About this time of year I start seeing different versions of my cookie recipe pop up on the internet. Some people seem to think they can improve upon it or perhaps they simply think that if they change something they will not be violating a copyright.
The copyright to this cookie is no longer held by a major flour manufacturer, so if you wish to share it with others, simply give credit where credit is due. All that I ask, as the originator of this recipe, is that you identify this cookie as the second grand prize winner in Pillsbury's 8th Grand National Bake-off and that you promise to bake these cookies using the original wholesome ingredients.
Make these with your kiddos for Halloween. They will have fun and so will you!
Natalie’s original Halloween Hoot Owl Cookies
2nd Grand Prize Winner in the Pillsbury Bake-off®, many, many years ago...
2 ½ cups sifted all purpose flour
2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup of butter (Do not use margarine or butter substitute)
1 cup firmly-packed brown sugar
1 unbeaten egg
1 teaspoon of real vanilla (Do not use artificial vanilla)
1 ½ squares (1 ½ ounces) unsweetened chocolate
¼ teaspoon baking soda
Chocolate chips (Do not substitute carob chips or butterscotch chips)
Whole roasted salted cashew nuts
* Sift flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
* In a separate bowl, work the butter, gradually adding the sugar and creaming it well. Blend the egg and the vanilla into the sugar mixture and beat well.
* Melt the unsweetened chocolate in the top half of a double boiler. Remove the pan from over the hot water and set aside to cool.
* Add dry ingredients gradually into the egg/butter mixture and mix well to form a ball of dough.
* Remove 2/3 of the dough to a floured board.
* Stir the 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda into the chocolate and blend chocolate mixture into the dough that remains in the bowl. Chill this chocolate dough in the refrigerator for 1/2 hour.
* Roll out half of the light-colored dough on your board to a 10 x 4 inch strip.
* Shape 1/2 the dark dough into a roll 10 inches long; place the dark dough roll onto the strip of light dough. Mold the sides of the light dough around the dark; wrap this in aluminum foil and chill in the refrigerator.
* Repeat this process. Chill both aluminum-covered rolls of dough about two hours.
* Remove aluminum foil and cut rolls into slices about ¼ inch thick; place two slices together on greased baking sheet or on a parchment-line baking sheet and press the slices together to resemble an owl’s face. Pinch the outside corners of each slice to form “ears”. Place chocolate chips, upside-down in the center of the dark circles to make "eyes"; press a whole cashew nut with the pointed side down between the slices to form the "beak".
* Bake in a moderate oven (350 degrees) for 8 to 12 minutes, just long enough for the cookie's light-colored rim to become slightly brown. Remove cookies from the baking sheets immediately and place on racks until completely cool. Makes about 4 dozen cookies.
* Cookies can be wrapped, single layer style, in aluminum foil for storage.
Hoot Owl Cookies © 1955 and re-established in 2007 by Natalie Riggin, the first junior contestant ever to win a grand prize in the Pillsbury Grand National Bake-off® Photo is from the personal archives of the author