What? That's not a zebra. How about this?
Not a zebra either. Hmmm. One more--
Well, howdy, Pard'ner. Here's the deal. I probably have about 150 cookie cutters and I figured FOR SURE one of those would be a horse so we could make zebra cookies, but NOPE not a horse in the bunch, cowboy hat, yes, dinosaurs, fish, people, you name it, I have everything BUT a horse. Well, we had fun making all kinds of striped shapes. And then after having lots of scraps left that you cannot return to stripes, what should be done with the leftovers?
Marbled cookie shapes, of course. Not really the most tasty of cookies, but fun nonetheless.
Taylor helped me make these cookies out of the Gold Medal Alpha-Bakery Cookbook we borrowed from his teacher at school. We made the dough and then refrigerated it overnight. The recipe suggests 1-2 hours, but we ended up being busy the rest of the day. The dough really needed to firm up in the fridge to be able to cut it. After making a plain sugar cookie dough, we took half of it and added some cocoa to it to make the dark stripes. Layer after layer of dark and light are then stacked on each other after rolling out the dough, then cutting equal sizes pieces. The stacked, chilled layers are then easily sliced, at which point I rolled it out enough to use one cookie cutter per piece.
I halved the recipe from the cookbook. Here is the half recipe.
Zebra Stripe Cookies, adapted from Gold Medal Alpha-Bakery Children's Cookbook
3/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons Egg Beaters with touch of yolk (or half a large egg)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder (not in original recipe, I added it)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
In bowl of electric mixer, cream butter and sugars together, add vanilla and egg and mix well. Then add the salt, baking powder and flour and beat to combine. Divide dough in half and add the cocoa to one of the halves and combine well. Using a well floured surface, roll each half into even size squares (about 8-9 inches). Cut each square in to six equal pieces, using a spatula to carefully lift each and lay them onto the next until they are all stacked. Press them together firmly. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, 1 to 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut bar crosswise in to 1/4-inch slices. Using again a well floured surface, roll slices out big enough to fit desired cookie cutters, or just cut each slice in half and lay them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake cookies 8-10 minutes, until edges begin to brown. Cool on baking rack.
Taylor had snack at school today and earlier in the week I'd asked his teacher what they would be talking about this week and she said, "The Three Little Pigs". So I made Pig Cookies! I remembered that quite a few years ago, when my parents were raising my sister's kids, Saharra, Jim, Kayla and Holly that my mom would get them involved in things for the farmer's market to keep them busy. My awesome, beautiful niece, Holly was killed in a car accident almost 2 years ago at the age of 17. Holly used to make these pig cookies to go with all the other baked goodies my mom would sell at their farmer's market. (I just spent quite some time looking for pictures of Holly that I know I have, but for some reason I can't find them, including the wonderful video slide presentation Saharra put together for Holly's memorial service. I have run across that CD time and time again so of course, right now as I WANT it, I can't find it. Sigh. Just trust me on this, Holly was a super funny gal with a great personality and beautiful as can be. Miss you, Hollerbee!) Okay, got a little off track there.
The pig cookies remind me of Holly. I had my mom send me a copy of the recipe they used, then I Googled "pig cookies" and they are the same recipe that comes from Taste of Home here. They were invented by Becky Baldwin from Annville, Pennsylvania when she came up with them for National Pig Day, March 1. (Who knew?)
No offense to Becky, as I'm sure her recipe is great (you can get it on the Taste of Home link above), but her recipe uses sour cream and I just happen to have a quart of buttermilk in the fridge to use up. I remebered these Buttermilk Cookies I'd made a couple times last year and they look very similar to the pig cookie recipe, so I decided to just use that one. Go to the link for Buttermilk cookies for that simple recipe. They cookies are well rounded and soft and perfect for covering in pink frosting.
I also don't really have a recipe for the frosting--when I made a simple vanilla frosting, I often just throw a few things in the mixer and let it beat well. I'll guess for this one I did this---
Simple Vanilla Frosting
4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-4 tablespoons milk (add 1 tablespoon at a time until you have the desired consistency)
pink/red food coloring
Combine all but milk and food coloring and begin beating with electric mixer. Add milk one tablespoon at a time until smooth and creamy. Beat well! So easy--make your own frosting!
On with the piggies! So we have buttermilk cookies and frosting. Frost the cookies all over generously and smooth out.
Slice large marshmallows in half and place one on each cookie. (See pictures!) Take a sharp knife and poke two holes in the marshmallow, then insert mini chocolate chips (or pb/butterscotch chips--they all work). Use two mini chocolate chips for eyes. Pink sugar wafer cookies cut into triangles, then dabbed with a little frosting are then stuck at the top of the head for ears. REALLY, these cookies are easy and hello--CUTE!
Pigs get dirty noses, you know.