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Fossil Cookies

Know some hungry paleontologists? Let them dig into these artifacts. Food-safe plastic insects for making the imprints are available at createforless.com.

  • yield: Makes 16
Photography: SIMON WATSON

Ingredients

  • 1 cup walnuts, toasted
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • Salt
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Step 1

    Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Pulse walnuts in a food processor until finely ground. Transfer to a bowl, and whisk in flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

  2. Step 2

    Beat butter, sugar, and vanilla with a mixer on high speed until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to low. Gradually beat in walnut mixture.

  3. Step 3

    Divide dough into eighteen 1 1/2-inch balls, and press into irregular stone shapes using the palm of your hand; transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Dust food-safe plastic insects with flour to coat; press into dough to make fossil impressions. Freeze until dough is very firm, 20 to 30 minutes.

  4. Step 4

    Bake until golden brown and firm in center, 25 to 28 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack, and let cool.

Source
Martha Stewart Living, October 2010

Reviews (7)

  • 12 Jul, 2014

    I show the website to my wife, i hoop she learns from you Martha.كرتون نتورك بالعربية

  • 29 Oct, 2011

    I made these cookies using a bag of Halloween characters I found at the dollar store. I washed them with anti-bacterial soap and let them air dry. They worked great and I had some scary skeleton, bug, spider, and snake cookies. Great, delicious, and fun recipe.

  • 28 Oct, 2011

    Oh, and you can also use shells, which are typically found as fossil imprints - Best Buy has a small bag for under $4!

  • 28 Oct, 2011

    I found a small plastic bag with a variety of insects at Party City; you have to look in the party favours section, not the Hallowe'en areas. I also made a couple of dinosaur "feet" to make footprint fossils by cutting the shapes out of a cross-sectioned potato, as you would for childcraft stamping/printing. This is a great, classy variation to the more obvious ghouls and graveyards decorated foods to bring to a Hallowe'en party - thanks, Martha!

  • 29 Sep, 2011

    Found what look to be the same insects on Ebay for $6.95 (that's w/ shipping)--that'll save me time, energy, and gasoline--oooh, hope they're the correct size.....

  • 29 Sep, 2011

    I must make them, too. I couldn't find the plastic insects on the craftforless site either so while running errands today I checked Michael's, JoAnn's, Big Lots, and Target, to no avail. Guess I'll try finding them elsewhere on line--oh, maybe a party store.... Why is everything a QUEST???

  • 27 Oct, 2010

    I'm dying to make these for my paleontologist 3-yr-old, but can't find the "food safe plastic bugs" on createforless. Any ideas?