Chocolate Sugar Cookies

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What do you think of when you think of a Christmas cookie?  I'll tell you what comes to my mind, and maybe some of our thoughts are the same, or maybe they'd be completely different:
  • Sugar cookies, rolled out, punched into shapes like bells, trees, stars, mittens, reindeer, and decorated with frosting or sprinkles
  • Gingerbread men and houses
  • Fruitcake Cookies (I can't believe I've never given the recipe- will try to fix that soon!)
  • Those store-bought slice and bake sugar cookies that are dyed in the middle to look like a Christmas tree or Santa's hat
  • Those small, pre-made butter cookies that have red or green sprinkles and sometimes look like a wreath

Despite all the people who love chocolate, and I am one of them, Christmas is not chocolate's big day.  These cookies, though, just may be its ticket in.  They were originally labeled "chocolate sugar cookies" and Deb Perelman from Smitten Kitchen changed their name to brownie roll out cookies because she felt the name suited it better.  

These cookies have a solid chocolate taste and have the dense texture of a brownie.  I know!  Deb (I write that like we're on a first name basis or something) thinks they'd be ideal for an ice cream sandwich, and I don't doubt that, but I could see these getting some decorating love and replacing the regular sugar cookie or even gingerbread at Christmas.

Either way, the cookies are tasty, and the dough can be frozen for later use.  They're addictive, so beware!

Chocolate Sugar Cookies
from Smitten Kitchen

3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa

Preheat oven at 350 degrees. Whisk dry flour, salt and baking powder in bowl and set aside. Mix butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla and cocoa in mixer. Gradually add flour mixture, and mix until smooth. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least one hour.

Roll out cookie dough on floured counter. Cut into desired shapes, brushing extra deposits of flour off the top. (It does disappear once baked, though, so don’t overly fret if they go into the oven looking white.) Bake on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 8 to 11 minutes (the former for 1/8-inch thick cookies, the latter for 1/4-inch cookies) until the edges are firm and the centers are slightly soft and puffed.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

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