Has it been a month since I posted?? I didn’t even realize, time flies at the end of the year, (and decade!!) doesn’t it? But anyway, I’m back now, and here to talk about stamp cookies! Naturally I asked for almost exclusively cooking related gifts for Christmas, including Alison Roman’s Nothing Fancy, a proper chef’s knife, AND a beautiful set of Nordic Ware cookie stamps. Maybe it was just me but I felt like my Instagram feed was flooded with stamp cookies this season, and I started to feel left out! So many people offered fancy cookie combinations, including shortbread and citrus, gingerbread and rum butter, but I was immediately drawn to these, rich dark chocolate and peppermint glaze. Like hot chocolate in a cookie!! Originally found here, I made a few minor adjustments and these beauties came out like glazed tiles and I LOVE THEM.
Moving into a new year and a new decade, I find myself looking back on what the last few years have brought me- some ups and downs for sure, but also this space to bake and write, and people to share it with. I moved out on my own, took on challenges that scared me, and made a freaking loaf of sourdough from scratch! I am very thankful for what I have done, and I can’t wait for what’s in store. I wish you all the happiest of new years and many stamp cookies, too!
Before we bake, here are 5 things to be happy about today!
ONE. Popcorn at the movies, and the fact that it somehow is better than any popcorn you make at home.
TWO. Sleeping late on a rainy day, knowing that you don’t have anything to do.
THREE. Cherry cordials with syrupy centers.
FOUR. Serving drinks in a punch bowl.
FIVE. Movie trilogies.
Let’s bake! Recipe makes about 3 dozen glazed cookies.
3 cups all purpose flour
1 cup cocoa powder (I like Hershey’s Special Dark for this)
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon instant espresso powder
1 cup salted butter, softened
1½ cups light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
8-12 tablespoons heavy cream (have more on hand)
½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste, or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
Pinch of salt
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and instant espresso.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the softened butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until each is incorporated before adding the next. Mix in vanilla.
Add the dry ingredients all at once and cover the mixer so that the flour doesn’t go everywhere when the mixer is turned on. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl a few times during the mixing so that all dry ingredients are incorporated- the dough will be very thick!
Turn the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap and wrap tightly, chilling for at least 1 hour before proceeding.
Once the dough is chilled, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line several baking sheets with parchment paper.
(There are a few ways to make stamp cookies, but my directions below are my favorite way, I found they kept the cookies the most intact and even.)
Working with about half the dough at a time, take about 2 tablespoons worth of dough and roll it into a ball between your palms. Dust the desired cookie stamp with cocoa powder to prevent sticking, and press the stamp down on the center of the ball of dough, pushing on all sides so that the pressed cookie remains fairly even, and the pattern is fully embossed. Gently peel the cookie off of the stamp and transfer to the prepared baking sheet.
If you’re a perfectionist like me, then take a circular cookie cutter with approximately the same size as the stamp, and cut off the rough edges of each cookie. Repeat until all dough is used.
Bake the cookies for 7 to 10 minutes, switching the trays from top to bottom oven rack halfway through. It’s best to stay on the less baked side, as this will ensure the cookies stay soft after baking.
While the cookies are baking, whisk together all the glaze ingredients in one bowl. It should be the consistency of glue, thick, but pourable, so feel free to adjust with an extra tablespoon of confectioners sugar or cream as necessary.
When the cookies are finished baking, brush the glaze over the warm cookies with a pastry brush almost immediately, this will help the glaze melt into every line of the pattern and cover the cookie evenly.
Allow the cookies to dry completely before storing, and enjoy!!
PSA, the cookie stamps I used can be found here, but these cookies can also be made by rolling the dough a ½ inch thick and cutting out circles.