August 27th, 2015
Make Cookie Dough: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder (if using), baking powder, and salt.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugars on medium speed until the mixture becomes a pale paste (you don’t want it to be super-fluffy, or the cookies will expand when baking), 2 minutes. Add the milk and vanilla, and beat well. Add the egg and beat until incorporated, about 1 minute. Reduce the mixer speed to the lowest setting, and gradually add the flour mixture, beating until just incorporated (do not over-mix). Wrap the ball of dough in plastic wrap, and press it into a disc. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
Make Cookies: Unwrap the chilled dough and put it on a large piece of parchment. Put two ¼-inch wooden dowels on either side of the dough and put a second sheet of parchment on top. Roll out the dough until it’s level with the dowels. Slide the parchment and dough onto a board and freeze or refrigerate for about 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment. Remove the dough from the refrigerator, and cut out shapes using the cutters of your choice. Put the shapes about 1½ inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Freeze for at least 15 minutes.
Bake the cookies until the edges are firm and the center is still soft, 12 to 15 minutes (this can vary greatly, depending on your oven, the size of your cookies, and how long they were in the freezer prior to baking). Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets on wire racks for 10 minutes. Gently transfer them to wire racks to cool completely.
Dust a work surface with confectioners' sugar and roll out a lemon size ball of black fondant to 1/s-inch thickness. Cut out fondant plaques with the same cutter you used for the cookies. Let the fondant sit to firm up, about 30 minutes.
Using a small offset palette knife, spread a small amount of jelly onto the cookies, and using an artist's palette knife, gently transfer each of the fondant pieces to the cookies. Gently press into place using your fingers to smooth the edges and let the fondant dry completely, at least 2 hours.
Serve the cookies with edible chalk, and let them doodle till they drop!
Excerpted from The Sweetapolita Bakebook: 75 Fanciful Cakes, Cookies, and More to Decorate by Rosie Alyea. Copyright © 2015 Rosie Alyea. Excerpted by permission of Appetite by Random House, a Penguin Random House company. All rights reserved.