The month of March is almost here! I’m sure you have all heard the old folk saying, “When March comes in like a lion, it goes out like a lamb.” (Of course the opposite is said as well!) The lion and the lamb are similarly compared to the characteristics of yin and yang–just like vanilla and chocolate!
What I like about these cookies is that you can see the opposite characteristics of each the lion and lamb in the use of vanilla and chocolate. The chocolate of the lion’s mane becomes the vanilla of the lamb’s fleece.
These cookies would be a fun project to do with children, its an easy recipe, with an added educational value!
4 cups flour
4 sticks butter
1 cup granulated sugar
4 tsp vanilla extract
6 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 small bag white chocolate melting pennies
1 small bag pink chocolate melting pennies
1 small bag dark chocolate melting pennies
disposable pastry bags
These cookies can be made using a two day process or done in one day if you have approximately three hours to devote to your cookies.
Prepare your dough and bake the cookies.
2 cups flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
pinch of salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla
3 Tbsp cocoa powder
Mix the flour, sugar, and salt together into a bowl and set aside.
Place the butter into your mixing bowl and mix to blend the butter. Add the egg and vanilla extract.
Add the flour mixture a little at a time and mix dough until uniformly incorporated.
Set the dough aside, you now need to make the chocolate dough.
Prepare recipe same as above, but this time you will add the 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder to your dry ingredients.
Separate the vanilla dough into equal halves. Repeat with the chocolate dough.
Take one section of vanilla dough and make into a log, about 2 inches in diameter. Next, take a section of chocolate dough and roll into a long rectangle shape, large enough to encase the vanilla dough. The easiest way to form the rectangle is to form it into a long rectangle with your hands and then roll the dough. You can continue to reshape the dough into a rectangle shape after each time you roll it.
When it is long enough, take the vanilla dough log and set it on top of the chocolate rectangle. Pinch the seam together with your fingers and smooth it away.
Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and put into refrigerator.
Repeat the preparation of the dough with the remaining halves of dough, only you will be forming the chocolate into a log and making a vanilla rectangle to cover it.
Refrigerate dough for at least one hour. Preheat your oven to 375 F.
When your dough is ready get your cookie sheets lined with parchment paper and find a sharp knife to slice the dough with. Do not use a serrated knife as it will leave lines on your slices.
Slice of the messy ends of the dough. Cut your dough into 1/4 inch thick slices. After every third slice rotate your dough so that it does not become flat on the bottom. Once all the dough is sliced transfer to cookie sheets. If some of your slices have become lopsided you can gently reform it into a circle with your hands.
Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes. Cookies will be done when you press firmly on the tops and the cookie does not give.
Leave cookies on cookie sheets for 3 minutes after baking and then transfer onto paper towels or cooling rack.
Prepare 3 disposable pastry bags: one white, one pink, and one dark chocolate. Set aside the pink and white bags.
Melt the white bag in the microwave, when it is ready cut a very tiny portion of the tip off. It is important that you do not cut too big an opening. Test the flow of chocolate on a separate piece of paper towel or parchment paper.
Start decorating the cookies by piping the eyes on the lamb cookies. Once all the eyes have been piped, go back and add the lamb’s fleece around the outside edge of the cookie. When you are done, take your pastry bag and squeeze the chocolate towards the rubber banded side, it will re-heat more evenly when the chocolate is together in one lump.
Melt the dark chocolate bag and pipe the eyes and mane on the lion cookies. Set dark chocolate bag aside.
Melt the pink bag and pipe noses on both the lamb and lion cookies. I made the noses on the lambs oval in shape and the noses pointed on the bottom for the lion cookies.
To make the ears on the lion, pipe two triangles on the top of the cookie. For the lamb’s ears, pipe a tear drop shape on each side of the cookie.
Re-heat the white bag and pipe the mouths on the lamb cookies. Repeat with the lion cookies using the dark chocolate bag.
The cookies are now done! If you like you can pipe ‘Calm’ on the back of the lamb cookies and ‘Fierce’ on the back of the lion cookies for an added surprise.
You could also write names on the backs of the cookies if you are making them for a dinner party or a child’s birthday party.
You can make other types of animals and designs using refrigerator dough, be creative! You can make different colored doughs by adding gel colors.
Feel like making cupcakes instead? Head over to the Lion and Lamb Critter Cupcakes!