The other day my little buddy was begging for a “bar” as a mid-morning snack. In our house, “bar” means Larabar and I still haven’t found a grocery store in our new town that carries them. It was rainy and there was already a bit too much whining before noon, so I decided that we would make “Lara”balls with a new twist. We broke out the cookie cutters! My plan worked. It was a fun activity to do together and the leftovers made perfect lunchbox treats for my girls.
It’s really this simple:
- Use one of our “Lara”ball recipes found here or here.
- Flatten out the mixture on a piece of parchment paper to desired thickness.
- Use your favorite cookie cutters to make shapes.
- Re-smoosh the mixture and flatten again until it’s all used up.
- Sneak scraps from cookie cutter edges along the way!
- See your kiddos face light up as if you just thought of the most amazing idea ever!
These little cuties led me to try the same thing with last week’s easy homemade beef jerky. The result was equally adorable pieces of beef jerky that are best described as the ONLY TRULY paleo cookie there ever will be. Sorry. I’m as guilty as anyone whipping up health-ier versions of treats from a past life, but in the end they are still treats. Treat them that way, don’t make them a staple, and in the mean time enjoy some meat in the shape of a heart. Who can resist? Watch out Christmas sugar cookie cutouts!
- Follow our beef jerky recipe or your own version to make meat mixture.
- Roll out to 1/4″ thickness.
- Use your favorite cookie cutters to make shapes and place on parchment lined baking sheets. It works best if you lift the cookie cutter up with the meat mixture inside, push in any meat mixture hanging around, and then take it out to put on the baking sheet.
- Re-smoosh the mixture and flatten again until it’s mostly used up (I cooked up the final scraps in a quick sauté as a snack!)
- Bake at 200 with wooden spoon cracked in oven door for 4-6 hours, turning once halfway through.
- Eat within 1-2 days or refrigerate for the week.
- Surprise your kids with a one of kind lunchbox treat.