Monday, May 25, 2009

The Chocolate Sugar Cookie Experiment

Last week, I decided I needed chocolate sugar cookies. No particular reason why. Just the curiosity of making a chocolate sugar cookie. You know - you can make chocolate cake and vanilla cake. Can you make chocolate sugar cookies?

I get my son enlisted in my chocolate sugar cookies, and I hit up my friendly neighborhood google, until I find a recipe. This is the one I pulled up:

Chocolate Sugar Cookies:

2 3/4 cups (355 grams) all purpose flour
3/4 cup (75 grams) unsweetened Dutch processed cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon (4 grams) baking powder
1 cup (227 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 3/4 cups (350 grams) granulated white sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

In a large bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking powder.

In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 3 to 4 minutes). Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla extract and beat until combined. Add the flour mixture and beat until you have a smooth dough.

Divide the dough in half and wrap each half in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for about one hour or until firm enough to roll.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place rack in the center of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Remove one half of the chilled dough from the refrigerator and, on a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a thickness of 1/4 inch (1 cm). (Keep turning the dough as you roll, making sure the dough does not stick to the counter.) Cut out desired shapes using a lightly floured cookie cutter and transfer cookies to the prepared baking sheet. Place the baking sheets with the unbaked cookies in the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes to chill the dough which prevents the cookies from spreading and losing their shape while baking.

Note: If you are not going to frost the baked cookies, you may want to sprinkle the unbaked cookies with crystal or sparkling sugar.

Bake cookies for about 10 - 12 minutes (depending on size) or until they are firm around the edges. Remove from oven and let cookies cool on baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling. Frost with royal icing, if desired. Be sure that the frosting on the cookies dries completely before storing. (This may take several hours.) Frosted cookies will keep several days in an airtight container. Store between layers of parchment paper or wax paper.

Makes about 36 - 4 inch (10 cm) cookies.

So that's the recipe I pulled up.

Can I tell you - I didn't love it. And sometimes that sort of comes in the build up to something that you decide will be SO good, that by the time you get access to it, it's never as good as you want it to be. But still. It was kind of meh.

I was hoping for a nice, fluffy, cake-y cookie. It was a harder, firmer cookie, with much more snap to it then I was hoping for. Admittedly, I didn't hang with the "Let it settle in the refrigerator..." stuff in the recipe, and I just sort of made it work, so maybe some of that would change if I did it that way, but I can't imagine that it would have. And the reason I didn't hang with that stuff is simple - ever tried to tell a two year old that he's got to wait for a cookie? Yeah - you won't hang with that stuff either. Try it, and tell me I'm wrong!

So, overall, like I said - I didn't love it. I actually had batter left over that I didn't even bother to make. But the recipe is right - they do make a nice looking cookie:


I took my son James to the store, and we each got to pick a frosting to go with our cookies. Mine is the white (cream cheese) and his is pink (strawberry, don't ya know?). His pick was actually for the blue frosted sugar cookies that were already made, which would have taken this entry from "the chocolate sugar cookie experiment" to "how on earth did I eat the whole thing?!". Thank heaven for small favors. :D

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