Soft, rich, chewy chocolate sugar cut out cookies that hold their shape, topped with sweet royal icing!
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3/4 cup coconut sugar (or light brown sugar)
- 1 egg, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup unsweetened dutch process or Special Dark cocoa powder
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- 2/3 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon warm water (ideally 105°F -115°F)
- 1 tablespoon meringue powder
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract (or other extract of choice)
- 1/8 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 and dark like charcoal.
- Place parchment paper on a baking sheet (or large nonstick silicon mat on your counter), 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 1/4″ 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!
- Store in airtight containers for no more than 2 weeks.
- The number of cookies depends completely on the size you make them – using the Fred Dig-Ins dinosaur cookie cutters, I’m able to get 10-12. Making various shaped 3″ cookies, I get 24.
- 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.
- Nutrition information is based on 24 cookies.
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: chocolate sugar cookies, chocolate cookie cutter recipe, sugar cookie cutouts, christmas cookies