Animal Shortbread Cookies

Samantha, aka Elleventy

I was one of those kids who loved going to school, so having a March break often meant I had to find something to fill the void that was once occupied with academics (queue the popular kids calling me a “nerd”). I remember that I would often visit the science centre and the museum, but the one thing I loved to watch as a child was my dad baking something in the kitchen.

Today I partnered with a friend to come up with a super simple shortbread recipe that you can easily transform into creative animal shapes or you can keep it simple with a normal cookie cutter shapes. Shortbread is wonderfully forgiving, thus making it great for kids to use and make shapes out of. The only thing you really have to watch out for to make these cookies is to keep the thickness of the cookies consistent so they bake evenly.

Makes approximately 35-40 cookies.


  • 2 cups of unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup of white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 4 cups, all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup of milk chocolate chips (for decorating)

Animal Shortbread Cookies

Directions for Shortbread Cookie Dough

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy, stir in vanilla and then add flour and mix well.

Directions for Lion

lion cookie

lion cookie

  1. On a clean work surface, flour the surface and rolling pin generously to prevent the dough from sticking.
  2. Roll out the dough to a 2-3 mm thickness and use a large circular cookie cutter to cut out the lion’s mane.
  3. With a smaller circle cookie cutter, cut out an equal amount of circles to manes, these will be the lion’s face. Lay them in the center of the manes.
  4. Take some of the leftover dough and make two round round balls. Flatten with your fingers and these will form the ears of the lion.
  5. Bake in the oven  for 10-12 minutes. Make sure to check close to the end of 10 minutes to make sure that the cookies are browning evenly.
  6. Let the cookies cool for 5 minutes.
  7. In a double boiler, melt the milk chocolate and use a toothpick to pick up the chocolate to decorate the cookies.

Happy Baking and Have a great March Break!

-The Piquey Eater