Cutout sugar cookies are delicious and simple to make, with endless decorating possibilities! I first started baking and decorating cookies when my girls were babies and today I’m sharing a new version of my cutout cookie recipe that you’re gonna love! It’s a chocolate cutout sugar cookie, with slightly crisp edges and a soft center. It’s also not too sweet, or overly chocolatey and best of all, requires no chilling time.
With the dairy and gluten free options included, these cutout cookies are suitable for everyone to enjoy and perfect for upcoming Valentine’s Day!
SOFT CHOCOLATE CUTOUT SUGAR COOKIES
Soft and delicious chocolate cutout sugar cookies, slightly crisp on the edges and decorated with shades of pink vanilla royal icing for Valentine’s Day! Dairy free with a gluten free option.
What we love most about this cutout cookie is the taste and texture! The cocoa powder gives it a distinct chocolatey depth of flavor, that’s not too overpowering, while pairing perfectly with the smooth vanilla royal icing, resulting in the best chocolate sugar cookie!
ENHANCING THE FLAVOR OF THE CHOCOLATE COOKIES
My mom is an amazing home baker and cook and sweet enough to share some of her tips and tricks in the kitchen with me, like how to enhance chocolate desserts. Since coffee and chocolate have relatable flavor profiles, adding a teaspoon of coffee or espresso to these chocolate cookies amplifies the flavor for the ultimate chocolatey taste!
HOW TO MAKE TO SOFT CUTOUT COOKIES
One of the reasons these cutout cookies are the best is because they’re so soft! The Secret to achieving a soft cutout cookie is in the baking time and ingredients.
Since confectioners sugar is processed with cornstarch, it results in a softer baked cookie, where granulated sugar results in a crisper cookie. I like to use a mix of confectioners and organic granulated sugar for a well balanced soft cut-out cookies!
Bake for just under 5 minutes, for the best results!
INGREDIENTS AND SUPPLIES:
You”ll love how easy these cutout cookies are to make, requiring ingredients, you might already have in your pantry!
Flour (gf 1 to 1 works too), natural unsweetened cocoa powder, granulated sugar, confectioners sugar, vegan butter, 1 egg, espresso powder, baking powder, vanilla extract (gf) and salt.
For the royal icing, you’ll need, confectioners sugar, meringue powder, water, vanilla extra and gel food coloring.
Tipless piping bags, and a heart shaped cookie cutter.
HOW TO MAKE CHOCOLATE CUT-OUT SUGAR COOKIES
Making these cookies is just as easy as any other roll out sugar cookie!
Simply pour measured flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Mix until combined, then set aside. Pour vegan butter and both sugars together in a bowl of a stand mixer and mix until well combined, then mix in the egg and vanilla extract until smooth.
Pour flour and cocoa powder mixture into the butter, egg and sugar on medium, mixing until the cookie dough forms and attaches to the paddle. The mixing bowl should be mostly clean when the dough is ready to roll out. No chilling required and these cookies will not lose their shape!
BAKING THE COOKIES
Roll out the chocolate sugar cookie dough to about 1/4 ” thick. Cut the dough into heart shapes for Valentine’s Day, or any shape of choice. Bake in the oven for just under 5 minutes, or up to 6 minutes if you prefer a crisper cookie.
DECORATING COOKIES WITH ROYAL ICING
Decorating cookies with royal icing takes practice, but this simple heart shape and design will be a great place to start! You will need outline and flood consistency royal icing, using the recipe and tips below.
Starting with one color of royal icing will be easiest, but if you’d like to use 3 colors of pink as shown in the pictures, divide the thick toothpaste like icing into 3 bowls. Add two drops pink gel coloring to bowl 1, one drop pink gel coloring to bowl 2 and 1/4 drop gel coloring to bowl 3. Mix well. Transfer 1/4 of the colored thick icing from each bowl into a separate tipless piping bag. Seal closed.
Thin remaining icing in each bowl with a few drops of warm water at a time. Use a dropper or a spray bottle to achieve the desired icing consistency. If you run a spatula through the icing it should take around 5-6 seconds for any lines to disappear. That’s when the icing is ready! Transfer flood icing for each color to a tipless piping bag and seal closed.
