Friday, March 22, 2013

Brownie Cut-Out Cookies

These cookies are pretty amazing.

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'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'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)
  1. 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.
  2. Whisk flour, salt and baking powder in bowl and set aside. 
  3. 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). 
  4. Gradually add flour mixture, and mix until smooth. 
  5. Split dough and wrap in plastic in two disks. Chill for about one hour, longer if you have time. 
  6. 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. 
  7. 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!)


  1. they look great! could use some of them now!

  2. I can personally attest to the extreme awesomeness of these cookies. I have eaten Catherine's Brownie Cut-Out Cookies (a) plain (such an inadequate adjective!), (b) with the tempered chocolate, and (c) as the "bread" in an ice cream sandwich. I can find no fault with them in any of these possibilities. Yesssss.

  3. These look so delicious!!! I haven't had a good icecream sandwich in so long.

  4. These sound delicious. Do they hold their shape well during baking?

    1. Hi Jami! Yes, they hold their shape really well...they puff up a bit in the last few minutes of baking but then deflate back to being flat after you pull them out of the oven. They'd make a great canvas for royal icing decorations!

  5. Mmmm, chocolate cookie dipped in chocolate - what's not to love! cut-out cookies can be a pain, but they are always so pretty! Yours look great!

    1. Thanks! Yeah, I was surprised by how not-painful this roll out recipe was...the dough didn't crack or anything at the edges.

  6. Oh Yum. I would like to try this! Do you know how much g or kg is an cup?
    That would be perfect if you let me know this :)
    Have a nice day. Love P

    1. Hi Patricia! This website is helpful for doing conversions from volume to weight...

  7. Lots of fun to make- esp. with a kitchen scale, which saved us a lot of dirty dishes to wash. Unfortunately forgot that I don't like chocolate-flavored cookies, but if I did, I would have loved these! I liked them better with jam on top. -Ethan, in Chicago :)