Fossil Cookies

My favorite butter cookies! (click through for recipe) These cookies are part baking adventure, part craft project, and part delicious. Oh yes, a delicious craft—we’ve finally done it. 🙂

My favorite butter cookies! (click through for recipe) I call these fossil cookies because you can use any type of shell to press into the dough to leave an impression. Or you can just bake the cookies without the impressions. This is my go-to butter cookie recipe. If you’ve never had a butter cookie, it tastes very similar to shortbread. And you’ll never guess what the main ingredient is.

Oh, you guessed butter? Clever you.

Emma Chapman abeautifulmess.comFossil Cookies, makes three dozen.

3 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups (4 sticks) softened butter
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar (also called confectioner’s sugar)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 egg

First, cream together the butter and powdered sugar. In my opinion, the best way to cream together butter and sugar by hand is to, well, use your hands. The ol’ butter fingers. 🙂

Next, stir in the egg and vanilla extract. I used clear vanilla extract just to keep my cookies looking as white as possible, but any vanilla extract will yield the same (tasting) result.

Emma Chapman abeautifulmess.com How to make fossil cookies (click through for recipe)Now stir in the flour and salt until a soft dough ball forms. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and roll until the dough is about 1/4 inch (or slightly less) thick. Cut out the cookies. I used a pizza cutter and did squares. You could use circular cookie cutters if you prefer. Press the shell into the dough, leaving an indention.

How to make fossil cookies (click through for recipe). How to make fossil cookies (click through for recipe). Bake at 350°F for 15-18 minutes. After the first 10 minutes, remove the cookies and re-press the shell into the still soft dough. Return to oven to finish baking. Cool on a baking rack before serving.

My favorite butter cookies! (click through for recipe) I bought my shells from a craft store. No matter where you get yours from, be sure to wash them before use. Sometimes they can still have small grains of sand or other debris, and you don’t want that in your cookie batter. Enjoy! xo. Emma

Fossil Cookies

Ingredients

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups 4 sticks softened butter
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar also called confectioner’s sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 egg

Instructions

  1. First, cream together the butter and powdered sugar. In my opinion, the best way to cream together butter and sugar by hand is to, well, use your hands. The ol’ butter fingers.
  2. Next, stir in the egg and vanilla extract. I used clear vanilla extract just to keep my cookies looking as white as possible, but any vanilla extract will yield the same (tasting) result.
  3. Now stir in the flour and salt until a soft dough ball forms. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and roll until the dough is about 1/4 inch (or slightly less) thick. Cut out the cookies. I used a pizza cutter and did squares. You could use circular cookie cutters if you prefer. Press the shell into the dough, leaving an indention.
  4. Bake at 350°F for 15-18 minutes. After the first 10 minutes, remove the cookies and re-press the shell into the still soft dough. Return to oven to finish baking. Cool on a baking rack before serving.

Recipe Notes

Be sure to wash the shells before use. 

Credits // Author: Emma Chapman, Photography: Sarah Rhodes. Photos edited with Margot of the Folk Collection.

  • where is the recipe! you cant make the cookies without the ingredients and the method?

  • Finally, a practical use for all the stuff we find on the beach!

  • These look so delicious – you can tell just by looking at them that they are full of butter 🙂 Love the shell imprint, clever idea.

    http://www.laurelloves.com

  • Hey! I need to try this with my seashells from the Philippines trip. It will bee good surprise to my husband! 🙂

  • Awesome idea! I can’t believe I’ve never seen this before. Genius. :]

  • this is definately on my list of things to conquer this easter!

  • Such a cute idea! Do you think I could freeze this dough in rolls and do a slice ‘n bake cookie? Thanks for the recipe!

  • The cookies look great. I like how you painted the plywood. It really softens the background and makes it into a real texture rather than an ordinary piece of plywood.

  • I love this cute idea that won’t take all day long to make with my son. And he will love making these!

  • Hello on a beautyful saturday!

    Nice way of baking.
    Looks nice and make me feel at the beach………..

    Enjoy.
    Heidi from Denmark
    http://www.mariahoffbeck.blogspot.com

  • This is such a cute idea, definitely want to try this :)!

    http://laurenslittleblogs.blogspot.co.uk/

    xx

  • I have also made a similar cookie for my 3 little granddaughters’ tea party. We used decorative buttons (washed well and dried) to make the impressions. The ladies all loved their fancy cookies!

  • Wow these are so quirky I love this idea! xx

    www.krystelcouture.com ♥

  • These are very cool!!!! I give them an official paleontologist’s seal of approval (even though I do dinosaur stuff).

  • Wow – you guys are incredible! Always so many cool ideas, I just love your imaginations and these fossil cookies!

