These chocolate-spiced cookies from Food & Wine’s Paige McCurdy-Flynn get their dark color from Cocoa Barry brand Extra Brute Amber Cocoa Powder. Feel free to use any unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder in its place if it’s unavailable. You will need 4 rimmed baking sheets to make these cookies.
Slideshow:More Sugar Cookie Recipes
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened Extra Brute Amber Cocoa Powder, plus more for rolling
Make the cookies In a large bowl, whisk the flour with the cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and baking soda. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, beat the sugar with the butter and molasses at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the egg and vanilla until incorporated, about 2 minutes. At low speed, beat in the dry ingredients until the dough just comes together. Pat the dough into 3 disks.
Lightly dust a large sheet of parchment paper with cocoa. Working with 1 disk at a time, roll out the dough 1/8 inch thick. Dust with cocoa and top with another sheet of parchment. Transfer to a baking sheet and repeat with the remaining disks of dough, stacking the dough between sheets of parchment. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 350°. Line 3 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a 3-inch tombstone-shaped cookie cutter, stamp out the cookies as close together as possible and transfer them to the prepared baking sheets 1 inch apart. Gather the scraps and stamp out more; you should have at least 36 cookies. Freeze for 30 minutes.
Bake the cookies for about 15 minutes, until crisp. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Meanwhile, make the filling and icing In a medium bowl, using a wooden spoon, beat 1 cup of the confectioners’ sugar with the butter, orange zest and salt until the filling is light and fluffy. In a separate medium bowl, mix the remaining 1 cup of confectioners’ sugar with 3 tablespoons of water until a smooth paste forms. Pour the icing into a large resealable plastic bag and using scissors, snip off a tiny bit of the corner. Pipe the letters R.I.P. on the tops of 18 cookies. Spread 2 teaspoons of the filling on the underside of the remaining 18 cookies. Sandwich the halves together and refrigerate until the filling is firm, about 1 hour. Serve.
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