January 30, 2011

Lion Cookies

Today's post is the first of three. Here, I'll introduce the basic recipe for icebox cookies. Then, in each of these posts, I'll list the changes necessary to make the different flavored animals cookies.


Over winter break, I was flipping through The ATK Family Baking Book, and I noticed a recipe for icebox cookies. The book showed different shapes that could be made with the dough, like swirls and checkerboards. That got me thinking: what about some other shapes, like animal shaped cookies? Well, today I'll post about the chocolate and custard icebox lions (plus a Domo alternative), and in the next two posts, I'll post about two other animal icebox cookies.


Vanilla Icebox Cookies
adapted from The ATK Family Baking Book


2 1/2 cups flour (will vary in dough modifications)
16 tbsp (2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 egg yolks
2 tsp vanilla extract.

Cream the butter and the two sugars together. Mix in the egg yolks one at a time. Then, mix in the vanilla extract. [STOP here if you plan on modifying the dough.] Add the flour to the mixture and mix just until a dough forms and no flour streaks remain. Split the dough in half. Place each half on a piece of plastic wrap and roll into a log, wrapping each log in the plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator to chill for 15 minutes. [RESUME here with modified dough.]

Preheat oven to 325°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Once the dough is firm, remove from the refrigerator. Slice 1/4" thick slices from the dough logs and place the cookies onto the baking sheets. [Add sprinkles for modified dough.] Chill cookie slices for 10 minutes. Place in the oven to bake for 12-15 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheets for 3 minutes, then move the cookies to a cooling rack to finish cooling.

Makes 4 dozen cookies

Lion Icebox Cookies
icebox cookie dough (with modifications below)
2 tbsp custard powder
2 tbsp cocoa powder
black nonpareils

Make the vanilla icebox cookie dough until it says STOP (for modifications). Split the mixture that you have so far in half and set aside for now. Get two separate bowls. To each bowl, add 1 cup + 2 tbsp flour. To one of the bowls, add 2 tbsp custard powder, and mix. To the other bowl, add 2 tbsp cocoa powder, and mix.

Now, take the mixture that you split in half earlier and add 1/2 of it to the custard powder bowl and 1/2 of it to the cocoa powder bowl. Mix each of the bowls so that you end up with one custard icebox cookie dough and one chocolate icebox cookie dough.
Place the custard dough on a piece of plastic wrap. Roll it so it forms a log with a 1 1/4" diameter. Sandwich the chocolate dough between two sheets of plastic wrap. Use a rolling pin to roll it out to a rectangle as long as the custard dough log and wide enough to fully wrap around the log (it'll be about 3/8" thick).

Wrap the chocolate dough around the custard dough log. Use your fingers to smooth out the crease formed. Cover the entire log in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15 minutes. Now go back to above instructions to where it says RESUME. Except, after the log is sliced, place 2 black nonpareils on each cookie, near the center of the cookie slice, as the eyes, then bake.

Decorating Lion Cookies
white chocolate
semisweet chocolate
custard powder


Melt the white chocolate and mix it with custard powder until it's the same color as the custard part of the cookie. Use a toothpick to draw two small triangles in the chocolate part of the cookie to form ears.

Melt the semisweet chocolate and use a toothpick to draw a nose (a thick, short horizontal line in the center of the cookie with a little vertical line underneath). Then, use the toothpick to draw the mouth underneath the nose, two curvy lines. Let the chocolate dry.

P.S. Domo Icebox Cookies
Since many of you out there wanted an alternative Domo cookie that wasn't a sandwich cookie (like the TKOs), here you go. The good thing about this alternative is that this dough is easier to work with than the TKO dough. (And for whoever doesn't like chocolate... you can add brown food coloring to the dough instead of adding cocoa powder).


icebox cookie dough (with modifications listed below)
3 tbsp cocoa powder
red food coloring
white chocolate
semisweet chocolate
black food coloring (oil based, for candy)

Make the vanilla icebox cookie dough until STOP. Take the mixture, split it in 4, and set it aside for now. Get two separate bowls. In one of them add 1 1/2 cups + 3 tbsp flour and 3 tbsp cocoa powder. Mix. Then add 3/4 of the mixture you previously divided. Mix until a chocolate dough forms. In the other bowl, add 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp flour. Then, to this bowl, add the last 1/4 of the mixture you previously divided. Mix and add some red food coloring until you have a red dough.

