If you want, you can jazzify these cookies in a number of ways. Add some cinnamon to confectioner’s sugar. Roll the cookies around in colored sprinkles or sugars.
For something a little more exotic, pulse the confectioner’s sugar in a food processor with 2 teaspoons of Earl Grey, chai tea, or matcha powder.
1 Beat together cocoa powder, white sugar, vegetable oil: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or beat by hand with a wooden spoon) beat together the cocoa powder, white sugar, and vegetable oil until it comes together into a shiny, gritty, black dough of sorts.
2 Add eggs, one at a time, add vanilla: Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing for 30 seconds each. Add the vanilla and beat in thoroughly.
3 Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, espresso powder: In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and espresso powder if using.
4 Beat dry ingredients into cocoa oil mix: Mix into the chocolate mixture on low speed until just combined. Do not overbeat.
5 Cover and chill: Cover the dough with plastic wrap and chill the dough for four hours or overnight.
6 Roll dough into balls, roll into powdered sugar, place on cookie sheet: Preheat the oven to 350°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Place the confectioner’s sugar in a wide bowl.
Using a rounded teaspoon get clumps of the chilled dough and roll them into 1-inch (2.5 cm) sized balls using your hands.
Roll the balls in the confectioner’s sugar and place on the cookie sheets (you should be able to get 12-16 on each sheet).
7 Bake: Bake at 350°F for 10-12 minutes. Allow to cool a minute or two on the sheets before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
I’m a little late on this, but I was organizing for my next cake due this weekend when I realized I had already created my 100th cake! I have enjoyed watching my little business grow. I appreciate everyone’s support and all of the new friends I have made along the way. Thank you!
An essential aspect of creativity is not being afraid to fail.
We have to believe that there was a time, somewhere in history, when the whole, “Will they/won’t they smash cake in each other’s faces!” scenario was actually clever and original (even if we couldn’t find any evidence of it). What we did find was the granddaddy predecessor to cake-face-smashing: the breaking of baked goods over the bride’s head. Customarily, the groom would gnaw off a bite of barley bread and then the remainder of the loaf was held above the newlywed bride’s head and then broken, showering her with crumbs and a soul-crushing message of her husband’s male dominance. Guests would then scramble to pick up any wayward crumbs off the floor as they were said to bring good … wait for it … luck!
This tradition evolved as cake emerged as the preferred confection for wedding celebrations. Fortunately for the bride, a whole cake doesn’t break in two quite as dramatically as a loaf of bread, and so it was sliced on a table instead. Rather than scrounge for lucky crumbs on the floor, guests would stand in line while the bride passed tiny, fortune-blessed morsels of cake through her own wedding ring into the hands of the waiting masses. This act also fell by the wayside, as we can only assume the bride determined that it was a lousy waste of her time. Thus began the tradition of giving out whole slices of cake to each guest, not to be eaten, but to be placed under their pillow at night for (yup, here it is again) good luck and, for the ladies, sweet dreams of their future husbands.
This leads to another sweet, delicious, buttercream-iced mystery to be solved: Why do couples eat freezer-burned wedding cake on their one-year anniversary? To answer this, we must look to the lyrics of a schoolyard classic: First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes a baby in a baby carriage! It used to be assumed that when there was a wedding, a christening would follow shortly. So, rather than bake two cakes for the occasions, they’d just bake one big one and save a part of it to be eaten at a later date when the squealing bundle of joy arrived. Eventually folks warmed to the idea of giving the poor kid his own, newly baked cake, but the custom of saving a portion of the wedding cake far longer than it should be saved and then eating it and deluding oneself to believe that it actually tastes good is one that persists to this day.