I shaped these using a fondant cutter to make small rounds, but you can also just pinch off small pieces, roll them into balls, and then press them down into circles. The edges will just be more rounded. I also topped these with dollops of dark chocolate, which is optional. but delicious. I also melted some of my current-favorite chocolate, Chocolove’s Dark Chocolate with Almonds and Sea Salt, and used it for some of the buttons and for a few hearts. It looks a little lumpy from the almonds, but oh my it is amazing chocolate.
This dough can be frozen and thawed if you want to make it in advance, and it has no raw egg so you can enjoy all of the raw cookie dough you like. Bonus. Here is the recipe:
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1/4 cup natural cocoa powder
pinch of salt
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon pure orange extract
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
Dark chocolate (optional)
Beat the butter with the cocoa, salt, powdered sugar, and orange extract until well blended. Mix in the flour a third at a time. Dough will be stiff. Gather the dough into a ball and wrap it waxed paper. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to firm. You can refrigerate the dough for up to a week at this stage, or freeze it for later.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and use your palms to press it out to about a third of inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes and place on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 15 minutes. Place on wire racks to cool. Makes about three dozen small cookies.
For chocolate garnish, break up the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high in 30-second increments, stirring after each session. It usually takes a minute and a half to get the chocolate fluid. Use the tip of a spoon to drop circles of chocolate onto each cookie. Let the chocolate cool completely.
Thanks for reading,