A few summers ago, I made some adorable octopus cookies based on a treat I saw at Starbucks. They used an enormous octopus cutter, but I recently found a smaller one that reminded me very much of something my goddaughter Mo and her little sister Margaret would like. Since frosted cut-out cookies don’t ship so well, I decided to tint the dough purple (octopuses can be purple, right?) and add some candy eyes for some fun summer treats.
For a richer color like the purple I used in these treats, I recommend gel food coloring instead of liquid. Most craft stores have a variety of gel colors in the baking section, but you might be able to find it at Target or your regular grocery store. I tinted my dough with the mixer running to fully incorporate the color; you can also mix it in by hand, but this way is less messy.
- ½ cup butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 2 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 teaspoons princess cake and cookie flavor
- Purple gel food coloring
- Small candy eyeballs
Stir together flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.
Cream together butter and sugar until fluffy. Add egg and beat well. Add vanilla, princess cake and cookie flavor, and about half the flour mixture, beating until combined; beat in remaining flour.
Note: if your dough is too crumbly, you can add just a bit of water or another ¼ teaspoon of vanilla.
Refrigerate until just barely firm, about 20-30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line three cookie sheets with parchment or foil.
Roll dough to 1/8 inch thickness and cut into octopus shapes. Place on baking sheets about 2 inches apart and press candy eyeballs into each cookie. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until edges are firm. Remove from oven and let cool on baking sheets for about 3 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature. Makes about 2 dozen.