ground cinnamon for sprinkling* (optional, to sprinkle on top for extra color)
Preheat the oven to 350F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
Whisk together dry cookie ingredients in a mixing bowl. Fold in the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Stir until well combined and mixture gains a doughy consistency.
Split up the dough in half. Place each half in between two layers of sheet of parchment paper on top. Flatten each half to about 1/4 inch thick with a rolling pin. Freeze for 30 minutes to make the dough easier to cut.
When the dough is ready, take off the top layer of parchment paper. Cut 3 inch circles with a round cookie cutter.
Place the cookies on the baking sheets with an inch between them. Save the remaining dough for decorating.
To design them as owls, begin by sprinkling each cookie lightly with a little ground cinnamon. Use a size smaller circle cookie cutter to make almond “feathers.” Gently press it onto each side without cutting all the way through.
Arrange the sliced almonds in the pattern of feathers, gently pressing them on the dough so it sticks. Overlap and alternate the slices with the points facing down.
Take 1/2 tsp of the remaining dough, split it in half and roll into balls for the eyes. Press them down to attach them onto the cookies. Add 2 baking chips on top for the eyes. Add an almond pointing down for the beak. Leave off the talons for now. Bake for 10-15 minutes.
Take the cookies out of the oven and add 2 talon sunflowers seeds on each side (4 per cookie). Make sure to do it while the cookies are still warm and soft.
Let the cookies cool for about 10 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. Enjoy!