Red Hot Love Cookies

Course: Appetizer
Dessert Type: Cookies, Valentine's Dessert
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 24
Calories: 150kcal
Author: Elizabeth LaBau
Red Hot Love Cookies - rich chocolate cookies sandwiching a spicy cinnamon buttercream, and finished with gorgeous glittery decorations!
Calling all spice lovers! If you like a little heat with your sweets, this is the cookie for you. The dark chocolate cookies have cinnamon and cayenne, and the buttercream has cinnamon oil, which gives the cookies quite a kick. Feel free to adjust the cayenne and cinnamon oil amounts if you're sensitive to spices.
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Ingredients

For the Spicy Cinnamon Chocolate Cookies:

  • 11 2/3 oz all-purpose flour (2 3/4 cups)
  • 1 1/2 oz good-quality unsweetened cocoa powder (1/2 c)
  • 1 tsp instant espresso powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cayenne adjust amount to your taste
  • 8 oz cold unsalted butter cubed, (1 cup)
  • 7 oz granulated sugar (1 cup)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Lip-shaped cookie cutter

For the Spicy Cinnamon Buttercream:

  • 4 oz unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 12 oz powdered sugar (3 cups)
  • 2 tbsp heavy cream
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon oil or more to taste
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • Red, yellow, and ivory gel food coloring (I like Americolor brand)

To Decorate:

  • 8 oz fondant
  • Red, yellow, and ivory gel food coloring (I like Americolor brand)
  • Red and gold disco dust (to decorate - optional)
  • Light corn syrup

Instructions

To Make the Spicy Cinnamon Chocolate Cookies:

  • In a small bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, espresso powder, salt, cayenne, and cinnamon. Set aside for a moment.
  • Combine the cold cubed butter and the sugar in the bowl of a large stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat them on medium speed just until they're mixed together and there are no longer any chunks of butter. The key is to get a homogenous texture, but not beat until it's light and fluffy—we don't want to beat too much air into the dough, because that will cause the cookies to spread!
  • Add the vanilla extract and the egg, and beat to combine. Stop the mixer and add the flour/cocoa mixture, and mix on low speed until most of the flour is incorporated and just a few streaks remain. Finish mixing the dough with a spatula, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for an hour in the refrigerator.
  • Dust your work surface and rolling pin with a light dusting of flour. Roll the dough out until it's about 1/4-inch thick, and cut out the lip shapes. Re-roll the scraps and continue to cut out cookies until you've used all the dough. Place the cookies on parchment-covered baking sheets. Chill the sheets in the refrigerator or freezer while you preheat the oven to 350 F. Bake at 350 for about 8-9 minutes, rotating halfway through, until the cookies are puffed and dry on top. Cool them completely on a wire rack before assembling.

To Make the Spicy Cinnamon Buttercream:

  • Place the room temperature butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the remaining ingredients and beat on low speed until combined, then turn the speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes until light and fluffy. Taste the frosting and add more cinnamon oil, if desired, if you want a spicier flavor.
  • Divide the frosting in half and color one portion with red food coloring, and the second portion with yellow and ivory coloring to make a gold color. The frosting can be made in advance and can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. Let it come to room temperature before using it.

To Assemble:

  • Divide the fondant in half. Dust your work surface with powdered sugar, and if you have food-safe gloves, now is a good time to put them on. Place a squirt of yellow and ivory gel food coloring in the center of one of the fondant balls, and knead it well until the color is dispersed and your fondant is a nice gold color. Repeat this process with red food coloring (no need to change your gloves) to make a ball of red fondant.
  • Roll one of the colors out on your work surface until it is very, very thin. Try to make it as thin as you can. Cut 12 lip shapes from the fondant, and place them on a waxed paper-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the second color, and place it on a separate paper-lined sheet. You should have a total of 24 lips—12 red and 12 gold.
  • Brush the tops of the lips with a very, very light layer of corn syrup. Sprinkle red disco dust over the tops of the red lips, and gold disco dust over the tops of the gold lips. Let the fondant lips set for about an hour so that the tops aren't tacky and the fondant is a little stiffer.
  • Tilt the fondant lips to the side and tap them on the sheet to let an excess disco dust fall back onto the baking sheet. (You can then gather up the waxed paper and use it like a funnel to pout the extra dust back into the bottles.) Dot the tops of 24 cookies with a bit of corn syrup, and press the fondant lips on top. Don't use too much, since the idea is to make the fondant layer fairly easy to remove later.
  • Transfer the gold and red frostings into two piping bags fitted with a #8 or #10 round tip. Pipe an outline of frosting on top of the remaining 24 naked cookies, doing 12 red and 12 gold, and top the cookies with a fondant-covered cookie in a matching color. (Alternately, for a less precise application, you can just spread the frosting on the cookies with a knife or spatula.) These cookies can be made in advance and stored in an airtight container between sheets of waxed paper for up to a week.

Notes

If you use a cookie cutter the size of mine (a thin lip shape about 3 inches wide) you will get 4 dozen cookies from this batch, enough to make 2 dozen cookie sandwiches.

Nutrition

Calories: 150kcal