Oatmeal Scotchies, aka Oatmeal Cookies with Butterscotch Chips

Oatmeal Scotchies
I grew up eating Oatmeal Scotchies with some regularity.  After Chocolate Chip Cookies (Nestle Toll house, of course) and a specific trio of Christmas cookies, these were the next most common homemade cookies my parents would make.   I took them to a party recently and was surprised may people had not heard of them.  And they are healthy, right, with all the oatmeal?

I use 1/2 teaspoon more cinnamon than is called for in the recipe. I also use quick oats because I think they bake up just a little softer. I do like these cookies soft so I bake them until they are just set, about 7 minutes. I used Guittard butterscotch chips this time. I can’t always find them, but when I do, I think they taste a little less artificial than the Nestle brand.

Oatmeal Scotchies

adapted from the Nestle Toll House Butterscotch Chips

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups quick or old-fashioned oats
~2 cups (11 or 12-oz. pkg.) Butterscotch Flavored chips

PREHEAT oven to 375° F.
COMBINE flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in oats and morsels. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.
BAKE for 7 to 8 minutes for chewy cookies or 9 to 10 minutes for crisp cookies. Cool on baking sheets for 10 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

A Tribute to Canada! Great Canadian Heinz Ketchup Cupcakes with Poutine

A set of Poutine cupcakes
A good friend of mine is Canadian and in celebration of her birthday I wanted to make a tribute to Canada in cupcakes.  Another friend and I tossed around ideas of what we thought of when we thought of Canada, including:
hockey
“eh”
snow, cold
maple (trees, leaf, syrup)
people who want to live in the 51st US state (just kidding!)
moose
Queen Elizabeth
canoes
poutine

My friend is from western Canada, so that ruled out the maple.  Some of other concepts were difficult to put into a dessert. While googling for other ideas, we also found a recipe for the Great Canadian Ketchup cake. This seemed intriguing and definitely fit the theme. Although I don’t particularly associate ketchup with Canada, why not. This recipe is from the Heinz website that was in honor of its centennial in Canada.  We thought the poutine would make an excellent decoration.  Poutine is basically fries with gravy and cheese curds, although there are many variations.

Heinz ketchup poutine cucpakeThe cupcakes were quite tasty and if I didn’t mention the secret ingredient, no one would have known it was ketchup.  They had nice texture, were moist, and tasted like a spice cake. I used a red food gel food coloring to get the intense color, although my pictures don’t show it, they were very red. I kept the quirkiness of the original recipe with the letter “u” in color, etc.  The poutine decoration added a nice crunchy texture and a bit of salt.  Overall, these worked very well.   With the theme decoration these won’t be in the regular rotation, but I would make them again.

Great Canadian Ketchup Cupcake with Poutine

makes about 22 cupcakes

2 cups (500 mL) All-purpose flour
2 tsp (10 mL) Baking powder
1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) Ground cinnamon
1 tsp (5 mL) Baking soda
1/2 tsp (2 mL) Each ground nutmeg and ginger
1/2 cup (125 mL) Heinz Tomato Ketchup
1/2 cup (125 mL) Water
2 tbsp (30 mL) Red food colouring
3/4 cup (175 mL) Butter, softened
1 1/2 cups (375 mL) Dark brown sugar, packed
2 Eggs

Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). Put the liners in the cupcake tins.
Stir the flour with the baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg and ginger into a bowl. Stir the
ketchup, water and colouring in a separate bowl. Set aside.
Beat the butter and blend in the sugar in a large bowl until smooth. Beat in the eggs. Add the flour
mixture and ketchup mixture. Beat on low, scraping down the bowl as needed, until combined.
Increase the speed to medium-high and beat for one minute.
Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans.
Bake for about approximately 20 minutes, or until the centre springs back when touched lightly.
Cool the cupcakes for 15 minutes before turning onto a rack to cool completely.

Cream Cheese Frosting

adapted from Good Eats
yield: 2 cups (makes extra frosting)

8 ounces cream cheese
2 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
9 ounces powdered sugar (sifting is optional)

In the bowl of stand mixer with paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese and butter on medium just until blended an very smooth. Add the vanilla and beat until combined. With the mixer speed on low, add the powdered sugar in 4 batches and beat until smooth between each addition. Place the frosting in the refrigerator for 5 to 10 minutes before using.

Poutine Decoration

Using Piknik Sticks (or an equivalent potato stick snack) create piles of of the sticks in the manner of a pile of french fries. Using Brown Decorating Gel create the “gravy” to cover the fries. Come back with White Decorating Geland add the “cheese curds” as little drops.  It was also helpful to play with some sample decorations on a plate before making the real ones on the cupcakes.

