Every summer we would travel from Wyoming where I grew up to Michigan where my maternal grandparents have a house on Lake Michigan. While the beach was definitely the best thing about the trip, Pac Man cookies from the local bakery came in a close second. I loved the cookies so much that my mom made her own version so that I could have them year round. The base is a simple sugar cookie recipe, one that can be used to make any shape cookie you would like to eat; but you have to admit Pac Man shaped is just too fun to pass up.
1 cup Butter, softened
1 cup Sugar
3 cups Flour
1 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 1/2 cups Powdered Sugar
1 tablespoon Lemon Juice or 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
3 to 4 tablespoons Milk
1 (1.69 ounce) package Plain M&M’s
Using either a stand mixer or a handheld mixer, cream together butter and sugar until it turns light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time. Slowly add the dry ingredients. Wrap the dough with plastic and place in the refrigerator for an hour.
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Lightly flour a work surface. Divide your dough in half (to make it easier to work with) and using a floured rolling pin work it until it is approximately 1/8th of an inch thick, turning occasionally as you work to make sure it doesn’t stick. Using either a biscuit cutter, a round disk cutter, or a regular drinking glass cut out rounds. Once you have 12 rounds (enough for 1 batch), take a paring knife and cut out a wedge on each circle for the mouth. The wedge should be approximately 1/5th of the cookie, but don’t worry to much about geometric accuracy. Place the cookies on a parchment or silpat lined sheet pan and bake for 9 to 11 minutes, until they just begin to color around the edges. Remove the cookies to a cooling rack when they come out of the oven. Repeat the process for the other batches.
When all of the cookies are cooled to room temperature (about 20 minutes or so after the last batch comes out), mix the ingredients for the glaze, adding the milk a tablespoon at a time until you have a consistency similar to syrup. When the glaze is smooth pop it in the microwave for about 10 seconds (I find this makes it a little easier to spread). You probably will not need all of the glaze, but it’s less frustrating to throw a little away than to run out in the middle of production. Pour your M&M’s into a small bowl for easy access. Take each cookie and using the back of a spoon smear some of the glaze on the surface. Immediately place an M&M candy above the mouth for an eye. Allow to dry for about 10 minutes and you’re ready for 1980’s style milk and cookies!
Tips and Tricks:
If you want to make a more traditionally shaped cookie with this recipe you may want to frost them instead of glaze them. In that case use:
1/4 cup Butter, softened
2 cups Powdered Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla
2 tablespoons Milk
Mix the above together with a hand beater until light and fluffy. You can color it however you would like.
Makes approximately 3 dozen cookies.