Dark Chocolate Orange Sugar Cookies
  • 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
Royal Icing:
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Combine your flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt in a medium sized bowl and set aside.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
Recipe by The Crepes of Wrath at http://www.thecrepesofwrath.com/2011/10/14/dark-chocolate-orange-sugar-cookies/