Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Chocolate Halloween Cut Out Cookies

Cute, aren't they? If only you knew.
This is a learn from Kristens mistakes post.
Oh the things that went wrong with these cookies. 
First of all let me just say that I was very excited to make these. I've never made or used royal frosting before and I was so ready for the challenge of the frosting and trying a different kind of chocolate cut out cookie that didn't require me to hand dye black like my White Sox Cookies.
The first issue I had was finding the meringue powder. I had never herd of it, and none of the grocery stores I went to had herd of it. I finally looked it up online and found that Michael's had it, which was where I had already gone to get other supplies. So I got to go back. They had missed me. 
Then I went to roll out the dough and realized that I didn't have wax paper. I'm so used to my moms kitchen having everything I've needed I didn't even think that I would need to get wax paper. So instead of going out again I used parchment paper. I later found out that makes a huge difference when transferring the dough from the parchment paper to the cookie sheet. It was almost impossible. I eventually resorted to removing the access dough and flipping it over onto the cookie sheet and peeling the paper off slowly. Took forever.
I used gel food coloring for the icing, which usually has the best color for most icing, but that is not the case for royal icing. Next time I'm defiantly using the Wilson's liquid food coloring because It's supposed to have more vibrant colors.
Now, maybe had I done everything correctly in the first place these cookies wouldn't have taken so long, but as I didn't, they took me all day so I recommend setting aside a whole day to make them, or splitting them up into two days.
Having said that, the cookies were really good, after baking them I thought they were going to be a crunchy cookie, but they weren't! They were nice and soft and had just enough chocolate flavor.
Using royal frosting wasn't that bad either. You need to be patient and take your time, but if you can do that, you won't have a problem.
I made 37 cookies with the recipe, (which i found on Lovin' From the Oven, my favorite cooking blog), but I just depends on how thick you roll out the dough to be and the size of your cookie cutters.

Chocolate Cut-Out Cookies

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, (softened)
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup dark cocoa powder
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cup flour

Cream butter and sugar until smooth.
Add the cocoa powder and mix until incorporated. 
Blend in the egg and vanilla.
Mix in the flour until incorporated. 
Wrap and refrigerate the dough in two separate batches for at least two hours. 
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Roll out the dough between two pieces of wax paper.
Dip cookie cutters in a mixture of cocoa powder and flour before cutting out the shapes.
Place shapes at least two inches apart on the baking sheet.
Bake for 10 minutes, 12-15 for larger ones. 

I used the Royal icing recipe from Annie's Eats, who also had a royal icing tutorial on her blog which is quite helpful.

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