Pretty and chocolatey with a minty glaze, Winter Chocolate Cookies from Cookie Stamps are a fun treat that requires little skill.
Did your holiday season feel especially busy this year? I blame it partly on the post Covid transition. More activities = less spare time. I know, first world problems.
But as a result, I didn’t eat my quota of holiday cookies. And as we headed “up north” for winter break, two of our kids announced they were craving cookies too.
So today I’m introducing winter cookies. ‘Cause one month of holiday cookies is never enough!
Now one of the features of today’s cookie is the embossed design. It is pressed into the cooking creating interest without needing to do something
impossible, err, hard like paint on a design. These can be made with an expensive embossed roller (discussed in detail in my Funfetti Shortbread post) or with inexpensive cookie stamps.
What are Cookie Stamps?
Cookie Stamps are a way of making cookies that are pretty, even for people like me, who are decorating challenged. And there are two different types of cookie stamps that I’m familiar with.
The first consists of a cookie cutter that has an attached spring-loaded design panel. It presses in the design and cuts the cookie at the same time, making it easy and relatively error proof. This year, I bought Christmas cookie stamps (and fall cookie stamps) at Michael’s. I have also seen Valentines stamps and plan to check at Easter too!
The other type of cookie stamp looks like an office rubber stamp–and there are a couple ways to use these. One way is form a 1-inch ball of dough, then stamp or press it the ball into a round imprinted cookie. The other way is roll out the dough, press rows of stamps into it, and then cut the cookies with a cookie cutter or knife.
These stamps can be more expensive, but they come in a very wide variety of designs. I used to have a lovely Scottish thistle stamp that I used on shortbread.
Importance of Dough Recipe for Stamped Cookies
Now there is one important trick to using cookie stamps and that is using the right dough recipe. For the design to remain sharp after baking, you must use a dough that won’t rise in the oven. So while eggs and baking soda are your friends in a light cookie, they must be used very cautiously in stamped cookies.
I suggest using only recipes that have been previously tested for cookie stamps or embossed rollers unless you are prepared to run a series of experiments.
Why You’ll Love This!
Festive. If you’re trying to stretch out season with spirit, ordinary chocolate chip cookies aren’t going to cut it! But these cute cookies can embody Christmas… or Winter… or even Valentine’s Day, depending on how you dress them up!
Tasty. A sweet chocolate cookie topped with a flavorful peppermint glaze makes a delicious combination!
Impressive (even with no skills!). I love pretty cookies but have absolutely no decorating skills. But the cookie stamps make this so easy, it’s like cheater cookies!
What You’ll Need
- All purpose flour. This provides the bulk of the cookie. I used (a bit les) white whole wheat flour to make it healthier.
- Salt. This enhances flavor and moderates some of the bitterness.
- Baking powder. This helps keep the cookies from being too hard.
- Espresso powder or coffee extract (optional). This enhances the chocolate flavor but can be omitted.
- Butter. This helps hold the dough together and adds richness.
- Sugar. This sweetens the dough.
- Egg. This helps hold the dough together and adds richness.
- Vanilla. Adds flavor.
- Unsweetened cocoa powder. This adds chocolate flavor.
- Peppermint extract. Adds flavor.
- Milk. Makes the icing fluid.
- Powdered sugar. This sweetens the glaze and provides volume.
- To roll out the cookies, you’ll need a rolling pin.
- To create the design, you’ll need either one or more cookie stamps or an embossed roller and cookie cutter.
- To brush on the glaze, you’ll need a pastry brush.
Step by Step Instructions
Combine flour, salt, and baking powder in bowl and set aside.
In mixer blend butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, peppermint (if using), cocoa and espresso powder or coffee extract (if using) until smooth.
Add flour mixture to cocoa mixture, a half cup at a time, and mix until smooth. Final mixing may need to be done by hand due to thickness.
Wrap in plastic and chill for an hour. Roll out cookie dough to ¼ inch thickness on floured surface.
Spray your cookie cutter with nonstick spray. Position the cookie cutter over the dough and press to cut the edges, then push in the design panel button to set the design. I try to make sure I press firmly to get a deep design which will withstand a (slight) baking rise.
Pull the cookie stamp up then press on the button again to release the cookie and set on ungreased cookie sheet or silpat lined baking sheet.
