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Squirrel Sandwich Cookies

January 15, 2012

Mmmm… squirrel sandwiches.

Not this kind of squirrel sandwich:

This kind:

Last winter, I got a set of cookie cutters that included a squirrel.  The SPCA (the local animal shelter) was holding a bake sale, and I used that as an excuse for a bake-fest and to try out my new cutters.  I didn’t have the patience/time to decorate the animals with royal icing so I came up with the genius (in my humble opinion!)  idea of making them into sandwich cookies.  That way you get to enjoy both the shape and some tasty filling (royal icing doesn’t taste very good, in comparison), plus they are fairly quick to decorate and easily packable when they are done.  I dropped off my baking just as the sale was beginning and an older gentleman immediately offered to pay $50 for a plate of six squirrel sandwiches.  Sold!

I actually never got to eat a finished cookie, as I had just the right amount for the sale.  So I wanted to make them again.  I didn’t recall the filling recipe I used at the time as anything particularly spectacular, so this time I decided to use the filling from one of my favourite cookies we used to make with my gramma when we were kids– whoopie pies.  It is fluffy, creamy, and very tasty.  (It’s also difficult to spread neatly, so fluffy goodness oozes out the edges!)

Squirrel Spice Sandwich Cookies

(adapted from Allrecipes, makes about 21 sandwiches)

1 cup butter

1/2 cup white sugar or evaporated cane juice

1/2 brown sugar

1/2 cup molasses

1 egg

2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

3 tablespoons boiling water

4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp ginger

1 tsp cinnamon

 In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars.  Stir in molasses, then stir in egg.  Dissolve the baking soda in the boiling water; stir into the molasses mixture.  Add one cup flour, then spices, and mix.  Mix in remaining flour to make a smooth dough.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill at least 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350°F.  Divide dough into 3.  On a lightly floured surface, roll first piece of dough out to slightly thicker than 1/8″.  Cut using squirrel cookie cutter.  If possible, flip cutter and cut half the squirrels as mirror images.  Continue with remain dough, rerolling scraps once.  (You can continue re-rolling the dough, but the more you work it the tougher it gets.)
Place on ungreased cookie sheets and bake for 6-8 minutes, removing when bottoms have lightly browned.  Remove and cool on wire racks.  Once cool, arrange the cookies in pairs.  Spread one cookie of each pair with filling (recipe below) and place the second cookie on top.
To store these more than a day or so I’d recommend individually wrapping them in plastic wrap and keeping them in the fridge or freezer.
Sandwich Cookie Filling

(adapted from the whoopie pie recipe in Cooking from Quilt Country)

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup milk

3/4 cup butter

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons icing sugar, sifted

Place the flour in a small saucepan and slowly whisk in the milk, ensuring there are no lumps.  Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until mixture thickens and bubbles in the centre.  Continue to stir and simmer over low heat for 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and let cool.

Place the butter in a medium mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until slightly softened.  Add salt, vanilla, and 1 cup of the sugar, and beat in.  Add the rest of the sugar and beat for 2 minutes.  Add the cooled milk mixture, one spoonful at a time, beating between additions.  Beat on high speed for 1 minute.  The filling should be smooth and fluffy.  Place in refrigerator to firm up.  You can make the filling while the cookie dough is chilling.

An oven thermometer is an extremely good investment, so you can carefully monitor the oven temperature between batches– 25 degrees too hot or too cool can make a big difference, especially with cookies that bake quickly!  It will also tell you if you oven is properly preheated and if your oven is actually the temperature it claims to be.

And one more tip– those dough scraps I told you to stop rerolling.  One of my resolutions is to waste less food, so I broke them up into more-or-less the same size (but crazily-shaped) pieces and baked them.  My plan is to turn them into crumbs, freeze them, and use them to make a crust or topping for a future dessert.  I admit it, I have thrown out cookie dough scraps in the past (I tend to get tired and a wee bit ill-feeling from eating too much raw dough!) but from now on I am going to be baking the scraps and repurposing them.

You would think with a kitchen full of freshly baked squirrels Chai would be interested in what I was up to, but this was his reaction:

“Boring!  Me no likes squirrels.  But maybes if you wrapped them in bacons…”

What do you do with cookie dough scraps? 

Or what’s your favourite way to eat squirrel? 😉

P.S. This was my 100th post!

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. thesaltygoat permalink
    January 15, 2012 9:29 pm

    So Cute!! Bet theyre delicious too 🙂

  2. January 16, 2012 2:29 am

    Reblogged this on Eating Anything Interesting and commented:
    Squirrel + Sandwich??? Nice drawing… Poor Squirrel.. Thanks for the share!

  3. January 16, 2012 4:56 am

    Oh so sweet!! You really made them look professional too.

  4. January 16, 2012 8:34 pm

    These look DELISH!! I am really enjoying your blog- and super jealous you live in Vancouver… my favorite place I’ve EVER visited!

    • January 16, 2012 8:37 pm

      Thank you! I am glad that you like my blog. I actually live on Vancouver Island, not in Vancouver– the big city is too much for me– the island is even better. 🙂

  5. January 16, 2012 9:44 pm

    I made squirrel sandwich cookies just over a year ago! My sister’s nickname is squirrel, so I made them for her. She loved them.

    That’s the last time I made cut-out cookies because I get bored with the whole process too. I always used all the dough – I just put the scraps back in the fridge to rechill and that seemed to be fine. I ate some too, obviously. 😉

  6. Jennie Frances permalink
    January 17, 2012 9:44 pm

    What a big mouth you have Chai! Dad is worrying about you since he hasn’t heard anything lately. Hope Auntie is being good to you.

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