I've been wanting to create a chocolate cutout cookie that I could add to my repertoire and came up with this new recipe by adding 1/3 cup of dark cocoa powder to my favorite sugar cookie recipe, doubling the vanilla and eliminating the almond extract.
The cookies turned out great and kept their shape nicely and I really like the contrast of the dark cookie against the light colored royal icing.
Here's the recipe:
Chocolate Cookie Cutouts
Makes about 4 dozen 2-inch cookies
1 cup unsalted butter (at room temperature)
2/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup dark cocoa powder
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
In a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter and sugar until blended, then beat on high speed until creamy. Add egg, vanilla and cocoa powder and beat until well blended. Add flour and salt; beat on low speed until combined, then on medium speed until well blended. Divide dough into two equal portions. Place dough between sheets of plastic wrap. Press evenly into a disk and chill until dough is firm, at least 20 minutes. Working with one portion of dough at a time (keep remaining chilled), peel off plastic wrap and roll on a floured board until 1/4 inch thick. Cut with floured cutters and transfer onto bare baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees (325 for convection) for 7 to 9 minutes or until firm to the touch and slightly darker brown around edges. Cool on wire racks.