Black Cocoa Cauldron Cookies

This is a great cookie! It tastes like a brownie, but has a crispy snap. I tweaked the recipe just a bit and used black cocoa. The result is an oreo-esque black {not brown} cookie. Perfect for a halloween weekend project!

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How to egg yolk glaze cookies

In fact, this dough was so black, I opted not to flood the cookies with frosting. Instead, I used a simple egg yolk glaze to give the cookies some sheen. The crackle was an added bonus. I couldn't ask for a more appropriate texture for a cauldron or witch's hat. Egg yolk glaze {or polish glaze} is nothing more than beaten egg yolk with a drop of food coloring. I used Americolor super black. One drop is all it takes. Before baking I brushed the glaze on each cookie {avoiding bubbles} and popped them back in the fridge to chill {about 8 minutes}. I've read that you can add another layer of glaze when the cookies come out of the oven to intensify the color, but I didn't need to.

How to make Black Cocoa Cauldron Cookies

I used a 101s tip for the leather hat band and broom ties {easy}. The cauldron flames, on the other hand, took a few tries. I've worked with wet-on-wet icing in the past and dragging a toothpick from color to color is always a fun and rewarding technique. but to get these "hot rod" flames I had to work fast {vroom}. The trick is to use an icing consistency that's not quite flood and not quite 20-second/outline. If you can get your outline to stay put and your flood to stay wet long enough to drag, you've got what it takes. I'm too lazy to have both consistencies on hand, so I found a happy middle and gave it a go. Moving quickly, I outlined the top of my flame with red, then the sides and bottom with orange. I filled from the bottom up with yellow, orange and red. With a scribe tool, I dragged up from the yellow into the orange and back down. Up from the yellow into the red and back down etc. Make 8 strokes and stop. Stop. I mean it, put down your tools and walk away. Don't be tempted to keep dragging. The icing will start to set and it won't be pretty. Trust me, I have the practice cookies to prove it!

TIP: To make straw colored icing use Americolor warm brown and a drop of Americolor avocado


Midnight Cocoa Cutouts

Makes about 36 3" cookies

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups unsweetened black cocoa, King Arthur Flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 1/2 cups icing sugar
  • 2 large free-range eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
  2. Using a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla.
  3. Add flour mixture. cover bowl of mixer with a clean tea towel {to prevent a cloud of cocoa dust} and mix on low speed until thoroughly combined. Divide dough in half, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for about an hour.
  4. Preheat oven to 350º
  5. Roll dough, one disc at a time between two sheets of parchment paper to ⅛” thick. Chill rolled dough in fridge for about 10-15 minutes. [don’t skip this step, it’s worth the time. If you work with chilled dough your edges will be smooth and your cookies will release from the cutters with ease]
  6. Cut dough into desired shapes. Return to the fridge until firm [10-15 minutes ]
  7. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until crisp. Cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

Jes Best Royal Icing

Makes enough to decorate 2-3 dozen cookies, depending on size

Ingredients

  • 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)

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. Slowly add 1/2 cup water while mixing at a low speed. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time until sugar is just wet.
  3. 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.
  4. Separate into clean, oil-free containers and tint with gel food coloring.
  5. This recipe yields "stiff" consistency for piping details. Add water as needed to achieve flooding consistency.
  6. 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.

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