Homeschool

Rabbits: Barnyard Treats and Reads Series

For our ongoing “Barnyard Treats and Reads,” we’re sharing a creative way that you can transform Nutter Butter cookies (the treats) into one of our favorite farm animals! We will also give you suggestions for fun and informative books to share with your children, featuring the same animal as that week’s treat! What could go better together than a treat and a good read?

Last time, we brought you a creative (and tasty) way to teach your kids about sheep.  This week, we’re going to talk about rabbits! Rabbit farming is becoming increasingly popular. These furry creatures are being raised for various reasons: meat, for show, or to raise/sell as domesticated pets. There are also many books featuring rabbits that would be wonderful to share with your children if you are studying these animals.

But before we talk about books, let’s start with your rabbit-inspired “treat”! Kids and adults alike will have a great time decorating these Nutter Butter cookies. Making these together would be a great way to kick off (or wind up) a study of rabbits.

The Treats: Rabbit-Inspired Nutter Butter Cookies

Since the Nutter Butter cookies are already, well, cookies, this recipe is really all about decorating the cookies to look like rabbits.  It’s a really fun kitchen activity to do with kids! To get started, you will need: 10 Nutter Butter cookies, coconut oil, brown melting chocolates, white melting chocolate, black melting chocolate, pink melting chocolate and candy eyes.

You’ll also want: some ramekins (or small ceramic bowls), a dipping wand, a wire cooling rack, some parchment paper, and  some toothpicks.

(For the full recipe with more detailed ingredients and instructions, be sure to read all the way to the bottom of this post!)

NOTE: For a time-saving tip and information about how to simplify the cookie-decorating process, see the note just above the printable recipe (near the end of this article.)

Place a shallow pan of water on top of a double boiler.  Set several ramekins inside the pan and add each color of melting chocolates to its own ramekin.  In addition to brown, black, white, and pink, you will also create gray by adding one black melting chocolate to 1/4 white melting chocolate. Add a tiny bit of coconut oil to each ramekin and stir it in. This will help your chocolate get nice and smooth.

Using wand or fork, dip Nutter Butter cookies in gray and/or brown chocolate until thoroughly coated.  If you are making these to share or to bring to a special event, having rabbits in both colors makes for a nice presentation.

Hover above dish as chocolate drips off. Use a toothpick to pop any air bubbles that form. Set on wire rack to harden.

To create the ears, tear off a strip of parchment paper and place it on a plate or cookie sheet. Place a Nutter Butter cookie on the paper to get an idea of how big your floppy ears should be. Hand-draw ears with a pencil, and then fill in the pencil drawings with chocolate by using a piping bag or forming with a toothpick (see picture below). You’ll want to fill in the ears with brown or gray. (You can go back to add the pink later.)

Make extra ears (some of them won’t make it) and set them in the refrigerator to harden.

It won’t take long for the ears to harden. After they’ve spent several minutes in the fridge, pull them out and attach them to the cookie/body of the rabbit. The easiest way to do this is to dip a toothpick into the still-melted chocolate in one of your ramekin bowls and use it as a “glue” for the rabbit ear. Place a dot on the back of each one and press it into the top of a Nutter Butter cookie. You have to work quickly because your fingers will melt the small pieces of chocolate if you hold them too long.

Next, dip your toothpick into the melted white chocolate and draw two oval shapes on the bottom part of each Nutter Butter Cookie for the feet. Use another toothpick and the melted pink chocolate to add the details pictured above: the pink inside of the ears and the pads/toes for each foot.

Now all that’s left is to add the face! You can be creative here, of course. However, we dipped the toothpick into the black melted chocolate and did the simple design shown above.  It helps to keep a paper towel on hand, especially for this part. If you mess up, you can quickly wipe it off and try again.

The end result is tasty…and adorable! Allow these cute cookies to harden all the way and then you can store them in an airtight container.

The Reads: Books for All Ages about Rabbits (and Bunnies)

So Many Bunnies by Rick Walton

For Ages: 0 – 4

This board book is great for even the youngest children. The story, about a Mother Rabbit with lots of baby bunnies, engages young listeners via rhyming while also exposing them to the ABCs and counting skills!

The Rabbit Listened by Cory Doerrfeld 

For Ages: 3 – 5

This sweet story about a boy and his friend, the rabbit, teaches children about the importance of listening to those we care about.

