Cinco de Mayo Taco Cookies: some history and maybe a blister

So, apparently Cinco de Mayo is a relevant holiday and has nothing to do with Mexican Independence day. Personally, I just thought it was another day for Americans to get shwasted. And did you know that U.S. didn’t start observing this day until 2005? That was like, seven years ago. WHAT?

Anyway, this weekend is Cinco de Mayo and the dogs are off to a flyball tournament aptly named, “Cinco de Flyo.” At these tournaments, my friend and her lovely flyball dog racing friends have a ton of fun and enjoy getting away from the rigors of everyday life with a specialty cocktail in one hand and a treat in the other.

This week’s treats are based on this “recipe” I found while searching for alternatives to the pinata cookies. At the end of the day, I feel like I would have done less work if I’d gone ahead and made the stinkin’ pinata cookies after all. Geesh. This was a trial.

I want to put this out there – if you have a sturdy sugar cookie recipe, one that you know can stand up to being baked into odd shapes (say, a folded taco shape?), then, by all means, use it! These sugar cookies are delicious on their own, BUT MAN, were they a pan in tuchus to fold.

Taco Cookies

Cookie base ingredients:
Recipe found on Real Simple  

2.5 C all-purpose flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 C butter, room temperature
2 C sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract

“Meat” filling
1 18 oz package of Oreo sandwich cookies (or any other chocolate sandwich cookie)
1 8 oz package of cream cheese

“Lettuce”
1.5 C of coconut
6 drops of green food coloring

1 box of Redhead Chewy Lemonheads (I found these in my local Shop Rite. If you can find these, then red Skittles could work. You really do want a chewy, tart-like flavor to go with these cookies)

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Crush the package of Oreos using your own strength or a food processor. Either one will work. Use fine crumbs or a chunky mix, whatever you want.

3. Mix in the cream cheese, a quarter at a time. It might even be easiest to cut the block into really tiny pieces and mix it together that way. This is a tough mixture. Put this off to the side.

4. In a small bowl, fluff together the coconut and the green food coloring. Make sure you use a fork to disperse the dye throughout the coconut. Set the bowl off to the side. (Do this early enough so the dye has time to dry into the coconut) 

5. In a large mixing bowl, blend together the sugar and the butter until fluffy. Add in the eggs and the vanilla extract.

6. Mix in the kosher salt and the baking powder. I like to include these separately from the flour to make sure that these little, but important, ingredients are thoroughly mixed in.

7. With a wooden spoon, carefully mix in the flour. Do not over mix.

8. Roll one tablespoon of dough into a ball. Flatten out on a foil-covered or greased cookie sheet, making sure that each flattened cookie has enough space to spread out. Bake for 12 minutes.

9. After the cookies bake (make sure that the cookies aren’t too brown around the edges), let them cool on the cookie sheet for about three to five minutes before folding them.

10. When folding the cookies, they should feel warm in your hand but not hot. Use the palm of your hand to cup them into a taco shape.

 11. Immediately scoop in about one, one and a half tablespoons of the Oreo cream cheese mixture.

12. Top with the green coconut. Use your fork to poke the coconut into the Oreo filling so it sticks.

13. Press two dark red or lighter red Lemonheads into the cookie. Try to make sure it sticks to some of the Oreo filling. It will fall out of the coconut.

Niki’s Note: This recipe will make however many of your cookies DON’T break during the folding process. I only managed to get about one and a half-dozen completed, but this was the first time I made this recipe. Next time I will use a slightly stiffer sugar cookie dough recipe and have the appropriate tool needed to bake the cookie with a fold in it.

Niki’s Note part two: You may have noticed the Oreo and cream cheese mixture is the recipe for Oreo truffles without the chocolate coating. Feel free to use any leftover Oreo filling to create delicious truffles!

Niki’s Note part three: Store these cookies in the refrigerator. Remove from the fridge an hour before serving, bringing the cookies to room temperature.

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