Bake at 350 F. Let cool on wire rack.
To prepare glaze, mix warm milk with extract and powdered sugar. Add additional milk as needed to get glaze to desired consistency. Brush glaze onto cookies using a pastry brush. If glaze gets too thick, reheat it briefly in the microwave rather than thinning too much or it won’t harden.
Brush on to the cookies then let dry.
How to Use an Embossed Roller
Embossed cookies are fun too and give you other design options. For detailed information take a look at my Funfetti Shortbread post.
How to Serve
These would make a fun dessert or snack, especially with coffee or milk. Or consider a big mug of hot cocoa, heaped with whipped cream! Yes, that would drive away any feelings of post-holiday withdrawal!
If you like the idea of embossed or stamped cookies, I also have two other flavors of cookie stamp recipes I make tasty Holiday Embossed Gingerbread Cookies that are great for fall into winter. And to welcome spring there is my pretty and colorful vanilla Funfetti Shortbread.
You can also play with the flavor of the chocolate cookies. Use part black cocoa powder for a dark chocolate cookie. Or add a little mint extract for a Peppermint Chocolate Cookie (this is listed as an option in the recipe).
And here’s one turned into a Valentine chocolate heart cookie!
More “Winter Cookies”
And if you’re looking for more cookies that are versatile enough to take you right from Christmas to Valentine’s Day and beyond take a look at these other fun recipes. With a little (or a lot of) chocolate and fun decorations, they’ll get your through the winter blues!
Yes, with all these ideas, it’s going to be a good winter!
Preparation and Leftovers
These should last at least a week in a cookie tin or similar tight container.
Tips & FAQs
Don’t use a dough that rises if you are using cookie stamps.
I recommend you stick with recipes tested for this. I wanted to reiterate my earlier point, since it’s really disappointing to make a batch of cookies, then take them out of the oven to discover the design is gone. (Ask me how I know this.)
Respray the cookie stamp periodically.
The dough can easily get stuck in the imprint so be sure to spritz with nonstick spray occassionally!
Do I need to bake on a silpat or parchment?
Although my pictures show a silpat, I also tested baking these baked on an ungreased cookie sheet and they were fine. I was able to easily slip a thin metal spatula underneath and remove them. If all you have is a thick spatula, you might be better off using the silpat or parchment. Or get yourself a thin metal spatula—that precise edge is so useful!
I think they’re cute plain—do I need to glaze them?
These cookies are mild flavored so benefit from the delicate peppermint glaze. That said, my kids gobbled down the plain ones with no hesitation. Next time, I might add a little peppermint to the cookie too (I mention this as an option in the recipe).
Thick or thin glaze
I experimented applying the glaze in different thicknesses. I decided I preferred a thin glaze but I’m including both images here so you can decide for yourself.
Winter Chocolate Cookies from Cookie Stamps
- 1 ½ cups all purpose flour (or 1 ¼ c white whole wheat for healthier)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup butter softened
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
- 1/4 teaspoon espresso powder or coffee extract, optional
- ¼ teaspoon peppermint extract optional
- 2-3 Tablespoons milk
- 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract or vanilla
- 1 cup powdered sugar sifted if lumpy
- Combine flour, salt, and baking powder in bowl and set aside. In mixer blend butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, cocoa, espresso powder or coffee extract (if using) and peppermint extract (if using) until smooth.
- Add flour mixture to cocoa mixture, a half cup at a time, and mix until smooth. Final mixing may need to be done by hand due to thickness.
- Wrap in plastic and chill for an hour.
- Roll out cookie dough to ¼ inch thickness on floured surface. Spray an embossed cookie cutter with nonstick spray. Cut out your shapes, pressing the design firmly into the dough. Release the cookies from the cutter and place on an ungreased baking sheet or on a silpat or parchment topped baking sheet.
- Bake at 350 F until the edges are firm, about 11-14 minutes. Let cool on wire rack.
- To prepare glaze, mix warm milk with extract and powdered sugar. Add additional milk as needed to get glaze to desired consistency. Brush glaze onto cookies using a pastry brush. If glaze gets too thick, reheat it briefly in the microwave rather than thinning too much or it won’t harden.
- Let the glaze dry, then enjoy.
- Keto Scotch Eggs
- Russian Tea with Natural Options!