Monday, March 31, 2014

Elephants and Giraffes - Recipes

The good thing about my new "hobby"'s able to made ahead and frozen!! Yay! If you've been following my Instagram feed on the side bar of my blog, you've seen the prep for this - I'm going to include the recipes I used in this post. I helped a friend decorate elephant cookies also (they are the thing this year!), and she used a different recipe...and I like mine better. Mine "expanded" just a little bit more - making my cookies a touch larger (and these are not big cookies, so I thought that was a good thing in this case). This time I used almond flavouring in the dough, and with Hello Kitty I used vanilla. Personal preference comes into play here...but I think I like the vanilla better. The almond is totally yummy, but...I don't know! Maybe vanilla is my thing.
For a dough that does not expand at all - if you need your shapes to be super exact, see my recipe here

And a 'standard' recipe from Sweet Sugar Belle. It's a gooder. (But it will expand just a hair)

1 C of unsalted butter, softened (*I use salted, and it's fine)
1 1/2 C icing sugar (also called powdered or confectioners sugar)
1 egg
2 - 3 t of preferred flavouring (such as almond or vanilla)
2 1/2 - 2 3/4 C all purpose flour
2 t baking powder
1 t salt

Cream together butter and sugar. Crack the egg into a separate bowl, and add the flavouring (emulsions or extracts). Add that to the butter mixture, and mix until the egg is thoroughly incorporated. In a separate bowl mix 2 1/2C flour with baking powder and salt, then add little by little to the mixture. If more flour is needed, add up to 1/4C more (I have never needed to). Dough is done when it sticks to the paddle (of Kitchenaid mixer), when touched, it should have some give, but not stick to fingers.

Rest for a few mins (not in fridge). Roll out onto parchment paper and cut out. Bake at 400 for 7-8 mins (check in your oven for perfect time. NO browning of edges. They should be "pure white")

And notice my giraffes? They are chocolate chip!! I wanted variety, and I thought giraffes were perfect for that, since it's kinda like their pattern in real life;-) This recipe is yummy, but it really needs the icing on it, to "make it". Brian and I ate some with no icing, and although not worse than a sugar cookie, they were not as good as a normal chocolate chip cookie - Once the sweetness of the icing is on there, it gives it the needed balance. This recipe is also best for larger, "sturdy" shapes. The giraffes were a little hard to pull off, due to the skinny legs and necks. I have made it twice, with unsalted and salted butter, and actually prefer the salted version.


1 C unsalted butter (or salted)
1/3 C white sugar
1/2 C light brown sugar
1 large egg yolk
2 t vanilla extract
2 C all purpose flour (add up to 1/2 C more, if needed - likely it does not)
1/2 t salt
1 1/2 C mini chocolate chips

Cream butter and sugars. Add the vanilla and the egg yolk. Mix together the flour and the salt, and stir in one cup at a time until fully incorporated. Then HAND FOLD in the chocolate chips. The mixer will break them and make the dough darker brown. Chill dough in fridge for at least 30 mins.

Roll out on parchment paper and at 350 for 10-12 mins (watch carefully, no browning on edges allowed)

I made the itty bitty babies to be toppers for the cupcakes!

Three styles. Cuuuuute

And they are in the freezer until needed!

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