The holidays are here and every morning, I just want to wake Daisy up so we can run to the kitchen and bake all day in our PJ’s! First up are the whimsical Slice & Bake Penguin Cookies which, without a doubt, are the most delicious in the world.
Wait. Let me think about that.
They have a delightfully delicate crumb that breaks to the tooth and a lovely buttery flavor good enough to rival the very best Scottish shortbread.
The dough does need to rest a bit, at least 20 minutes, so the egg wash glue helps the different colored parts adhere well. Also the butter needs to harden so the slices are cut clean. We made our dough one night after school and work, sliced and baked the next evening and decorated the following morning.
These penguin cookies aren’t overly sweet, so you can decorate to your heart’s content or, should I say, let the kids loose with the sprinkles, nonpareils and frosting!
If you’re extra lucky as we are, you’ll have a wireless, organic clean-up crew (aka pups) on stand-by to collect anything that happens to roll off the table.
The eyes are the final touch and give these sweeties so much character. We simply used melted chocolate and toothpicks to give our penguins cute eyes.
Daisy got up extra early in the morning to finish decorating these cute li’l pingus. Now I know how to get her out of bed – just bake some cookies!
These cookies are sure to set a merry mood at your next winter gathering. Can you resist smiling at them?
Didn’t think so, although Shawn had plenty to say about my first batch looking more like Elvis, even Trump with hair dye, than penguins.
Maybe there’s some merit to what he said, but, no matter, because Daisy and I will be getting plenty of practice, making several batches this holiday season.
There’s been some improvement in the way they turned out. Most of mine look like Rosie the Riveter, but Shawn’s home-girl has a Christmas beret and a beauty mark. Daisy got creative and created pretty lashes for the girls and little bow ties for the boys. These penguin cookies are just STINKIN’ CUTE. The recipe is easy and they’re just so much fun to make with the little ones. Just grab the kids and fire up the oven!
Slice & Bake Penguin Cookies
Adapted from Food Network
Prep: 15 mins
Oven: 350 *F
Bake: 10-12 mins
Makes: 1 dozen 2″ cookies
1 1/2 sticks butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1 free-range eggs (+1 for egg-wash – this is your “glue”)
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp freshly grated lemon or orange zest
2 1/4 cups flour + more for dusting
yellow + red food coloring
black food coloring
1/4 cup (3 ounces) red candy melts
3 Tb chocolate
Sprinkles, candy stars, mini marshmallows
Whip butter, sugar and salt in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 mins.
Add egg, vanilla and zest. Mix til smooth.
Sift flour, baking powder and salt over the mixing bowl.
Gently mix just until the flour mixture has been incorporated.
Now divide and tint the dough as such:
1/4 cup = black
3/4 cup = yellow + red (orange)
Rest = no color
Flatten the colored 2 into disks.
Shape the uncolored dough into a 9-10″ long cylinder 1 1/2 inches in diameter.
Divide orange dough into 3 equal parts. Roll into 3 ropes, 9-10 inches long, 1/3-inch in diameter.
Shape 1 orange rope into a triangle/pyramid shape – this will be the beak.
Wrap each in plastic and chill 15 mins.
Slice through the uncolored cylinder lengthwise not quite all the way through.
Brush the insides with egg wash.
Place orange triangle rope into the center and press the 2 halves together to form the cylinder again.
Roll the black dough to 1/4-inch thickness.
Brush the surface of the cylinder with egg wash and wrap the black dough around it.
Brush the bottom part of the black dough with egg wash and press the 2 orange logs 1/4 inch apart along the length of the body.
Wrap in plastic and place the log feet-done onto a flat surface.
Use the heels of your hands to shape it into an egg with head at the narrow top.
Chill at least 20 mins, up to 2 days.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Preheat oven to 350*F.
Cut ends off each end of the cylinder.
Slice the cylinder into about 1/4-inch-thick cookies.
If the feet have stuck together, use a knife to cut a triangle bit of dough off between them.
Arrange slices onto parchment-lined baking sheets.
Transfer to the hot oven and bake 10-12 mins.
Remove from oven and let cookies rest on baking sheet 10 mins before moving them to a metal rack.
When the cookies are completed cooled, grab the kids and decorate!
Line another baking sheet with parchment paper.
Melt red candy melts in a small glass bowl in the microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring in between, til smooth.
Dip the top of each penguin’s head into the melted red candy.
Put the cookies on the prepared baking sheet.
Decorate with sprinkles, jimmies, candy stars, baby marshmallows, nonpareils, etc.
Melt 3 tablespoons of chocolate til smooth and use a toothpick to draw eyes, lashes, bow ties onto the cookies’ face.
Baking with Kids
Every year seems to pass faster than the last and Daisy’s growing up too quickly for my liking. Thankfully there’s a long list of things to do now that the holidays are here and I need my creative little helper by my side. It’s a very busy time with gatherings, but time slows down in the kitchen when we’re baking and decorating treats together. These Slice & Bake Penguin Cookies are great fun to make and even better to share. Pack them up to take to the hostess of the party, offer them to your guests when entertaining at home, even indulge at breakfast on a cold morning with a warm cup of cocoa. We’re going to leave a plate of them for Santa this year, along with some nice carrots for his reindeer. I treasure my time with Daisy, because making memories together in the kitchen is the most precious gift of all.