Pipe an outline heart shape on each of the heart cookies with the thick royal icing. Then fill each outlined cookie with flood icing, using a tip or scribe to pop any air bubbles and evenly blend. Set aside to dry for at least two hours.
And watch the quick video below for a simple cookie piping and flooding technique.
Soft, delicious chocolate cut out sugar cookies that are slightly crisp on the edges and decorated with shades of pink vanilla royal icing for upcoming Valentine’s Day! Dairy free with a gluten free option.
FOR THE CHOCOLATE CUTOUT SUGAR COOKIES:
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour (or gluten free 1 to 1)
1/4 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup vegan butter
1 tsp vanilla extract (look for gluten free)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp espresso powder
1/2 tsp salt
FOR THE ROYAL ICING:
3 cups confectioners sugar
3 tablespoons meringue powder
1/4 cup warm water
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (gluten free)
pink gel food coloring
FOR THE CHOCOLATE CUT OUT SUGAR COOKIES:
- Pour measured flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking powder and salt into a bowl and mix until combined. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix vegan butter and both sugars together until well combined.
- Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the edges of the bowl.
- Beat the egg and vanilla extract into the butter and sugars until smooth.
- Pour flour and cocoa powder mixture into the butter, egg and sugar on medium.
- Mix until the the cookie dough forms and attaches to the paddle.
- The mixing bowl should be mostly clean when the dough is ready to roll out.
- No chilling required!
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Lightly flour a rolling pin and a sheet of parchment paper.
- Roll out the chocolate sugar cookie dough to about 1/4 ” thick.
- Cut the dough into heart shapes for Valentine’s Day, or any shape of choice.
- Leave about 1/2″ between each cut cookie.
- Remove the excess dough surrounding each cut heart shape, then transfer the cookies on parchment to the oven.
- Bake in the middle rack for just under 5 minutes. Longer, like 6 minutes if you prefer a crisper cookie.
- Remove from oven and cool completely before decorating with royal icing.
- Repeat steps for remaining dough.
- Cookies are over-baked with the edges or bottoms are brown.
FOR THE ROYAL ICING:
- Combine powdered sugar and meringue powder in the bowl of an electric mixer.
- Add extract and water and beat on medium high for about 3 minutes.
- The icing will be very thick. Add warm water a few splashes at a time until the frosting is the consistency of toothpaste. This is for piping.
- Divide the thick toothpaste like icing into 3 bowls. Add two drops pink gel coloring to bowl 1, one drop of pink gel coloring to bowl 2 and 1/4 drop gel coloring to bowl 3.
- Mix well.
- Transfer 1/4 of the colored icing from each bowl into a separate tipless piping bag. Seal closed.
- Then thin remaining icing in each bowl with a few drops of warm water at a time.
- Use a dropper or even a spray bottle to achieve the desired icing consistency.
- If you run a spatula through the icing it should take around 5-6 seconds for the lines to disappear. That’s when you know it’s ready!
- Transfer flood icing for each color to a tipless piping bag and seal closed.
DECORATING THE SUGAR COOKIES:
- Snip the tip of the piping bag and outline the heart shape on each of the heart cookies with the thick royal icing.
- Then fill each outlined cookie with flood icing, squeezing the icing from the piped edge, inward.
- Use a tip or scribe to quickly pop any air bubbles in the icing and to evenly blend.
- Repeat steps for each of the cookies, in desired colors.
- Set aside to dry for at least two hours.
These cookies store well in an airtight container for up to 1 week. Freeze for up to 6 months.
Keywords: chocolate cut out sugar cookies, chocolate cookies, dairy free cookies, valentine's cookies, royal icing, easy cookie recipes, soft chocolate sugar cookies
These chocolate heart cookies look gorgeous decorated with royal icing! The contrast in the color of the chocolate against the icing makes them such a beautiful treat to present and parties and gatherings.
The cookies also make great homemade Valentine’s gifts and can easily be packaged when the icing has fully dried.
They taste the very best in the first week of baking and then should be transferred to the freezer to store for up to 6 months.
Tag me on social media, or comment below if you give this recipe a try! Enjoy!
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