Friday, 20 December 2013

Chocolate Reindeer Delight Children

Have I mentioned that Charlie, my one and only child, is not a fan of Sugar Cookies? Crazy, isn't it? They're the cutest cookies on the tray and he doesn't want any part of them (more for me!). That's why I decided to make Chocolate Cutout Cookies for him this year. 

I started with a Martha Stewart recipe but I didn't have much luck with the dough. I made it on the same night that I made the dough for the Lime Meltaways and the Lemon Crinkle Cookies and it was extremely crumbly, more like what I'd get with a shortbread rather than a sugar cookie dough. I had to toss it out — I couldn't roll it or gather it or do anything cookie-related.

There might have been a problem measuring the unsweetened chocolate, I admit.  It's not sold in Baker's squares here. In fact, I was hard-pressed to find unsweetened chocolate at all in my local shops. I usually get it from Mom or Skyco but I found Willie's Cacao in Waitrose last year and it's very good artisan cooking chocolate (but a bear to measure because it comes in two 90-gram disks).

I found a versatile recipe for Chocolate Cutout Cookies at King Arthur Flour's website that was infinitely better all around. First of all, King Arthur's site is so user-friendly. Recipes can be adapted to grams, volume or ounces (making it easier if you're using 90-gram disks of chocolate and 250-gram blocks of butter). This recipe was originally published to make haunted houses for Halloween and calls for "black cocoa" but works equally well with all Dutch-processed cocoa (which suited me). It's made in one bowl and you don't need a stand mixer — I made my dough in a large measuring jug.

I used only one cutter: a reindeer. The decorations were simple too. I either used a red dragée for a Rudolph-type nose, or three white dragées to dapple the deers' backs. Some had both because Charlie liked them that way. He even helped! They turned out really cute and their simple chocolate flavor pleased my boy — a win-win result.

So, if you're looking for a tasty alternative to Sugar Cookie Cutouts, try these yummy and easy Chocolate Cutout Cookies, Cookie No. 7 of 20 cookies to celebrate 20 years of Our Cookie Journal.

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