It was fun for me, too. I have been in cookbook heaven of late. Alison brought me three new cookbooks to read and Dorie's Cookies by Dorie Greenspan was one of them. I have had so much fun dreaming about cooking my way through the book and then realizing that somebody had to eat all of those cookies, so I narrowed it down to one for now!
I selected the basic chocolate cookie dough which Dorie has named Do-Almost-Anything Chocolate Cookie Dough. I was after a chocolate cookie that had a deep chocolate flavor with a bit of firmness to the touch but not crisp. This was perfect! Plan ahead if you decide to use this cookie dough. I do need to mention that the cookies must be popped into the freezer for an hour or the refrigerator for three hours, prior to cutting and baking.
Chocolate Spiderweb Cookies
adapted from Dorie's Cookies
Yield: 40 cookies, 2-inch diameter
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 pound unsalted butter, cut into chunks and at room temperature
2/3 cups sugar
3/4 tsp fine sea salt
1 large egg white, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 Tbsp milk
Preheat oven: 350° F.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
Sift the flour and the cocoa powder together.
Fit your stand mixer with the paddle attachment or use your hand mixer to beat the butter, sugar and salt together on medium speed until the mixture is smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and add the egg white and vanilla. The dough may curdle but it will smooth out when the flour mixture is added.
At low speed, add the flour mixture in 3 or 4 additions, beat only until the flour is incorporated each time before adding the next addition. Scrape down the bowl once or twice and mix until all the dry mixture has been absorbed into the dough.
Divide the dough in half. Flatten each half into a disk. One at a time, place a disk between two pieces of parchment paper and roll the dough to a 1/4-inch thickness. Slide the parchment and dough onto a baking sheet. The two may be stacked on the baking sheet. Freeze for 1 hour or refrigerate for 3 hours.
Work with one disk at a time. Peel the paper away on one side. Flip the disk over and peel the paper from the other side. Use a 2-inch diameter cookie cutter to cut out as many cookies as you can. Gather the scraps together. Make a disk, roll between parchment and re-chill before cutting and baking. (Note: Sprinkle with sanding sugar at this point if desired.)
Bake the cookies 18 to 20 minutes or until firm to touch. Cool the cookies on the baking sheet for 5 minutes and then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
Repeat with the next disk.
Mix the powdered sugar and the milk together in a medium bowl. Stir until smooth. It will be stiff.
Spoon the mixture into a small zip lock bag and seal. Snip a tiny whole in the corner of the bag. (It can always be made larger if needed!)
Working with one cookie at a time, pipe a dot into the center of the cookie. Pipe two concentric circles around the dot.
Starting at the dot, pull a toothpick from the dot through the two circles to the edge of the cookie. This makes the web design.
Have a Happy Halloween!