silly face cookies

"Hey, good lookin'!"

"Outta the way, fella. That's my lady!"

"Howdy, handsome..."

"Well hello yourself, foxy lady!"

"Say cheese!"

"Everybody in! We're gonna be in People Magazine! Or at least Us Weekly!"

As you can probably tell, I made chocolate brownie roll-out silly face cookies. One of Bug Bug's school friends is turning 7 and requested these to share with her classmates. I was supposed to just make smiley faces, but I couldn't resist being a little silly with it. Plus, my black royal icing (for making the faces) really wasn't cooperating - I had a hard time getting the thickness right - so it was easier to pipe shapes that didn't have to be entirely uniform. It's a little hard to tell from the pictures, but the colors were really fun and vibrant: electric purple, turquoise, a combination of avocado and leaf green, and orange. 

Here are the ones I liked best:

And here's the rest of the gang:

I used Smitten Kitchen's mom's cookie recipe. I've used it once before and decided to give it another shot. Just by rolling the cookies a tiny bit thicker, the consistency had a little extra chew. And the taste is really nice - subtle, but chocolatey like a brownie. I made a double batch of the same dough last weekend when we hosted a group play date and let the kids cut out shapes and decorate with insane amounts of sprinkles. The dough is very easy to work with. I did my usual trick - just after mixing it, roll out the dough between sheets of parchment to the right thickness*, and then it chills in a fraction of the time - but the dough was forgiving when I needed to re-roll the kids' scraps. With just a little flour on each side, it didn't stick to the rolling pin at all. I wouldn't change my method, but it's great to know it doesn't necessarily have to re-chill before dealing with the leftover bits.

*Note: I usually divide the dough in half before rolling. It's a good amount to work with.

Here's the cookie recipe. I should note that I changed the method - I couldn't understand why the cocoa was added to the wet ingredients rather than being stirred in with the flour mixture. If I've changed some elemental property of the cookies, I guess I'll never know. The royal icing is Antonia74's recipe, though I tried adding a tablespoon of corn syrup to get a shiny effect. It didn't work at all. Maybe I needed more corn syrup? I was afraid to add too much, that it would make the consistency wonky, but maybe next time I'll be more daring.

Chocolate Brownie Roll-Out Cookies (adapted slightly)
Makes about 30, 3" cookies

3 cups (12 3/4 ounces) flour
2/3 cup (2 ounces) unsweetened cocoa
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups (10 1/2 ounces) sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

Whisk flour, cocoa, salt, and baking powder in a bowl and set aside. Beat butter and sugar, then add eggs and vanilla and beat until well-incorporated. Slowly add the flour mixture (it will fly around everywhere, so you may want to cover the mixer with a towel to minimize the cleanup). Mix until all flour is incorporated and dough is smooth, but don't overdo it. You can wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill it for an hour, or you can do what I suggested above - roll out the dough between two pieces of parchment and place the flat slabs of dough on a cookie sheet in the fridge. Twenty to thirty minutes should do it.

When you're almost ready to begin baking, preheat the oven to 350F. I like to peel off the parchment on the top, then replace it, flip the slab over, and peel off the other piece of parchment. That way, the cut cookies come off the paper more reliably.

Cut into shapes and place on a cookie sheet lined with either a silpat or parchment. Though I'm usually a silpat girl, I baked right on the parchment this time, and it worked very nicely. Bake for 7-10 minutes. (I set the timer for 7 but kept checking them every 30-60 seconds; they probably baked about 8-8 1/2 total.) Since they don't change color, it's a little hard to tell when they're done, but the cookies should feel reasonably firm and hold their shape when pressed lightly with a finger. They shouldn't look shiny. Cool on the sheets for a few minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Eat plain or decorate with frosting or royal icing.

Print cookie recipe.
Print royal icing recipe.



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