Friday, November 9, 2012

Sweet Crab Treat

My friends Rachael and Chris gave me a sweet crab-shaped cookie cutter for my birthday!

They must have known that I've been coveting a crustacean cookie cutter for quite some time, and I didn't waste any using my new toy making:

Shortbread Crabs

I used a recipe from Claire Robinson, host of 5 Ingredient Fix on the Food Network, because if there's one thing I like, it's easy recipes. And snow crabs. But 'easy recipes' is up there. The best part of this recipe is you don't actually need a cookie cutter, but if you have a crab-shaped one it makes it that much more fun.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into chunks
1 teaspoon water

everything you'll need for the cookies and the decorations

1. Add the flour, salt, and powdered sugar to a food processor and pulse to combine. Add in the vanilla, the butter and the 1 teaspoon of water. Pulse together just until a dough is formed. Put the dough on a sheet of plastic wrap and roll into a log, about 2 1/2 inches in diameter and 5 inches long. Tightly twist each end of the wrap in opposite directions. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

I didn't have plastic wrap, so I rolled the dough in a plastic baggie

2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. (The original instructions called for this step at the very beginning, but who needs their oven preheating for 30 minutes or more while they mix and cool their dough?)

3. If you don't have a cookie cutter, you can cut the log of dough into 1/3-inch medallions and bake them as sweet little circles on your sheet. Otherwise, roll out the dough on a clean, dry, floured surface to about 1/3-inch thickness. Bring on the cookie cutter joy, placing your crabs on a nonstick cookie sheet or a buttered baking sheet, and re-rolling the leftover dough to make more crab cookies.

I don't have a rolling pin, but a glass does just fine

my salt and pepper shakers oversaw the cutter placement

4. Bake until the edges are just light brown, about 12 to 14 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool on the cookie sheets for 5 minutes. Transfer to wire racks and cool until room temperature.

golden goodness on those chelae and dactyls

 5. The fun part: decorate your cookies! I used frosting for half and left the other half plain because my husband doesn't like frosted cookies (I know, who did I marry?!?!). The plain guys got eyes before they were baked, but the frosted guys got eyes after they were all done up in cream cheesy goodness. Notice the eyes are green because they're opilios. I used mint M&Ms and they were a hit!

frosted or not, these cookies were tasty!

This made me think of the article I had read and mentioned in my last post: would a plain crab cookie taste better than one with epibionts extra toppings? I made one to find out:

see the barnacles (frosting dots) and
leech egg cases (pumpkin seeds) on the old-shell crab? 

the verdict: he was delicious!
(you can also see my sweet goldfish
in the background, mentioned here)


  1. Sounds wonderful Molly, may have to try it!

    1. Thanks! Let me know how they turn out if you do!

  2. Are you saying that an old shell cookies tastes better than a new shell cookie???

    1. Well, yes. But I'm partial to cookie epibiotic growth. Since Adam doesn't like frosting, he might disagree.