Chocolate Sugar Cookies

Baking date: January 1, 2016

My friend Rebecca and her boyfriend Gary have been together just over two years. They moved into my development and on January 2 were having an open house.

While they were supplying plenty of food and goodies to nosh on (along with homemade Sangria to wash it all down!), I never arrive at a party empty-handed. I had seen a recipe for chocolate sugar cookies and decided to make them for the party. In addition, I made Bailey’s Irish Creme cheesecake balls, because they taste so good (I used regular Oreos to make my batch). And they have liquor in them, of course.

A few notes about this recipe:

  • This is a rich cookie – the recipe calls for 2 cups (that’s cups, not sticks!) of butter.
  • It makes a TON of cookies. I had 43 regular size star cut outs (1/4″ thick – my rolling pin assures they are all the same thickness), and 29 mini-star cut outs (also, a 1/4″ thick).
  • Refrigerating the dough after the initial roll out is very important. I cut the dough in half and rolled out two separate pieces. I might divide it into quarters in the future to make it more manageable when you pull it out of the fridge and start the second roll out.
  • Refrigerating the dough after the second roll out and cut out of cookies is important for the cut outs to keep their shape while baking. The dough quickly softens from all the butter.
  • I found that 10 minutes in the oven was the perfect time for the cookies to be firm, but soft.

I decorated the large stars with royal icing: 1 pound powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons meringue powder, 1 tablespoon almond extract [to improve the taste of the icing], and 4 more tablespoons of water [or more] to get the consistency you want for outlining and then flooding. I outlined the stars in white and then used icing tinted light blue (1 drop of McCormick blue) and light purple (small dab of Wilton violet icing color). I then added regular sugar pearls (gold, silver, white, pink, light blue), medium and smaller sugar pearls in white, and gold and silver sugar sprinkles in a variety of designs. For a few of the cookies, I made designs using alternate colors of the royal icing.

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I tried to make each star look unique

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This recipe of royal frosting sets rather quickly

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The small round cookie at the bottom right is the cookie made from the last of the scraps

For the mini-stars, I did some in royal icing like the bigger stars, and for others, I used mini-M&Ms on top. Here is the plate of mini-stars:

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Mini-stars – whenever I decorate with M&Ms, I always place the ‘m’ side down, so it’s not visible (no offense, M&M Mars!)

Here’s the platter of large star cookies, along with the Bailey’s Irish Creme cheesecake balls in the middle:

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A whole lotta yum!

Thanks Rebecca and Gary for opening your home to friends. Glad I could bring something to make the evening even sweeter!

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