Buttermilk Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

buttermilk cupcake

I was looking through my cookbooks for a recipe with buttermilk, since I had some in the fridge. This seemed like a simple recipe. I baked them and was picking out a frosting when I realized that I previously made this recipe a few months ago.   When I ate them, I realized why I didn’t remember making them, they are very forgettable. I didn’t even remember to blog about them.  They have a nice texture but very little flavor.  I think these would be better with a filling and a strong frosting.  Or they can be a base for additional flavors.  I actually got sixteen cupcakes.  The frosting was used in Surprise Cookies which were a chocolate cookie base, with a marshmallow and a chocolate frosting to hide the marshmallow and make it a surprise.   This frosting is very thick and a little sweet.  If I made it again I would use less confectioners sugar and this would still have enough thickness but it would be a little less sweet.

Buttermilk Cupcakes

adapted from Cupcakes: Luscious bakeshop favorites from your home kitchen by Shelly Kaldunski

makes 12 cupcakes

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
4 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 tbl vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk

Chocolate frosting

adapted from Martha Stewart’s Cookies

3 cups confectioners’ sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
¼ cup plus 1 ½ teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder (not dutch-processed)
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons whole milk
¾ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Put confectioners’ sugar in a medium bowl. Melt butter with the cocoa powder in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. Add butter mixture to the confectioners’ sugar. Whisk in the milk and vanilla.

One-Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

one-bowl chocolate cupcakes
A friend invited herself over to help make cupcakes because she has been disappointed in the cupcakes she has been purchasing in stores.  I can understand, I think I make better cupcakes than I can purchase!  She helped my by purchasing the cupcake liners and putting the cupcake liners into the trays.  She also helped me sample the cupcakes.  That’s always very important.  I suppose it was nice she volunteered to help, but it wasn’t much help.   I took them to a blue themed party and thought the blue cupcake liners worked well with the dark color of the cupcakes.   The cupcakes are from Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes with some modifications.  Martha decorated them with gumdrops, which seemed unnecessary and doesn’t match my simple style. I added Chocolate Extract to enhance the chocolate flavor.    The recipe also calls for dutch-process cocoa powder, but I don’t think it makes a difference for this recipe, especially since it uses buttermilk which makes the recipe even more acidic so the extra acidity from the natural cocoa powder should be minor.  This was a very liquid-y batter and needed to be poured into the liners.  The cupcakes come together very easily with the one bowl.  The cake was very moist from the oil but I feel like I missed the extra something that butter adds.  I used a simple cream cheese frosting that is not overly sweet.  This is from Alton Brown’s Good Eats television series and is different from the one in his cookbook I’m Just Here for More Food: Food x Mixing + Heat = Baking with a higher cream cheese to butter ratio.  I used half the recipe for the cupcakes and it wasn’t quite enough, I would might 3/4 a recipe next time.

One-bowl Chocolate Cupcakes

adapted from Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes
makes 18

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder (natural or dutch-processed)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon sal
2 large eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon chocolate extract
3/4 cup warm water

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line standard muffin tins with paper lines. With an electric mixer on medium speed, whisk toegher flour cocoa, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Reduce sped to low. Add eggs, buttrmilk, oil, extracts, and water; beat until smooth and combined, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.

2. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each about two-thirds full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool 10 minutes; turn out cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months in airtight containers.

Cream Cheese Frosting

adapted from Good Eats
yield: 2 cups

8 ounces cream cheese
2 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
9 ounces powdered sugar (sifting is optional)

In the bowl of stand mixer with paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese and butter on medium just until blended an very smooth. Add the vanilla and beat until combined. With the mixer speed on low, add the powdered sugar in 4 batches and beat until smooth between each addition. Place the frosting in the refrigerator for 5 to 10 minutes before using.

Cherry Tart

Cherry Tart
While it was cherry season, I took advantage and made a cherry tart with a cream cheese filling. When I was in Las Vegas, I was lucky enough to wander into a cooking demonstration by Chef Payard at the Payard Patisserie in Caesars Palace.   He demonstrated a technique to make a tart using a tart ring.  He demonstrated how to use it and how when blind-baking the crust there was no need for beans or pie weights.  The ring doesn’t have a bottom so the crust has to be pushed in to the sides and down just so.  At the demo, the chef was able to pick up the tart ring with the crust in it and show what the bottom looks like.  It then goes on a greased baking sheet.  The tricky part was maneuvering the ~9 inch crust into the ring in one piece.  It was challenging.  I also made two 4 inch tarts and these were much easier to manipulate.  I think my place was a little too warm and it might have been easier if it had been cooler.  The crust recipe makes enough for two crusts, so I still have one in the freezer for the next attempt.  The filling is a simple variation on a cheesecake batter and was very tasty.  My party guests were clamoring for more.

