Believe it or not, Halloween is just around the corner! Kramer and I are really getting into the spirit this year – we’ve been working on our costumes for a while now, making sure that we have all of the elements necessary for an impressive Halloween costume. Last year, Kramer wore a really cool Dharma jumpsuit, but I kind of just threw on a Dharma lab coat that my brother lent me. Lesson learned: you’ve got to think it through! That’s why this year, I’m going to be Han Solo, while Kramer is going to be Wedge Antilles. Not to toot my own horn, but my costume is pretty freakin’ awesome, and when you see it, you’ll think so too, I promise you that. I can’t wait to throw it on and strut around in it in real life. Who doesn’t want to be Han Solo, right? The best part is that, while I didn’t get a blaster because I don’t want it to get taken away while I’m out in public, my holster belt is the perfect size for a bottle of beer. I really couldn’t ask for more.
To get everyone excited for the big day, I wanted to make these Halloween-themed cookies. I bought the tombstone cookie cutter online, and set to work! I ended specializing them for a friend’s birthday, and honestly, it was pretty funny to see “RIP Ryan” written on the cookies at the end of the day. However, these cookies are great on their own and would make a wonderful treat for any day of the week. They are quite chocolatey, but not too sweet, as I used bittersweet chocolate cocoa powder in the dough. The orange zest really comes through, too, so these end up tasting sort of like a cookie version of those delicious chocolate oranges wrapped in foil – you know the ones! These are an unfussy, visually appealing, and most importantly, easy to roll out chocolate sugar cookie. The possibilities for decorations are endless, and I hope that you share your creations with me! Happy Halloween!
Your ingredients (I doubled my batch).
Combine your orange zest and sugar.
Rub the two together until the sugar is a pale orange color.
Add in your butter.
Beat the butter and sugar together until fluffy.
Then add in the eggs, one at at a time.
Then add in the flour mixture, gradually, until just moistened.
Wrap your dough in plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes.
Roll out your dough, when it’s ready.
Then cut out your cookies.
Place them on your baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees F for 9-11 minutes, until firm.
Allow to cool completely before icing.
Whisk together your royal icing ingredients.
Decorate however you like!
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling out the dough
- ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1⅔ cups granulated sugar
- zest of 2 oranges
- 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature, cubed
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 3 cups confectioners' sugar
- 2 large egg whites
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Combine your flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt in a medium sized bowl and set aside.
- Add your granulated sugar to the bowl of your stand mixer, then add in the orange zest. Using your hands, rub the zest and sugar together until the sugar is a pale orange. Add in the butter and beat until light and fluffy, then add in the eggs, one at at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add in the flour mixture and mix until just moistened. Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
- When the dough has chilled, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly flour your work surface, your hands, and your rolling pin, then turn the dough out onto it and roll out to about ⅛-inch thick. Cut into desired shapes and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 9-11 minutes, until set. Continue rolling out the dough and baking until you have no more dough. Allow the cookies to cool completely before you ice them.
- To make your royal icing, simply beat together your confectioners' sugar, egg whites, lemon juice, and vanilla extract. You may need to use more confectioners' sugar to make the icing thick enough to pipe into lines around your cookies - go ahead and add it, about ¼ cup at a time, until you have the consistency you need. Alternatively, if you need your icing to be thinner, simply add more vanilla extract, lemon juice, or even water, whichever you prefer. I like using a squeeze bottle such as this to decorate my cookies, as I feel it allows for more control, but a piping bag fitted with a small tip works well, too. Allow the icing to harden before storing the cookies. These will keep well, separated by parchment or wax paper in an airtight container in the refrigerator, for 4-5 days.