Stephen F. Greb, Kentucky Geological Survey, University of Kentucky
This recipe shamelessly uses the tasty and creative idea of Dr. George Hart (www.georgehart.com/trilobites/trilobite.html), for making trilobite cookies, but simplifies it for those who aren't natural bakers. Trilobites were arthropods that lived in the seas of the Paleozoic era. They are called trilobites because they were divided into three parts. They were one of the first animals with complex eyes. These tasty treats illustrate both of these features of trilobites.
Preparation time: About an hour and a half, but 40 minutes to an hour of that time is in the refrigerator so you can be doing other things
1. Lay out a sheet of wax paper on a plate.
2. Place chocolate pieces in a microwave-safe bowl and melt in the microwave, following package directions.
3. Take a cookie and place 1/3 to 1/6 of the long end of the cookie in the melted chocolate. This will be the back end or "pygidium" of your trilobite. It is not important that the front and back of the cookie be coated. If you want, you can just spread the melted chocolate on the top 1/3 to 1/6 of the cookie.
4. Carefully remove cookie and place on wax paper. Do this for as many cookies as you want to make, or until just less than half of the chocolate is gone, whichever comes first. Don't use up all the chocolate, you have another dipping to do.
5. Place cookies on wax paper, on plates, and put in the refrigerator. The chocolate should become solid in 15 to 25 minutes.
6. When the chocolate has cooled on one end of the cookies, you're ready for second dipping. Take the cookies out of the refrigerator.
7. Separate the cookies from the wax paper. You may want to trim cookies, with excess drippings.
8. Remelt the remaining chocolate.
9. Place a cookie that has already been dipped and cooled and place the other end in the chocolate. Be careful, because you'll be holding the chocolate end, and it may be slippery. Dip about 1/3 to 1/2 of the long end, so this end has a longer length of chocolate than the other end. This is the "cephalon" or head of your trilobite. Some trilobites had heads and tails of approximately equal proportions, whereas others had larger heads.
10. Place the cookie on second sheet of wax paper, on a second plate, for cooling.
11. Place two candies onto the "head part" of the chocolate-dipped cookie to make eyes.
12. Do the same for the rest of the cookies.
13. Place in the refrigerator and allow to cool, 15 to 20 minutes, and they're ready to be eaten.