Last year, for Marlo’s preschool Valentine exchange I made cute little fish cards made out of paper hearts. There were only 8 or 9 kids in her class then, and crafting those was not much of a commitment.
This year is an entirely different story. She goes to school five days a week and is in two separate classes. She has over 20 classmates and 4 teachers. Making two dozen cards would take hours. Double that time if I can conjure up some sort of patience to include Marlo in on the crafting. And let’s face it, the valentines will wind up in the trash after the period of politely putting up with it around the house ends. Here, that’s about a day. Maybe two days.
Instead, I decided to make treats. If I’m going to slave for a few hours, I’d rather make something that will actually be consumed. I was stumped as to what exactly to make when Ree, The Pioneer Woman, showed up on my television last Saturday morning with this recipe for chocolate cookies. Thanks Ree.
On the Food Network show, she cut her cookies into rectangles and dipped them in melted chocolate and almond bark and then into various crushed up candy toppings. I didn’t have any of that lying around, but I did have white baking chips and pink sprinkles.
A few left over for the adults got dipped into this tasty espresso sugar I picked up from the Salt Table in Savannah, Georgia.
These cookies resemble the texture of gingerbread cookies – soft and crumbly. The flavor itself is not going to knock your socks off, it’s a very mild chocolate flavor but it is perfect for jazzing up without creating a treat that’s a little too rich for a kid to enjoy. The dough was a breeze to roll out and manipulate, and the cookies set up in the oven in less than 10 minutes.
This might be a good one to keep in your back pocket.
Chocolate Cut-Out Cookies
Adapted from Food Network
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 whole egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 bag white baking chips
pink sanding sugar
Cream the butter with the powdered sugar. Add the egg and vanilla and mix to combine. Add the flour, cocoa powder and salt, and mix together until the dough comes together. Place plastic wrap on the surface of the dough and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line baking sheets with baking mats or parchment.
Roll out the cookie dough and cut out the cookies using a cookie cutter, re-rolling the scraps in order to use as much of the dough as possible. Place the cookies onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 7 to 9 minutes, in batches if necessary, being careful not to burn. Cookies will remain the same general size and shape after they bake.
Melt white baking chips in a heat proof bowl nestled over a pot of simmering water. Dip cooled cookies into melted chips and immediately dunk in bowl with pink sand sugar. Set on cooling rack until hardened.