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Midnight Moon Cookies

Inspired by an Edgar Allan Poe story in which a demonic cat is "graven in bas-relief upon the white surface" of a wall, these cakey black-and-white cookies feature the chocolate silhouette of a fur-raised feline set against a full moon of glossy icing.

  • Yield: Makes 10 cookies
Midnight Moon Cookies

Source: Martha Stewart Living, October 2008


For the Cookies

  • Vegetable oil, cooking spray
  • 1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons cake flour (not self-rising)
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup whole milk

For the Chocolate Cats and Icing

  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
  • 1 pound confectioners' sugar (4 1/2 cups)
  • 1/3 cup boiling water, plus more as needed
  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened


  1. Make the cookies: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat 2 baking sheets with cooking spray, line with parchment, and coat parchment. Sift flours, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl.

  2. Beat butter and granulated sugar with a mixer on high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium, and add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, then add vanilla. Reduce speed to low, and beat in flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with milk, starting and ending with flour.

  3. Transfer batter to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch round tip. Pipe batter into ten 1/2-inch-thick, 3 1/2-inch-wide rounds, spacing them 1 1/2 inches apart on baking sheets. Bake cookies until firm but not browned on bottoms, 9 to 10 minutes. Transfer parchment with cookies to wire racks, and let cool.

  4. Make the cats and icing: Place melted chocolate in a pastry bag fitted with the smallest round tip. Tape 10 cat templates onto a baking sheet, then tape waxed paper over templates to baking sheet. Pipe chocolate on center and legs of 1 cat. Using a toothpick, spread chocolate to edges for fur. Repeat with remaining cats and chocolate. Freeze until hard, about 10 minutes.

  5. Meanwhile, sift confectioners' sugar into a large bowl. Add boiling water in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly until mixture is smooth. Add butter, and whisk until smooth, adding more water if needed to thin.

  6. Remove cats from freezer, and cut waxed paper around each cat. Return to freezer. Spread a thin layer of icing on flat side of 1 cookie. Peel waxed paper from 1 cat. Using a small offset spatula, flip a cat, smooth side up, then center on icing. Repeat with remaining cookies, icing, and cats.

Cook's Note

Photocopy cat template at 100 percent. Cookies will keep in an airtight container up to 2 days.

Reviews (17)

  • Kf2jbt 30 Oct, 2010

    Look to the right of the picture of the cookies on the plate. The template should be highlighted. Click on that and you'll find 5 templates on one page.

  • DelFrmCalif 29 Oct, 2010

    The recipe states that the cookie is 3 1/2 inches in diameter. You can make them smaller by an inch and still have the same effect. Martha's decorated cookies are usually pretty large. I find that I can use the template with chocolate sprinkles or chocolate sugar for the same cat. Just make sure the icing is still tacky so the sugar will stick. Wonderful cookies!

  • deezblock 26 Oct, 2008

    The finished cookies must be huge since the template is so large. Has anyone tried these?

  • jgood 23 Oct, 2008

    Does anyone know how to get the cat template? Thanks.

  • BakeItICanMakeIt 16 Oct, 2008

    If you've never baked a cake with cake flour . . . you're missing something awesome. My first "cake flour" cake was a Black Forest Cherry Tort and it turned out great. So, I'm sold on it! I use it in my banana bread recipe as well.

  • BakeItICanMakeIt 16 Oct, 2008

    If you've never baked a cake with cake flour . . . you're missing something awesome. My first "cake flour" cake was a Black Forest Cherry Tort and it turned out great. So, I'm sold on it! I use it in my banana bread recipe as well.

  • chmurag 15 Oct, 2008

    Cake flour has a low protein content which means it has less gluten. That gives the cake or pastry a finer, more delicate crumb. Supermarkets sell it in boxes near the regular sacks of flour. The brand they sell on the east coast is called Swan's Down. Make sure it does not say "self-rising."

  • jvallas 15 Oct, 2008

    ran out of room on that comment - for the template, do a search for 'candle creatures" - and at the bottom is a link to the "fraidy cat."

  • jvallas 15 Oct, 2008

    Re the missing template, I found one that's the same except for the bits of fur on the tail (covered by instruction above to spread chocolate to edges of fur with toothpick). It's at template

  • lucydrew 15 Oct, 2008

    what's the difference between cake flour and all purpose? I've never heard of cake flour.

  • tourtes 15 Oct, 2008

    Has anyone made these? Are they easy? The cat looks difficult to make!...and are the cookies good?

  • disneymagic 15 Oct, 2008

    The cat template is in the Cake Templates 3. After you open it, the cat is on the bottom.

  • lorief 15 Oct, 2008

    I found the cat template. It is on the Cake templates #3 sheet. Hope this helps you out.

  • mariah81766 15 Oct, 2008

    Where's the cat template? The link takes you to the October templates but there is no cat, I've gone through all of them looking for it.

  • eprior 15 Oct, 2008

    When you click on the cat template above, there are other templates but not a cat!!!

  • eprior 15 Oct, 2008

    can't find the cat template for the moon cookies, where can I find it?
    Elizabeth Prior

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