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Dia De Los Muertos Cookies

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“These cookies are shaped like skulls (I know, kinda creepy, but totally fitting), and are perfect for All Saints and All Souls day (Nov 1st-2nd). The recipe is originally from "A Year in Chocolate: Four Seasons of Unforgettable Desserts" via the 101 Cookbooks blog.”
18 cookies

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. To make the vanilla dough, mix the flour, baking powder, and salt together with a whisk or a fork.
  2. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Beat in the egg and vanilla.
  5. On low speed, beat in the flour just until incorporated.
  6. Form the dough into a log about 2 inches in diameter.
  7. Set aside.
  8. To make the chocolate dough, in a medium bowl, mix the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together thoroughly with a whisk or fork.
  9. Set aside.
  10. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar with the back of a spoon or an electric mixer until smooth and creamy but not fluffy (less than 1 1/2 minutes with an electric mixer).
  11. Beat in the egg and vanilla.
  12. On low speed, beat in the flour mixture and mix just until incorporated.
  13. Form dough into a log the same length as the vanilla log.
  14. If the dough is too soft and sticky to handle place it in the freezer to firm.
  15. To shape the skulls, reshape each log of dough so that it is skull shaped rather than round: make one side narrow for the chin and jaw and leave the other side wide for the cranium.
  16. Wrap and refrigerate the chocolate dough. Form features in the vanilla dough, using the handle of a wooden spoon to poke holes for eyes through the entire length of the log.
  17. Form the nose with a skewer, poking two holes for nostrils.
  18. Form the mouth by inserting a narrow table knife and wiggling it back and forth to lengthen and widen the opening.
  19. Don't try for perfection: irregular holes make the best and weirdest skulls. Wrap and refrigerate the vanilla dough.
  20. Chill both doughs at least 2 hours, preferable overnight.
  21. Position rack in the upper and lower third of the oven.
  22. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  23. Cut the chocolate dough into 1/8-inch slices and place them at least 1 1/2 inches apart on the lined baking sheets.
  24. Cut the vanilla dough into 1/8-inch slices and place 1 slice on top of each chocolate slice.
  25. Bake until pale golden at the edges, 12 minutes, rotating the baking sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through the baking.
  26. Slide parchment liners onto cooling racks or transfer the cookies directly from the pan to the rack with a metal pancake turner, waiting 1 to 2 minutes if necessary to let the cookies firm up before moving them.
  27. Cook cookies completely before stacking or storing.
  28. Cookies keep at least 1 week in an air-tight container.

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