Dark chocolate Black Cat Cookies are simple to decorate using sanding sugar, melted chocolate, and candy-coated sunflower seeds. Whip up a batch for a spooky Halloween treat.
October is moving along rather quickly, and Halloween will be here before we know it! I’m trying my best to fit in some spooky treats before time runs out. This one is pretty simple – as far as roll-out sugar cookies go. The decorating is simple by design, and makes a really cute 2 dozen cookies for handing out to mini specters, or for party favors.
First, you’ll need a kitty cat cookie cutter. You can find the one I used in this set.
I hope you’re not getting tired of this chocolate ‘blank canvas’ cookie recipe. It’s rom my first cookbook, and I continue using it because it’s so reliable. You might remember it from this Spider Web cookie I posted a couple of weeks ago. It really is the perfect blank canvas for any cookie project (tasty, too!).
Chill these guys in the freezer for 10 minutes, and then pop them in the oven. They’ll come back out looking almost the same as they went in. The cookies will puff a little bit, but the edges will stay nice and sharp.
Double chocolate goodness!
After the cookies bake, cool them completely on a wire rack. Now you’re ready to decorate! There’s no royal icing to mix here, just a simple bowl of melted chocolate. Use a kitchen-dedicated art brush to completely coat the surfaces of the cookies with chocolate.
Immediately after brushing the melted chocolate onto a cookie, turn it over onto a plate or pan of black sanding sugar. Press gently. The sugar will adhere well to the chocolate.
My mom sometimes makes a special trip to her favorite Amish store to pick up baking supplies. She always gets me the nicest sanding sugars. That’s where this extra-sparkly black sanding sugar is from, but you can find similar for purchase right here.
So sparkly! These guys already look pretty magical to me. If black sanding sugar isn’t your thing, then purple would also be cute and totally appropriate for Halloween.
Now, for the cat eyes! A single candy-coated sunflower seed makes a nice cat eye. Use the green and yellow ones, or for a more sinister kitty, use the red ones!
Dot a little of the chocolate onto a sunflower seed and place it on a kitty face. If you have kitchen-dedicated tweezers, then I suggest using them. I used my fingers, but all the while I was scolding myself for misplacing my cookie decorating tweezers.
These spooky-sweets package well for Trick-or Treaters, or for Halloween party favors. But they also look great lined up on a serving tray. They’re a fun and not too scary way to celebrate the holiday!
Black Cat Cookies for Halloween
Who says black cats are bad luck? Not me! These are especially sweet with a double dose of chocolate and crunchy sanding sugar. They’re easy to decorate with just three ingredients, so get the kids involved!
- 1 cup unsalted butter 2 US sticks
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup dark cocoa powder
- Pinch of salt
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter and sugar together until just incorporated. Do not over-mix at this stage, or the cookies may spread while baking.
Add the egg and vanilla extract. Mix again on low speed, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl intermittently as needed.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder and salt. Add to the butter and egg mixture. Mix on low speed until a dough is formed and there are no longer any streaks of butter in the mixing bowl. The dough will often clump around the paddle attachment while being mixed. This is normal and a good sign that your dough is the right consistency.
Line one or two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
Turn the dough out onto a sheet of parchment paper and top with a second sheet. Roll dough into an oblong disc between the paper with a rolling pin. Transfer dough – wax paper and all – to an extra large cookie sheet. Wrap the dough onto the cookie sheet with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. (If you don’t have an extra-large cookie sheet, divide the dough in half and roll each half between parchment paper, then transfer the fridge on smaller baking pans.
Remove top sheet of parchment paper and roll dough a little thinner. It should not be sticky. You may dust the surface lightly with flour if it is sticky, but not too much! You don’t want streaks of white flour baked onto your pretty dark chocolate cookies.
Roll dough to about 1/4 inch thickness.
Cut out shapes from the dough with the cat cookie cutter and transfer to the prepared baking sheet. The dough should be chilled and firm enough to stamp out shapes with crisp, defined edges. If the dough starts to soften, be careful not to stretch the cutout shapes or they will look distorted.
Refrigerate the cutouts for 30 minutes. This will help the cookies maintain a crisp shape during baking.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake the cookies for 12-15 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack. Decorate the cookies when completely cooled.
Pour the sanding sugar onto a shallow plate or pan. Use the kitchen-dedicated soft art brush to spread melted chocolate over the surface of a cookie and immediately press the cookie face down into the sugar. Flip the cookie over and inspect it for any gaps or places where the sugar did not adhere. Sprinkle those areas with the sugar and pat them into the cookie with a finger. Shake off the excess sugar and return the cookie to the wire rack to dry. Repeat with remaining cookies.
Pick up a candy-coated sunflower seed with the kitchen tweezers or your fingers and dot a little melted chocolate on one side. Place the candy onto the kitty cat face so that the pointed end of the sunflower seed is oriented towards the kitty nose. Repeat this process with the remaining sunflower seeds and cookies.
Allow the cookies to set completely before packaging or serving.
The flavor of the undecorated cookies reminds me a little of an Oreo. I use and recommend Hershey’s special dark cocoa powder for this recipe.
As you cover the cookies with chocolate, expect your art brush to become a little clumpy, because the chocolate will begin to set on the brush. You may need to re-heat your chocolate (I find the microwave works best and quickest). Also, have a second art brush at the ready to help you quickly complete your cookies without having to stop and clean your brush.
The sanding sugar gives these cookies a lot of crunchy goodness. You don’t have to limit yourself to black cats – try purple or even orange sanding sugars in place of the black.
The most tedious portion of this recipe is placing the sunflower seed ‘eye’ on the cookie. Do this using tweezers, if you have them.