Christmas Cookie Roundup: Make Your Own Yoshi’s Cookies!

T’was the night before Christmas and all through the house, we’re all baking cookies, something something mouse. That was ham-fisted, yes, but I’m pressed for time to attend the annual Italian ritual of attempting to cook enough fish on one given night to cause mass extinction of several species. I hate fish, you see, as does Meg. So naturally we’re making a pizza tonight. Now if I may be ham-fistedly make a random segue…

Anyone remember that video game Yoshi’s Cookie? It was a puzzle game for older game consoles like Super Nintendo and the original Game Boy. It featured you playing as the Super Mario character, Yoshi (a green dinosaur that loves to eat), controlling a field of cookies in which you must line up different versions of the cookies in order for them to be cleared away.

yoshiecookie2

My mother was a big fan of the game due to its slight resemblance to Tetris. If you’re wondering how it works exactly, please watch 11 minutes of it, here.

A lot of my friends know I like video games, but for anyone new here, you’re probably wondering why it’s on PCFG in the first place. Yes, it contains cookies, but you can’t eat them (unless you eat the game cartridge). But actually I have some good news for all you Yoshi/Mario fans who don’t have a penchant for eating plastic and silicon, I do actually have the real-life versions of those cookies! Super Mario and baking? It’s a match made in heaven, for the absurdly small demographic of foodies with an encyclopedic knowledge of Super Mario Bros.!

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That’s us!

The cookies in the game are loosely based off of real-world equivalents, though nothing too specific. There’s five types in all, a heart, a diamond, a checkerboard, a flower, and a doughnut. Interestingly enough, there was a Japan-only sequel to the Super Nintendo version in which a side-mode actually listed Nintendo-branded recipes for some of the cookies with Yoshi directing you how to make them. While we never saw it in America, there’s videos you can find online which show it off. Using two of those recipes, plus other ones I have in our own collection, I was able to make up Yoshi’s cookies in reality. Soon it became a tradition for me to make these every year around Christmas, when the rest of my family was busy making traditional, Italian cookies and other long-standing favorites.

This year I’ve decided to put these recipes up here for all to see. If you like Super Mario, are a fan of Yoshi’s Cookie, or simply like delicious cookies, then these are all worth a shot.

Foreword: I acknowledge not everyone has access to cake flour. If you don’t have any, you can use regular flour, and add in an extra 1/2 tsp of baking powder, and 1/4 tsp of salt.

Heart Cookies

From Yoshi’s Cookie/Nintendo

These cookies are light and cake-y, with a surprisingly fluffy texture for a cookie. As they settle a day or two later, they take in some of the moisture from the jelly, making them almost spongecake-like.

103_1022

  • ½ cup softened Butter
  • ½ cup Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • ½ tsp Vanilla
  • 2 cups Cake Flour
  • ½  tsp Baking Powder
  1. Cream together sugar and butter in bowl.
  2. Gradually add in egg and vanilla, and beat until creamy.
  3. Sift the flour and baking powder into mixture and mix until good.
  4. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  5. Roll dough out into 5mm thickness and cut out with heart-shaped pieces. Press and indent centers with spoon or fingers.
  6. Bake in oven approximately 10 min until cookies are golden brown.
  7. Let ovens cool on rack, and spread your choice of red jelly on them when cool.

Diamond Cookies

From Yoshi’s Cookie/Nintendo

These cookies are the same recipe as the Heart Cookie recipe, only with a different shape and topping, traditional green candied cherries. They’re just as fluffy and moist, but with less sweetness due to the lack of jelly.

103_1023

  • ½ cup softened Butter
  • ½ cup Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • ½ tsp Vanilla
  • 2 cups Cake Flour
  • ½  tsp Baking Powder
  1. Cream together sugar and butter in bowl.
  2. Gradually add in egg and vanilla, and beat until creamy.
  3. Sift the flour and baking powder into mixture and mix until good.
  4. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  5. Roll dough out into 5mm thickness and cut out with square-shaped pieces. Press a green candied cherry into the middle using your finger.
  6. Bake in oven approximately 10 min until cookies are golden brown.

Flower Cookies

From Yoshi’s Cookie/Nintendo

These cookies come out more buttery and creamy due to their use of, well, cream. You can top them with different garnishes, depending on which version of Yoshi’s Cookie you’re following. Personally I use apricot or orange jelly since the original game featured an orange topping.

