Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Ground Hogs Day Cookies

I saw these on Tip Junkie and just HAD to make them myself! My brother, Vaughn, was born on Ground Hogs Day - so I always feel it should be Celebrated much more than what most people do!
I did change them a little bit from the instructions on Tip Junkie - because I nearly always change things from whatever the original is. I guess I'm just always trying to make things a little better - from MY point of view.

To make these cookies you will need:
Cookie dough: sugar cookies, chocolate chip, or peanut butter - choose ONE - which ever you like best - all would work.
"Grasshoppers" or a similar store bought cookie that is covered in Chocolate (Girl Scout thin Mints would work well too).
Small marshmellows, chocolate chips, Hershey's chocolate Kisses, peanut M&Ms (or gum drops), dark chocolate icing and green icing.

So here's how I made them:
I was short on time, so I bought cookie dough. For the base - they suggested sugar cookie dough , but I like chocolate chip cookies much more, plus, since it represents "the ground" I figured the color was better and the chips could be rocks or whatever in the dirt. The instructions said to form the ball of cookie dough around a Hershey's kiss (unwrapped - OF COURSE!!), so I used a little more dough than you normally would have and did that. As the cookies bake, this leaves a lump or "hill" in the center of the cookie, which is the groundhogs den or hole. Bake the cookies according to the normal directions, being sure to leave plenty of room for them to spread out as they bake (2 to 3 inches).

HOWEVER, BEFORE you put the cookies in the oven, do this next step, because you need to have these ready when the cookies come out of the oven. I would have said to do this first, but you wouldn't know how many to do until you see how many cookies you can make with the amount of cookie dough you have. So count the number of "base" cookies you have made. Take that same number of "grasshopper Cookies" (or whatever you have choosen) and cut a small semi circle out of one side of them with a paring knife. I wish I had a picture for you - it looks like a small bite has been taken out of the cookie - which would be a faster way to do it than using a knife - but not nearly so sanitary!!! I guess if you were ONLY making them for yourself - you could do it that way!!!! (teehee) Anyway, when you have prepared the Grasshoppers, then go ahead and bake the "base" cookies. And Yes, you can eat the "bites" - because we won't be using them for anything else!

When the cookies come out of the oven, let them cool a few minutes, but not completely. Then push the Grasshoppers into the cooling cookies - bite-side down - at the back of the "hill" in the cookie. The Grasshopper cookie should "stand up". If it falls over when you let go of it - the cookies may still be too warm. Simply hold the Grasshopper cookie in place for a few minutes as the cookie cools a little more and it should stay. If that still doesn't work, you can put some icing behind the cookie to help hold it up - but I did not have to do this for any of mine.

Now it's time to turn the Grasshopper cookies into Ground hogs. I added the noses first because if you add the eyes first - you might not have quite enough room for the noses. I used dark brown Peanut M&M's for the noses, becasue I thought they looked more like noses than the gum drops on the original cookies. You could also use regular M&M's or any other candy you might choose. Attach or "glue" them in place using the dark brown icing. Then add the marshmellows for the eyes - also attaching with the brown icing. Then add the ears - AGAIN - attaching them with the chocolate icing. The flat part of the chocolate chips, face forward, to become the ears. The final step for the Ground Hogs is the centers of the eyes - using the brown icing and a #4 tip, give the eyes pupils. Have fun with this, you can give them expressions and personalities by how you place the pupils. They can be looking to the right, or left, up or down, even crosseyed!!!!

The final step is adding the "grass" - I used what I call the "grass or fur tip" - it's #233. You can add a little or a lot, depending on what you want. If I had had more time, I might have added a little flower or two for fun as well.

Someone asked about the color of ground hogs - I always picture then a much lighter color and after I made these I wondered about using a Ginger Snap cookie as the Ground hog and Carmel Chips or even Cinnamon Chips for the ears. My ex-Mother-in-law makes fabulous homemade Ginger Snaps, They're a TON better than store bought - which I'm not at all fond of- and I bet she would be glad to share the recipe!!!

I want to Thank Gormet Mom on the Go for sharing this idea. Check out her blog, she has a great tutorial for these - with pictures of the steps - and lots of other cute ideas as well!
Try making these - they're really fun and your kids would have a wonderful time making them too!!!


gnee said...

What a fun story. Congratulations on your marriage and all the happiness you are experiencing!

Karen said...