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Chocolate Cutout Cookies

I love gingerbread cookies, but my grandchildren don't like the ginger flavor. Now I use chocolate and watch them smile as they take that first bite. —Nancy Murphy, Mount Dora, Florida
  • Total Time
    Prep: 1 hour + chilling Bake: 10 min./batch + cooling
  • Makes
    about 5 dozen

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup baking cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • ICING:
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons water
  • 4-1/2 teaspoons meringue powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Directions

  • In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 5-7 minutes. Beat in eggs and vanilla. In another bowl, whisk flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; gradually beat into creamed mixture.
  • Divide dough in half. Shape each into a disk; cover. Refrigerate 30 minutes or until firm enough to roll.
  • Preheat oven to 350°. On a lightly floured surface, roll each portion of dough to 1/4-in. thickness. Cut with floured 3-in. cookie cutters. Place 1 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets.
  • Bake 10-12 minutes or until set. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  • In a large bowl, combine confectioners' sugar, water, meringue powder and cream of tartar; beat on low speed just until blended. Beat on high until stiff peaks form, 1-2 minutes. Keep unused icing covered at all times with a damp cloth. If necessary, beat again on high speed to restore texture.
  • Using pastry bags and small round tips, decorate cookies as desired. Let stand at room temperature until frosting is dry and firm.
  • Freeze option: Freeze cookies, layered between waxed paper, in freezer containers. To use, thaw before serving.
Nutrition Facts
1 cookie: 91 calories, 3g fat (2g saturated fat), 14mg cholesterol, 43mg sodium, 14g carbohydrate (9g sugars, 0 fiber), 1g protein.
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