Rick's Cookie Tips:
1. Stay ahead: Make the dough months ahead; make the cookies the night before and decorate day of.
2. Be realistic: If you have 2 hours, don’t get over ambitious—make a simple cookie and spend the extra time decorating.
3. Get creative: Don’t buy gold leaf (unlike me) and use what you got in the pantry to decorate
4. Assemble your tools before baking: Sheet pan, parchment, cooling rack, oven thermometer, ice cream scoop.
5. Carry on: Don’t forget to make a travel plan: Deli quart containers are great for stacking simple cookies; clean unused pizza boxes are great for elaborate works of art. —Rick Martinez
- Prep time 3 hours 45 minutes
- Cook time 30 minutes
- makes About 30 pigs
3 3/4 cups
(468 grams) all-purpose flour
(140 grams) whole wheat flour
(42 grams) Dutch processed cocoa
ground chile de arbol or cayenne
(227 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
(214 grams) grated or granulated piloncillo or dark brown sugar
robust-flavored (dark) molasses
1 1/2 teaspoons
large eggs, at room temperature
pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
- Chocolate Dip
1 1/2 cups
(255 grams) dark or bittersweet chocolate wafers or chocolate chips
Sprinkles, candied ginger, crushed candy canes, edible glitter, edible gold leaf, for decorating
- Whisk all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, cocoa, allspice, chile de arbol or cayenne, baking powder and baking soda in a large bowl until completely combined.
- Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter, piloncillo, and salt in a large bowl, scraping down sides and bottom as needed, until light and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add 2 eggs, (one at a time), vanilla and beat until incorporated, about 1 minute. Add molasses and beat until smooth, about 1 minute. Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients, and beat to combine. Scrape down bottom and sides of bowl to ensure there are no steaks of butter remaining. Dough will be sticky but will set as it chills. Wrap tightly in plastic, pat down to ¾” square and chill at least 3 hours and up to 24.
- Place a rack in middle of oven; preheat to 350°. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment. Divide dough into four pieces so you can work with each more easily. Return the others to the fridge. Take one piece and place on heavily floured parchment paper on a clean work surface. flour the top of the dough and place another parchment on top and roll out to ¼” thick. Punch out pigs with a lightly floured cutter and transfer to prepared baking sheets, spacing 1/2" apart. Arrange scraps in an even layer , cover with plastic, and freeze 10 minutes if soft. Top with same parchment parchment, roll and cut. Repeat with remaining dough and scraps.
- Bake until the cookies have puffed, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool on tray for 10 minutes; transfer to a rack to cool completely.
- In a medium heatproof bowl set over a medium saucepan of simmering water, add chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally, until completely melted and smooth, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
- Drizzle, dip, or brush cooled cookies in or with chocolate, and decorate with various garnishes as desired.
- Do Ahead: Dough can be made 1 month ahead; wrap tightly and freeze. Cookies can be baked 2 days ahead; store undecorated cookies airtight at room temperature. Decorate just before serving.