* Giveaway at the end of this post! *
here), and every time he's been so fun and upbeat and a little goofy–a normal, cool dude, who's not afraid to be himself. His book The Maze Runner, published in 2009, is the first in a complete trilogy (plus a prequel, so a quartet) with tons of action, and boys, and boys in action, and a HUGE maze and gloopy, slicing monsters and plot twists, suspense, trust issues, and more. In the book there's also a ton of food, like bacon, ham sandwiches, steak and potatoes, tomato soup, and so on. These boys might have been in a crummy situation, but it was, at least in the beginning, a crummy situation with a working farm which included a large garden and a slaughterhouse.
Instead of making one of the common-type meals mentioned in the story I decided to do something that would be instantly associate-able with the book: a maze cookie. Now, I could have gone the route of simply making a plain sugar cookie and then using colored royal icing to pipe on a maze pattern, but this is a representation of a huge, horrendous, life-threatening maze we're talking about here so the cookie making process should at least be tedious, if not outright difficult or grueling, right? Just kidding! That's not what I thought, but I did want to do something more interesting, thus the concept for the pixel-type maze cookies was born (it's really not as difficult as it might seem. A little time consuming? Yes. Some effort required? Yes. But they're hecka cool and worth it. Your friends will be impressed).
Note: There are many examples of pixel or 8-bit cookies on the net but perhaps the earliest online depiction of using a play-doh extruder to make these cookies is from Eva Funderburgh and her husband back in 2008–though I'm sure through the years there have been a slew of mothers all over the world who have commandeered their child's 'Fun Factory' to make cool cookie shapes without the desire or inclination to share about it online.
Also, just FYI, in the book the maze is a square but in the movie it's more of a square within a circle within a circle. These cookies are more for the book, or if you want, they could represent the inner-maze-square from the movie–however you'd like to look at it.
Maze Cookies (pixel-style)
Sugar Cookie Mix (I used a 17.5 oz bag from Betty Crocker)
1/2 Cup Butter, softened/room temperature
1 Egg, room temperature
2 Tbsp. Flour
Green Food Color Gel
Black Food Color Gel
Play-doh Extruder 'Fun Factory'
2 x Large Baking Sheets
Large Sharp Knife
Maze Cookie Template (grid/diagram)
3. Lay a pice of plastic wrap on another tray or a large plate. Pull the dough strips out of the freezer &, using the maze diagram printout as your template & layering the strips accordingly, build a maze cookie log about 4"- 4 1/4" long (break the strips as needed). When you're about 1/3 of the way through place the strips, including the log you're working on, back into the freezer to re-harden. Once they're hard again continue to build the log, taking a freeze break again at 2/3 of the way through. Once you're log is complete according to the maze diagram, fold the plastic wrap around it & carefully press it together on all sides, lightly & squarely dropping it on your flat work surface a few times, on each side, so the log gets more compressed & tight. Place the log in the freezer for about 30 mins or until solid.
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