Chocolate Sugar Cookies
Boo! Scared you, didn’t I? No? Well you’re no fun—just kidding! Happy Halloween, friends. Even though Halloween falls on a weekday, I hope you still have the opportunity to dress up in costume. My office is throwing a Halloween party today, so I’m excited to dress up. Today I’m a broken ventriloquist doll—what do you think?
One thing I really enjoyed during Halloween was trick or treating. Why is it not okay for adults to trick or treat too? I want candy! Now being an adult at Halloween is just dressing up in costume and just drinking into oblivion. Halloweekend we call it. This year I had to pass on Halloweekend because silly grad school and homework (curse you adulting!) but Halloweekend is an exciting part of the year. Seeing everyone in costume running around DC is hilarious and wonderful. Some people come up with the most creative costumes. I remember one year I saw a group dressed up as Bananas in Pajamas, and I thought that was incredible.
Despite not going out for Halloweekend, I thought it would be fitting to share a Halloween themed recipe with you! Think about this for a second—Chocolate Sugar Cookies! I didn’t even consider that sugar cookies could come in chocolate form. Well I’m pleased to tell you that they do and they are in fact delicious.
Now let me tell you a brief little story about why I own a bat cookie cutter to make bat shaped cookies. I live across the street from a Sur La Table, which is one of my favorite stores on earth. It is also extremely dangerous that I live across the street from a Sur La Table, because I will spend lots and lots of money there. It is not conducive to my attempts at successful budgeting. Well one day I was perusing the store and felt really impulsive in my purchases (as I often feel) and decided “let’s buy some cookie cutters,” for the blog—obviously. So I ended up purchasing five different cookie cutters: a bat, a horse, a unicorn, a snowflake, and…A T-REX. Now I’m going to make dinosaur gingerbread cookies *evil laughs.*
These sugar cookies, however, are amazeballs. I adapted the recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction. These cookies are perfectly soft and chewy and taste excellent dipped in milk. The only downside about this is you need patience. Lots of patience. But the end result is totally worth it. Also, this is a messy recipe so make sure you have lots of paper towels on hand for clean-up. But these cookies are worth all the effort, I promise.
Sally actually shared an interesting tip for these: instead of rolling out the dough in flour, roll out the dough in cocoa powder. A truly ingenious idea if I do say so myself. This adds an extra cocoa chocolatey goodness flavor, but with the same mess—merp. Flour can be bland and flavorless, so if you’re going to make a mess, why not make a mess with something that tastes better, am I right? The only downside to using cocoa powder I found was that it can get very dusty. I coughed up a bit of a storm scooping up cocoa to roll out my dough.
One thing about sugar cookies is trying to make sure they hold their shape. That’s why it is imperative to chill the dough once you roll it out. I even chilled them a bit after I cut them into their shape. Cold and firm cookies are less likely to spread during baking.
I brought these in for my office party and they all crumbled in transit. I assure you though, they still taste delicious. Sugar cookies (especially these) have the perfect combination of sugar and butter. I mean—you can’t get any better than that! Throw in some cocoa powder and you have a cookie that is on a whole different level! Butter, sugar, AND chocolate? Sign me up! These cookies are crisp around the edges, but buttery soft in the middle. They are very fragile (as I learned in my attempt to be cute at the office holiday party), but live and learn, right?
Chocolate Sugar Cookies
Servings: About 20 medium sized cookies
¾ cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (plus more for rolling)
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
In a large stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a hand-mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about one minute. Add the granulated sugar and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add in the egg and the vanilla extract and beat on high speed. Scape down the sides of the bowl if needed.
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and cocoa powder. Whisk in the baking powder and salt until mixed together. Add in half of the dry ingredients into the wet and beat on low speed until well combined. Add the remaining dry mixture and beat until combined.
Divide the dough into roughly 2 equal pieces. On a well dusted surface or parchment paper, roll out the dough to about ¼ inch thickness. Layer the pieces with parchment paper in between on a baking sheet. Chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour. Cover the dough with an additional piece of parchment paper if chilling for more than two hours. You can chill the dough up to 2 days.
Line 2-3 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Remove one of the dough pieces and using a cookie cutter, cut into shapes. Re-roll the remaining dough and continue cutting until all dough is used. Repeat with second layer. Chill the cut cookies for an additional 15 minutes.
When ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake for 8-10 minutes, depending on how big your cookies are. Remove from the oven and allow the cookies to cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store the cookies in an airtight container. Cookies will keep for a few days (or a few minutes depending on how fast you eat them).