I couldn’t resist these cute cutters, perfect for making Springtime animal cookies. Sugar cookies work best with cutters as they tend to spread less when baked so preserve the details. After trying several different recipes, and tweaking them, this one seems to work best for me.
Springtime Animal Cookies
I bought these cute cutters from Tala mini bakery range, to make animal cookies, in my local supermarket. I couldn’t resist the cute design, and they were also in the discount isle, so a bargain too! I have had a lot of problems with cookies spreading too much during the baking process and therefore loosing the detailed shape and imprints. This method seems to work best for me, which is an amalgamation of various recipes and methods I have tried. It still needs some perfecting, as I still get some spreading in the oven, but you know what they say practice makes perfect!
- 175g salted butter (at room temperature)
- 150g caster sugar
- 1 medium egg (at room temperature)
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 280g plain flour
- Beat the butter in a bowl until smooth. I used a stand mixer for this, but you could equally use a hand held electric mixer. Add the sugar and beat at high speed until light and fluffy.
- Add the egg, vanilla extract and almond extract and beat at high speed until all the ingredients are well combined scraping down the sides of the bowl as required.
- Sieve the flour, and add half to the butter mixture folding it in or use the mixer on a low speed. When combined add the other half and repeat. If the mixture is too sticky at this point add an extra tablespoon of flour (I had to add 2 tablespoons to the mixture in the photo).
- Divide in half and roll out each portion to about 5mm thickness. I found the best (and least messiest!) way to do this was to place the dough on a lightly floured piece of greaseproof paper, place a further piece of greaseproof paper on top and roll out the dough. This way there were no messy chopping boards to clean and it gave a nice even flat dough with a smooth surface.
- Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Although you can be tempted to skip this step, it is actually really important to help prevent the spreading of the cookies when they are baking.
- Cut out your desired cookie shapes, and place on a baking tray lined with grease proof paper, and refrigerate again until firm (about an hour). If the dough gets to sticky to work with with repeated rolling out of the scraps then refrigerate it again.
- Cook on 160C (fan oven) for about 7 minutes, ideally just before the edges turn brown. Depending on the thickness of your cookies they will need between 6-9 minutes. As you can see some of mine are a bit brown around the edges where I took my eye off the ball, but don’t worry the will still taste lovely just be a bit crispier.
- Allow to cool on the baking sheet for few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to allow to cool completely
- I decided not to decorate these cookies as I liked how they looked as they were (and I ran out of time!), but if you choose to ice them, allow them to cool completely before decorating.
These cookies can also be made in advance and frozen un-decorated, defrosting them overnight in the fridge when needed. This batch of cookies are destined for a bake sale to raise money for the local Pre-school next week so will be frozen until then, but I couldn’t resist sampling one or two with my cuppa!
If you like cookies, why not try my double chocolate chip cookies too! Super easy, and so good.
NB. I am a home cook, and have had no formal training in preparing food. So these are just recipes that I use at home for the family. Whilst I have taken time to try and be as accurate as possible, some of the quantities are approximate. I am always keen to learn, so if you think the recipe can be improved upon please take the time to comment below. I also love seeing your versions.