  • Whoooooa fossils on a cookie? Count me in? I would love to try this with other cool patterns too! 😀 Thanks for the idea!

    http://everydayingrace.blogspot.ca/

  • Oh my gosh, so excited to make these!! Thanks for sharing! Just thought I’d also share one of my tips for butter cookies – add 1-2 tablespoons (or more for more pronounced colour and taste) of matcha powder into the flour and sift together. Matcha butter cookies are amazing and I often drizzle melted white choc on top and add chopped toasted almonds/macadamias. So good!

  • Very pretty! Kinda like the inside out version of a biscuit we have in Wales, which is molded in a shell http://www.aberffrawbiscuits.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Home2.jpg

  • Lovely idea!

    http://talisatalksbeauty.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/prestige-velvet-lipstick.html

  • Love the look os a fossil cookie. I would never have thought you used a sea shell for the imprint.

  • These are so sweet and what a great idea! 🙂

    Lulu xx

    www.luluslittlewonderland.blogspot.com

  • So cute! What a fun idea! There are so many fun imprints you could do! Love it.

    http://sometimesgracefully.com

  • oh my gosh these are so cute!
    how perfect would these be for a kids birthday party?!

  • Where did you get the gorgeous coffee pot from? I loooove it 🙂

    http://thestylebandit.wordpress.com/

  • Love this idea. Will deffinetly try this with my year class. They’ll love it. The purple zebra stripe table is amazing by the way. I’m presuming you made it. If so, how did you get the effect?

  • These look so lovely- and it’s wonderful how they’ve kept the detail of the shells. They remind me of inverted Madeleines! xxx
    fifijane.blogspot.co.uk

  • The cookies look great, but that coffee pot steals the show. Where did you find it?

  • Perfect for afternoon coffee! (I’m holding firm against the rampant tea take-over of the U.S.) This looks like the perfect thing to make with my daughter on a rainy weekend. She would love stamping the dough with shells! Thanks for the idea!

  • that is s-o cool, i have to try it <3

    http://piece-of-air.blogspot.co.il/
    https://www.facebook.com/pieceofair

  • Ah! These are so cute and slightly nerdy in the best way possible. I want to try it with some leaves as well, Deborah!

    Maggie
    http://www.unboundprocess.com

  • These look incredible. Perfect for a spring/summer barbecue.
    xox Logan

    http://ourzeal.blogspot.com

  • Hello you girls! I’ve been reading you for a couple of months now and i have to say that i do love everything you post in your blog! These biscuits look very pretty and make me think of my childhood holidays… thank you for being a source of inspiration everyday and long life to you!
    Bisette et à bientôt! 🙂

  • Yum! It’s so funny; I’ve been super obsessed with scientific art prints lately. Plants. Leaves. Shells. Mushrooms. I should make these cookies and munch on them while staring at my art. It will completely go with this theme I have going on!

  • Seriously so creative, I love this idea!
    Rachel,
    http://sunkissedrayy.blogspot.com/

  • Clever! They really do look like fossils and for some reason, I find that to be adorable. He he he! My kids would just love this 🙂

    Love and Luck,

    Laurali Star

    http://www.thesecretsurprisinista.com

  • I love that coffee pot!! Where is it from please? Gold everyyyything!! 🙂

  • These look so fun! It would be a blast to make them with my five-year-old sister! I can’t wait to try it out!

    xoxo
    Taylor

  • Cuuuuute! I work at a library that is big on kids’ activities. This would be an awesome treat for a prehistory themed program!

    Thanks for sharing!

    http://cuddlyasacactus.wordpress.com/

  • What a fun idea!! They look so cute. 🙂
    xo Andrea
    Wonderful and Marvelous

  • So simple as an idea but I love the result. Try this with leaves and other shapes and patterns too. It will be amazing

    tsiou, from http://www.inwhirlofinspiration.com/

  • these are cute! and look so good!
    -Deana, from Birds&Oxfords
    Birds&Oxfords

  • I LOVE butter cookies!! Such a cute idea! That coffee pitcher!! Where oh where did you get that beauty?!

  • As I always say “Why do you think our good ol’ French Pastry is so good?? because we use BUTTER!!! and we got really good butter here”. These make my mouth watering and I really like the simple but great effect that the impressions give!

  • What a cute idea – I love the little imprints!
    And there is nothing better than a butter cookie & hot tea!
    The Macadame. xx
    www.creamstop.com

  • So cool! What a great idea! Are these fragile cookies? Would they stand up to being shipped through 2 day mail? Thanks for sharing such a fun recipe!

  • LOVE this! What a clever idea! I am actually running a CHANEL spring make up set giveaway, worth over $150. Thought you might be interested;)!

    Come by soon!

    xx

  • haha “a delicious craft, we’ve finally done it” – I love it.

  • How cool! I did cookies with dinosaur foot print for my son’s birthday but never thought about using shells.

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