Use your favourite animal cookie cutters, but keep in mind that larger cutters make it easier to pipe and decorate the scarves.
- Prep time 45 minutes
- Total time 4 hours
In large bowl, beat butter with granulated sugar until fluffy. Beat in molasses, chocolate and egg. In separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt; stir into butter mixture just until combined. If necessary, knead gently to form smooth dough. Divide dough in half; shape into discs. Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. (Make-ahead: Refrigerate for up to 24 hours.)
Let dough stand at room temperature until soft enough to roll out, about 15 minutes. Between waxed paper or on lightly floured work surface, roll out dough to 1/4-inch (5 mm) thickness. Using 4-inch (10 cm) animal-shaped cookie cutters, cut out shapes, rerolling scraps as necessary. Arrange, 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart, on parchment paper–lined rimless baking sheets. Refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes.
Bake, 1 sheet at a time, in 350°F (180°C) oven just until firm, about 12 minutes. Let cool on pans for 1 minute; transfer directly to racks to cool completely. (Make-ahead: Layer between waxed paper in airtight container; store for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 1 month.)
While cookies are cooling, in large bowl, beat meringue powder with 1/4 cup water until foamy, about 2 minutes. Beat in icing sugar until stiff, about 9 minutes. Divide icing among 2 bowls.
Using food colouring, tint 1 bowl of the icing brown; cover white icing with damp towel and set aside. Spoon one-third of the brown icing into piping bag fitted with small plain tip; pipe outlines along edges of half of the cookies. Repeat with white icing and remaining cookies. Let stand until dry, about 20 minutes.
Gradually add water, 1/2 tsp at a time, to remaining brown icing until mixture is consistency of molasses. Spoon inside brown outlines; using toothpick or skewer, spread to piped edges, popping any air bubbles. Let stand until dry, about 30 minutes.
Spoon the remaining white icing into piping bag fitted with a small plain tip; pipe scarf around neck and down torso of each cookie. To make decorative fringe, arrange white sprinkles along ends of each scarf (if using). Let stand until dry, about 20 minutes. (Make-ahead: Store in airtight container for up to 3 days.)
Makes about 36 cookies.
Nutritional facts per cookie: about
- Sodium 71 mg
- Sugars 8 g
- Protein 2 g
- Calories 103.0
- Total fat 4 g
- Potassium 87 mg
- Cholesterol 12 mg
- Saturated fat 2 g
- Total carbohydrate 17 g
- Iron 6.0
- Folate 7.0
- Calcium 1.0
- Vitamin A 2.0