Chocolate Spiderweb Cookies

adapted from Dorie's Cookies


Yield:  40 cookies, 2-inch diameter


2 cups all-purpose flour

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 pound unsalted butter, cut into chunks and at room temperature

2/3 cups sugar

3/4 tsp fine sea salt

1 large egg white, at room temperature

1 tsp vanilla extract


Frosting:

2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

2 Tbsp milk


Preheat oven:  350° F.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.


Sift the flour and the cocoa powder together.


Fit your stand mixer with the paddle attachment or use your hand mixer to beat the butter, sugar and salt together on medium speed until the mixture is smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes.  Reduce the speed to low and add the egg white and vanilla.  The dough may curdle but it will smooth out when the flour mixture is added.  


At low speed, add the flour mixture in 3 or 4 additions, beat only until the flour is incorporated each time before adding the next addition.  Scrape down the bowl once or twice and mix until all the dry mixture has been absorbed into the dough.


Divide the dough in half.  Flatten each half into a disk.  One at a time, place a disk between two pieces of parchment paper and roll the dough to a 1/4-inch thickness.  Slide the parchment and dough onto a baking sheet. The two may be stacked on the baking sheet.  Freeze for 1 hour or refrigerate for 3 hours.


Baking

Work with one disk at a time.  Peel the paper away on one side.  Flip the disk over and peel the paper from the other side.  Use a 2-inch diameter cookie cutter to cut out as many cookies as you can. Gather the scraps together.  Make a disk, roll between parchment and re-chill before cutting and baking.  (Note:  Sprinkle with sanding sugar at this point if desired.)


Bake the cookies 18 to 20 minutes or until firm to touch.  Cool the cookies on the baking sheet for 5 minutes and then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.


Repeat with the next disk.


Frosting

Mix the powdered sugar and the milk together in a medium bowl.  Stir until smooth.  It will be stiff.

Spoon the mixture into a small zip lock bag and seal.  Snip a tiny whole in the corner of the bag. (It can always be made larger if needed!)


Working with one cookie at a time, pipe a dot into the center of the cookie.  Pipe two concentric circles around the dot.


Starting at the dot, pull a toothpick from the dot through the two circles to the edge of the cookie. This makes the web design.