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May 23, 2017

Starfish Cookies

These Starfish Cookies are silly and fun, and all of the sprinkles on top hide the fact that they are made with 100% whole wheat! 

These Starfish Cookies are silly and fun, and all of the sprinkles on top hide the fact that they are made with 100% whole wheat!

I let my grandsons taste test these starfish cookies to make sure they were tasty. My oldest grandson usually comes home from school to our house, where Mr. Kitchen, who is retired, feeds him snacks and supervises homework. Mr. Kitchen later picks up our younger grandson from after school care, and feeds him snacks too before their dad or mom pick them up.

Before I left for work, I instructed Mr. Kitchen to make sure each one of the boys gets a cookie. Here is the conversation when I got home:

Me: "Did you get to try a cookie?"

Oldest grandson: "Oh Em Gee they were amazing!"

Youngest grandson: "Can I pleeeeeeeease have another one?"

Me: Not so secretly beaming, "Of course!" Because that's what grandmas do. It's our job.

This month, the Creative Cookie Exchange bloggers are baking cookies with the theme, Beach House Cookies. Beach House Cookies? Alrighty then!

I fished through my cookie cutters and found this starfish. I also had a jar of googly eyes, as well as a large container of white nonpareils. Sometimes ingredient and kitchen toy hoarding tendencies pay off!

This cookie recipe is a wonderful way to get your whole grains while enjoying dessert. The recipe includes orange juice, but you cannot taste any orange flavoring at all. It's actually there to neutralize any bitter flavor from the whole wheat, just like it does in this 100% whole wheat sandwich bread recipe.

These cookies are amazing.

This recipe contains some baking powder, so the cookies do expand while baking. Do not expect the cookies to tightly hold a cookie cutter shape. They will expand quite a bit, so if you are looking for a whole wheat cookie recipe where the cookies hold a precise shape, I would suggest this recipe.

Let's just say these cookies are more from the Impressionist Era of cookie making. More my "rustic" and artisan style, right?

These Starfish Cookies are silly and fun, and all of the sprinkles on top hide the fact that they are made with 100% whole wheat!

These things are delicious, even if they are "rustic." Of course you don't have to make them into starfish. Cutting them into circles or squares will work just fine!

Or... if you have some adorable kids who love starfish, sprinkles, and googly eyes, and aren't too picky about precise shapes, go ahead and cut your cookies into stars!

Starfish Cookies Recipe

Starfish Cookies Recipe


  • 6 ounces unsalted butter, softened
  • 6 1/4 ounces (3/4 cup plus 2 T) sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 2 ounces (1/4 cup) orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 8 ounces (2 cups) whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar plus water to form a glaze
  • Nonpareils and googly eyes


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter, sugar, and the salt until well blended.
  2. Add the orange juice, vanilla, flour, and baking powder, and mix on low until all of the ingredients are combined.
  3. Divide the dough in half and place each on a piece of parchment or wax paper. Top each with another piece of paper and roll out to about 3/8 inch thick. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  5. Take out the first piece of dough and cut it into the shape of your choice. Gather up the scraps, re-roll, and cut the rest of the dough. Place the cookies on one of the lined baking sheets and bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until the edges are lightly browned. Cool on the pan. Repeat with the rest of the dough.
  6. When the cookies are cooled, mix the powdered sugar with just enough water to create a glaze, not too thick, and not too thin.
  7. Using a pastry brush, paint each cookie, one at a time, with the glaze. Add the googly eyes, and then sprinkle with the nonpareils. Let dry completely before storing in an airtight container.
Yield: 24 to 36 cookies

Recipe inspired by Whole Grain Baking

Welcome to the Creative Cookie Exchange:

If you are looking for inspiration to get in the kitchen and start baking, check out what all of the hosting bloggers have made:

Would you like to comment?

  1. I loved this month's theme. So cute!

  2. Love that your cookie taste testers approved these darling cookies!

  3. Love these cookies! As a SpongeBob fan I can see Patrick in them. So glad they proved to be a big hit with your grandchildren.

    1. If I were a better decorator, I'd give him swim trunks!

  4. These would be perfect for a pool party! So cute!

  5. These cookies are absolutely adorable!!! What would you think about using white whole wheat flour? (I often find "straight" whole wheat a bit too strong for my taste.)

    1. I think white whole wheat would be fine, but I'd probably adjust the OJ a bit, because the OJ really neutralizes the whole wheat flavor. These kind of have a graham cracker flavor.

  6. I would vote for the starfish and the googly eyes! So cute and I know my grandkids would love them. I know what you mean about hoarding too. I think I come up with my best recipes when I find an ingredient or two I forgot I had. Great beachside cookie choice!

    1. Thanks Linda! One of these days I need to play pantry roulette and just make food with stuff I already have!

  7. Beautiful work. A simple, old-school, delicious recipe for cookies. Loved it! Wishing you guys lots of wonderful moments with your grand-kids!:)


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