Sweet Tart Dough

adapted from a Payard recipe
Makes enough for two 9-inch shells

4 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
227 grams sugar (1 cup + 2 Tbl)
3 egg yolks
1 egg
650 grams all purpose flour (6 1/2 cups)

Make the Dough: Combine the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until they are fully combined. With the motor running, incorporate the egg yolds and the egg one at a time. Do not add an egg until the previous one is completely incorporated. Add the flour, and mix until everything is incorporated and the dough is smooth. Remove the dough from the bowl, warp it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until it is completely chilled, at least 1 or 2 hours, preferably overnight.
Prepare a tart shell: Brush the sides of a tart ring (or sides and bottom of a fluted 9-inch tart pan) with butter. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough in all directions until it forms a circle about 1/4 inch thick and 10 inches in diameter. Prick the dough and turn it over and drape the dough over the rolling pin, and unroll it over the place. Gently press the dough into the pan, making sure it fits snugly. Make sure to press the bottom corners into the pan. Place the pan in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, to let the dough rest.
Partially bake the tart shell: Place a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat the oven to 375 F. With the tart ring, no pie weights are necessary. Bake for 12 minutes, until the tart turns slightly golden and is about three quarters of the way done. Let it cool in the pan on a wire cooling rack. Continue to bake for another 8 to 10 minutes for a completely baked shell.

Bing Cherry-Cheese Tart

adapted from Williams-Sonoma The Best of the Kitchen Library: Baking

2 cups (8 oz) cherries
2 Tablespoons amaretto
1/2 lb (250 grams) cream cheese, at room temperature
1/3 cup (90 grams) sugar
2 whole eggs
2 Tablespoons amaretto
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Stem and pit the cherries. In a bowl, toss together the cherries and liqueur. Cover and let stand for 4 hours to blend the flavors.
Preheat the oven to 350 F. To make the cheese filling, combine the cream cheese, sugar, eggs, liqueur, and almond extract. Using an electric mix or stand mixer, beat until well combined. Distribute the cherries evenly on the bottom of the cooled tart shell. Pour the cheese mixture over the cherries. Bake until the custard is set, about 15 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack, the cut into wedges and serve.

Cherry Clafoutis

Cherry Clafoutis after Cooling

I love cherries and they are always a special treat when they come in season. Last year I purchased the Oxo Good Grips Cherry Pitter after cherry season had ended and this was the first chance I had to use.  It is a such a fabulous tool to have in the kitchen.  I know that Alton Brown would tell me to avoid unitaskers, but this is one unitasker that will always have a place in my kitchen.  I could also claim that it pits olives, but I never pit olives.

This was a very moist dessert and needed to be scooped out to serve.  The recipe is from Simply Recipes, with some modifications.  I skipped the almonds, but used both the amaretto and the almond extract, which gave it a stronger flavor that was a nice complement to the cherries.  I doubled the recipe and used a 9 x 13 pan plus a 1 quart baking dish.  I took this to work and it was greatly appreciated and gobbled down quickly.   When make this again, I might include even a few more cherries.

Cherry Clafoutis

adapted from Simply Recipes

Ingredients
2 cups of fresh sweet cherries, pitted
3 eggs
1 cup of sugar
1 tablespoon of brown sugar
1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon of salt
1 cup of whole milk
2 teaspoons of Amaretto
3/4 teaspoon of almond extract
1 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Ingredients

1 Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter a 9 x 9 or 10 x 7 baking dish, preferably glass or ceramic. Toss in the cherries.

2 Whisk the eggs, sugars, salt, and flour together until smooth.

3 Add the milk, Amaretto, almond extract, and vanilla extract. Whisk until smooth. Pour into the baking dish.

4 Bake for 40-50 minutes or until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. When you pull it put of the oven it will wiggle a bit which is normal. Place on a wire rack to cool. The clafoutis will have puffed up quite a bit and will deflate while cooling. Serve.

