Monday, January 21, 2013

Owl Cookies

I thought these might make a nice treat after an evening of calling to the owl (again). Danny's friend shows up regularly now, but we still can't seem to locate the nest.

 The teapot/cup/caddy were a Christmas gift for Danny. Yes, the photo is terrible. This isn't the sort of cookery blog with pretty photographs. This is the sort of blog with owl jokes:

Two owls are sitting on a line. One owl turns, and asks the other,
"Do you smell fish?"

Moving along to the biscuits...

The recipe comes from an old Pillsbury pamphlet (late 50's early 60's would be my guess) that has provided us with all sorts of adorable treats. I used dried dates for the beaks in place of cashews, which worked fine.

The dough was simple enough to handle, though a bit on the dry side. The cookies bake nicely, though it is somewhat difficult to tell when they are done, as they don't brown much. You'll need to watch them carefully, and remove them when they are just firm-they harden upon cooling.

You Will Need:

2 1/2 cups plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar-packed
1 large egg, unbeaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
1/4 teaspoon bicarb
Slices of dried dates or apricots (or nuts) for beak, and chocolate chips for eyes

Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. In another bowl, cream butter, and slowly add the brown sugar. Beat in the egg, then the vanilla. Add the dry ingredients gradually.

Combine the chocolate and bicarb in a small bowl.

Remove 2/3 of the dough and set aside. To the remaining third, mix in the chocolate/bicarb mixture.

Roll out half of the light dough into a strip 10x4 inches. Shape half of the chocolate dough into a roll 10 inches long. Place atop light dough, then mould sides of light dough around dark. Wrap in cling film, and chill at least two hours. Repeat with remaining dough.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment, or grease lightly. Slice dough 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick (I did mine about 1/2 inch thick). Place together on a baking sheet. Press date between the eyes, and pinch corners of eyes to make ears.

Bake 8-12 minutes. Remove from sheets immediately, and cool on racks. Store between layers of foil in a tightly covered container.

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