Kipper recently had an EPIC dinosaur themed birthday party. We had a great time playing dino games, and eating delicious birthday food. But a party must have treats, and even as a sugar-phobe, I knew I’d have to make something sweet to go in the party bags as a tasty reminder of the fun.
One way to maintain control of the sugar/food colouring/artificial everything situation is by making stuff myself. Giving the children treats to take home also means that their sugar consumption doesn’t all happen in a few hours, and their parents can take some responsibility for managing the post-party goodies. These cookies are by no means sugar-free, but they don’t have any icing, which helps. Each cookie contains just 5g sugar – about 1 tsp.
Following our prehistoric theme, I decided to make cookies imprinted with fossils and dinosaur footprints. These are so easy to make! I knew I needed a firmish, roll-out-able cookie dough that wouldn’t rise too much, and I ultimately settled on an adapted version of the gingerbread recipe from Tamasin’s Kitchen Bible (which you should buy if you don’t have it already – probably one of my most referred-to cookbooks). It’s super-easy to make, rolls and cuts beautifully, and bakes to a crisp, golden tasty cookie. If you’re a bit more than five years old, you may a also find that these biscuits are terrific dunkers, holding up well when immersed in hot liquid and becoming pleasantly chewy without falling into crumbs.
I flavoured the biscuits with cinnamon and vanilla, and then dusted a little cinnamon sugar into the footprints/fossil prints. They’re deliciously fragrant, and very more-ish!
I used a plain round cutter, then impressed dinosaur footprints in half of the cookies using one of these little dinosaurs. The other half were imprinted with ammonite fossils, using one of the little plastic ammonites that came with Kipper’s Fossil Hunter Lottie Doll (which is a fabulous gift for any dinosaur/fossil obsessed small person).
I was pretty pleased with the results, if I do say so myself. I wrapped the biscuits in cellophane bags, tied with a ribbon, and popped them into the party bags. Roaaarrr!
I put two biscuits in each party bag, and also had a plate of these to serve with tea & coffee for the grown-ups at the dinosaur party. The mixture makes 4 dozen cookies, so you may want to halve (or even quarter!) the recipe.
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- 100g butter or margarine (1/3 cup + 1 tbsp)
- 100g golden caster sugar (1/2 cup)
- 170g golden syrup (scant 1/2 cup)
- 400g plain flour (3 1/3 cups)
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Optional: 2-3 tbsp cinnamon sugar
- Cream the butter/margarine with the sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add all the remaining ingredients and mix together until you have a smooth, stiff dough. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for half an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 190C. Line four baking trays with greaseproof paper or baking parchment.
- Roll out the dough between two sheets of baking parchment, to a thickness of 4-5mm. Cut out circles with an 8cm cutter and transfer to the prepared baking trays.
- If desired, use a dinosaur or fossil toy to press footprints or fossil imprints into the surface of the biscuits, and dust cinnamon sugar into the indentations.
- Bake the biscuits for 8 minutes at 190C until golden brown. Remove from the oven and transfer to wire racks to cool. (You may need to bake the biscuits in two batches, depending on the size of your oven.)
- When cold, store in an airtight box until required.
I’m entering these cookies into November’s Treat Petite, which is on the theme of ‘Autumn’. Kipper’s birthday always falls in the Autumn, so that counts, right?! Treat Petite is organised by Cakeyboi and The Baking Explorer, who is also hosting this month.