SO, this is me lesson prepping for tomorrow's Creative Writing 11 Book Chat tomorrow. I had my students select a Canadian Novel for an independent project which culminates in a Tea 'n Cookies Book Chat with their peers.
Silly me...I asked what they'd like me to bake and they said "Totoro Cookies!"
I don't know why I was hoping they'd all say "CAKE!" --but they didn't.
Ah well. They're not for me to eat anyway!
I used matcha powder to create tiny leaf cookies to rest on Totoro's head. With the leftover matcha dough I made some larger leaf cookies 'cause I didn't want to make any more of those time-consuming tiny leaves anymore 🤣
I added black sesame paste to a blob of cookie dough in order to make the tiny black sesame sprites. They were so cute but something about grey cookies is so unappealing to many people. I guess they don't look appetizing being the colour of soot!
In case you want to make these with a totoro cutter, be aware that they cost $$$. All you have to do is google it and you'll find plenty of styles of Totoro cutters to buy. Before I bought a cutter, I used a cardboard template that I cut out. I traced the cookies with a knife and they were tedious but they turned out well. Alternatively, if you're crafty you can cut up an Arizona Tea can and create your own personalized cookie cutter. I have a pusheen one that I made like that because I'm too cheapie to pay money for more cutters.
- 2 Cups unsalted butter, softened (2 sticks)
- 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 Large egg
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 5 Cups sifted all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp teaspoon coarse salt
- OPTIONAL: 1 teaspoon matcha powder (for the matcha leaves)
- OPTIONAL: 1 teaspoon black sesame paste (or ground black sesame seeds) (for the soot sprites)
- Preheat oven to 350degrees F.
- Put butter and granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in whole egg and vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add flour and salt and mix until combined.
- Halve dough; shape each half into a disk. Place one disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate. You can use the other half for the optional coloured decorations or soot sprite cookies. Continue making cookies with the remaining refrigerated dough.
- Roll out dough and cut with a template or cutter. Transfer cookies to parchment-lined cookie sheet.
- OPTIONAL LEAVES & SOOT SPRITES: take a handful of dough and add 1 teaspoon of matcha powder to it, kneading until thoroughly combined. Roll out and cut into tiny leaves to decorate Totoro's head. Take a handful of dough and knead in 1 teaspoon black sesame paste and knead thoroughly until combined. Roll out and cut into soot sprites.
- Bake for 13-15 minutes or until lightly browned (Totoro's ears will get brown first, so watch them) The soot sprites will take only 10-12 minutes and the tiny leaves take 7 min.
- Let cool on wire racks. Store in airtight containers at room temperature up to 3 days.