Jonah and I are making cookies pretty much every Sunday afternoon or evening lately. This week he asked if we could make chocolate cookies. I thought that sounded a little bland.
“Chocolate chip cookies?” I suggested.
“No, chocolate cookies.”
“How about no-bake chocolate cookies?”
“Just chocolate cookies,” he insisted.
So I decided to use the “Fourteen-cookies-in-one” recipe from my Joy of Cooking. It’s a basic cookie recipe which you can vary slightly in any number of ways. Joy of Cooking includes a variation for a basic chocolate cookie. Well, it’s a chocolate-cinnamon cookie; but, as I often do on Sunday nights when I’m tired, I forgot an important ingredient featured in the name of the cookie. This time I forgot the cinnamon, so we just made plain chocolate cookies.
To add some interest, and a bit of a challenge, I decided to roll out the dough and use cookie cutters. I haven’t used cookie cutters in years, and when I did it was mostly under my mom’s supervision, so I was looking forward to the chance to develop my own skills in rolling and cutting cookies—and teaching Jonah how to do it too.
I dug out my cookie cutters from the back of a kitchen drawer and from a tin in a cabinet above the stove. Most of the cookie cutters were Christmas-y, but I did find some round biscuit cutters, a teddy bear cutter, and a rabbit cutter.
After chilling the dough, I rolled it out, which turned out to be tricky. The dough kept getting stuck to the rolling pin. I don’t know if I needed to flour the surface more, or the rolling pin, or what. But eventually I did get it rolled out, and Jonah helped me cut the cookies. Finally, I used candy sprinkles to give the bunnies and teddy bears eyes.
When the cookies were done, Jonah and I thought they looked great, but Chris was a little taken aback by the eyes.
“Wasn’t that a cool idea?” I asked.
“Little creepy,” he said.
After supper, we all tried the cookies. Neeley took one bite, spit it out, and cried “Icky!” Lately he has no interest in my cookies. Jonah liked them; he ate the one I gave him as well as Neeley’s. I liked the cookies too—they weren’t bland at all, and they reminded of something I’d tasted once.
When Chris tried a cookie, I asked him if they reminded him of anything.
He thought for a moment.
“You know,” he said, “I think they taste like Annie’s Chocolate Bunny Grahams. Only softer and—well, better.”
That was exactly it! This cookie tastes like Annie’s Chocolate Bunny Grahams. Only better, which is probably because of the two sticks of butter in this recipe.
That’s why I’m calling them Chocolate Butter Cookies.
And the next time I make these, I’m going to use a cow cookie cutter I found when I was putting the other cutters away and call them Chocolate Butter Cows.
“Fourteen-in-one” basic ingredients
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ pound unsalted butter cut into 14 pieces, at room temperature (that’s 2 sticks)
1 cup superfine sugar (you can also pulse granulated sugar in a food processor for 1 minute)
½ teaspoon table salt
1 large egg yolk
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla
To make them into chocolate cookies:
1 ounce melted semisweet chocolate (I used cocoa and oil)
¼ cup cocoa
½ tsp cinnamon (optional—because they taste good even if you forget the cinnamon)
On medium speed, mix butter, sugar and salt until fluffy. Add egg yolk, whole egg, vanilla and melted chocolate (or wet chocolate mixture) and mix until well blended. Reduce speed to low and add flour and dry cocoa slowly until well combined. Divide dough in half, wrap and refrigerate until firm. (At least 1 hour and up to 2 days. Dough may also be frozen for up to a month.) Preheat oven to 375 degree F and prepare 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
On a well-floured surface, roll dough out to 1/8 inch thick. Cut cookies with cookie cutters. May re-roll scraps one time. Any scraps left over at this point should be rolled into balls, placed on a cookie sheet, and flattened. Place cookies on baking sheets and place sheets into oven (one on lower rack, one on upper). Bake for 6–10 minutes, rotating sheets half way through baking (watch closely for browning).