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