As much as I love to explore different baking projects, I have always been reluctant to make buttery cut out cookies because they seem to require so much effort and involve so much butter. On top of that, the story of my best friend failing at her teddy bear-shaped cookies attempt, which ended up with untouched cookie dough in the freezer for two months simply discourages me to make my own.

As much as I love to explore different baking projects, I have always been reluctant to make buttery cut out cookies because they seem to require so much effort and involve so much butter. On top of that, the story of my best friend failing at her teddy bear-shaped cookies attempt, which ended up with untouched cookie dough in the freezer for two months simply discourages me to make my own.

Until I saw many cute animal-shaped cut out cookies pictures went viral on the Internet recently, I finally put some effort together to create some guilty pleasures. Many recipes online ask for butter and one cup of sugar but I modify the recipe with margarine and less sugar instead. I put the cookie dough in the fridge for about two hours before I rolled the dough and cut out shapes.

The cookies actually turned out to be a pleasant surprise. What’s even better is once you make the dough right, you can always store the cookie dough in the fridge and bake one cookie or two to reward yourself after a tough day of work.

Ingredients:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted margarine, at room temperature

⅔ cup sugar

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

⅛ teaspoon salt

2½ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

4 tablespoons cocoa powder (decrease to 2 tablespoons if you prefer less bitter chocolate taste)

1 large egg

Directions:

1) In a medium to large bowl, cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer together until light and fluffy and butter becomes nearly white.

2) Beat in the egg until thoroughly incorporated. Add in vanilla extract.

3) Sift flour, salt, and baking powder. Using a spatula or wooden spoon, add the dry ingredients in three increments and fold/stir to combine.

4) Divide the dough in two batches, one sized ⅓ of overall mixture, the other ⅔ of the overall dough. Knead/stir cocoa into the smaller portion of dough.

5) Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one-hour or overnight to firm up before shaping.

6) Set oven to 350F. Roll cookie dough into half an inch thick. Cut out desire shapes cookie cutters (this is the fun part where you can use you imagination)

7) Spray baking pan with oil. Set cookies on the pan. Bake for 12minutes or until the edge turn golden brown.


About Jocelyn Chui

Jocelyn Chui is a graduate student in the School of Travel Industry Management at the University of Hawaii.  She holds a bachelor degree in journalism. Her passion lies in DYI projects that involved cats, recipes and sustainable lifestyle. Follow her blog at kittiesinkitchen.blogspot.com

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