Monday, January 11, 2010

flathead animal cookie

although my daughter is, by her own definition and in her own words: a lady-princess, she did not bat a lash at the prospect of getting elbow deep in cookie dough yesterday. i have no pictures of this process and it's probably for the best. the cookies will speak volumes. rest assured, they didn't suffer, the puppies, chickens, bears, bunnies and one unicorn we made. their heads are dreadfully bashed in, but it was all done in love. we got a bit overexcited. we're a good team though. i made the ears, noses and eyes, and zhara pasted them onto the heads. take a peek here to see how they're supposed to look.

1 stick butter
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg
2 ts vanilla extract
2 1/3 cups flour
1 ts baking powder
1 tb cocoa

2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
2 tb butter
1 tb cocoa

make sure all ingredients are room temp. sift the flour with the baking powder and set aside. cream the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy. beat in the egg, then the vanilla. mix in the flour. put about 3 tb dough in a different dish and mix in 1 tb cocoa. wrap both of them and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
mix the condensed milk with the cocoa and butter on low heat, whisking continuosly. you want to get it creamy but not too thick, it will harden some as it cools. when it's cool use two teaspoons to roll into small balls and refrigerate until cold. be sure to grease the surface, even waxpaper, these'll stick like a bad habit.

remove all sharp objects. appoint one toddler on decorating duty. breake or cut to portion dough to match the number of filling balls you've made, up to 35 if you've the patience to make them that small... i've made 24. so flaten the dough, put the filling in the middle, roll and give it a round shape. make ears out of the cocoa dough. use chocolate sprinkles for eyes. i only had red hearts, and zhara said they're scary as puppy eyes. bake at 325F for about 10 minutes. as soon as they start to brown underneath they're done.
zhara was very proud of herself. she kept dancing around, looking in the oven, singing 'mommy and zala made cookie' !!! over and over. (that swooshing sound? me melting).

when you come in from the snow have these with a cup of hot chocolate milk for a satisfying, cold-chaser treat. we loved the filling, it's called brigadeiro and it's a favorite in brazil. the original recipe called for more sugar, but i don't like my cookies very sweet, they were perfect for us as they were. soft and crumbly, with a backdrop of vanilla and that luscious caramel inside. i'm pretty sure these will become a staple around here. they'll be hearts for valentine's for sure.

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