These are not the most inspiring cookies to look at. Perhaps I am to blame–I could have pulled out the squirrel or dinosaur cookie cutters. Maybe I could have put some frosting or nonpareils on top for a bit of pizzazz. But the great thing about these cookies is that they don’t need anything more than themselves. I brought forty of these to a small party, and within about two hours, there was nary a crumb left, but plenty of compliments to the chef (merci, merci).
These cookies pack quite the chocolate punch, and with the addition of cinnamon and cayenne pepper, they also have a nice autumnal warmth. Could you think of anything better to enjoy these last few weeks of summer and start welcoming the fall? I won’t bore you with tales of how easy they are to make, but I will leave you with this tip: if you don’t have a cookie cutter, use a small cup to cut the cookies. No need to whip out the fancy shapes for this one.
Spiced Brownie Cookies
Adapted from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook
Makes about 45 cookies
3 cups flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (you can use Dutch or the regular Hershey’s stuff)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
17 tablespoons butter, softened
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Whisk together the flour, cocoa, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, salt, and baking powder.
In an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until they are fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs, one at a time. Add the vanilla extract. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and gradually add the dry ingredients.
As soon as the dough comes together, shape it into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and put it in the fridge for at least an hour.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to about 1/4 inch thick. Use a cookie cutter to cut out cookies, and place them on baking sheets lined with parchment paper, about 1/2 of an inch apart.
Bake for about 10 minutes, until the cookies look firm on the edges but still soft in the center. Let the cookies cool. They can be wrapped in tin foil and stored for several days.