To shape the dough, follow the shaping instructions from the Domo TKO post. Once the dough is shaped into a log, chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Now go back to the vanilla icebox cookie instructions where it says RESUME. In order to decorate the Domo icebox cookies, follow the decorating instructions in the Domo TKO post.


P.P.S. The next post will be dedicated to the purple cookies on the right in the above picture. Any guess to what animal it is?

P.P.P.S. Hmm... after staring at these photos for a while, I'm wondering if I should have added whiskers or not? If you're planning on making these, perhaps some chocolate whiskers can be added...

70 comments:

  1. Oh my ears and whiskers! So cute! And so yummy-sounding (crunchy custard? Count me in with bells on...). But if those are purple penguins, then I might be unable to contain my upcoming excitement! Squee!

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  2. OOOOOooo I hope it's a hippo!!! Hippos are always purple for some reason. I guess they put the gray skin and pink sweat together and get purple? Idk. But I hope so... they are my favorite animal!

    Your creations are so awesome. I am planning a Pierate ship sometime this spring.

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  3. I'm gonna take a stab and say your purple cookies will be ... elephants?! Whatever it is, I'm sure it'll be equally as adorable as the lion cookies!

    Is that taro/ube powder I see? I can never seem to be able to find a good use for that because I find it too gritty. Putting it in cookie dough is a great idea though!

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  4. I think the purple ones will be Totoros! I'm going to make the lion cookies, my daughter would love it!

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  5. I can't wait to try these for my little grandson. Look at his "Thomas the Train WRECK cake". --http://rosemaryandthegoat.com/2011/01/17/de-railed-thomas-the-train-cake/

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  6. Lovely cookies!
    Too beautiful to eat!

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  7. Oh those are too cute!! We'd love for you to share your stuff with us over at dishfolio.com!

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  8. SO ADORABLE! You are so creative.
    Caro
    http://nofindersfee.wordpress.com/

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  9. These lion cookies have got to be one of the cutest things I have EVER seen! I'm so glad I saw them on Foodgawker!

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  10. Wow, very very cute! Thanks for showing this!

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  11. Oh! And are those purple cookies penguins??

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  12. These are SOOOOO cute! You are extremely talented!

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  13. These are absolutely adorable!! I would squeal if a got a little bag full of these!

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  14. So super cute. Love them. New to your site so I am gonna go look around :) Go over and enter my first give away.
    mickey
    http://monstermama-monstermama.blogspot.com/

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  15. I tell ya, you come up with the cutest cookies! I love these! The only thing I can think of for the purple is a monkey. Can't wait to see the reveal:)

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  16. I love all of your posts, I'm addicted to your blog! My favourite post is the Potter Puppet Pals cookies. Are the purple ones penguins, by the way?

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  17. Sticky Penguin: I was trying to color the cookies without food coloring, so I thought custard powder and cocoa powder, they go together, right? It turns out that they do :).

    Jeannette: Interesting observation. I own a hippo pillow and it is indeed purple; now you've got me wondering why hippos are purple in cartoons. And yay for Pierate ship!

    Ro: Yup, it is ube powder. I used it in the purple cookies :D.

    Grace & Rosemaryandthegoat: Definitely try them out!

    bridget, Ann. Tine, Dana, Lacey, Caro, Dionne Baldwin, asugarcoatedlink, Anne, Nam, Jessica's Dinner Party, Sue: Thank you all for the comments!

    Mickey: Thanks! Welcome to my blog!

    Meg Johnson: Haha, thanks! PPP <3!

    GOOD GUESSES EVERYONE! I'LL PROBABLY BE POSTING THE NEXT POST THIS WEEKEND, SO YOU'LL SOON FIND OUT IF YOU'RE RIGHT OR NOT :D. But yay, all these guesses are giving me good ideas for future animal-themed baking projects!

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  18. The lion is so cute! My sister saw the domo cookies last year and she wanted to try it. But I guess I'll make the lion first. I think it's simpler to make yet still very, very cute.

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  19. Ooooo I LOVE these! One thing though - in your ingredients list does T=tablespoon and t=teaspoon? Sorry if it seems a silly question but we don't really use that type of measurements here(UK) everything is grams and ounces!

