Chocolate Stars...

Christmas cookie season is here!  Oh, the butter laden joy!!!  I love baking for the holidays, and every year we make an assortment of cookies to give to our favorite people.  We start a few weeks before Christmas baking and freezing until the freezer is stuffed and our hearts are full.  We bake some old favorites and some new finds.  My little farmhands get into it.  They love sampling and are the first to offer their opinion of what should stay on the list of recipes for next year.  They love delivering the cookies to friends and family, spreading Christmas cheer.

This is a recipe right out of the new Smitten Kitchen Cookbook.  I love Smitten Kitchen.  I have followed this blog for years, and now I get to thumb through the delicious pages in the first cookbook.  These are called Brownie Roll-out Cookies in the book, and they really do taste like little slices of brownie.  Instead of cutting them into rounds, we went for stars, you can cut them any way you like, they will still be delicious!
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup lightly salted butter, softened 
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa (I used really good Dutch cocoa, but Deb from Smitten Kitchen says good old Hershey's Cocoa is just as good.)

Preheat oven at 350 degrees. Whisk dry flour, salt and baking powder in bowl and set aside. Mix butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla and cocoa in mixer. Gradually add flour mixture, and mix until smooth. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least one hour.

Roll out cookie dough on floured counter. Cut into desired shapes, brushing extra deposits of flour off the top. (It does disappear once baked, though, so don’t overly fret if they go into the oven looking white.) Bake on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 8 to 11 minutes (the former for 1/8-inch thick cookies, the latter for 1/4-inch cookies) until the edges are firm and the centers are slightly soft and puffed.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool.


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