Today I present you with Chocolate Sugar Cookie Cut-Outs. And not just chocolate sugar cookie cut-outs – DINOSAUR chocolate sugar cookie cut-outs. OH YEAH. I’m turning it up to eleven for this one.
I’ve spent a long time (longer than I care to admit) trying to make chocolate sugar cookies that were the right flavor, texture, and density. I’ve spent even longer than that trying to make them as cut-outs. I have nothing against plain sugar cookie cut-outs, but you know me – just gotta make things difficult.
I played with different quantities of butter, egg, cocoa powder, and flour. I tried using melted chocolate instead of cocoa powder (p.s.: don’t do that). I swapped granulated sugar for dark brown sugar. I swapped butter for avocado – which, to be fair, tasted good but didn’t hold up in the shape I wanted.
Then things started to come together… I swapped unsweetened cocoa powder for Dutch processed. I swapped granulated and/or brown sugar for coconut sugar. Finally, success!
Look at those deep ridges. Check out that definition! That’s exactly what I was after. It wasn’t enough to just hold the shape around the edges – I wanted a cookie stamp to make an impression and for it to stick. I kid you not, when I took these out of the oven I yelled out, “YES! THESE ARE SO GOOD!” My poor boyfriend was subjected to a lot of self-praise echoing out of the kitchen.
I wanted to call these “Préhistorique Biscuits” because… well… this Instagram post will explain. But there’s that whole aspect of SEO where your title should explain the content of your post, keywords, blah blah blah. You and I can still call them préhistorique biscuits and it can be an inside joke.
That definition! I just can’t get over how well these turn out.
I can’t recommend these dinosaur cookie cutters from Fred & Friends enough. They’re so darn cute! My only complaint is that there aren’t more dinosaur shapes – I could totally use a pterodactyl, ankylosaurus, brontosaurus… well, you get the idea.
For half of them, as soon as I was done frosting them I added a sprinkle of brown sugar to give the illusion of dirt – you know, as if you were unearthing dinosaur skeletons from the ground and dusting them off before you ate them. Wait… I don’t remember seeing that part in Jurassic Park. Which reminds me, I should go watch that immediately because I never get sick of it. NEVER.
I brought them into my office for a handful of people who have the same true love for dinosaurs that I do (and that love goes deep, my friends) and everyone loved them. Some people said that they reminded them of hot cocoa in cookie form, some said they were reminiscent of brownies. No matter what they remind you of, I think they’ll be a hit to whomever is on the receiving end of your chocolate-y gift.
These would be wonderful as Christmas gifts just because of the cuteness factor! So, if you’re still looking for something to give your sweet aunt who doesn’t need anymore crocheted cat pot holders, or that weird cousin who you have no idea what to do with – make a batch of these, tie ’em up in a little bag with some dark brown sugar and cocoa in the bottom (to look like dirt) and voila! Instant gift that they can’t help but love. Just be prepared for the inevitable reenactments of JP while they chase you around with these bad boys. Pretend you’re Jeff Goldblum and just say, “Must go faster – MUST GO FASTER!” and it’ll make for a fantastic YouTube video (that you’ll obviously send me a link to ASAP).
I may have gotten a little carried away…
Look how intimidating the t-rex is, even as a cookie. Rawr!
Don’t forget to post pictures of your own chocolate sugar cookie creations and tag them with #stressbaking so I can see them. What fun shapes will you make? ????????
- ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- ¾ cup coconut sugar
- 1 egg, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ⅔ cup unsweetened dutch process cocoa powder
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- Royal Icing:
- ⅔ cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon warm water (ideally 105°F -115°F)
- 1 tablespoon meringue powder
- ½ teaspoon almond extract (or other extract of choice)
- ⅛ teaspoon cream of tartar
- In a large bowl, use the paddle attachment on your mixer to beat the butter for 1 minute on medium speed until smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Add the coconut sugar and beat on high speed until fluffy.
- Add the egg and vanilla and beat on high speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and cocoa powder. Add baking powder and salt, and whisk to combine.
- Slowly add the dry ingredients to the bowl of wet ingredients and mix on low speed until combined. Dough will be very thick.
- Place parchment paper on a baking sheet, and scoop dough into the middle of the prepared sheet. Place another piece of parchment on top and use a rolling pin to spread dough out to ¼" thickness. Place in fridge for at least 1 hour to chill.
- Preheat oven 350°F. Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper and set aside.
- Remove dough from the fridge and use cookie cutters to cut out each cookie. Keep re-rolling the dough as needed until it's all used - if you find it getting too warm, place it back in the fridge before you keep cutting.
- Place on prepared baking sheets with a little room between each. You don't have to leave as much room as you would with other cookies because these won't spread, but don't make it too crowded!
- Bake for 9 minutes (this is the time I found ideal for larger cookies - if yours are smaller, start with 7 minutes and go from there). Allow to cool on baking sheet for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- In a large bowl, add all ingredients. Beat on low speed until just combined, then beat on high speed for 5-10 minutes until stuff peaks form.
- Spoon into a piping bag and get to work! If you're making these same dinosaur cookies, prepare the piping bag with your smallest round tip. Use steady pressure to draw skeletons onto each cookie.
- Let cookies set for at least 4 hours before you stack them (layered between parchment paper). Serve and enjoy!
- The number of cookies depends completely on the size you make them - using the Fred Dig-Ins cookie cutters, I'm able to get 10-12.
- If you're going to color the icing, separate it into separate bowls and add color one at a time, whipping to stiff peaks before you pipe them onto your cookies. I recommend only working with one batch of color at a time as royal icing dries out quickly. If you must have multiple colors to work with at the same time, keep each bowl covered tightly with plastic wrap until ready to be used.