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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.