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Zoo Cookies

By November 10, 2023December 13th, 2023FinGlobal

Zoo Cookies

November 10, 2023


If you ever find yourself in South Africa, one of the things you must try are their famous Zoo Cookies. These delectable treats have become a part of South African culture and can be found in almost every bakery or supermarket across the country. But what exactly are these cookies and why are they so unique?

The delicious South African Zoo Cookies: A must-try treat

South African Zoo Cookies have been around for over 100 years and have become a beloved treat in many households. The cookie itself is a delicious vanilla shortbread iced with in various animal shapes such as lions, elephants, and hippos. These cookies were first created by the Baumann’s Biscuit Company in 1902 and have been a staple snack ever since. The company was eventually bought out by Bakers Limited where they still continue to produce the iconic cookies today.

Zoo Cookies: Unique to South Africa?

While these cookies are often associated with South Africa, they are not exclusive to the country. You can find similar animal-shaped shortbread cookies in other parts of the world such as Australia and New Zealand. However, what makes South African Zoo Cookies stand out is their distinct flavor and texture. South African bakers have perfected the recipe over the years, making these cookies a true taste of South Africa.

Homemade bakers iced zoo biscuits recipe

Zoo cookies are surprisingly easy to make. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to make your own batch of these delicious treats:

For the cookie dough:

  • 185 grams of plain flour
  • 125 grams of softened butter.
  • 60 grams of caster sugar.

For the icing:

  • 125g of icing sugar.
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of warm water.
  • Food coloring in shades of red and yellow.

What to do:

  1. Preheat your oven to 180C (Fan 160).
  2. In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour and stir in the sugar.
  3. Incorporate softened butter into the mixture and gently blend until it reaches a fine, crumb-like texture.
  4. Gently combine the ingredients using your hands until they come together to form a smooth and pliable dough.
  5. On a surface lightly dusted with flour, gently flatten the dough until it reaches a thickness of ½ cm (1/4 inch). Utilize a rolling pin to ensure an even and consistent thickness throughout.
  6. Use an upside-down cup to cut the dough into charming star shapes or perfect circles.
  7. Arrange the cookies on a lightly greased tray and bake them in the oven for 10-12 minutes, or until they turn a delicate shade of golden.
  8. After they are done, remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool on a wire rack.
  9. While the cookies are cooling, prepare the icing by mixing icing sugar and water until it forms a smooth consistency. Add a drop of food coloring for a pop of color.
  10. When the cookies are completely cooled, spoon half a teaspoon of icing on each one and spread it out evenly.
  11. Allow the icing to firm up before serving or storing the cookies in a sealed container.

The unique charm of South African animal biscuits

South African Zoo Cookies are more than just a sweet treat – they represent the rich history and culture of South Africa. Whether you’re a local looking for a nostalgic taste of childhood or a traveler wanting to try something new, these cookies are a must-try for everyone. So next time you have the chance, be sure to grab a pack of South African Zoo Cookies and savor every bite. You won’t regret it!

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