This little food blog is 3 years old! I know that it's technically called a Blogoversary, but I think "birthday" sounds much more festive, and I rarely go with the technical terms of anything.
My blog is a confident Aries. I'm a detail oriented Virgo (as proof, I painstakingly picked out only the perfect, unbroken stars to make these cookies.) We have an excellent rapport, Aries and I.
In true Aries fashion, this blog has gently rammed me out of my warm, cozy, happy, comfort zone and opened up a whole new chapter in my life. But I make sure to keep things focused and down to Earth. (I'm not quite ready to tackle someone's wedding cake.) It's a perfect mix of determined, headstrong drive, tempered with my own disaster-fearing, worst case scenario-imagining, restraint. :-)
To mark the occasion, I decided to make cookies instead of a cake. March was a huge birthday month, and I'm so over cake...at least for now. But who says cookies can't have just as much fun as an over-rated layer cake?
Basically, these are dark chocolate sablés. Sablés are rich, crumbly, cookies that quite literally melt in your mouth like sweet sandy butter. If you're feeling lazy, feel free to skip the decorations (and labor intensive star-separating). These may not be cover-cookie material, but the taste is unforgettable.
For all the soft, chewy, cookie lovers out there (like me), please don't write off this recipe. These are on the crisp side, but they're so chocolaty and intense, texture issues will fly out the window after one bite, promise.
Also, to everyone, new and old, who has followed me on this baking/blogging journey, Thank you! xo
Aries Chocolate Constellation Sablés (cookie recipe adapted from thekitchn)
1 cup (5 ounces) all-purpose flour
1/3 cup (1 ounce) natural unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Ghirardelli's cocoa)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup (4 ounces, or 1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
2/3 cup (4 1/2 ounces) sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Edible star decorations (optional)
In a medium-size bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt; Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or any large mixing bowl if you're using a hand-held), beat together the butter, sugar, salt, and vanilla on medium-high speed until lightened (about 3-5 minutes).
Add the dry ingredients and beat on low speed until the dough just starts to come together.
Wrap the dough up tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes. [Note: If you worked fast enough, and the dough is still cold enough to roll out, you can skip the chilling time.]
Preheat the oven to 350 F. and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out into a 6x7-inch rectangle (about 1/2-inch thick). Use a 3-inch round cookie cutter to cut out circles. [Note: If you want to decorate the cookies with constellations, I wouldn't use anything smaller than 3-inches.] Feel free to use any shape that you want!
Place the cut-out cookies onto the prepared sheets. If you're decorating with stars, gently press each star into the dough before baking. [Note: Don't press too hard, or the cookies will bake over the decorations. Just be sure they're securely in the dough.]
Bake for 8-9 minutes, or until the centers are just beginning to firm.
Remove from the oven and let the cookies rest on the sheets for about 3 minutes before carefully transferring them to a cooling rack.
Makes about 8 medium 3-inch cookies, or 20 small 1-inch cookies.