Friday, July 1, 2016

Red, White...and Funky (?) : Chocolate-Dipped, Chocolate Almond Stars

Such a weird blog post title. I have blog-post-title-writer's block.

Red, White...and funky...Star Cookies + recipe for chocolate-dipped, chocolate almond cut-outs!
So, I had this GREAT idea. The idea was to make some Jackson Pollock-inspired star cookies for the 4th of July. Jackson Pollock is famous for those super cool paintings where he dripped paint onto canvas. (Gosh, I loved my art history classes. I only wish I'd discovered them before junior year. Maybe it was just that I loved sitting in the dark looking at slides of pretty paintings. I'm not sure. This is discussion for another day.)

Chocolate-Dipped Chocolate Almond Cut-Out Cookies
I started with some chocolate-dipped chocolate almond cut-out cookies. I thought this was an original idea until I remembered the Trader Joe's chocolate-dipped star cookies we reviewed two weeks ago. Apparently, I don't have original ideas. 
Don't think you can eat just one. They're SO GOOD.

Recipe at the end of the post, but you'll make the cookies, let them cool, then dip them in chocolate. Place the dipped sides down on sheets of waxed paper.

chocolate-dipped, chocolate almond cut-out cookies!
I've really been loving this Ghirardelli dipping chocolate, but you can use chocolate almond bark or candy melts here, too. Instead of a bowl, try melting the chocolate in a glass pie pan for easier dipping.

chocolate-dipped, chocolate almond cut-out cookies!
Once they set up, you'll have a nice, smooth bottom. (Ah, I remember those days.)

Red, White...and funky...Star Cookies + recipe for chocolate-dipped, chocolate almond cut-outs!
OK...to decorate the cookies, do the following:
  • Make up a batch of this royal icing recipe. Flavor with a bit of almond extract.
  • Divide into three bowls and tint. I used: AmeriColor Super Red, Bright White, and for the blue: Royal Blue, mixed with Navy Blue.
  • Thin the icing with a bit of water until it's not super stiff, but not runny. 
Red, White...and funky...Star Cookies + recipe for chocolate-dipped, chocolate almond cut-outs!
  • Transfer the icing to piping bags and snip the tips. 
Red, White...and funky...Star Cookies + recipe for chocolate-dipped, chocolate almond cut-outs!
  • Squiggle over the cookies. 
red white and blue sprinkle mix
  • Add sprinkles. I used a mix of small patriotic stars, sugar pearls and larger red and blue stars (from a jar of primary colored stars). I also used some white nonpareils on the blue-only cookies. 
  • Let the cookies dry until the icing is completely dry, several hours. 
  • When dry, remove from the waxed paper, snapping off the excess icing. 

You can put the icing on as funky or as neat as you'd like. 

At first, I wanted super abstract, lines and squiggles going in all directions. All Jackson Pollock-y. 
Then I saw this:
Jackson Pollock-inspired Star Cookies + recipe for chocolate-dipped, chocolate almond cut-outs!
....and got scared. 

Red, White...and funky...Star Cookies + recipe for chocolate-dipped, chocolate almond cut-outs!
Red, White...and funky...Star Cookies + recipe for chocolate-dipped, chocolate almond cut-outs!
Actually, I liked the way they turned out in the end. 

Red, White...and funky...Star Cookies + recipe for chocolate-dipped, chocolate almond cut-outs!
If you want them a little less chaotic looking, make all your lines of icing go in one direction. 

Red, White...and funky...Star Cookies + recipe for chocolate-dipped, chocolate almond cut-outs!
Or, use a single color of icing. 

Red, White...and funky...Star Cookies + recipe for chocolate-dipped, chocolate almond cut-outs!
If you want to spend some time indoors this 4th of July weekend, these cookies are super fun and easy for the whole family to create. 

Red, White...and funky...Star Cookies + recipe for chocolate-dipped, chocolate almond cut-outs!
print recipe photo printrecipe.jpg
Chocolate-Dipped Chocolate Almond Cut-Out Cookies
{makes 12-36 depending on the cutter size}

2 1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup cold salted butter, cut into chunks
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon almond extract
12-ounce package dipping chocolate

Line three cookie sheets with parchment. 

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, and baking powder. Set this mixture aside.

In the large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until combined and fluffy. Beat in the egg and extracts until combined.

Add the flour/cocoa mixture in three parts, mixing on low speed. Scrape down the sides and bottoms of the bowl as needed. After the last addition, the dough will look very thick and crumbly.

The cocoa makes this dough soft and sticky. It’ll be easier to work with if you chill it prior to cutting. Divide the dough in half and form it into two discs. Wrap each disc in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes before rolling. Prepare a rolling surface, but instead of coating it with flour alone, cover it with a mixture of cocoa and flour. Roll out one disc of dough.

Cut out as many shapes from the dough as possible and place them on a prepared cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart.

[ Note: If the dough is crumbly or contains bits of unincorporated flour, knead it until it’s cohesive and of a uniform consistency.]

Place the cookie sheet in the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes. Freezing the cookies will help keep them from spreading. Meanwhile, knead the scraps and remaining dough together and continue the rolling, cutting, and freezing process on a second cookie sheet. After freezing, immediately place the cookies on the center rack of your oven and bake them for 9 to 12 minutes or until they appear done in the center. The baked cookies won’t change much in color. Remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool on the cookie sheets for 2 minutes. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

Once cooled, melt the dipping chocolate according to package directions. Instead of a bowl, try melting the chocolate in a glass pie pan for easier dipping. Dip the bottom of each cookie into the melted chocolate. Place on a waxed paper-lined cookie sheet to set up.

Have a happy...and funky...4th! 

6 comments:

  1. I love the title of this post.

    ReplyDelete
  2. What temperature do you set the oven at?

    ReplyDelete
  3. What temperature do you set the oven at?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Super cute and quick. I really do not enjoy decorating cookies most of the time, because it is SO much work for the payoff of about 10 seconds. I like this technique, though.

    ReplyDelete

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