This weekend is the premier of The Hunger Games, Catching Fire movie. Last year I made Cookies for Katniss to mark the launch of the first Hunger Games movie. Then, I saw the movie and I was so impressed with how they represented all the pomp and ceremony of the Games – the costumes, the flames etc. I was inspired, and I wanted to improve on my cookie recipe from last year. The cover art for the Catching Fire book is also so much more dramatic. I wanted my recipe to be equally bold and eye-catching. I wanted flames, a striking mockingjay and a perfect ring. This recipe is really a combination of other recipes I have on the blog. The flames are the same recipe that I used for the Olympic Cupcakes and the cookies are made from my Bourbon biscuit recipe. I was really happy with how these turned out. They are chocolaty, crispy, creamy and crunchy. I think I have finally made a cookie that is fit for the Quarter Quell Games.
- 125g of butter
- 50g of castor sugar
- 150g of plain flour
- 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
*Note you will need a Candy Thermometer to make this correctly.
- 1 dessert spoon of vodka
- A few drops of red food coloring
- A few drops of orange food coloring
- A few drops of black food coloring, less than the red and orange
- 60ml of water
- 75g of granulated sugar
- 3/4 of a tablespoon of golden syrup / corn syrup
Orange Buttercream Icing
- 100g of icing sugar, sieved
- 50g of butter, softened
- 2/3 drops of orange essence
- 1 tablespoon of milk
- 2/3 drops of orange food coloring
*Note you will need a number no 2 wilton icing nozzle and a piping bag
- 50g of dark chocolate
Mix the butter and sugar together in a food processor. Add the flour and cocoa powder in two batches and continue to mix in the food processor until the mixture comes together to form a dough. Wrap the dough in Clingfilm and leave to rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 200 C/ 400 F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Once the biscuit dough has rested, put it on a lightly floured surface and roll it out to about quarter of an inch thickness. Cut the cookies into 3 inch circles using a 3 inch round cutter. Cut 10 biscuits. Put 5 of the biscuits on the parchment paper. Then using a 2.5 inch round cutter, cut the centers from the remaining 5 cookies, so that you are left with 5 rings. (If you don’t have a 2.5 inch cutter, just use a cuter that is smaller than three inches). Place these rings on the baking sheet along with the others. Put the cookies in the oven. The rings will take about 5 minutes, the cookies will take about 8 minutes. Remove the ring as soon as they are cooked and place on a wire rack to cool. Keep an eye on the other round cookies to check they are not browning too much. Once cooked remove the cookies from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack with the rings.
Begin by crumpling up a large sheet of parchment paper. Then smooth out the parchment paper and place it on a large baking sheet. Drop the vodka in random spots on the parchment paper. I applied the coloring using the back of a spoon. You could also use a silicone brush. I placed the color in lines on the parchment paper i.e. a line of red, a line of orange. I applied the black with a toothpick as I didn’t want there to be too much black.
Heat the sugar, water and golden syrup over a medium heat until all the sugar has dissolved. Once the sugar has melted, turn the heat up and cook on a high heat. Continue to cook the sugar syrup without stirring until it reaches 155 degrees Celsius /311 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a candy thermometer to check the temperature is correct. Carefully pour the molten sugar syrup onto the prepared parchment paper. Once it is safely on the parchment paper, you can use a toothpick to create swirls between the colors.
Leave to harden for a few hours in a cool place. I left mine in the freezer for an hour before cracking the hardened sugar into shards.
Orange Buttercream Icing
Place the softened butter in a large bowl and soften by mixing with a wooden spoon, or beating with an electric mixer. Once you have softened the butter add the icing sugar a little at time and beat well between each addition. As soon as you have combined the butter and the icing sugar, add the milk, orange essence and coloring and beat well. If the consistency is too wet, add a little more sieved icing sugar. If the consistency is too dry, add a drop or two of milk. You essentially want a nice spreadable paste.
To make the chocolate mockingjay, find a small template online of the actual mockingjay logo. I had to reduce the size of my mockinjay, so it was slightly less than 3 inches , which is the size of the biscuit. Once you have the correct size, copy 12 mockingjays onto an A4 sheet of paper and print it out. I got this idea from this wonderful video online and it’s a good guide to make these mockingjays. Next, trace the outline of the mokingjay logos with a pencil onto a sheet of parchment paper. Then, turn the parchment paper over, so you are not piping directly onto the pencil markings. It will look like your mockingjay is now turned the wrong way around. However, we will turn it the right away around in the end.
Then, tape the parchment paper onto a clean flat surface. Melt the chocolate and allow it to cool for a few seconds before putting it into a piping bag with a number 2 wilton icing tip. This tip is perfect for fine lines and small details. Then, pipe the chocolate around the outline of the mockingjay and fill the center in with piped chocolate. Allow the chocolate mockingjays to cool and harden. Then using a cheese slice, carefully remove the mockingjays from the paper. At this stage you can turn the mockingjays over, so that they are facing the right way. This also means that your mockingjay now has a perfect smooth finish and looks more polished.
Put the 5 round biscuits on a flat surface. Then, put a teaspoon of icing in the center of each biscuit. Spread the icing, so that it evenly covers each biscuit. Take a few shards of the sugar flames and place them diagonally on the biscuits. Place the cookie rings on top, then carefully place the chocolate mockingjay in the center.