Cute Little Watermelon Cookies

     My cookies for tonight’s Arts Council function (Youth Art Exhibit & Reception) at the Eisenhower Presidential Library are ready to deliver! The recipe for these whimsical cookies came from Linda Carlson. She brought them to a summer picnic and they were the hit of the party.
     I admit—they do take a bit of time to make . . . but they are so cute! In case you would prefer to cut out some of the steps, see the note at the bottom of the cookie recipe.

Watermelon-shaped Sugar Cookies   Makes about 5 dozen cookies
2 cups all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup butter (5 1/3 tablespoons)
½ cup shortening
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Dough is ready to be chilled.
Up to ¾ teaspoon red food coloring
Mini chocolate chips
Sesame seeds, optional

1.     Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a small mixing bowl.
2.     In a large bowl, beat butter and shortening with an electric mixer at medium speed until fluffy. Gradually add sugar, beating well. Stir in egg, milk and vanilla. Gradually add flour mixture, mixing well. Add food coloring as desired and mix until well blended. Put dough into a smaller bowl and chill at least 3 hours.
3.     Preheat oven to 375°.
4.     Divide dough into 4 portions. Roll out one portion at a time to 1/4” thickness on a surfaced sprinkled with powdered sugar. (If dough is soft, work a little extra powdered sugar into it as well. Don’t worry about a little extra sugar on the surface of a cookie—it will be absorbed as it bakes.)
Dough has been rolled out on a powdered sugared surface; excess powdered sugar will eventually be absorbed.
5.     Use a 3” round to cut dough into circles; cut the circle in half (a bench knife works well for this task). Using a metal spatula, carefully transfer cookies to a parchment of Silpat lined cookie sheet—leave enough room for them to slightly expand. Press several chocolate mini chips in each cookie—near the top &/or sprinkle with sesame seeds. Repeat with remaining dough.
Rolled dough has been cut into rounds and a Bench Knife is being used to cut the circle in half. 
Cookies have been arranged on a silicon-lined baking sheet; 3 mini chocolate chips have been placed across the top edge of each cookie and this batch has been sprinkled with sesame seeds.
6.     Bake for 8 to 10 minutes (do not brown). Let cookies set for a few minutes after removing from oven and then transfer to a wire rack.
(Note –refrigerated rolls of sugar cookie dough could be used, adding red food coloring to the dough and preceding with steps 3-6 above.)

3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
4 tablespoons water
About 6 drops food coloring

7.     Combine powdered sugar, water and food coloring; mixing until smooth.
8.     When completely cool, dip curved edge of each cookie in frosting; lay on a cooling rack and let dry completely.
Dip rounded edge of "watermelon" into green tinted frosting.
Be sure to shake off excess frosting
Place cookies on a cooling rack until frosting has dried completely.

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