I found these cookie cutters at Fishs Eddy years ago and I used to use them to make sugar cookies as holiday gifts for my students at the Lycee Francais, where I taught English to second-graders. I had four classes which was a total of between 65-75 students depending upon the year and they each received two cookies. The cookie baking kept me up til the wee hours as it was no small task.
The reward for all of my work was the fact that those seven and eight year old children appreciated the homemade cookies. They would remark upon their delicate lemon flavor and seemed more grateful than one might imagine.
This year I took the cutters out so that Izzy and I could make some cookies for his teachers and start a yearly tradition.
The recipe I use comes from The Cookie Jar Cookbook, which I have used so often the pages are falling out. These are fragile cookies with a subtle lemon flavor, delightfully buttery and crisp.
Animal Cookies (aka Lambies)
2 cups less 2 tablespoons unsifted all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest.
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
2. Sift dry ingredients and set aside.
3. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy.
4. Add egg, vanilla and lemon zest and beat.
5. Gradually add dry ingredients.
6. Remove ball of dough and divide in 4.
7. Put dough between two pieces of waxed paper and roll out. Place in freezer for 15 minutes. Do same with remainder of dough.
8. Remove dough from freezer, one piece at a time. Remove paper, cut out shapes and transfer to cookie sheet.
9. Bake for 8-11 minutes, turning cookie sheets once.
10. Allow to cool and decorate as desired. Or be lazy like me and just sprinkle with confectioner's sugar. I also add one tiny silver dragee as an eye before baking