A Beatrix Potter Treasury by Beatrix Potter 

Ages 5 & up

The whole family will enjoy this cozy, classic collection about Peter Rabbit and his friends. This treasury includes ten Beatrix Potter stories with original artwork by the author.

The Rabbit Book by Samantha Johnson 

Age: 10 & up

If you or your child are interested in raising/ showing rabbits, this is an awesome, easy-to-understand resource that can help get you started!

Watership Down: A Novel by Richard Adams

Age: 12 & up

This classic work of British literature is a rabbit-centric adventure that teens and adults will enjoy!

We hope you enjoyed this week’s “Treats and Reads,” all about rabbits! We’d love to know how your treats turned out and which books you decided to read!

NOTE: If you’d love to make these cookies but need to simplify the process, just use Wilton Cake Decorating Icing (in 9 oz. squeeze bottles) instead of using the melting chocolates as described in the recipe. Some icing in tubes/bottles doesn’t harden well, so be sure (if you use a different brand) that you choose one that will harden.

Rabbits: Barnyard Treats and Reads Series
 
These rabbit-inspired Nutter Butter cookies are part of our "Treats and Reads" series. They are adorable, yummy and fun to make with kids! Make them while studying rabbits, for a birthday party, or for a baby shower!
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 1⁄4 cup white melting chocolates for gray
  • 1⁄4 cup brown melting chocolates
  • *Reserve a few pieces of white in a separate dish for the ears and feet
  • 1⁄4 cup brown melting chocolates
  • 3 tbsp black melting chocolates
  • 1 tbsp pink melting chocolates
  • 1⁄4 tsp coconut oil
  • 12 Nutter Butter cookies
  • *any colors can be created using a base white melting chocolate and blending in a tiny amount of coloring (must be chocolate coloring)
  • Additional items:
  • ramekins and pan for double boiler set up
  • piping cones *optional
  • chocolate dipping wand or fork
  • wire cooling rack
  • parchment paper
  • toothpicks
Instructions
  1. • Set up double boiler with shallow pan and ramekins for each color
  2. chocolate. Fill with water till half way up side of ramekins *careful not to
  3. get water inside them as it will seize the chocolate. Turn heat to medium
  4. low.
  5. • Add chocolates and smidge of coconut oil to each, stirring to combine as
  6. they melt. *To create gray: combine 1 black melting chocolate to 1⁄4 cup
  7. white chocolate.
  8. • Using wand or fork, dip nutter butter cookies in gray and/or brown
  9. chocolate until thoroughly coated. Hover above dish as chocolate drips off.
  10. Use a toothpick to pop any air bubbles that form. Set on wire rack to
  11. harden.
  12. • To create the ears, tear a strip of parchment paper. Place a nutter butter on
  13. the paper and gauge the size of the floppy ears. Hand draw ears with a
  14. pencil. Fill pencil drawings with chocolate by using a piping bag or forming
  15. with a toothpick. *make extra and put in refrigerator to harden.
  16. • Work quickly to attach ears as the warmth of your fingers will melt the thin
  17. chocolate. Using a toothpick, dip into the base color of the face and attach
  18. ears by dabbing on back of ears or on the head where you plan to place the
  19. ears.
  20. • With a piping bag filled with white chocolate or using a toothpick, draw a
  21. white line down the middle of each ear and create large bottom feet in oval
  22. shapes. Let harden and dip a toothpick into the pink to form small pink
  23. pads and three dots for the bottom of the toes.
  24. • Finish the face by dipping a toothpick into the black chocolate and creating
  25. tiny dots for the eyes, nose and little mouth. Carefully draw three whiskers
  26. on each side of the nose, using minimal amount of chocolate to start.
  27. Helpful hint: if you make a mistake, moisten a paper towel and very gently
  28. rub away the chocolate before it sets.
  29. • Set to dry and harden.
  30. • Store in airtight container.
 

About the author

Wendy

Wendy is one of the owners of Hip Homeschool Moms. She married her high school sweetheart, Scott, 28 years ago, and they live in the South with their three children. Hannah, age 23, has autism and was the first homeschool graduate in the family. Noah, age 22, was the second homeschool graduate. Mary Grace, age 16, is the remaining homeschool student. Wendy loves working out and teaching Training for Warriors classes at her local gym. She also enjoys learning along with her family, educational travel, reading, and writing, and she attempts to grow an herb garden every summer with limited success.

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