I have always loved sugar cookies, even though they are often made by default, to balance out a plate of Christmas cookies or to feed a class of sugar-crazed little ones. Maybe I’m just a kid at heart because I go crazy for anything covered in a thick layer of buttercream frosting too.
These chocolate cookies, however, are different. For one thing (and I can’t believe I am saying this) they don’t need the frosting. They are perfectly amazing all on their own— soft and chocolaty.
Don’t be fooled by their humble appearance. I sent a bunch of these with my husband to work to get them out of my reach and apparently it took a while for people to catch on that it was in their best interest to grab a few.
I did the same thing. I baked the cookies one day but ran out of time to frost, so I put them in a tupperware and ignored them for almost 24 hours. That’s probably a good thing, otherwise I’m not sure any of those cookies would have lasted that long.
I decided to go ahead and frost some cookies, because I wanted to dress them up for Valentine’s day and because I wanted to give royal icing a try. It turns out that working with royal icing isn’t all that easy, so please ignore my glaring imperfections. It was fun though and now I can report that you can’t go wrong with these cookies. Frosted or not, they are wonderful!
- 3 cups (375 grams) all-purpose flour
- ⅔ cup (60 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (227 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup (200 grams) sugar
- ½ cup (115 grams) brown sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or in a bowl with a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugars on high until pale and creamy, about 4 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each. Add the vanilla extract and mix until combined.
- In a separate bowl, sift together the cocoa powder, flour, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix on low until just combined. Place half of the dough on a sheet of plastic wrap. Use the plastic to form the dough into a disk and wrap completely. Repeat with second half. Chill dough for 1 hour and up to a few days.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
- Wrap one disk of dough and use a floured rolling pin roll out on a sheet of parchment paper to ¼-inch thick. Transfer parchment paper to a large plate or sheet pan and chill for 15 minutes. Cut out the chilled dough into desired shapes and place on the prepared sheet pan. Freeze for 15 minutes.
- Bake cookies just until the edges are firm, 13-16 minutes depending on the size of your cookies. Do not over bake. Since the cookies are dark in color it may be difficult to see when they are done, so you may wish to bake a few test cookies to be sure you get the timing right.
- Let the cookies cool completely before frosting, if desired. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for several days. Unfrosted cookies may be frozen for up to one month, stacked between layers of wax paper.
Recipe adapted from Sweetapolita.
- ¼ cup (42 grams) meringue powder
- Scant ½ cup water
- 1 pound (454 grams) powdered sugar, sifted
- ½ - 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
- 1 teaspoon clear extract, optional
- Gel food coloring, optional
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix the meringue powder and water on medium high speed until foamy, about 2 minutes. Add the powdered sugar in 2 additions and mix until combined. Add the corn syrup and extract (if using) and beat on high speed to stiff peaks, about 4-5 minutes.
- Divide icing and color with gel food coloring, if desired. Use a pastry bag with a fine tip to pipe onto cookies. To "flood" or fill inside the piped frosting, add 1 teaspoon of water at a time to the icing until it is the consistency of syrup. Use a spoon or squeeze bottle to pour it onto the cookie inside the piped frosting boundary. Use a toothpick to smooth it out.
- Let dry at room temperature for several hours. Store frosted cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for several days.
Recipe adapted from Bake at 350. Follow the link for lots of great tips and suggestions.
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