll out to 10mm thickness on a floured surface. Press out shapes using a biscuit cutter. Press remaining dough together and roll out again, press out shapes until mixture is used up.
Bake for 30 minutes or until pale golden.
Makes: about 14, can halve recipe.

I dyed a buttercream icing brown and then simply piped bear faces on top, and iced the sides. Simple!

Fun Fact: Bowser’s victory pose was changed when it was brought to the U.S. as it previously resembled the “Up yours!” gesture.

DIFFICULTY: ONE MOOGLE
1moogle