2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch processed cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup unsalted butter or margarine at room temperature
1 3/4 cups granulated white sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 large egg whites
2 tsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
3 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
Food coloring (optional)
1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder.
2. In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 3–4 minutes). Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla extract and beat until combined. Add the flour mixture slowly, half a cup at a time. Beat the mixture until it forms a smooth dough.
3. Divide the dough in half and wrap each part in plastic wrap. 4. Refrigerate for about one hour or freeze for 20 minutes – until firm enough to roll.
5. Preheat the oven to 350?F and place the rack in the center of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
6. Remove one half of the chilled dough from the refrigerator. On a lightly floured surface, or between two pieces of parchment paper, roll out the dough to a 1/4-inch thickness.
(Keep turning over the dough as you roll it, making sure it does not stick to the counter.)
7. Cut out shapes using a lightly floured cookie cutter and transfer the cookies to the prepared baking sheet. Place the baking sheets with the unbaked cookies in the refrigerator for 10–15 minutes to chill the dough, which prevents the cookies from spreading and losing their shape while baking.
8. Bake the cookies for about 10–12 minutes (depending on size) or until they are firm around the edges. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to finish cooling.
9. After the cookies have cooled, frost them as desired with Royal Icing.
1. In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the egg whites with the lemon juice.
2. Add the confectioner’s sugar and beat on low speed until combined and smooth. Mix in food coloring, if desired.
3. Use the icing immediately or transfer it to an airtight container, since royal icing hardens when exposed to air. Cover with plastic wrap tightly when not in use.
This recipe was featured in Kosher Inspired, Issue 3, March 2011. Kosher Inspired is brought to you by Mishpacha Magazine.