The Christmas decor is complete, the presents are mostly finished (though not wrapped), and I'm in full blown baking mode around here. Red velvet cake is a given, fig cake, maybe pralines and fudge, eggnog cookies and these red velvet cookies.
I first made these cookies a couple of years ago, after stumbling onto a recipe. This year I tweaked it a bit to more closely resemble the flavor of my red velvet cake. They aren't overly cakey, but they aren't crisp either, which I think is just right for a red velvet cookie. They're also very easy and quick to make, which is a bonus during a busy holiday season.
Red Velvet Cookies
(makes approximately 28 cookies)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spoon flour into measuring cup, then level it)
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (such as Hershey's)
1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 1-oz. bottle red food coloring
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
Cream cheese frosting (see below)
1. In a medium bowl whisk flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt together; set aside.
2. In a large bowl or a standing mixer, beat butter on medium speed until light and fluffy. Increase speed to medium-high and beat in sugars until smooth. Add eggs, food coloring, vanilla, and apple cider vinegar; beat on medium speed, just until combined. Add flour mixture; beat just until combined, scraping sides of bowl as needed.
3. Using a tablespoon, scoop out rounded portions of dough and place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes, or until edges are set but centers still somewhat soft. Cool on pans (set on a wire rack) for about 5 minutes, then transfer the cookies to wire racks and let them cool completely.
4. Frost fully cooled cookies with cream cheese frosting. If you wish to use cookie stencils to decorate your cookies, sift cocoa powder over the stencil. You can also sprinkle a little cocoa on the tops of your cookies by sifting it through a fine mesh strainer.
Cream Cheese Frosting:
With a mixer on medium speed, beat 8 ounces of softened cream cheese with 1/4 cup softened, unsalted butter and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in 2 to 3 cups powdered sugar to reach spreading consistency. (If you find it necessary to thin it, you can add a little milk.)
To use a stencil, frost your cookies flat, then let them dry for a few minutes. Hold the stencil close to the surface of the cookie and sift cocoa powder over the stencil.