Happy New Year! May it be a happy and healthy New Year for you all.
Here, the scene outside remains the same as in the first photo of my last post with the addition of about 5 more inches of snow today with the potential for another 5 inches tonight into tomorrow! I know the Northeast part of the country is bracing for a huge snow storm. What a winter so far!
If you get stuck indoors, have little ones or grandchildren to entertain or just want to have a fun baking experience, try these Snowy Owl Cookies!
My blog friend, Debbie, at Mountain Breaths (who loves owls!) mentioned to me that she had seen these adorable cookies here. Betsy's are so much nicer than mine. I made mine as part of my Christmas cookie baking but I think they would be a fun to make any time during the winter.. They would be a hoot for a Harry Potter birthday party or for anyone who loves owls, snowy or otherwise :)
I used a classic shortbread cookie recipe but you can also make these using your favorite sugar cookie cut out recipe.
You'll need some round cookie cutters. I used a 2-1/2" round cutter for the body and one about 1" for the eyes. Since I didn't have a 1" cutter I used the base of a clean travel lotion jar. Mini M and Ms were used for the eyes. For the beaks, rather than using whole almonds, I VERY carefully split the whole almonds in half lengthwise with a butchers knife. Use a fork to make the imprint of the owl's feet and a butter knife to etch the wings. Bake according to the directions. Allow them to cool for 5 minutes and then sift powdered sugar over the top. I used a slightly damp cotton swab to wipe the powdered sugar off the eyes and beaks.
There are lots of other ideas for owl cookies on Pinterest!
Recipe adapted from Fine CookingPrintable Recipe
1/2 lb butter, softened to room temperature (I use unsalted butter and a pinch of sea salt)
1/2 cup sugar (I like to use superfine sugar)
2 cups all purpose flour - plus more for rolling and kneading
Place the softened butter in a stand mixer. On low speed, add the sugar a little at a time until thoroughly combined with no gritty feel. Add flour a bit at a time until all is absorbed. This should yield a soft, workable dough.
Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth without cracks appearing. Roll out to about 1/3 to 1/2 inch thickness and cut into shapes. Gather and re-roll scraps. If dough gets too soft, refrigerate for a while.
Place shapes on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Chill for about 20 minutes before baking. (It's chilly enough here for me to put them in a protected place outside).
Preheat oven to 325 and bake for 12-15 minutes depending on the thickness of the shapes and your oven. They should be just slightly brown around the edges.
Cool and store in a tightly covered container. May be frozen.