Totally adorable hoot owl cookies! These cookies are not an incredibly sweet cookie. Very much like a shortbread. The perfect cookie to drink hot cocoa with because the flavors won't compete.
With an electric mixer cream together sugar, brown sugar, shortening, butter and ground flax. Add vanilla, water and maple syrup and mix together. Slowly add flour, baking powder and soda and salt.
Split 1/3 of the dough and place back into mixing bowl and add cocoa powder and incorporate into dough. Take the remaining 2/3 of the dough and incorporate 6 drops each of red and yellow food coloring.
To shape the cookies roll orange dough out onto a floured surface, shaping it into a rectangle that is 11 inch wide and 6 1/2 inches in heights. Roll the chocolate dough into a an 11 inch dowel. Place that in the middle of the orange rectangle. Bring the ends up and join them together making a tear drop shape with a flat bottom. cover in plastic wrap and place on a cookie sheet and let chill in the fridge for at least 5 hours.
Preheat Oven to 325 degrees.
After the dough has chilled, slice off the very ends of the dough to create a flat surface to start slicing. Keep the ends, we are going to use them to check for done-ness. Slice into about 3/8 inch slices. Place them on a cookie sheet butting the sides together of 2 slices to form the owl shape. With your hands move the ears over further towards the side with your hand and adjust the bottom by rounding it more. Place a whole cashew in the middle for the nose and 2 jumbo confetti sprinkles for the eyes.
This cookie dough can also be shaped into candy corns. Just third the dough up. Add 1/2 Tablespoon of cocoa powder to one third, 3 drops yellow, 3 drops red food coloring to another. Leave the other plain. Roll them into 11 inch dowels. Place them on top of each other. Place the plain on top and chocolate on the bottom. Shape the sides into a pyramid with a rounded top with your hand.
Sprinkle the tops with sugar and place in the oven. Bake for about 12 minutes. Use one of the ends we saved for the first batch and place it on the cookie sheet with the cookies. These cookies are delicate before they have cooled, so using the end piece we can use and abuse it to see how brown the bottom is getting and save us from tearing apart our precious owls. The bottoms should be lightly browned and not at all brown on the top. Don't over cook these or they will be too crunchy. We want a soft shortbread type cookie. So watch your baby owls like a mother owl would her own. : )
After they are out of the oven, let them cool completely before you take them off the cookie sheet.