Cheesecake Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cheesecake Chocolate Chip Cookies
This has been my best creation so far this year. I’ve never had cheesecake in a cookie before, but I now think it is a great idea. It’s not a fancy-looking cookie, but it is very tasty. I has some leftover cheesecake from the Tall and Creamy Cheesecake that I had made a few weeks earlier. I had a bit of cheesecake batter leftover and I baked a very thin cheesecake, with the bare minimum graham cracker crust plus a cheesecake layer just over a 1/4″ thick. While it was still partially frozen, I I cut this into 1/4″ cubes. I then re-froze these briefly. The chocolate chip recipe was the NY Times Recipe with the modifications I previously used, including regular chips, plus I used all-purpose flour. After the chips were added, I mixed in the frozen cheesecake bits, being careful not to break them up. I then chilled the dough for the requisite 48 hours. I once again scooped these at three tablespoons each. I presented these to friends as “mystery cookies” and had them guess the secret ingredient. I received lots of compliments, but it was difficult to determine that cheesecake was the mystery ingredient, since it an unusual item in the cookies. Overall this had rave reviews and the cheescake added a little extra something.

Mini Tall Cheesecakes

Mini Tall CheesecakeThe Tuesdays with Dorie group baked this last year and it received mostly positive reviews.

I made 1/2 the recipe but kept the vanilla extract at 1 tsp and also added 1 tsp almond extract.  The key part to the instructions is to really beat the cream cheese well before anything else is added. I made this as mini cheesecakes in my muffin pan. I used paper liners which were a little greasy after cooking, foil liners would have been a better choice.

These were delicious and the mini size made them so cute.  Nd not using a springform pan made them easier to remove from the pan and not cutting is necessary.   I also omitted the water bath, which simplified the baking.

I also baked a very thin sheet in a 9 inch cake pan with just a sprinkle of crust on the that I used in a later recipe, coming soon.

Tall and Creamy Cheesecake

makes 16 servings

From Baking From My Home to Yours, by Dorie Greenspan

Ingredients
For the crust:
1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons sugar
Pinch of salt
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted

For the cheesecake:
2 pounds (four 8-ounce boxes) cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/3 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/3 cups sour cream or heavy cream, or a combination of the two

Procedure

To make the crust:

Butter a 9-inch springform pan—choose one that has sides that are 2 3/4 inches high (if the sides are lower, you will have cheesecake batter leftover)—and wrap the bottom of the pan in a double layer of aluminum foil; put the pan on a baking sheet.

Stir the crumbs, sugar and salt together in a medium bowl. Pour over the melted butter and stir until all of the dry ingredients are uniformly moist. (I do this with my fingers.) Turn the ingredients into the buttered springform pan and use your fingers to pat an even layer of crumbs along the bottom of the pan and about halfway up the sides. Don’t worry if the sides are not perfectly even or if the crumbs reach above or below the midway mark on the sides—this doesn’t have to be a precision job. Put the pan in the freezer while you preheat the oven.

Center a rack in the oven, preheat the oven to 350°F and place the springform on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Set the crust aside to cool on a rack while you make the cheesecake.

Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F.

To make the cheesecake:

Put a kettle of water on to boil.

Working in a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese at medium speed until it is soft and lives up to the creamy part of its name, about 4 minutes. With the mixer running, add the sugar and salt and continue to beat another 4 minutes or so, until the cream cheese is light. Beat in the vanilla. Add the eggs one by one, beating for a full minute after each addition—you want a well-aerated batter. Reduce the mixer speed to low and stir in the sour cream and/or heavy cream.

Put the foil-wrapped springform pan in the roaster pan.

Give the batter a few stirs with a rubber spatula, just to make sure that nothing has been left unmixed at the bottom of the bowl, and scrape the batter into the springform pan. The batter will reach the brim of the pan. (If you have a pan with lower sides and have leftover batter, you can bake the batter in a buttered ramekin or small soufflé mold.) Put the roasting pan in the oven and pour enough boiling water into the roaster to come halfway up the sides of the springform pan.

Bake the cheesecake for 1 hour and 30 minutes, at which point the top will be browned (and perhaps cracked) and may have risen just a little above the rim of the pan. Turn off the oven’s heat and prop the oven door open with a wooden spoon. Allow the cheesecake to luxuriate in its water bath for another hour.

After 1 hour, carefully pull the setup out of the oven, lift the springform pan out of the roaster—be careful, there may be some hot water in the aluminum foil—remove the foil. Let the cheesecake come to room temperature on a cooling rack.

When the cake is cool, cover the top lightly and chill the cake for at least 4 hours, although overnight would be better.

Serving:
Remove the sides of the springform pan— I use a hairdryer to do this (use the dryer to warm the sides of the pan and ever so slightly melt the edges of the cake)—and set the cake, still on the pan’s base, on a serving platter. The easiest way to cut cheesecake is to use a long, thin knife that has been run under hot water and lightly wiped. Keep warming the knife as you cut slices of the cake.