103_1021

  • ½ cup softened Butter
  • ¼ cup Sugar
  • 4 tbsp Cream
  • ¼ tsp Vanilla
  • 1 1/3 cup Cake Flour
  1. Cream together butter, sugar, and vanilla until creamy. Add in cream.
  2. Slowly sift flour into bowl and beat until mixed.
  3. Pipe/Press cookies onto cookie sheets using a flower shape on a cookie-shooter or piping bag.
  4. Bake for 10 min at 350 degrees.
  5. Decorate with apricot jam, big chocolate chips, or cherries.

Checkerboard Cookies

From Me

These are a traditional cookie which are difficult to make, but oh-so awesome to look at. They taste like shortbread, and basically are since they don’t call for any egg whatsoever. Like black-and-white cookies, they also offer a fun dynamic between chocolate and non-chocolate flavors in every bite.

103_1019

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure lemon extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • Extra flour
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  1. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar together until well-blended. Add in vanilla and lemon extract, and salt.
  2. Slowly mix in sifted flour and salt into the wet ingredients until dough forms.
  3. Place dough mixture on a floured surface and begin kneading the dough until it forms a ball. Add in flour, and continue kneading dough with the flour until it is no longer oily, but not dried out.
  4. Divide the dough in half, and add in 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder, then return dough to mixer and blend until it is dark brown.
  5. Place each dough ball into a bowl and refrigerate them for 30 minutes.
  6. Refer to this video for instructions on how to form the checkerboard pattern. (Note: The video is in Japanese, however you can easily follow the visual guides to do so.)
  7. For additional guidelines, aim to make the dough blocks approximately 5cm x 24 cm x 2.5cm. In other words, your dough blocks should both be twice as wide as they are tall. The length isn’t particularly important, but at the time of making this, my block was about 24cm. These two will be cut in half the entire length, then flip-flopped with alternating black and white sides. When you’re all said and done, the whole block will be about 5cm x 5cm, or 2″ x 2″, basically forming a cubit shape.
  8. Compress the block on all sides to ensure that the various dough pieces stick into one another. Return this block to the refrigerator for 30 more minutes until it’s solid.
  9. After your checkerboard block is fully assembled and refrigerated, cut them into quarter-inch slices and place on a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  10. Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees. Let cookies cool on rack for two minutes.

Doughnut Cookies

From Me (Tweaked from “Joy of Cooking” Spritz Cookies)

These cookies I based off of a recipe for spritz cookies. They will be light and crumbly, but the addition of cocoa powder gives them a slight chocolatey zing to them. Poppy seeds meanwhile are a literal garnish since you won’t actually be able to taste them. But we must remain faithful to the game!

103_1018

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla
  • 2 ¼ cups flour
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp additional sugar
  • Poppy Seeds
  1. In a large mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar together, and add in egg yolks. Add in salt and vanilla and mix until well-blended.
  2. Slowly add in flour, scraping sides of bowl down until the mixture forms a dough.
  3. Add the cocoa and sugar into your dough and continue beating until dough is mixed and forms a ball.
  4. Remove the dough and place it on a well-floured surface. Begin to roll it out to a quarter-inch thickness with a rolling pin, while continuing to flour the dough and pin to prevent sticking.
  5. Cut out dough into circle shapes, and cut out centers using a bottle cap or other small, round item.
  6. Place cookies on parchment paper on a tray, and decorate using poppy seeds.
  7. Bake cookies at 350 degrees for 9-12 minutes, until brown around edges.

And that’s all five recipes you need to make your very own Yoshi’s Cookie baked goods. They’re all delicious and will make any Nintendo-fan burst with glee (among other things). Here’s my very own comparison pictures…

yoshicookie1

Fig 1. A video game about cookies.

Fig. 2 Cookies about a video game.

Fig. 2 Cookies about a video game.

Looking for one final thing you can do to spruce these up? Well, for anyone who’s played the game, there is a sixth cookie that appears rarely, which can act as a wildcard, and can replace any of the other cookies you have in a line. If you want to make this cookie too, you can make any cutout cookie recipe, including the doughnut recipe I have above (though I personally do it with gingerbread cookies), and simply cut out cookies in the shape of Yoshi’s head. Unfortunately, as far as I know there are no Yoshi-head cutouts, to speed up the process, so you mayyy want to keep those to a limited batch. The result? Awesomeness. Here’s last year’s batch, which includes my older, cherry-less, inferior diamond cookies, as well as some darker-variants of the doughnuts.

From Meg and I at Poor Couple’s Food Guide, we wish you a Merry Christmas, and happy baking!

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Posted on December 24, 2013, in Etcetera and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Can you take out the Lemon Extract in the Checkerboard Cookies and not have it make a difference?

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