Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Chocolate Cut-Out Cookies



When Jim was alive, he loved to cook, but, like me, he wasn't much of a baker. Still, he had an interest in making the perfect molded shortbread cookie. I have that same keen interest in impressing a design into dough, but like him, I keep coming up short.
Jim had a terra-cotta shortbread mold that he used again and again, each time with dreadful results. Eventually, in anger, he slammed it down on the counter, cracking it, and we ended up throwing it away. That was a good day for both of us. Since that time, however, I've been thinking about making molded shortbread cookies, because I see so many pretty ones online. I would sure like to know what those people do to get such lovely ones. I have tried two recipes in my mold so far, one of them a recipe that came with the mold, and both times the results were disastrous.
 I decided to take a new tactic, namely buy myself one of the lovely laser cut rolling pins (this one came from Goody Woody's Etsy shop) that reminded me of the good times that Jim and I had together when we were living in London, and make rolled shortbread cookies. I am greatly inspired by Monique of the La Table de Nana blog, because she makes some of the most beautiful cookies I've ever seen. It's not that they're iced and decorated, it's that they’re pressed, cut out, molded, impressed, and otherwise embellished in ways that I find very appealing.
 As you can see, this time I had wonderful results. This recipe came from Monique's blog, but is originally from Smitten Kitchen. Like Monique, I added 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder because I well know how that amplifies the chocolate flavor. This dough is easy to work with, delicious, and these cookies freeze beautifully.
Chocolate Cut-Out Cookies
As seen on La Table de Nana

3 cups flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon espresso powder
1 cup butter, softened
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa (I used Hershey’s Special Dark)

Whisk flour, salt, baking powder, and espresso powder in bowl and set aside. Mix butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and cocoa in mixer. Gradually add flour mixture, and mix until smooth. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least one hour.
Preheat oven to 350°F.  
Roll out cookie dough on floured counter with plain or embossed rolling pin. Cut into desired shapes, brushing extra deposits of flour off the top. Bake on a silpat- or parchment-lined baking sheet for 11-14 minutes until the edges are firm.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

4 comments:

Linda said...

Those are beautiful Pattie, and I also love the (scrap paper, placemat?) underneath! And the recipe sounds really good, like good and chocolate-y.

Pattie @ Olla-Podrida said...

Linda, that is from one of my map books (that I love, love, LOVE) called Maps by Aleksandra Mizielinska, that you can find here: http://tinyurl.com/yar7lgb3

Gentle Joy said...

Your cookies look wonderful! :)

Miz Helen said...

These are beautiful cookies and would be delicious. Thanks so much for sharing your awesome post with us at Full Plate Thursday. Have a great week and come back to see us real soon!
Miz Helen