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Saturday, February 18, 2017

Dark Chocolate Heart Cookies

Pin It Dark Chocolate Heart Cookies

Dark Chocolate Heart Cookies
Dark Chocolate Heart Cookies with pretty sugar decorations
Dark Chocolate Heart Cookies
This past weekend was full of  hearts, literally in cookie form. Two days after decorating cookies with my sister-in-law, I baked dark chocolate sugar cookies for Valentine's Day gifts, and spent the day decorating them all. The cookies taste so rich from the dark chocolate, and have a light crisp texture when you first bite into them, and the inside is soft and chewy. The cookies are pure decadence! The important thing for this recipe is to purchase a quality dark chocolate cocoa powder because it really brings out the richness of the chocolate flavor. I ordered an imported one from France on Amazon, and it was expensive but spending a few extra bucks paid off.

Dark Chocolate Heart Cookies - love the XO and love cutters 
Dark Chocolate Heart Cookies
Dark Chocolate Heart Cookies
Yield: 5 1/2 Dozen Cookies (depending on size)

Ingredients
6 cups King Arthur All Purpose Flour, sifted

1 1/4 cups Dark Cocoa Powder

2 cups Granulated Sugar

1 cup Light Brown Sugar, lightly packed

1 teaspoon Coarse Salt

2 cups (4 sticks) Unsalted Butter, softened

3 Eggs, cold

2 teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract

Dark Chocolate Heart Cookies
Dark Chocolate Heart Cookies
Dark Chocolate Heart Cookies
Directions
Whisk together flour, cocoa powder and salt; set aside.

Cream butter and sugars in a hand held mixer or stand mixer with paddle attachment on medium speed; 1-2 minutes. Do not overmix.

Scrape sides of bowl with spatula and mix for 5 seconds.

Add eggs one at a time, mix until incorporated. Scrape sides of bowl and mix for 5 seconds.

Add vanilla extract and mix on low until incorporated, about 10-15 seconds.

With mixer on low speed, slowly add flour mixture and incorporate. Place a kitchen towel or paper towel over the mixer and hold it to prevent flour going all over your counter.

The dough is ready when it begins to clump around paddle attachment.

Dark Chocolate Heart Cookies
Dark Chocolate Heart Cookies
Dark Chocolate Heart Cookies
Cut in half and roll dough into 2 balls, cover with plastic wrap, and chill in fridge for 1-2 hours or overnight.

Take half of the dough at a time to roll, leaving unused dough covered with plastic wrap in fridge until ready to use.

Heat oven to 325° F.

Use two sheets of parchment paper with dough in between and roll with rolling pin until desired thickness is reached. You do not have to add cocoa powder to work surface or cookie cutters using this rolling technique.

In fact, too much cocoa powder can result in a dry cookie so do not use it.

Make shapes with cutters and place onto cookies sheets lined with parchment paper.

Dark Chocolate Heart Cookies
Dark Chocolate Heart Cookies
Dark Chocolate Heart Cookies
Place cookie sheets in freezer for 10-15 minutes. The cookies hold their shape when you do this.

Bake 12-15 minutes or until the edges have slightly browned. My cookies baked in 13 minutes.

Wait 5 minutes before transferring cookies on cooling racks to complete cooling.

Decorate once cookies cool completely.

Dark Chocolate Heart Cookies - still learning marbling technique
Dark Chocolate Heart Cookies
Dark Chocolate Heart Cookies

Large Batch Royal Icing
Ingredients
8 Egg Whites

8 teaspoons Lemon Juice, freshly squeezed

12 cups Powdered/Confectioners' Sugar, sifted

1 tablespoon Clear Vanilla Extract

Dark Chocolate Heart Cookies - Pretty Mini Hearts
Dark Chocolate Heart Cookies
Dark Chocolate Heart Cookies

Directions
In a large bowl, sift powdered sugar, set aside.

In a bowl, add egg whites.

In a bowl, whisk together the egg whites and lemon juice.

Transfer to stand or hand held mixer with paddle attachment and mix on high for 1-2 minutes.

Dark Chocolate Heart Cookies
Dark Chocolate Heart Cookies
Dark Chocolate Heart Cookies
Add vanilla extract and mix for 5-10 seconds.

With mixer speed on low, slowly add sifted sugar and beat on low until smooth.

If needed, you may add 1 teaspoon of water at a time until you reach the right consistency. Watch the Joy of Baking (link at the end) video for both Flooding Consistency and Piping Consistency Royal Icing. If you prefer a recipe using Meringue Powder, it is also available at this link.

I separated the icing in plastic containers with lids according to how many different colors needed for tinting.

I used AmeriColor Soft Gel Paste Food Color in Super White, Super Red, Super Black, and Pink. Use 1-2 drops at a time until you reach the color desired.

Keep the containers covered until you are ready to color.

Dark Chocolate Heart Cookies
Dark Chocolate Heart Cookies
Dark Chocolate Heart Cookies
I transferred the icing immediately into squeeze bottles using a funnel to prevent spilling.

If the royal icing hardens due to air exposure, use a spray bottle filled with room temperature water, and spray once or twice and shake bottle well holding the tip with your finger. Test the icing consistency on a paper towel before decorating the cookie.

I outlined the cookies first, waited 1/2 hour and then filled them one at a time.

Dark Chocolate Heart Cookies

Dark Chocolate Heart Cookies

Dark Chocolate Heart Cookies - Pretty little hearts all over the cookies
Use a paintbrush or cookie stick to reach edges, and use tip of cookie stick or a toothpick to pop any air bubbles.

Add sprinkles, confetti, sugar pearls, dragees, etc... over wet icing. I also used some pretty hearts and xo decorations on some of the cookies.

If you want to write over the royal icing, let it dry first and then apply over the icing.

Dark Chocolate Heart Cookies

Dark Chocolate Heart Cookies - Heart and XO sugar decorations
I used Wilton's Scribe Tool to make the hearts and marbling designs on the cookies.

Let cookies dry overnight. This is essential so the icing does not stick together when you stack them or place in cookie tins for gifts.

If you are baking and it is humid, you may need more time for the cookies to dry.

For the Dark Chocolate Sugar Cookie Recipe, visit Sweetapolita:
http://sweetapolita.com/2012/11/the-perfect-dark-chocolate-sugar-cookies/

For the Royal Icing Recipe and Video Tutorial, visit Joy of Baking:
http://www.joyofbaking.com/RoyalIcing.html

Enjoy!

-Sophia/Two Frys

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