There are very few things you have more time for when you are caring for a newborn. Your life is a cycle of feedings and diapers. However, I have been pleasantly surprised to find that I am actually catching up on some reading. For nearly a year I have been too busy with work to even read basic news let alone novels or magazines. Now, thanks to 8-10 feedings a day, I have a chance to read while I feed the baby. I actually feel up-to-date on current events, have read 2 full books in the past 6 weeks and have become happily acquainted with The Atlantic magazine.
Recently, while flipping through an InStyle magazine, I was drawn to the photos of Dita von Teese, international burlesque star. Her home was featured and was as colorful as her persona. It turns out that Dita loves cooking for friends and was kind enough to share her recipe for Spiced Mice Butter Cookies. She is pictured in her flamingo-pink kitchen taking a sheet pan out of the oven while in high heels with perfectly coiffed retro hair. (Slight contrast to the yoga pants and ratty ponytail I was sporting when my mouse family was born.)
Mini Whipped (age 3) and I worked together to form our mouse brigade. Her cookies had a few extra eyes, ears and tails but we had a blast making these cookies together. We were recently invited to a birthday party where the hostess requested “no gifts” for her 2 year old. Since I can’t stand to show up empty handed, we tucked a dozen of these mice cookies in a box and included the recipe on top. This is one sort of mouse most people won’t mind finding in the kitchen.
Dita’s Spiced Mice Butter Cookies
Makes 3 dozen
12 tablespoon Butter (1 1/2 sticks)
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/2 cup regular sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
For Making the Mice:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, whip the butter with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add both sugars and mix. Add one egg and vanilla and beat until combined. In a separate bowl, mix flour and spices until combined. Add flour mixture to butter mixture and combine.
Measure 1 tablespoon of dough and roll into an oval. Make one side a bit pointed to form the nose. Put the cookies on a greased or parchment lined baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Mix egg with 2 tablespoon water to form an egg wash. Brush it on each of the cookies. Add almonds for ears, a Chinese noodle for a tail and cut a currant in half to form two eyes.
Bake cookies for 15-20 minutes or until slightly browned.
Note: My mice spread out a bit more than I wanted. Next time I will put them in the refrigerator for an hour or so to try to keep them a bit rounder.
Caroline Lubbers blogs at Whipped, The Blog.
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