You know when you find that Instagram account that you can’t believe only has 400 followers? I’m on the hunt for baking inspiration on Instagram all the time (the Baking tag is helpful), and a couple of weeks ago I stumbled upon one of those accounts that deserves more attention (and followers!). Samantha of @elleventy bakes the CUTEST cookies. Owl shaped, tortoise shaped – if it’s an animal, it’s a cookie. She also posts some great pies. Unfortunately, there are no recipes with the pictures, so you have to be a bit creative to recreate the bakes, but it’s worth it purely for the foodporn and cuteness. I recreated one of her animal-shaped cookies: the hedgehog!
|Hedgehog Elvis-Wannabe 🙂
I mean, they’re adorable right?! And so easy to make. I suppose it’s a great activity for kids, but adults can indulge in their cuteness too (I still see myself as a big kid anyway). The base is a vanilla cookie, which is then dipped in chocolate and sprinkled with chopped (wal)nuts. The finishing touch is drawing the eyes and the teeny-tiny nose on with some more chocolate! You can bake these cookies even if you have no fancy baking equipment, use a glass as a cookie cutter and a wine bottle (or other glass bottle) to roll the dough out. An oven is a must-have though 😉
Recipe Hedgehog Cookies
Yields: approx. 22 cookies
Tools: a 6 cm ø round cookie cutter, rolling pin, baking tray lined with parchment paper.
100 gr unsalted butter, softened
100 gr caster sugar
Seeds of 1/2 vanilla pod (you could substitute with vanilla sugar to taste)
1/2 egg (30 grams; you could freeze the rest!)
200 gr plain flour
125 gr dark or milk chocolate
40 gr walnuts (or other nuts of choice), finely chopped
1. Beat the butter, sugar and vanilla seeds together until you have a soft, fluffy mixture. Sift in the plain flour and combine with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes together in a dough. Shape dough into a flat disc, wrap in clingfilm and leave to chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
2. Pre-heat the oven to 180C/350F.
3. Once chilled, roll the dough out to 5mm thickness onto a very lightly floured working surface. You don’t want to use too much flour as this will get into the dough when you re-roll it. Cut out round shapes, then trim the edges with a knife to create a waterdrop-like shape. Re-roll the scraps, and cut out more biscuits. Try not to eat too much cookie dough 😉
4. Arrange the cookies slightly apart on the lined baking tray, then chill for 15 minutes.
5. Bake in the oven for +- 9 minutes, or until the edges have started to brown slightly and the cookies are firm to the touch. If necessary, rotate the tray halfway through the baking time to get an even bake.
6. Remove tray from the oven, transfer cookies onto a wire rack to cool completely.
7. Once your cookies have cooled, melt the chocolate au bain marie (in a heatproof bowl over a pan with boiling water – make sure the bowl does not touch the water!). Once melted, dip the cookies into the chocolate, widest end downwards. Scrape excess chocolate off the bottom of the cookie by drawing it across the edge of the bowl. Place on some parchment paper or a silicone mat (to make it easier to get them off once the chocolate has set). Sprinkle over some of the chopped nuts and finish off by drawing on the chocolate eyes and nose with a skewer. Leave to set, at room temperature or in the fridge.