Source: Annie’s Eats, whose cookies are way cuter than mine.
Yield: Varies according to cookie cutter size, but I ended up with around 2-3 dozen.
I’ve been meaning to make this recipe for a while now. I mean, let’s face it, a chocolate sugar cookie is a brilliant idea! What finally put me over the edge was a recent neighborhood class about using royal icing. I’m not great at royal icing, I’m a complete novice. The class was fun and informative, and I decided it was time to put my new knowledge to the test. These chocolate sugar cookies were the perfect device.
The cookie recipe is a nice one, with amazingly few ingredients and a lovely dark chocolate flavor. I actually doubled Annie’s recipe, and I was glad I did. I might even quadruple it next time I make it. Hey, there are a lot of teenage boys around!! I needs to chill for an hour or two before rolling, which gives you plenty of time to fantasize about how the finished product will taste. Believe me, once you sample the dough, you will be fantasizing about the cookie.
I rolled mine and cut them into hearts. It’s not really Valentines Day just yet, but I thought circles were way too boring, and I certainly don’t want to look at any Christmas shapes in January, so hearts fit the bill pretty well. It did make me think about purchasing some new cookie cutters. There is a [tooltip text="Orson Gygi in Salt Lake City. Check them out at gygi.com"]local restaurant supply store[/tooltip] with an amazing selection of cutters, in practically any shape you can imagine. I made a mental note to spend some time browsing next time I’m at that store.
Once the cookies were baked and cooled, it was time to make the frosting. Now, keep in mind that royal icing is not exactly the thing I am best at. Most of my cookies frankly looked like they were decorated by a 5 year old. I used meringue powder to make the icing. The nice thing about the powder is that you don’t have to separate eggs, or [tooltip text="I hear you can also buy pasteurized egg whites at the grocery store, but I've never purchased them myself."]worry about salmonella[/tooltip], plus they whip up much quicker than actual eggs. I started with 4 T of meringue powder and 1/2 cup water. A quick whip will make it foamy. Add in a teaspoon of corn syrup and about a pound of powdered sugar. You can adjust the thickness of the icing by adding more powdered sugar or more water. Add food coloring, if you want, to make it whatever cute color you like.
In my royal icing demonstration/class, the teacher brought a bunch of these empty plastic bottles and filled them with different colors of icing. I thought they were a great idea (especially since I don’t own a pastry bag) and looked for them at the craft store. What I found was a container of 18 bottles, which is about 16 more than I really need, so I opted out. It’s the cheapskate in me. I used plastic baggies with the corner cut off, which turned out to be kind of a bad decision. You just can’t do good work with bad tools. Before I do this again, I will buy some proper frosting tools! At any rate, you start with a heavier frosting, and outline the edge. Give it a few minutes to dry and harden, then fill in with a thinner icing. Just flood the empty space, and use a toothpick to push the icing into all the little corners.
I used a second color of icing to embellish. I had intended to color the icing red, but it didn’t go too well. I put in several drops of red food coloring, and ended up with this dark pink color. I also ended up getting red food coloring everywhere, and I suspect I will be seeing the effects of this decision for weeks to come. The coloring ran down the bottle, and when I picked the bottle up, there was a huge dark red circle on my counter. Two of them, actually. And cleaning it up caused me to stain my fingers red as well. So the moral of this story is, don’t be afraid to add lots of food coloring, but do be afraid to put the bottle of food coloring on your countertop. Anyhow, you can put drops of a second color of icing on top of your first color, then use a toothpick to drag through the icing and create that pulled-heart shape. My icing turned out a little heavy, so I had a tough time making mine look good, but I did have a couple that turned out cute.
You really can get very creative with this, using different colors, and patterns in the icing. You can even spell out words, if you use small enough letters. I think this cookie is perfect for Valentines Day, or any holiday, really. I will say that royal icing does not taste as amazing as my favorite cream cheese frosting, but it still tastes good and looks beautiful. These make very impressive gifts and favors!
- 1½ cup butter at room temperature
- 1½ cup powdered sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- ⅔ cup dutch process cocoa powder
- 1½ cup flour
- pinch salt
- Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add eggs and vanilla.
- Add dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
- Chill dough for at least 1 hour.
- Roll dough onto floured surface, to about ¼-inch thickness. Use cookie cutters to cut shapes.
- Bake at 325 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Allow to cool before frosting.
If you like this recipe, you might also enjoy:
Soft Sugar Cookies from Jen’s Favorite Cookies
Lofthouse Style Sugar Cookies from Two Peas and Their Pod
Chocolate Valentine Sandwich Cookies from Glorious Treats
Royal Icing Tutorial from Brown-Eyed Baker