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.

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Ingredients

For the Cookies
For the Chocolate Cats and Icing

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • 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.

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  • 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.

Cook's Notes

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

Reviews (17)

27 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 9
  • 4 star values: 4
  • 3 star values: 10
  • 2 star values: 4
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: Unrated
10/30/2010
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.
Rating: Unrated
10/29/2010
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!
Rating: Unrated
10/26/2008
The finished cookies must be huge since the template is so large. Has anyone tried these?
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Rating: Unrated
10/23/2008
Does anyone know how to get the cat template? Thanks.
Rating: Unrated
10/16/2008
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.
Rating: Unrated
10/16/2008
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.
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Rating: Unrated
10/15/2008
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."
Rating: Unrated
10/15/2008
Rating: Unrated
10/15/2008
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."
Rating: Unrated
10/15/2008
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 http://www.marthastewart.com/article/candle-creatures?autonomy_kw=cat template
Rating: Unrated
10/15/2008
what's the difference between cake flour and all purpose? I've never heard of cake flour.
Rating: Unrated
10/15/2008
Has anyone made these? Are they easy? The cat looks difficult to make!...and are the cookies good?
Rating: Unrated
10/15/2008
The cat template is in the Cake Templates 3. After you open it, the cat is on the bottom.
Rating: Unrated
10/15/2008
I found the cat template. It is on the Cake templates #3 sheet. Hope this helps you out.
Rating: Unrated
10/15/2008
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.
Rating: Unrated
10/15/2008
When you click on the cat template above, there are other templates but not a cat!!! eprior
Rating: Unrated
10/15/2008
can't find the cat template for the moon cookies, where can I find it? Elizabeth Prior