I’m in love with these cookies. They are delicious and elegant. In fact, they’re so nice that the Spousal Unit and I decided to withhold them from his co-workers, and keep them all for ourselves. I’ve adapted the recipe, with several method changes, from My View from the Avenue. For this recipe, you will need a 3″ round cookie cutter, plus mini bat and ghost cutters.
Yield: about 3 dozen 3″ cookies
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 2/3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
- In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients, except for the cocoa, until lump-free.
- Slowly add dry ingredients to the creamed mixture, stirring until thoroughly mixed.
- Remove half of the dough and knead on a lightly floured surface for about a minute*. Form into a disk, wrap in plastic, and set aside.
- Add cocoa to bowl, and mix until the dough is completely brown, with no little white spots.
- Knead the chocolate dough, form into a disk, and wrap. Chill both doughs in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.
*I didn’t really see a reason to knead the dough, but I did it anyway. In the original recipe, this is used to mix in the cocoa, which would take forever. Feel free to skip the kneading and see if it works out. I think it will be fine.
- Preheat the oven to 350°, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Break off about 1/3 of the chilled dough.
- Lay down a sheet of Press ‘n’ Seal (I’m not a shill, but seriously, this stuff is so much better than plastic wrap)
- Flour the plastic lightly, and work the white dough in your hands for a few seconds.
- Pat it down as much as you can, then flour the top of the dough. Roll with light, short strokes to about 1/8″ thickness.
- Cut five 3″ rounds.
- Using a scraper or very thin spatula, gently lift the rounds on to the parchment paper. These cookies don’t spread, so you don’t need a lot of space between them. This dough is very tender, so you want to move it as little as possible. Reshape if necessary.
NOTE: Watch your plastic for tears, and replace immediately if this happens. I went through several sheets. You also might want to check the bottom of the last few cookies, though I didn’t end up with any problems.
- With the white rounds in the pan, cut out bat shapes from the middle.
- Remove the bats by gently lifting the paper beneath the cookie, and bending at the seam of the cut-out. Now you can grab the bat. You don’t need to worry about the bats staying nice, just add them to the leftover white dough.
- Using the discarded bats, you can cut out one more round, and still have enough for ghosts.
- The chocolate dough is slightly less moist than the vanilla, but you still need to flour everything. Pat and roll out a small amount, and cut out six mini bats.
NOTE: if the chocolate dough becomes crumbly from the additional flour, put a few drops of water on your hands and work it in to the dough.
- Lay the chocolate bats into the space on the vanilla cookies.
- There will be a bit of space between the chocolate and vanilla. Gently press all around the shape (I actually used two fingers, one on the shape and one on the round), joining the seams.
- Now repeat all this, but with chocolate rounds, and vanilla ghosts.
- Bake until vanilla cookies are very slightly browned, about 15 minutes. The original recipe says to chill before baking. I saw no reason to do that, so I didn’t.
- Let the cookies cool completely, then put them somewhere else and shape the next batch of dough. You can use the same parchment paper, but change out the Press ‘n’ Seal.
For the leftover dough, I mixed it together and made a bunch of tiny moons, and baked them in between the last batch.
The crispness of the cookies is determined by thickness. Since mine varied wildly, I had a combination of lovely crisp cookies, and slightly soft cookies. Both were wonderful.