We haven’t really geeked out in my office in a while, so today we’re celebrating Gene Roddenberry’s birthday. (It’s August 19th.)
If, like some of my coworkers, your first question is, “Who’s Gene Roddenberry?” then this probably isn’t the party for you. But if you love Klingons and Ferengi and Betazoids and Vulcans, then this is a fun way to pay tribute to the man who created Star Trek. (Yes, that’s who he is.)
The entire reason I wanted to do a Star Trek themed party is because I got these nifty cookie cutters from Think Geek. They have fantastic nerd baking stuff. But you’ll notice from the photos that there isn’t a single sugar cookie on the table. Why? Because sugar cookies are my own, personal Kobayashi Maru. No matter how I tackle them, I can never win. I wind up with puffy blobs that have no discernible shape.
Last year I had some success with my Doctor Who Dalek cookies, but that just gave me false confidence. I should know by now that cookie cutters are best used to cut brownies into shapes, because sugar cookies and I were not meant to be allies.
Luckily I came up with some other sugary Starfleet goodies, a few of which I bought instead of baked, because this blog should be called Lazy Baking for the Office, since I’m always looking to cut corners and keep my oven off in the middle of summer.
First, I had to make Tribble Bites. I thought about doing donut holes covered in coconut, or maybe some kind of tea cookie with cinnamon and sugar, but then while going through one of my cookie books I saw coconut macaroons and knew they would be perfect.
Tribble Bites (a.k.a. Coconut Macaroons)
1/2 cup flour
pinch of salt
2 1/2 cups dried coconut
2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl. Stir in the dried coconut.
- Pour in the sweetened condensed milk. Add the vanilla extract and stir together until a very thick batter is formed.
- Drop by heaping tablespoonfuls 1 inch apart on baking sheet.
- Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown. Transfer to wire rack to cool.
I altered this by making small teaspoon-sized balls instead of heaping stacks. It’s very sticky stuff to work with, so pinch with your fingers to get them to hold together in the shape you want. Then bake for 12-14 minutes instead of 20.
Next, I got out my Star Trek cookbook. Because I have one. Doesn’t everybody? I got it as a gift years ago and still hadn’t made anything from it, so this was my chance to try Picard’s Earl Grey Cake. It’s sweet with a little spice to it from the tea, so make a nice, strong cup of Earl Grey to use.
Picard’s Earl Grey Chocolate Cake
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons Earl Grey tea (infused)
3/4 cup sifted, self-rising flour
grated rind of 2 oranges
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease and flour a large loaf pan.
- Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat in thoroughly.
- Add the grated rind, flour, and tea and fold in with a wooden spoon.
- Turn the batter into the pan and smooth the top. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
- Remove from oven and let cool. When cool, score the top lightly in preperation for the icing.
Juice from 2 oranges
1/2 cup sugar
2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
- Heat the orange juice and sugar toghether in a saucepan until the sugar has dissolved.
- Bring to a boil for 2 minutes. Pour over the cake.
- Once it has soaked in, remove the cake from the pan.
- In a small saucepan (or in the microwave), melt the chocolate and pour over the top of the cake.
Finally, I was looking through one of my binders of recipes I tear out of magazines when I came across Martha Stewart’s Chocolate Zucchini Cakes with Walnuts. I looked at those walnuts and thought, “Wow. Those look like Klingon heads.” And so there you go: Klingon Warrior Cakes.
Really, you can make anything you want as long as you give it a good Trek name. So I turned Sour Patch Kids into Gorn Babies:
I made opposite colored Oreos into Cookies of Charon (because making black and white cookies sounded exhausting).
And I found these blue creme filled Twinkies and knew they would be perfect Andorian Sponge Cakes.
Mix up some Kool-Aid or cranberry juice to be Klingon Bloodwine or Romulan Ale if you have the space to serve it, and get creative with other snacks. Funyons could be Uhura Hoops. Chex Mix could be Chekov Mix.
Or skip ahead a few series and only do “Deep Space 9” or “Voyager” treats. There’s a whole universe out there to mine!
Live long and prosper,