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  20. Cute!!! I'm going to follow you! Please look at my blog too!

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  21. i reeeeeally reaally want to make these, what do the "T"s stand for? teaspoons or tablespoons?

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  22. these are so cute and creative!!!! i love love love the natural colorings...been really wanting to try to use alternatives to the americolors...i am off to the chinese grocery to look for the ube! i have never heard of custard powder...off to google that! thanks for sharing :)

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  23. Too cute!!! >_< They look so tasty and adorable. If I make these, I think I'd be too conflicted to eat them. =D I'm guessing the Purple ones may be penguins?

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  24. Marie: Thanks, that's a good idea: starting from easier and moving up to more complicated.

    bluebellbunny & Sarah: T=tablespoon & t=teaspoon. Yeah, I like to shorthand my recipes when I write them out so they're quicker to copy.

    Kristen: Thanks. Okay, I'll check it out when I have time.

    sugarswings: Thank you! Yeah, it seems that people tend to have a love/hate relationship with food coloring, so I'm trying to post more recipes that don't use food coloring. Just a warning though, I did use food coloring in the purple cookies cuz the ube powder wasn't dark enough, but that might be because my powder isn't fine enough.

    Tea: Thanks! Haha, well think, if you don't eat them, eventually they'll get stale and moldy! Better to eat them when they're still cute and fresh!

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  25. These have to be the cutest cookies I've ever seen. You're so creative! Any chance you'll ever make an elephant cookie? I hope that's what the purple one is!

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  26. hi. thanks for sharing. i just baked them for Chinese New Year (which is tomorrow). my kids love them.

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  27. Bakergirl: Aw, thanks! If it turns out that it isn't an elephant, I'll definitely take that idea into consideration for future baking projects.

    Justine: You're speedy! I just checked them out; I like you use of sprinkles for the ears :).

    Laura: Thanks!

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  28. Holy crap. Just looking at these cookies makes me feel like I've moved back to Japan. Makes me think of Mister Donut and their lion-mane donuts.

    But, even more shockingly, WHY IS MY BLOG ON YOUR BLOGROLL!? I'm not that cool! What? How is this possible? I would have e-mailed you directly, but I'm not even clever enough to figure out your e-mail address. You're the best!

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  29. SO SO CUTIEEE. These are amazing!

    Stella, they remind me of a recent trip I made to Tokyo too, everything there is cute, even the construction work warning signs haha. Also, I just went to check out your blog and one of the first words I saw was 'nutella' so I'm sold already :)


    Chloe xx
    heavywords-lightlythrown.blogspot.com

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  30. These are totally cute! I'm going to make these and send a batch to my sons daycare, the kids in his class will get a kick out of them! I featured these on my friday favorites!
    http://lilbitofus.blogspot.com/2011/02/friday-favorites.html

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  31. I tried these today, and they came out delicious! Unfortunately I ended up rectangle shapes when the dough flatted a bit while chilling. How do you get them so round? 0:

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  32. Stella: Thank you! I remember one of my friends telling me about Mister Donut's Pon de Lion. So cute! No way, your blog is awesome. I was totally impressed by your Pop Tart post. I mean homemade sprinkles??? Oh, btw my e-mail address is on my profile page. I've been meaning to put it somewhere here but I keep forgetting.

    Chloe: Thanks! And seriously, everything in Tokyo is so neat and adorable.

    mommy2luke2008: Thank you! That sounds fun :).

    Altara Vellinov: Yay, glad to hear that you tried it out! The bottom of the dough flattened a little when it was chilling, so after I sliced up the cookies I smoothed out any sharp edges on the cut-outs to make sure that they were all round.

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  33. I love the lion cookies! They're so adorable!

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  34. Quick question: Where did you find the custard powder and can I substitute vanilla pudding mix for it? I couldn't find the custard powder anywhere :(

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  35. Christina_Cookie Gifts: Thanks!

    mommy2luke2008: I bought my custard powder at a Chinese supermarket (it's Lion brand from Hong Kong). Custard powder is British (a popular brand is Bird's) and I read online that you can find it at Cost Plus World Market. Some supermarkets carry it either in the international aisle or the baking aisle.

