These chocolate cutout cookies with rose ganache filling excite me greatly. Fragrant rose ganache, sandwiched between deliciously rich chocolate cookies, decorated with a cute heart cutout and sprinkles. There’s nothing not to love about these treats. They’re perfect to gift appreciation on Valentine’s and Mother’s Day, or to serve at a tea party… or just when you crave a tasty chocolate cookie. The cookie dough is made with cocoa and melted chocolate, while rose essential oil gives the ganache a softly sweet and flowery flavour. Read on to learn how to make chocolate cutout cookies, what you need for the ganache, and how you can turn the cookies into cute gifts.
The inspiration behind the flavour combo
We recently collaborated with a few of our beauty blogger friends on home fragrance DIYs for Valentine’s (def check out Irena’s amazing vanilla rose reed diffusers). Kim and Kyla from A Life Adjacent shared a chocolate rose room spray, and soon after that, a chocolate roses tub tea. I’m the sort of person who, upon seeing or hearing about something I like, either thinks: how can I transform this into a design/pattern? Or: how can this be turned into food? Something sweets preferably. So I took the idea of combining the flavours of rose and chocolate and came up with, you guessed it, rose ganache stuffed chocolate cookies.
These all all-purpose cutouts have a lovely soft texture and rich chocolate flour, albeit not too sweet. The cookie dough is easy to put together, keeps its shape well while baking and can be rolled out again and again. You can use this recipe for cookie projects all year long. These are no chill chocolate cutout cookies, meaning you can roll, cut, and bake as soon as the dough is done. No chilling, no waiting, no nibbling to see if the dough is cold enough. Yeah, well, that’s a lie. The chocolate dough is so yummy, nibbling is inevitable. Here are some more tips for baking delicious chocolate cookies:
- Ingredients for chocolate cutout cookies: The dough of these chocolate cookies is made with unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa and melted milk chocolate, which gives the cookies a rich and full chocolate aroma. Of course, you can replace the milk chocolate with dark (bittersweet) chocolate. The other ingredients include plain (all-purpose) flour, caster (granulated) sugar, butter, one egg plus an extra yolk, vanilla extract (could be swapped for almond), and a good of dash salt. When I developed the recipe, my goal was to create a dough that is as easy to handle as my dough for sugar cookies. The high cocoa content can result in a sticky, mushy cookie dough that is difficult to work with. The melted chocolate and extra egg yolk, however, will give you a soft, pliable dough that is perfect to make cutout cookies. I don’t know why but a pinch of salt really enhances the chocolate flavour, so don’t skip it. You might also be wondering if the granulated sugar can be replaced with cane sugar and brown sugar. While I haven’t tested it yet, I imagine it would work just as fine.
- Rolling out the dough: Personally, I prefer to cover the cookie dough with a sheet of greaseproof (wax) or baking (parchment) paper and roll it out on a non-stick baking mat instead of a floured work surface. This way you won’t be continuously adding more flour to the dough, which will make the dough drier, crumblier and overall more difficult to handle. The other benefit is that you don’t have to lift and transfer the cutouts from the work surface to the baking tray (sheet), which can distort the design of the cookie. I used a large round cutter and a small heart-shaped cutter. But of course, you can create whatever shape you want.
- Decorating: The decorating of these is nice and quick. In honour of Valentine’s Day, I simply sprinkled them with pink and white hundreds and thousands (nonpareils) before baking. Gently press the sprinkles into the dough with your finger tips, and they’ll stick on the cookie. You could also decorate them with royal icing, rolled-out fondant, or leave them undecorated. Up to you!
- Baking the cookies: Bake for 8 minutes if you want tender and mellow biscuits, or for 10 minutes if you prefer your chocolate cookie a bit crisper. Don’t be surprised that the dough seems a bit soft when the cookies come out of the oven and give them five minutes to set before putting them on a wire rack to cool.
About the rose ganache
The ganache starts out like any other ganache: 1 part heavy (whipping) cream to 3 parts white chocolate. You can either chop a chocolate bar or use chocolate chips, whatever you have in your pantry. When colouring the ganache, I decided to go the natural route and used a wee bit beetroot powder. This stuff is pretty potent, so you only need a tiny quantity, and you won’t be able to taste it. If preferred, either skip the beetroot powder (the ganache will be cream coloured) or use a small amount of pink gel paste food colour. The most important ingredient: rose essential oil. If you’re new to cooking with essential oils, you might be wondering if they are safe for consumption. The short answer: many essential oils are indeed food safe. When buying an EO for this recipe, make sure it’s 100% pure, natural rose essential oil and not a perfume oil or a diluted oil. There are two rose essential oils available: rose absolute and rose otto, which are both fine. The former is a bit cheaper than the later and has a rich, rosy-spicy aroma that is perfect for this recipe.
