“You are a princess/
And we are pen pals/
I am a dragon/
But you don’t need to know that”
— “Dragon” by Breathe Owl Breathe (from last year’s Magic Central)
Healthy-ish DIY Dunkaroos (recipe at bottom of post)
Breathe Owl Breathe are magical. I’m still kicking myself for not having gotten into them when I was living in Michigan (they’re from there, too), but it’s definitely better late than never. They’re an inventive, whimsical folk trio that sings about love, fear and humanity, disguised as stories about dragons, lions and various other creatures. I chose this recipe because, just like their music, it’s something that’s kid-friendly but it’s just as rewarding for the grown-ups, too. (The band also just used Kickstarter to fund a children’s book and record.)
On their phenomenal LP Magic Central (one of my favorites of last year), the song “Dragon” is, on the surface, about a dragon and a princess who are pen pals, but the princess doesn’t know the dragon is a dragon because he has good handwriting. But beyond that, it’s a song about loving someone that other people don’t think you should love, even though their hearts are in the right place. So these treats are also fitting because kids will love them (c’mon, they’re animal crackers!), but they’re actually pretty healthy, thanks to whole wheat flour, flax seeds, and raw sugar. The frosting isn’t quite as healthy (lots of powdered sugar), but still uses low-fat cream cheese and plain low-fat yogurt instead of butter, so it’s at least a step up from typical frosting. And, unrelated to the band, apparently February is National Snack Food Month!
Breathe Owl Breathe on MySpace
Animal crackers, frosting
The animal crackers
I took this recipe almost exactly from The Cilantropist, so I’m not going to post all of it here. The only things I changed were that I used turbinado (raw brown) sugar instead of white sugar, and because I don’t have a spice grinder, I used whole flaxseeds, as you can see in my photos. Both modifications worked just fine and these tasted great! I did find the dough to be a little bit tough to ball back together and roll out again, but I made it work, and at the end just baked little scraps of it instead of cutting out the animals. I bought the cookie cutter from one of my favorite kitchen supply stores, Broadway Panhandler.
2 tbsp cream cheese
1 tbsp plain yogurt
Almost 1 c powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
• Use a whisk to combine the cream cheese, yogurt and vanilla.
• Gradually add in the powdered sugar.
• Refrigerate so it thickens up (I think mine was fine after about half an hour).