Have you heard of Totoro? Totoro is a cartoon character in a popular Japanese movie - となりのトトロ / Tonari no Totoro / My Neighbour Totoro. The movie is produced by Studio Ghibli and I've always been a fan of Studio Ghibli's works, such as Spirited Away, Kiki's Delivery Service, Howl's Moving Castle, Ponyo etc. Recently my colleague has been posting lots of Totoro photos on my Facebook, which tempted me to create a Totoro cookie.
I Googled for recipes online and could only find recipes for Totoro cut-out cookies. I didn't want to go through the trouble of finding a Totoro cookie cutter (maybe I'll go get it from eBay in the future), so I thought of an icebox cookie. Icebox cookies, also known as refrigerator cookies, are made by making a batch of cookie dough which is shaped, chilled until firm, then sliced and baked. I have made several icebox cookies before, my favourites being the spiral cookies and the Domo-kun cookies. I planned the design by adapting Diamond from Dessert's Penguin Cookies (I must say those cookies are damn adorable!)
Cookie dough ready to be baked (shared on Instagram a few days back)
Unfortunately, they didn't turn out the way I want it to be (I lack artistic talent seriously) but I'm very surprised that many of my friends could guess what the cookie is by the shape of it (see the cookie dough I posted on Instagram above). I ran out of patience decorating the cookies halfway, so I decided to create some monster cookies instead (see photo below), perfect for the upcoming Halloween! 😉
Looks aside, even though they don't look like Totoro at all in the end, I'm still glad the cookies turned out to be buttery, rich, fragrant and chocolatey - my mom asked me not to bring it to office to give away to my colleagues because she wants to snack on them! If you are feeling creative, do give these cookies a go and let me know how your Totoro cookies turned out! I'm sure you all are a lot more creative than me 🙂 If not, just roll them up into spiral cookies and bake away, they will still be very yummy!
I'm also linking this up with these two parties (click the images to go to the parties!)
- 115 grams caster sugar (½ cup)
- 60 grams icing sugar (½ cup)
- 225 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature (1 cup)
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 teaspoon vanilla
- 125 grams all-purpose flour, sifted (1 cup)
- 185 - 215 grams all-purpose flour, sifted (1½ cups to 1¾ cups)
- 2 tablespoon cocoa powder, sifted
- Chocolate rice
- Place the caster sugar and an icing sugar in a food processor. Process until the sugars are very fine and free of lumps. If not using a food processor, simply sift the icing sugar into a bowl and mix together with the caster sugar.
- Using a hand-held electric mixer, beat the butter at medium speed for 30 seconds. Add in the sugars in 3 batches, beating for 1 minute after each addition at medium speed and scrapping the sides occasionally. Add in the egg yolk, one at time, and beat at medium speed for 30 seconds and scrapping the sides after beating. Beat in the vanilla at low speed.
- Scoop ⅓ of the batter into the Vanilla Dough flour and mix well. For the remaining ⅔ of the batter, add in 125 grams (1 cup) of the flour and the cocoa powder and mix well. Mix in more flour until it has the same consistency as the Vanilla Dough.
- Reserve ⅕ of the Vanilla Dough for the eyes. Shape into a penguin shape using the same method as the Penguin Cookies. Roll 2 more chocolate logs and shape into ears.
- Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius. Slice the cookies into ⅛-inch thick and reshape them if necessary. Roll small balls of Vanilla Dough and place on the cookie and stick chocolate rice down as the eyes. Use chocolate rice to decorate if desired. Place them about 1-inch apart on a lined baking sheet and bake for 12 to 15 minutes. The cookies will expand during baking. Cool the cookies the baking sheet for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before storing in an airtight container.