Step 1: Plan your image!
the chocolate cookies will make up the image and the sugar cookies will make the background. count the number of cookies you will need for each and round up to the nearest dozen. for the giant heart, i used 46 chocolate cookies and 58 sugar cookies for the background.
if you need help designing your own image, try looking at cross stitch patterns.
Step 2: Bake your cookies!
you want perfect squares for the best image. i used a ruler and pastry cutter (or pizza wheel) to cut out 2 inch square cookies from the dough. you can also buy a square cookie cutter.
i used these two:
chocolate spice cookies
(makes 4 dozen+, depending on size)
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon, 1 tsp. ginger, 1/2 tsp. cloves
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1. sift together the dry ingredients, including spices. set aside.
2. cream butter and sugar. when fluffy, add the egg. mix well.
3. gradually add flour mixture. combine into a soft dough.
4. divide dough into 2 pieces and wrap each in plastic wrap.
5. refrigerate! refrigerate! refrigerate! (for at least 2 hours.)
6. after the dough is well chilled, preheat the oven to 375.
roll dough to 1/8 inch thick and cut out cookie squares. be sure to use enough flour on your prep surface to prevent sticking.
7. bake 8-10 minutes. right out of the oven, the cookies will be very soft. as they cool, they will harden somewhat.
basic sugar cookies
(makes 4-5 dozen+, depending on size)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp. vanilla, 1 tsp. almond extract, 1 tsp. orange oil
1. sift together flour and baking powder. set aside.
2. cream butter and sugar. when fluffy, add egg. add flavorings (vanilla, almond, and orange) to the mixture.
3. gradually add flour until a soft dough is formed.
4. divide dough into 3 pieces and wrap each in plastic wrap.
5. refrigerate! refrigerate! refrigerate! (chill the dough for at least 2 hours.)
6. after dough is chilled, preheat oven to 375.
7. roll the dough to 1/8 inch thick and cut out cookie squares on a floured surface. use a spatula to move cookies from counter to cookie sheet. they are buttery and thus, fragile.
8. bake 9-11 minutes. with this recipe, if the cookies turn golden brown on the top, they're overdone. you want them to stay yellow on top, and slightly golden on the bottom.
Step 3: Assembly!
if you are planning to transport this somewhere other than your kitchen, assemble the entire image and then stack each row of cookies up. you can place the stacks in a container (i used a shoebox), in order, and it makes reassembly a lot easier.