Storing:
Wrapped well, the cake will keep for up to 1 week in the refrigerator or for up to 2 months in the freezer. It’s best to defrost the still-wrapped cheesecake overnight in the refrigerator.

Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream

I’ve made basic vanilla cupcake multiple times and frosting, I keep coming back to it since it is a good combination. I am always looking for another variation, I still feel like I haven’t found the perfect one yet.  The cupcake recipe is based on the one in Cupcakes: Luscious bakeshop favorites from your home kitchen by Shelly Kaldunski. Overall I like the book and appreciate the fact that most recipes are for 12 cupcakes.  I doubled the recipe to make 24 this time using a vanilla bean instead of vanilla extract.  The chocolate cupcakes from the book were fine.  The vanilla buttercream is a basic recipe using the swiss meringue technique and uses a bit less sugar than many recipes.  The amount is enough for 24 cupcakes.  The pictures for these were disappointing so I am not including any.

Vanilla Cupcakes

adapted from Cupcakes by Shelly Kaldunski (exact original)
This makes 24 cupcakes (original was 12)

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature (half recipe is 1 egg and 1 egg white)
  • seeds from one vanilla bean (optional)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole milk

Position a rack in the middle of the oven; preheat to 350 degrees. Line a standard 12-cup muffin pan with paper or foil cupcake liners.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.

Combine the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer; beat on medium-high speed for 2 to 3 minutes, until light and fluffy.

Reduce the speed to low; add the each egg separately, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla extract and beat on low speed to incorporate. Stop to scrape down the bowl as needed.

Add the flour mixture in 3 additions, beating on low speed until just combined and alternating with several additions of milk; scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat for about 30 seconds or just until no traces of flour remain. Do not overbeat.

Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake liners, filling each about three-fourths full. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until they are lightly golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then transfer the cupcakes to the wire rack and cool for 1 hour.

Vanilla (Swiss Meringue) Buttercream Frosting
based on many sources
This makes enough for 24 cupcakes, reasonably frosted

  • 4 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 200 grams granulated sugar (about 1 cup)
  • Pinch salt
  • 12 ounces (3 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature, cut into small pieces
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • food coloring (optional)

Combine the egg whites and sugar in a stand mixer bowl (or a large heatproof bowl). Set the bowl over (but not touching) an inch or two of boiling water in a large saucepan over medium heat.

Heat the mixture for about 2 minutes, whisking constantly, until the sugar has completely dissolved and the mixture is very warm to the touch (about 160 degrees on an instant-read thermometer). Remove the bowl from the saucepan.

Beat the egg white mixture on high speed for 6 minutes, until it is fluffy, has cooled to room temperature and holds stiff peaks. The mixture should not look dry.

Reduce the speed to medium-low; add the salt and then the butter, a few pieces at a time, beating well after each addition. If the frosting appears to separate or is very liquid after all the butter is added, increase the speed to high and beat for 3 to 5 minutes, until the frosting is smooth and creamy. Add the vanilla extract; beat until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.  Add food coloring, if desired.

Chocolate Cookie Cutouts

Chocolate Football Cut-Out Cookies
These are from Martha Stewart’s Cookies with some slight modifications.  I had a little more cinnamon, a little more vanilla and the addition of chocolate extract.  These were fairly easy to work with for cutout cookies.

I used a 3 inch football cookie cutter and from my Roshco 100-Piece Cookie Cutter Set.  This particular shape works better with cookies that are slightly thicker, closer to 1/4 inch while many of my cookies were 1/8 inch thick due to the embossed design.  Only some of the cookies had the football design (and of course I selected the best ones for the photo!).

Chocolate Cookie Cutouts

Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Cookies

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon chocolate extract
Nonpareils, for sprinkling (optional)

Procedure

1. Sift flour, cocoa powder, salt, and cinnamon into a bowl.

2. Put butter and confectioners’ sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. mix in egg and extracts.  Reduce speed to low. Gradually mix in flour mixture. Wrap dough in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm, 1 hour or overnight.

3. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out dough to 1/8-inch thick. Transfer to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Chill in freezer 15 minutes.

4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Using a 3-inch cookie cutter, quickly cut out shapes from dough (if dough begins to soften, chill it in freezer 3 to 5 minutes). Reroll and cut scraps. Transfer shapes to prepared baking sheets, spacing them 2 inches apart. Brush flour from shapes. Sprinkle with nonpareils, if using. Chill in freezer until firm, about 15 minutes.

5. Bake cookies until crisp, about 9 minutes. Let cool completely on sheets on wire racks. Cookie can be stored betwween layers of parchment in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week.