My New Christmas Tradition: Ninjabread Cookies

When I first found the Ninjabread Cookie Kit in my local Five Below store, I quickly bought it with the intention to use it as blog-fodder. I wanted to start a new recurring feature: The Five Below Find of the Week, where I showcase all of the neat stuff that I find in Five Below because, let's be honest, they do have a lot of cool crap. But being that I purchased it before Thanksgiving and it's now Christmas Eve and I'm just now getting to it, this post has taken on a completely different vibe.

At first I thought that using this kit was going to be easy; make a couple cookies, slap some icing on them and impress your friends. Well, no. It's a little more involved than that. Not much more, mind you, but I needed to set a little more time aside than what I originally had thought.

The kit itself is mostly complete. It comes with a bag of gingerbread mix, a packet to make the icing and four different cookie cutters. All you need to supply is water, butter and honey. Yes, honey. Having no honey in the house, Mrs. Idiot had to text me at work to pick some up, otherwise I would have had to trudge my way back outside into the abnormal warm December temperature to get some.

Once I got home, Mrs. Idiot was nice enough to help me mix up the dough even though she spent most of the day in the kitchen making cookies and pies for Christmas Day. You know, important stuff, not frivolity like I was doing. So she mixed up all of the ingredients but had me roll everything out and cut the cookies. I was a little nervous at first, knowing that I was going to fuck up at least two of them. But after I got the hang of it, and managed to flour the countertop correctly so they'd stop sticking, I did pretty well.

The box said that it made 16 cookies. I got 14 out of the recipe, which was good enough for me.
We popped them in the oven and baked them for 10 minutes. They came out perfect.

After we let them cool, Mrs. Idiot left me to the decorating while she attended to the Gingerbread Cottage we purchased (not at Five Below; the cottage we found at Pathmark). I had a few specific ideas that I wanted to make but I wanted to get the hang of the decorating first. I've never piped icing before; you can tell from a few of the squiggly lines on some of the cookies, but once I got the hang of it, things moved along swimmingly.

I admit, I used the picture on the box as a guide for decorating some of the cookies, just to make sure I blocked out the arms correctly and to get a few ideas for facial expressions. A couple of my favorites, though, are the bearded master and the scared guy in the back.

Once I figured out the basics of piping, I decided to delve into the ideas for cookies I wanted to make.

First up: Bruce Lee.
Luckily, we had some black cookie icing in the house. Even though I was able to pipe the outline, the black icing had a much different consistency than the white icing. So when I put the black down, on the hair and the pants, it started to dribble over the sides. Well, I let loose my own dribble of profanity once I saw that. I moved Bruce to the side and let him sit for a while as I went on to the other cookies. By the time I got back to him, the black icing had mostly set, so I cleaned up the piping and made him look a little better. It's not perfect, but I'm pleased.

Secondly: Snake Eyes from G.I. Joe.
This one was pretty easy. I just piped the outline in white and filled it in with black icing. Again, the black began to dribble so I put it to the side to set. Once the black was dry enough, I went in with the white to make the visor and the belt and strap across the chest. Again, not perfect, but it was my first time so cut me some slack.

And finally, the cookies I'm most excited for: Teenage Mutant Ninja(bread) Turtles!
Even though I didn't have them in mind when I bought the kit, when I realized I could make these cookies, I was overly proud of myself. It took a little preparation: I had to find food coloring to make the icing green and give them a thin coat. Thankfully, Mrs. Idiot loves baking so we had the red, purple, and blue icing in the house. We just needed a little more food coloring to make the orange. I then utilized all of the skills I learned in the previous forty minutes to block off how their arms would look with white, draw in the colored face masks and shoulder- and knee-pads, then a little black for the belts and mouths. I was going to use black for the eyes as well but decided on white because that looked more like the cartoon.

I'm really pleased with the way they came out but I think I might make some alterations for future versions. I'll probably make the green icing darker. And instead of piping the outline with white, I'll probably use an even darker green, or maybe even a black with a more workable consistency. Beside that, I'd just like to add some more detail to them.

All in all, I'm happy with what this $5 kit yielded me. I got to have a few hours of fun in the kitchen and look forward to biting the heads off of some Ninja(bread) Turtles. Plus I now have a new family tradition. Even if they don't have these kits in stores next year, I already have the cookie cutters so all I need to do is mix up a batch of cookie dough and I'm all set.

As it's about that time, I want to thank you for reading my ridiculous ramblings here at Caution: Idiot At Play. If you celebrate, I hope you have a fantastic Christmas. If that's not your thing, then enjoy the holiday season and have a happy and safe New Year! We'll see you back here for more idiocy soon!

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