Saturday, July 2, 2011

moose shaped owl cookies (happy belated canada day!)

These were supposed to be posted yesterday for the holiday, but we had a bit of a crisis in squirrel land over the past couple of days and needless to say, the cookies didn't get posted. They also didn't get eaten, even though I made them on Wednesday night. They taste awesome though, believe me!

You may be wondering why I call these "owl cookies" even though they appear to have nothing to do with owls. I'm up to my old tricks of recreating food in my kitchen that no longer exists to buy. For the longest time, there was this little bakery by the corner of 10th and Sasamat in Vancouver. They sold these huge owl cookies. They were sugar cookies made with oatmeal and whole wheat flour, rolled out and cut out with an owl-shaped cookie cutter. I was a relatively picky eater and not excited about whole wheat anything at the time, so it's a pretty big statement to say that I not only ate them, but I loved them. So many of those owl cookies made it into my happy little belly.

I decided to moose them because I don't have an owl shaped cookie cutter (though I think I might keep my eyes peeled for one) and because the moose shaped cutter I had was both huge and appropriate given the then-approaching holiday. Because the cutters were so big and were awkwardly shaped, I ended up rolling the dough too many times, each time with flour sprinkled over it to keep the pin from sticking. If you are making smaller and more normal shaped cookies, this should not be a big problem. Of course you will want to divide your dough either way, but if your cookie cutters are big and weirdly shaped, divide your dough further. The difference between batch one and batch four was really, really noticeable.

Ultimately, these cookies were a big success. The taste and texture were very close to UBC Bakery's owl cookies.

owl cookies

1 1/4 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
3 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2/3 cup instant or quick oatmeal

Preheat oven to 350ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Cream butter and sugar in a medium bowl, then add egg and vanilla. Beat.

In a small bowl, combine flours, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Mix well, then add to butter mixture and combine, using your hands, until incorporated. Shape the dough into two disks, wrap with cellophane and chill in the fridge for 2 hours.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/4 inch (or 5mm) thickness. Cut out with cookie cutters.

Bake for approximately 10 minutes, or until they are a little browned around the edges (my cookies took 15 minutes, because they were enormous).

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