Remember how I found a peanut butter cookie for all occasions? This is the chocolate equivalent, except different. It's a cut out cookie (I know, what a pain, right? Except not, this dough is as easy as drop cookies and really easy to work with) but can serve as a base for ice cream sandwiches, soft oreos, royal icing, a dusting of powdered sugar, or a dunk in chocolate. And they're fantastic plain too...the chocolate flavor shines right through.
They're chocolaty. Simple. Dough in the amount of time it takes to measure ingredients. Roll 'em thick for chewy cookies.
You're a star if you make stars!
I wanted to make a project of this batch, since I'm home for break and have the time to bake, so I dipped the bottom in tempered chocolate. This time, I used the seed method, which means (in a nutshell), microwaving the chocolate until just all melted, then stirring in chopped chocolate until it gets down to about 90 degrees (curtesy of Baking Bites). It was slightly easier than the method I used for the peanut butter cup truffles.
Which by the way would be delicious in an Easter basket!
But I digress. Tempering chocolate is the opposite of making these cookies...it's hard, lengthy, messy, and fussy. The result, though, is amazing--chocolate which doesn't need to be refrigerated and keeps a hard, glossy coat.
Use good chocolate bars. Don't be me and use chips. It won't work as well...the chocolate still tempered, but it was slightly grainy from the preservatives and stuff they put in to make the chocolate stay melty in your fresh-out-of-the-oven chocolate chip cookies.
Really, these cookies live to serve your higher purpose. Rolled slightly thinner and sandwiched with ice cream, they're a great ice cream sandwich (I did this, except minus the rolling out thinner part, with the leftover cookies which didn't get a chocolate coating...it's pretty dang amazing). Cut into hearts for valentine's day, plain circles for lunchboxes, ruffled edges for tea parties. I bet if you added mint, they'd be like thin mints.
It's the Burger King of cookies...have it your way.
Brownie Cut-Out Cookies
Yield: 3 dozen-ish...depends on how big you make them!
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup butter, softened (I'd love to see how these turn out if you melt the butter! Could be even chewier and brownie-er)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon espresso powder
- 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa (I used dutch process, but Deb says you can use either; you'll just get a different flavor)
- Preheat oven at 350 degrees (325 if using convection). Line two baking sheets with parchment, silpat, foil and a bit of baking spray, what have you.
- Whisk flour, salt and baking powder in bowl and set aside.
- Mix butter, sugars, eggs, vanilla, espresso, and cocoa in mixer (if your butter isn't fully softened, whip it around a bit by itself first to loosen it up, so you don't end up over-mixing the eggs to get butter chunks smoothed out later).
- Gradually add flour mixture, and mix until smooth.
- Split dough and wrap in plastic in two disks. Chill for about one hour, longer if you have time.
- Roll out cookie dough on floured counter, 1/4 inch for thicker, softer cookies or 1/8 inch for thinner cookies, good if you're making ice cream sandwiches or like cookies a bit crisper. Cut into desired shapes, brushing extra deposits of flour off the top.
- Bake on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 8 to 11 minutes (the former for 1/8-inch thick cookies, the latter for 1/4-inch cookies) until the edges are firm and the centers are slightly soft and puffed. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Recipe courtesy of Smitten Kitchen (it was originally Deb's mom's recipe!)