I was browsing through some cookbooks and I noticed a recipe for icebox cookies. The book included different shapes that could be made with the dough, like swirls and checkerboards. That got me thinking: what about some other shapes, perhaps animal cookies? I thought back to my childhood and remembered that I found cartoon turtles relatively easy to draw, just a bunch of circles, dots, and lines. Which, more importantly, means that they adapt to icebox cookie form very well. So, I took my old turtle, spruced it up a little, and turned it into a cookie :).
Step 1: Getting Started
The great thing about making these cookies is that you don't need a turtle shaped cookie cutter nor do you have to make any frosting. Just a few basic tools, the cookie dough, some sprinkles, and a bit of chocolate are all that's necessary to decorate and shape these cookies!
P.S. The icebox cookie dough recipe is adapted from The ATK Family Baking Book.
3/4 cup + 2 tbsp flour (for the green dough)
1 1/2 cups flour (for the white dough)
2 tbsp matcha powder
16 tbsp (2 sticks) butter, softened at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 egg yolks, at room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 oz. semisweet chocolate
round 1" cookie cutter
large straw (like one used for pearl milk tea)
Step 2: Make the Dough
Cream the butter with the two sugars. Mix in the egg yolks one at a time. Then, mix in the vanilla extract. Split this mixture in thirds and set aside for now.
Get two separate bowls. To one bowl, add 3/4 cup + 2 tbsp flour and 2 tbsp matcha powder. Mix thoroughly. Add one third of the previously split mixture to the matcha and flour and mix until you get a dough.
To the other bowl, add 1 1/2 cups flour. Add the remaining two thirds of the previously split mixture and mix until a dough forms. Now you should have one green matcha cookie dough and one white vanilla cookie dough.
Step 3: Make a Dough Log
Split the vanilla dough in half. Place one half of the vanilla dough on a piece of plastic wrap. Roll it so it forms a log with a 1 1/4" diameter.
Sandwich the matcha dough between two sheets of plastic wrap, and a rolling pin to roll it out to a rectangle as long as the vanilla log and wide enough to fully wrap around it (it'll be about 1/4" thick).
Wrap the matcha dough around the vanilla dough log. Use your fingers to smooth out the crease formed. Cover the entire log in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
Step 4: Shaping the Dough
Once the dough log is firm, remove it from the refrigerator. Slice the log into 1/4" thick slices and place the cookies onto parchment lined baking sheets.
Take the other half of the vanilla dough, sandwich it between plastic wrap, and roll it out to 1" thick. Use a round 1" cookie cutter to cut out circles from the dough.
Use the cookie cutter to cut off part of the circle cut-out to form crescent shapes for the turtle heads. Use a big straw (like the ones for pearl milk tea) to cut out small circles from the dough (use a chopstick to poke the dough circles out of the straw if it gets stuck).
Use a knife to cut each circle in half. Now stick 1 crescent and 5 small semicircles (4 for the feet and 1 for the tail) to each log slick on the baking sheets to form turtles.
Step 5: Baking the Cookies
Preheat oven to 325°F. Pinch the tail semicircles (the ones at the very bottom) so they look triangular. Add two black nonpareil sprinkles on the crescent heads for the eyes. Once done, chill the baking sheets of cookie turtles for 10 minutes.
Place in the oven to bake for 12-15 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheets for 3 minutes, then move the cookies to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
Step 6: Decorating the Cookies
Melt a bit of semisweet chocolate. Place it in a piping bag. Pipe two vertical lines on the shell (the white circle inside the matcha one). Then, pipe two horizontal lines on the shell perpendicular to the vertical lines.
Step 7: To Finish
Wait for the chocolate to harden and then enjoy! These cookies should remain fresh up to a week in an airtight container.