    I would imagine that you could substitute vanilla pudding mix; just add a little yellow food coloring if the color isn't right. If not, you could always just leave it out and use 2T flour + a little yellow food coloring instead. Good luck and let me know if you have any more questions.

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  36. So... much...cuteness... Brain will resume in a few moments...

    I tried this recipe and my cookies are not even remotely as cute as yours (some problems with the roundness after baking, and with the drawing skills probably-ha!), I guess I'll have to try this recipe again. And again... and again... But they'll be perfect for the upcoming Valentine's day though, as my partner loves big cats.

    An idea for mommy2luke2008: in my area of France, custard powder is virtually unknown, so I used vanilla sugar instead (makes up for both the custard powder and the vanilla extract). Don't know if you can find this where you live, but it could open new possibilities.

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  37. I remember my mum making the traditional shpes you mentioned. Thought she was magical when she produced checkered cookies when I was little!
    Tried the lions, fabulous! I thought my daughter would be a bit old for them (anti-mums baking - cranky teen!), but she loved them!!
    I am going to have a play around and try for a rabbit or easter egg as Easter approaches.

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  38. my friends and i are going to modify this and make monkey cookies for a fundraiser for endangered monkeys! thank you soooo much for the inspiration!:)

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  39. Hello! What an adorable set of cookies, you did an amazing job!

    I've never heard of custard powder, I did a bit of looking and read that you might be able to use instant pudding mix instead. Just wondering if you have any thoughts on that!

    Thank you!

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  40. Hi, I tried your recipe, but my cookies became cracked when it came out, and the dough didn't stick together very well :( so it made rolling the dough very hard

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  41. Saw these cookies on gastrogirl's Tumblr, and wanted to try them so bad, who knew they'd be this easy to make!

    These cookies are amazing! So quick & simple to make, and they came out just right. I just made the plain vanilla ones, but I'll be sure to try making animals soon :) Thanks for making baking for a bunch of friends so much easier! (not to mention a thousand times better)

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  42. Audrey: Practice makes perfect (so cliche, I know, but still true). Thanks for the vanilla sugar tip!

    Zennic Designs: Glad to hear it was successful. The rabbits sounds like a good idea!

    chocolatecup: Ooh, monkeys. Sound cute!

    Sarah: I think it should work. Vanilla pudding should give the dough the custard flavor. Try it out!

    innocec3: If the dough is dry, then that pretty much guarantees that the cookies will crack while baking. So first of all, you have to make sure your dough is of the right consistency pre-shaping and baking. Was your butter at room temperature? I find that if the butter is too cold, it doesn't incorporate well into dough and that leads to a dry dough.

    If you do try this again, make sure the butter is pliable before adding it to the other ingredients. If it's still an issue, you can add a bit more butter or egg to the dough so it's not dry.

    thencofd: Yay, I'm glad it worked out well. Thanks for sharing!

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  43. hello! just wondering if you have a modified version of the icebox cookie dough without the egg yolks!

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  44. These are so adorable!!!! I was thinking about making the lion cookies for my nephew's birthday, but I live in Mexico and I've never heard of custard powder. Could I just leave it out of the recipe, or is there something I could replace it for? Thank you :) my email is annie.solis@hotmail.com

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  45. Anonymous: Hmm, you could try a google search for an eggless sugar cookie recipe and look for a cookie that will hold its shape after baking (from any posted photos).

    Ana Solis: Yes, you can leave out the custard powder. It's there for just a bit of flavor, but it isn't absolutely necessary.

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  46. Mz▫Γσ∩əlч: Yup, 16T butter = 2 sticks of butter.

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  47. how do you make icebox dough?

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  48. I love these, I am going to modify and make so many things using this recipe, today Solar system cookies with my 8 year old cousin. But later...I am going to try to make batman cookies!
    I would like to make a suggestion though. I noticed by the final product you used a knife to slice your cookies. Try using waxed, flavorless floss, slide it under the dough to the thickness you want and wrap it around, pull tight and it slices right through, clean with no ridges left in the cookie.

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  49. Wow - these are incredibly cute! I especially love the lions.

