Friday, August 30, 2013

9 Piece Square Puzzle Cookies

Gearing up for "school", we've been playing with a number of geometry/logic/spacial reasoning puzzles, like Thinkfun's IZZI© puzzle shown below.

In fact, that particular puzzle was the inspiration for yet another cookie project.  Staring at the black and white squares, I just couldn't help but be reminded of chocolate and vanilla cookie dough, and finally couldn't resist baking up a couple of cookie puzzles to add to the game table.

The 64 black and white IZZI tiles were a little more project than I wanted to take on just now (maybe this winter).  So, I settled instead for a 3x3 square style puzzle, like I've made out of cardboard for the children in the past.

Half a batch of sugar cookie dough (click here for the recipe) - with half left plain vanilla, and half with baker's cocoa added... enough for two puzzles rolled 1/4 inch thick...

...and cut to be 4 and 1/2'' square.

Transfer the cut squares onto a large, greased cookie sheet, and then score the dough to divide each square into 9, 1 and 1/2'' squares.

Use tiny cookie cutters, or cut geometric shapes out of each square with a butter knife, crossing the scored lines in a pattern (so below the bears are all cut in half at the arms in the middle of squares, and the hearts are divided into quarters by the corners of the squares).

Pop the cut shapes out, and swap them with pieces of the alternate dough cut from the other square, or from the leftover scraps.

Finish cutting the small squares apart along the scored lines.  Spread them out on the pan, using a ruler to double check they are all still 1 and 1/2'' square.

Bake the cookies for 13 minutes at 350°F.  Allow them to cool completely before removing them from the pan.  Serve the scrambled puzzle on a plate...

...and challenge children... solve the puzzle (with clean hands, of course)...

...before eating the cookies.

There might be more than one solution too, which is okay, as long as each of the small squares matches up on all sides with the sides of all the other squares it is touching.

It's great to be a homeschooler.


Ticia said...

That's a super cool puzzle fun. I can just imagine the patience it took to keep that together!

Unknown said...

TOTALLY with Ticia on this one! See, I would save a project like THIS for the Winter and NEVER do as many as there are in the actual puzzle!


An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

You guys are funny. These were super simple - especially with the cookie cutters. I must have made it look harder than it was :)

Natalie PlanetSmarty said...

I am afraid in our house we wouldn't be able to reassemble the puzzle since cookies would be eaten first :) Looks amazing!

Phyllis said...

No, I think you have got this cookie dough down so much that you can work with it in your sleep now. Your kids must be so disappointed when they are just circles. :)

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

Natalie - I made a few small "extras" from the scraps to tide us over until the puzzles were solved.

Phyllis - My children would be even happier if we could figure out how to shape chocolate chip cookie dough as easily :)

Joyful Learner said...

Doing the puzzles and not eating them would be hard. What a way to teach delayed gratification and EQ!

Anonymous said... this is Wayyyy cool!