Cookies… For SCIENCE!

Late last year a friend pointed me in the direction of these wonderful science cookies.

I was hooked from my first peek at the electrophoresis gels, but most intrigued by the atom cookies. I had never seen chocolate cut outs before.

I haven’t made cut outs in years, actually. I made some this Christmas (actually I made a lot this Christmas) but before that the last time I made any was Halloween 2004.

But those atom cookies looked so fun, I wanted to try them. And as Ms. Humble wrote how she wasn’t really impressed with that chocolate cut out recipe, well that is something I can do. I like making up cookie recipes.

(Incidentally, I don’t know what whoever wrote that cookie recipe was thinking. Chocolate and cinnamon? Were they mad? Those don’t even remotely go together.)

Anyway. In making this recipe (adapted from my pepparkakor recipe) I realized why chocolate cut outs seem so wrong. When you think chocolate cookies, you think soft, chewy, chocolatey bliss (I also have a good recipe for this type of chocolate cookie). But cut out cookies necessarily have more structure and crispness than that. I think it’s this mental disconnect that makes a chocolate cut out slightly unsatisfying.

I guess I shouldn’t say unsatisfying since I almost literally cannot stop eating them.

Chocolate Cut Out Cookies

  • Servings: 3 dozen
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp espresso powder
  • 3 Tbsp water
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 3 cups flour

Cream the butter and sugar, then mix in the egg, vanilla, espresso powder and water. Sift together the cocoa, baking soda, and flour, and add gradually to the wet ingredients. Mix it well, then wrap it in plastic and refrigerate for a couple hours.

Preheat your oven to 375 F. Roll out the dough on a well floured surface to 1/8 inch thick and cut out shapes. Bake 8-10 minutes. Remove from the oven when the tops are dry. Cool completely before eating, for some reason this improves the eating experience.

If you don’t like coffee, that’s fine, but use the espresso powder anyway. Halve it, if you’re worried, but you really can’t taste it and a little bit of coffee flavor really boosts the chocolate.

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3 Responses to Cookies… For SCIENCE!

  1. Ms. Humble says:

    Woo! Thank you for the recipe.

    I will give it ago with my next round of chocolate cutouts. Love the chocolate espresso combo.

    One question though, how much does it spread/puff while baking? Just so I know what sort of cutters I can use on it. Can you use angular cutters and still retain some of the crispness? I might test drive the recipe soon with heart cutouts (valentines day is coming up!) for which rise tends not to matter much. However just incase I want to do something with sharper angles and edges, I thought I would ask.

    • GeekLady says:

      Hmm, they baked much like my pepparkakor cookies did, and I got decent results with my snowflake cutter on those. They do puff some in baking, but they tend to puff up more than out. I’m lazy and cram as many cookies on a baking sheet as I can get away with, and 1/2 inch to an inch is enough space to prevent melding

      I just checked my remaining cookie stock, I have one snowflake left, with a broken spoke, but comparing it to the cutter, it kept the angles pretty well. They softened a little. I may make another batch of chocolate on friday with some more angular cutters to experiment.

      …now I have no snowflakes left. Even after two weeks they’re still yummy.

  2. Elizabeth B says:

    Just found this because someone I know linked to Ms. Humble’s roundup. Mmm, chocolate cutouts. Recipe ganked and stuck in my Evernote. Thank you! 😀

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