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  50. how about Adventure Time's Finn the Human cookies :O

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  51. You got a new FAN!
    I love your cookies and appreciate that you share the recipe with us! A big thank you - I am going to make some lion cookies tomorrow. Let's have a try ^w^

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  52. Anonymous: It's the very first recipe in this post, vanilla icebox cookies. Scroll up a bit.

    WaterPixieEdd: Ooh, solar system cookies sound pretty cool. I love anything to do with outer space. Batman sounds cool as well. I've never actually tried the floss trick before, but I will definitely try it out if I ever get my hands on non-mint floss :).

    Dawn: Thank you!

    Esosh: OMG, I <3 Adventure Time! Finn cookies sound amazing. I've definitely been toying with the idea of an Adventure Time-themed baked good for the near future, so watch out for that :).

    mihoshappylife: Yay! Thank you for the sweet comment :).

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  53. you know, id never heard of "ice box cookie dough" until now, and i think its the only dough ill use for cookies for the rest of my life :)

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  54. I feel like a total noob for asking this, but egg yolk does refer to just using the yellow center of an egg correct? I made sure to take out the egg whites and just mix in the yolk, but for some reason I also have a very dry/crumbly mixture. I added another stick of butter but it doesn't seem to have helped much. I did mix using a spatula by hand though, would an electric mixer have been the trick? Beautiful cookies by the way, love them!

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  55. Brooke: Haha, it's quite useful!

    T.Pham: Yes, egg yolk is the yellow part of the egg; it's where the fat in the egg is, giving the dough extra richness. Are you sure your butter was at room temperature? If it isn't soft enough, it's very hard to incorporate it into the dough and as a result, you get a dry, crumbly dough that doesn't hold together. I don't think an electric mixer would help because then you run the risk of over mixing which would result in tough cookies.

    Also, if it helps, don't add all the flour in at once. First add half, mix, then add the other half and mix.

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  56. Dear Susan S! Thank you so Much for sharing the nifty lil recipe! :) i made some for christmas to be given as gifts and friends went gaga over it! the dough was initially too soft to work on but i got that sorted out by freezing them for a much longer time! pics of some of the mischievous looking domos in link below! not as perfect as your original creation, and has a comical lopsided toothy grin! :)

    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150487357990772&set=a.10150156285115772.303130.705070771&type=1&ref=nf

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  57. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe Susan! I saw a book at the store for icebox cookies and didn't buy it cause it was so expensive! I came home, googled, and found your site :D

    Just wanted to check something with you ... How is the consistency of the dough supposed to be? After I've mixed the mixture with the flour, I get a dough that is a bit moist and soft, yet pliable. For the yellow insides, I managed to get it into a log shape but it tended to 'rest' on the counter and become flat on one side. For the brown mane, I tried adding more flour to make it less moist but it only resulted in a dough that was still moist, but cracked :(
    After I tried to wrap the brown around the yellow, the yellow insides started to disintegrate too O__O

    Have you experienced any of these 'symptoms' before?

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    1. This can happen if the weather is too hot; then the butter in the dough starts melting, which makes the dough really soft. When I make this recipe in the winter, it's not a problem to shape the dough, but in the summer, the dough gets softer. Rather than adding more flour, I deal with soft dough by refrigerating it until it's firm enough to work with.

      For instance, once you get the yellow dough into pretty much a log shape and the chocolate dough in a rectangle, place the doughs in the refrigerator. After maybe 10 minutes of chilling, remove them. Now you should be able to perfect the log's shape without it sagging and wrap the chocolate rectangle around the log. Then wrap the log in plastic wrap and chill until firm enough to slice.

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  58. Guessing that the purple cookie will be a penguin (:

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  59. I make them vegan just using margarine and egg replacement (grounded flax seed + water) and they were great!! Thanks for sharing! (:

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  60. thanks for sharing.

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  61. Thanks for the recipe! The actual cookies turned out great but I had a hard time making the chocolate face! I found the chocolate hard to maneuver with a toothpick. Would you recommend melting the chocolate more? Adding a tiny bit of vegetable oil? Any suggestions would be great!I'm looking to use these for a favor for a party at the zoo

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    1. The chocolate should be liquid when you use it to make the faces. Maybe using a piping bag instead of a toothpick might help?

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  62. These cookies loked so cute! I tried making them today, but they spread out a lot in the oven and looked a bit cracked. I'm not sure what I did wrong?

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