17 October 2013

Maya's Mexican Day of the Dead Cookies

We made these cookies this week, and I was going to put them into the post with Homeschooling Friday, but again, thought it was long enough without the recipe. This way, I can really go in depth with the pictures. :)

From chocolate holidays, by Alice Medrich.

The cookie above was the absolute best looking we got. This is what most of the batch looked like:

After those came out of the oven, I decided just to make them circular layered cookies. They still ended up looking like those above, because I had a five year old helper. But seriously tasty cookies! These instructions are for making the skulls, but you can just roll them circular then layer a chocolate and vanilla cookie, and bake according to these directions.

Vanilla dough:
* 2 C all-purpose flour
* 1/2 tsp baking powder
* 1/2 tsp salt
* 8 T (1 stick) butter, softened
* 1 C sugar
* 1 egg
* 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
To make vanilla dough, mix flour, baking powder, and salt together with whisk or fork. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. On low speed, add flour mixture until just incorporated. Form dough into a log about 2 inches in diameter. Set aside.

Chocolate dough:
* 1 C all-purpose flour
* 1/2 C unsweetened cocoa powder
* 1/2 tsp baking soda
* 1/2 tsp baking powder
* 1/8 tsp salt
* 8 T (1 stick) butter, softened
* 1/2 C packed brown sugar
* 1/2 C granulated sugar
* 1 egg
* 1 tsp vanilla extract
To make chocolate dough:
Mix flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt with a whisk or fork. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, beat butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy but not fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. On low speed, add flour mixture and mix until just incorporated. Form dough into a log the same size and length as vanilla log. If the doughs are soft and sticky, put in freezer to harden up.

To shape skulls:
Reshape each log so they're skull shaped, with a thinner and for the chin and jaw and wider end for the cranium. Wrap and refrigerate the chocolate dough.
Form features in the vanilla dough, using the handle of a wooden spoon to poke holes for the eyes the entire length of the log. Form nose with a skewer, poking two holes for nostrils. Form mouth with narrow table or butter knife, inserting it and wiggling back and forth. Don't try for perfection! It's the irregularities that make is spooky!

Chill both doughs at least two hours, preferably overnight.

Preheat over to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut chocolate dough into 1/8 inch slices and place them at least 1 1/2 inches apart on a baking sheet covered with parchment. Cut the vanilla dough into 1/8 inch slices and place one slice on top of each chocolate slice. Bake until pale golden at the edges, around 12 minutes. Rotate the baking sheet halfway through baking, top and bottom and front to back.
Slide parchment paper onto cooling racks, or transfer with metal spatula directly to cooling racks, waiting 1 to 2 minutes for cookies to cool and harden before moving them.

Cool completely before stacking or storing. Cookies keep about one week in an airtight container, if they stay around that long.

When I see this face, who cares if I didn't get perfection?!

PS - if the Day of the Dead skulls don't work out, you can always just roll and cut the cookies (or give the dough to the kids and let them go wild):


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