Monday, April 22, 2013

"Animal" Cookies

Home made frosted "Animal" Cookies
I think these Animal Cookies taste better plain.

I've got this fairly large container of nonpareils burning a hole in my cupboard. I love those things, but it's hard to really work them into many recipes. I tried making some cream wafers with nonpareils, and they were okay. Too flaky, I think. Since I was sort of going for those yummy Mother's Animal cookies, I thought I'd try an animal cookie recipe next. I went to my trusty and of course they had a recipe because they sell some cute animal cookie cutters. Well, I don't have those, so I used whatever small cutters I have, which ended up being stars, flowers, circles, pigs, and a man and woman. They work, but they're the reason I had to put the quotation marks around the word "Animal" in the title of this recipe.
I don't even know if the vanilla chips and nonpareils on top really work. I prefer these plain, I think. At first I didn't think I really liked them because I'm not a big fan of honey, and you can definitely taste the honey in these. I liked the texture so much, though, that I've kept on eating the plain cookies and they're growing on me. They really do sort of taste like animal crackers to me. They're crisp, well-browned, and buttery. Only just sweet enough, which I like.
I think I might try these again, in a more graham cracker version using some whole wheat Graham flour and with some molasses replacing some of the honey. At least that's my plan. I don't even have time to be making and blogging about these. Seriously. My part-time teaching job is really cutting to my blogging time.

"Animal" Cookies
     --adapted from

  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All Purpose Flour
  • 1 cup finely ground rolled oats*
  • 1/2 cup vanilla baking chips (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon canola oil
  • nonpareils (optional)
In a large mixing bowl, beat butter, sugar, honey, salt, baking soda, and vanilla until completely combined.
Add the flour and oats, and mix just until combined. Do not over mix.
Divide the dough into two equal pieces, flatten into disks, and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least one hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 
Turn one piece of the refrigerated dough onto a lightly floured surface. The dough will be very hard, so beat it a little to loosen it up before rolling to to 3/8-inch thickness.
Cut with small cookie cutters and transfer cut dough to parchment lined baking sheet. The cookies don't really spread, so you can fit a lot on one pan; but be sure to leave space for the cookies to bake and brown well, about 1/2 in between cookies, I'd say. Pile scraps of dough up an smoosh into a disk; wrap and refrigerate to make more cookies later.
Bake cookies at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes, or until light brown on the edges.
remove from oven, and then transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
If you want them "frosted," place the white baking chips and canola oil in a microwave proof bowl and microwave on high, 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between, until they are almost melted. Then stir until completely melted. Drizzle, spread, or pipe melted chips onto cookies and sprinkle immediately with nonpareils, if desired. Allow melted chips to firm up before eating or serving.
Makes about 150 little cookies

*You can also use oat flour. I took some quick cooking oats and ground them up in my food processor until it was flour-like.

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