These Adorable Hedgehog Cookies Make a Fun (and Delicious) Holiday Treat
You could stick to the status quo with your holiday baking this year. Or, you could try these picture-perfect hedgehog cookies from Kim-Joy's new book!
Festive little hedgehogs! These German-style cookies are extremely delicate and have a “melt in your mouth” texture thanks to the addition of potato starch. You can replace the potato starch with plain [all-purpose] flour, but this will result in a more ordinary shortbread, rather than the special texture of these cookies. Feel free to decorate these hedgehogs with whatever sprinkles you like!
(Makes 15 – 20)
- 125g [½ cup plus 1 Tbsp] salted butter, at room temperature, cubed
- 40g [5 Tbsp] icing [confectioners’] sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla bean paste
- 125g [¾ cup plus 1 Tbsp] potato starch, plus extra for dusting if needed
- 80g [²∕³ cup minus 1 Tbsp] plain [all-purpose] flour (to make gluten free, substitute with gluten free flour plus ½ tsp xanthan gum)
- 150g [5oz] dark [bittersweet] chocolate, roughly chopped hard pretzels
- Festive sprinkles of your choice
- Brown round sprinkles
- Cream the butter and icing sugar together in a stand mixer (or use a handheld electric whisk) fitted with a balloon whisk attachment until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla bean paste and mix again until combined. Sift in the potato starch and plain flour (or gluten-free flour plus xanthan gum), then combine into a ball using a spatula. Avoid overmixing.
- Shape the dough into smooth round balls (about 19–26g [¾–1oz] each) between your hands. Refine the shape further by making one end narrower than the other and try to shape a smaller point for where the hedgehog’s nose will be. The dough is a little sticky and tricky to handle, so use potato starch or flour to stop it sticking to your hands. Try to handle the dough lightly and, the less you handle it, the more the cookies will crumble and melt in your mouth.
- Line a baking sheet with baking paper. Place the cookies on the sheet and chill in the fridge for 15–30 minutes. At this point, preheat the oven to 160°C [325°F/Gas mark 3].
- Bake for about 15–20 minutes (smaller pieces will bake quicker). They will expand slightly but will hold their shape very well.
- When baked, leave to cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer carefully to a wire rack to let them cool completely (be careful when transferring as the cookies are very fragile – though this is also part of what makes them so delicious too).
- Place the dark chocolate in a microwaveable, bowl and melt in short 20-second bursts in the microwave, stirring well between each.
- Spoon the chocolate over the cookies, leaving the face exposed and reserving some of the chocolate for the facial features. Break the pretzel sticks so that they look like reindeer antlers. Stick the antlers on either side of the hedgehog’s head, pressing slightly into the cookie so they stay in place. Scatter sprinkles over so they stick to the chocolate. Repeat with all the hedgehog cookies.
- Use a spatula to transfer the remaining chocolate to a piping [pastry] bag and cut a very small tip. Pipe a little chocolate to adhere a round brown sprinkle for the hedgehog’s nose, then pipe 2 dots of chocolate for the eyes.
Excerpted from: Christmas with Kim-Joy: A Festive Collection of Edible Cuteness by Kim-Joy, (Quadrille, $32.99), Photography: © Ellis Parrinder.