Once the chocolate cookies have cooled, and the rose ganache is set, top an uncut cookie with 1 to 2 teaspoons ganache and a cutout cookie. The ganache should have a soft spreadable consistency. If the ganache is still too runny, refrigerate it more. In case the ganache is too hard, soften it in the microwave for 30 seconds on the lowest setting.
Fun side note, whenever I take food pictures my husband skulks around in close vicinity looking for opportunities to steal a bite. When photographing these chocolate cutout cookies, I could tell he was very keen on trying them. And every time I turned away to check the photos I’d taken so far, he skilfully nicked and devoured cookie after cookie. It was a pretty short session.
I wrapped the cookies individually in cellophane treat bags that I decorated with these printable gift tags as well as ribbon and twine. As these cookies are relatively large, even a single cookie makes a lovely gift, which is excellent if you want to hand out a lot of small gifts to your family, co-workers, or the teachers at your kid’s school. The cookies would also be sweet thank you favours for a wedding, baby shower, or bridal party. Simply add a small thank you tag and arrange them neatly on a favours table. It’s also possible to stack a few cookies and share a little more chocolate love.
Chocolate Cutout Cookies with Rose Ganache
Prep Time: 1.5 hrs
Baking Time: 8 – 10 min
Yields: 20 sandwich cookies
Instead of beetroot powder, you can also colour and flavour the ganache with the raspberry, strawberry, or blackberry powder. A dark chocolate ganache or a spoon of dulce de leche are also lovely filling alternatives.
For the chocolate cutout cookies
- 290 g (2 1/3 cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
- 65 g (1/2 cup) unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 170 g (3/4 cup / 1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into cubes
- 200 g (1 cup) caster (granulated) sugar
- 1 egg (UK & Europe: M / US, CA, AUS, NZ: L)
- 1 egg yolk
- 115 g (4 oz) milk chocolate chips, melted
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- pink and white hundreds and thousands (nonpareils)
For the rose ganache
- 60 ml (1/4 cup) heavy (whipping) cream
- 170 g (6 oz) white chocolate
- 1/4 tsp beetroot powder (optional)
- 10 drops rose essential oil
For packaging & gifting
- clear cellophane treat bags
- printable gift tags (download here)
- ribbon or twine
1) Make the cookie dough
Sift the flour and cocoa powder into a mixing bowl and add the salt. Beat the butter and sugar with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy, for about 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in the egg, yolk, melted chocolate, and vanilla extract. Add the flour-cocoa mixture and stir on low until just combined. While mixing the dough, scratch down the sides of the bowl with a spatula occasionally.
Tip: If you’re not using the dough right away, wrap tightly in clingfilm (plastic/Saran wrap) and refrigerate until ready to use.
2) Preheat the oven
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F / gas mark 4).
3) Roll out the dough and cut the cookies
Take half of the cookie dough, transfer onto a non-stick baking mat and shape into a disk using the palms of your hands. Cover with a piece of greaseproof (wax) or baking (parchment) paper and roll out the dough to 3 mm (1/8 in) thick. Then cut out rounds with a 7 cm (2 3/4 in) cookie cutter, spacing them 1.5 cm (0.6 in) apart, and remove the excess dough. Using a small heart cutter, cut out hearts in the centre of half the cookies. Sprinkle hundreds and thousands (nonpareils) on the cutout cookies and gently press the sprinkles into the dough.
4) Bake the chocolate cutout cookies
Transfer the baking mat onto baking tray (sheet) and bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Let the chocolate cookies cool on the baking tray (sheet) for 10 minutes, then place them on wire racks to cool.
5) Prepare the ganache
Place the cream and beetroot powder into a microwave-safe, medium-sized mixing bowl and stir until the beetroot powder lumps have mostly dissolved. Add the chopped white chocolate or white chocolate chips. Melt in the microwave set to medium-high for 1 minute. Remove from the microwave and stir. Microwave the mixture for another 30 seconds and stir again. Continue melting in 30-second intervals until the white chocolate has completely dissolved. Add the rose essential oil and stir to combine. Chill for an hour or until the ganache has a spreadable consistency.
6) Sandwich the cookies
Using a palette knife, spread 1 to 2 teaspoons of ganache on each uncut cookie and top with a cutout chocolate cookie.
Storage & Shelf Life
Store the chocolate cutout cookies in an airtight container between layers of greaseproof (wax) or baking (parchment) paper at room temperature for up to 4 days.
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