Like most bakers I have a go-to cutout cookie recipe. It's my favorite because it doesn't require softened butter, maintains its shape while baking and tastes more like shortbread than a rock hard sugar cookie (win/win/win). I use it ALL the time. And that can get boring. So, this time I took inspiration from all of the Valentine's Day chocolate goodies out there and tossed a few mini chocolate chips into my dough. The results couldn't be lovelier. Now I have a new classic recipe for cookie decorating projects. Like these little hearts!
Why I love these chocolate chip cutouts
I'm loving the simplicity and size of these chocolate chip cutout cookies. Mini chips, mini cookies, mini yum. Who doesn't love a bite sized treat? I iced half of each cookie in pale pink or white royal icing to showcase the chocolate chips, but it also cut down on my decorating time. Gotta love that!
Tips, techniques + takeaways
A small (6"x6") chevron stencil was large enough to airbrush 2 cookies at once.
I used a piece of card stock to cover the unfrosted part of the cookie to catch the overspray.
Jes Best Chocolate Chip Cutout Cookies
Makes 2-3 dozen cutout cookies (depending on size)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/4 cups chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2" cubes
1 cup sugar
1 large free-range egg
1 large free-range egg yolk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
Sift 3 cups flour, baking powder and salt into a medium sized bowl. Set aside.
Using an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on high speed until well combined (butter does not need to be fluffy), about 3 minutes.
Add egg, egg yolk, and vanilla; beat just to combine. Reduce speed to low and gradually add dry ingredients. Mix until dough comes together.
Roll dough to desired thickness (1/8"-1/4") between two pieces of lightly floured parchment paper on a Silpat mat or flexible cutting mat. Continue to flour top of dough so parchment doesn't stick or crease.
Remove top parchment and sprinkle dough evenly with mini chocolate chips. Replace parchment and gently roll chocolate chips into dough.
Transfer mat and rolled dough to refrigerator to chill for about 2 hours.
With "chip side" down, cut dough to desired shapes and place on baking sheet pans lined with parchment paper. Chill again until ready to bake. Ideally, 20-30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 325º
Bake until edges are slightly golden, about 12–16 minutes, depending on size. Let cookies cool slightly on pans then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
Do Ahead: Cookies can be baked (left undecorated) 2 weeks ahead; separate cookies with wax paper, place in air tight containers and freeze.
Jes Best Royal Icing
Makes enough to decorate 2-3 dozen cookies, depending on size
970 g [2 lb bag] confectioners' sugar, no need to sift
80g [or 8-10 tablespoons] meringue powder (CK or Henry & Henry)
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar (to keep icing bright white)
1/2 cup water
4 tablespoons water
Food coloring (optional)
Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix sugar, meringue powder and cream of tartar on low for just a bit to incorporate evenly.
Slowly add 1/2 cup water while mixing at a low speed. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time until sugar is just wet.
Scrape sides of the mixing bowl. Increase speed one notch (#2 on Kitchenaid stand mixer). Mix for five minutes. When finished icing should have a matte (not glossy) finish and hold it's shape on the paddle when pulled up/out of the bowl.
Separate into clean, oil-free containers and tint with gel food coloring.
This recipe yields "stiff" consistency for piping details. Add water as needed to achieve flooding consistency.
Keep covered tightly and store for up to a week in a cool dry place or 10 days in the refrigerator. Mix well when ready to use.