Like parents with more than one child, my affection for frosted cookies multiplies with each new recipe added to my collection.
It all started with the ugly, irregularly shaped, frosted cinnamon cookies my Grandma baked for us and stored in her metal-lined bread drawer. I loved them. I loved her. She loved me, though she didn’t speak it, even when I was ugly and rather irregular myself.
Now that I have a food blog and a grandson of my own, I’m on a quest to build the world’s largest frosted cookie recipe collection. It’s on my bucket list–if I had one–to try all varieties of frosted cookies before I die. It may not be the most noble calling but it’s easier and more fun (and way more likely) than climbing Mount Everest or feeding all the hungry children of the world. Perhaps I’m just hoping my grandson will someday have fond memories of his grandma like I do. That’s a worthy goal, isn’t it?
One early morning on my way to work recently, I dropped off some reject cookies at my friend’s house. Joan later reported they tasted like the top of a frosted cupcake. Yes! She’s absolutely right. These cookies are just like little chocolate cakes with a rich chocolate frosting. Throwing instant espresso and Dutch process cocoa into the dough makes these babies dark and flavorful.
Then there’s the magic ingredient in the frosting. I hesitate to say it but here goes. Sour cream. (Lite sour cream works just fine.) I promise you won’t taste anything that reminds you of sour cream. Be prepared for a glossy, fudgy, ganache-like frosting so delicious you will want to make a double batch so you’ll have leftovers for graham cracker sandwich cookies. If you aren’t into frosting as much as I am, just swipe a little across the top. It’s not necessary to get fancy. Speaking of fancy, thanks to Annie of Annie’s Eats for putting me on to the mechanical pastry bag available from Williams-Sonoma. The large tip is what I used to decorate the cookies in the first picture.
- 1¾ cups all-purpose flour, unbleached
- 2 tablespoons cocoa (I like Hershey’s brand Special Dark-a blend of natural and Dutched cocoa)
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup butter (softened)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 2 squares unsweetened chocolate, melted
- ¾ cup buttermilk or unflavored yogurt
- ½ teaspoon instant espresso
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips (I use Ghiradelli bittersweet chips but semi-sweet chips would also work if you like your chocolate sweeter)
- ⅓ cup sour cream (I used lite sour cream) + another tablespoon
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- Whisk or sift together flour, cocoa, soda, and salt.
- Use stand mixer to beat butter until smooth. Add in sugar and mix for two minutes. Add cooled chocolate and mix. Add egg and mix for another minute. Combine buttermilk, espresso and vanilla. Add alternately with dry ingredients and blend just until mixed. Chill in refrigerator at least 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Drop dough by spoonfuls onto lightly greased cookie sheet. Although they look fairly big in the pictures here, I like to make mine small so I can have seconds. Bake 8-10 minutes until no imprint remains when cookie is lightly touched. Frost cookies when cooled.
- Melt chocolate in microwave on MEDIUM for 2 minutes. Stir and let stand for 3-4 minutes till it all melts. Stir in sour cream. Add powdered sugar and beat with a spoon until smooth and shiny.
- Frosting will be thick and gloppy at first but as you beat, it will become smooth and shiny. Add another tablespoon or more of sour cream to thin to spreadable consistency. Spread on cooled cookies immediately. Let cookies sit until frosting dries slightly.
More cookies from my Frosted Cookie Collection…