Who doesn't love the fluffy pink clouds of spun sugar on a stick? Not me. I personally LOVE cotton candy. Maybe because it's a nostalgic reminder of spending summer days at the county fair, or maybe because it reminds me of my other favorite carnival treats, such as funnel cakes, candied apples, popcorn, and sno-cones. Or maybe it's just because I have a horrible sweet-tooth, and always feel a compelling need to eat anything sugar based. Whatever the reason may be, I chose to make this recipe not only because I like cotton candy, but also because I participated in a "Bake-Off" at my work, and it fit in perfectly with my team's carnival theme!
Before I share the recipe with you, I'd like to share a few photos and details of the "Bake-Off" and how it all came together. The four members of my team and I got started on our baking early Sunday morning. We all met at a team member's house, and spent the majority of the day making several carnival-themed recipes (the others will be shared throughout the week).
|Team member, Wes, and his wife, Connie, assembling the cookies.|
|We made a lot of cookies!|
Along with the baking, we also had to work on decorations and displays for our table, and costumes that also matched our theme!
|Team member, Garett, hard at work, sewing.|
|Team member, Corey, trying on his costume.|
|Team member, Dale, cutting out the fabric patterns.|
After a long day of baking and sewing, we were finally ready for the Bake-Off! Although it was our company's first ever Bake-Off, I was surprised by the huge number of teams that participated in the event. For just $2, employees could come to each team's table to taste all the sweet treats, and they also received a ballot to vote for their favorite team in each category: best cake/cupcake, best cookie, best bar/brownie, and best theme.
|The guys, ready to give away our cookies.|
|Wes showing off our cotton candy.|
|There were even games and prizes at our Bake-Off!|
Although it was a lot of hard work, it was definitely worth the effort. We didn't win anything, but it was still a lot of fun working on this creative project with the other team members. Best of all, our choice of a carnival theme allowed me to get out of my comfort zone and try some very unusual, creative recipes. I hope there is another Bake-Off next year!
Cotton Candy Cream Cookies
Yield: approximately 30 cookies
For the cookies:
3/4 cup shortening
1 Tbsp margarine
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cotton candy extract
3 Tbsp yogurt
4 tsp milk
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
Red food coloring (optional)
For the frosting:
1 cup butter, softened
1 (7-oz) jar marshmallow creme
2 cups confectioners sugar
1 tsp cotton candy extract
Blue food coloring (optional)
For the cookies:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cream together shortening, margarine, and sugar. Add extracts and yogurt, and beat well. Mix in milk. Stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Blend into creamed mixture. If desired, add red food coloring to tint the dough pink. Scoop a level teaspoon of dough, roll into a ball, and place on a prepared cookie sheet. Flatten ball to 1/2 inch thick. Repeat, placing balls 2 inches apart. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven and carefully transfer to a cooling rack.
For the frosting:
Cream the butter until light and fluffy. Add the marshmallow creme and whip for 2 minutes. Add the confectioners sugar and continue to beat for 2 minutes. Add the cotton candy extract and food coloring (if desired).
Once the cookies are completely cool, pipe or spread frosting on the flat side of a cookie, then lightly sandwich with a second cookie on top.