Chocolate Sugar Cookies
I have a confession to make. I ate four of these cookies today. I have another confession. I started eating them before they went into the oven. Guilty. There’s a reason why I freeze half of the dough. I’ve said this previously, but sugar cookies happen to be my favorites- and I also love chocolate. So why not combine the two? These retain the melt-in-your mouth, soft, sweet texture that vanilla sugar cookies have, but with a dark, decadent twist.
This Christmas, Warsaw didn’t get much snow, we’re paying for that now- just like last year. Last year, spring came in late April. I love snow. When I was little and I first moved to Warsaw, just watching the snow fall from our hotel window was exhilarating. I used to love dragging my plastic sled to this hill close to our house, in my red gumboots and fat snow pants. I looked like a mismatched little ball. But it’s -12 C, and boy is it cold. I don’t feel like stepping outside, and watching the snow fall has become somewhat monotonous. I wish it wasn’t like that, because well, it’s snow. And it’s so beautiful. But the temperature definitely beats snowfall. Too cold.
I have an ice cream machine- and one of the inserts has to be completely frozen before being used. Our freezer is divided into compartments which makes it incredibly difficult to use for freezing the insert, so I don’t get to make homemade ice cream unless I use a friend’s freezer. Now, however, I can just put the thing outside. Talk about convenience (although it’s too cold to eat ice cream).
Another thing- you can use nature to help make the cookies! It is absolutely essential to refrigerate the cookie dough. Chilled dough is a breeze to work with. I wanted to make and eat these fast- so I put the dough outside. Oh, the joys of winter.
Back to the cookies: They are so versatile in that you can cut them into whatever shape you’d like and frost them with a variety of different toppings. Personally, I like a vanilla icing, but you could use Nutella, melted chocolate, lemon curd jam, etc. I’ve even used this chocolate cookie dough as a tart shell and then filled it with lemon curd.
These are perfect for Valentine’s Day, especially if you cut them into heart shapes and decorate with sprinkles. And if you’re a chocoholic, or even if you aren’t, you’ll find these totally and completely addictive.
Ingredients (makes 60 cookies):
– 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
– 1 cup cocoa powder
– 1/2 tsp baking soda
– 1/2 tsp baking powder
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
– 1 cup granulated sugar
– 2 large eggs
– 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1. In a bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt, and mix till incorporated.
2. In another bowl, cream together the sugar and butter.
3. Add in the eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla extract.
4. Gradually add in the flour mixture. You will need to switch to a spoon or use your hands as the dough gets tough to work with. A simpler method is just using an electric mixer.
5. Divide the dough into two portions and wrap each one in cling film.
6. Chill the balls in the refrigerator for 1 hour (or place them outside if it’s really cold).
7. Preheat the oven to 200 C and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
8. Roll out each ball, one at a time on a lightly floured surface. I like to freeze one so that I can thaw and bake the cookies when I’m really craving something sweet.
9. Place the cookie cut-outs on the baking sheet, about 1 cm apart. They don’t change shape- they just puff up slightly.
9. Bake for 4-6 minutes or until lightly puffed, then cool completely before frosting. (see below)
For the chocolate icing:
– 2 tbsp melted butter
– 1 tbsp cocoa powder
– 1 cup powdered sugar
– 3-5 tbsp milk
1. Mix the cocoa and butter until they form a smooth paste.
2. Blend in the sugar and milk until the icing has reached your desired consistency. If it’s too thin for your liking, add more sugar. If it’s too thick, add more milk
For a vanilla icing:
– Follow the steps for the chocolate icing, omit the cocoa and add 1 tsp of vanilla extract instead.