I crafted these almost-too-cute-to-eat Chocolate Moose Cookies to commemorate the approaching Fall semester at Utica College. In case you didn’t know, the UC mascot is Trax the Moose. So naturally, a moose-shaped cookie was begging to be baked.
My first thought was to purchase a moose-shaped cookie cutter. But surprise, surprise, I scoured the countryside, and there were none to be found. I guess they only sell moose cookie cutters in Canada…Sorry. I had to.
I know I could’ve easily found one online, but I didn’t want to wait 7-10 business days to get it, nor did I want to give up my soul to pay for shipping and handling (that’s about what it costs these days). So, since I’m the Smart Cookie Cook, I got creative, and fashioned an easy-to-make moose cookie, no cookie cutter required!
You simply start with a circular cut-out of cookie dough (I didn’t even use a cookie cutter or biscuit cutter; just the bottom of a glass), stick on another oval to represent the snout, place a pair of orange Reese’s Pieces on to represent the eyes and to give a shout-out to one of UC’s school colors, then finish with two pretzel antlers. So simple, but so gosh darn cute!
My initial focus with these cookies was aesthetics. However, as an added bonus, I discovered an amazing chocolate cut-out cookie recipe. I didn’t expect to love it since my idea of a great chocolate cookie is one that’s soft, fudgy, and chewy, and I knew this recipe would be more like a chocolate sugar cookie. Well, butter my biscuit, because I absolutely loved these cookies! They had a wonderful deep chocolate flavor that was just delicious, plus they were soft and chewy in the center. I could’ve eaten the entire batch myself. So whether you’re making moose or not, this is a must-have chocolate cut-out cookie recipe.
Even if you don’t go to Utica College (or some other school with a moose mascot), you’re going to love these adorable and delectable Chocolate Moose Cookies. They look just as good as they taste, and they’re a cinch to make.
I know it’s hard to eat something so cute, but I promise that after you experience that first melt-in-your-mouth bite and all its chocolatey goodness, you won’t mind chomping on that moose one bit.
A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:
- As I said, feel free to use this Chocolate Cut-Out Cookie recipe for anything; it doesn’t have to be moose. Make Christmas cookies, Halloween cookies, or everyday cookies.
- You can use candy eye balls in place of the Reese’s Pieces if you like.
- You could make the same shaped cookie with a sugar cookie recipe then frost it with chocolate frosting to look like a moose.
- Please make your life easier and use parchment paper!
Moose Chocolate Cookies
Cookie recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour; moose-making instruction by The Smart Cookie Cook
Yield: about 20 cookies
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup regular unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for dusting
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 40 small pretzel twists
- 40 orange Reese’s Pieces or M&M’s
1) In a large mixing bowl, beat together the sugar, butter, baking powder, vanilla, and salt until fluffy. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl.
2) Beat in the egg. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl again.
3) In a separate bowl, whisk together the cocoa powders and flour. Add a third of the cocoa mixture to the egg and butter mixture at a time, beating each addition until well blended.
4) Cover bowl and refrigerate the dough for at least 30 minutes, or up to overnight. Note: the longer you chill the dough, the more flavor it will have. If you choose to chill it for more than 2 hours, allow to sit at room temperature for a few minutes before working with the dough.
5) Preheat your oven to 375°F. Lightly grease 2 baking sheets, or line with parchment. *I recommend parchment paper for quicker clean up.
6) Separate the dough into thirds. Sprinkle both sides of each piece with extra cocoa, to keep the dough from sticking. Sprinkle cocoa powder onto your working surface as well.
7) Working with one piece of dough at a time, roll to ¼-inch thick.
8) Use a biscuit cutter or the rim of a circular glass to cut dough into circles (whatever you use should be about a 2.5 to 3-inch radius). Place on the cookie sheet, with about 6 cookies per sheet. Take another small piece of dough, about 2 teaspoons worth, and roll into a ball. Flatten out to ¼-inch thickness and gently pull out the edges to create an oval shape. Place on the bottom of the circular cut-out dough, overlapping slightly, to represent the moose’s snout.
9) Stick two Reese’s Pieces above the snout to represent eyes. Then, using a spoon, make two deep indentations on the snout to represent nostrils. Press two pretzels into the top of the circular head cookie to represent antlers. You must press them into the dough or they will fall off.
Bake the cookies for 6 to 8 minutes, until their edges are firm and you start to smell chocolate.
10) Remove them from the oven, and allow to cool slightly before transferring to cooling racks with a spatula. Store cooled cookies in an air-tight container or ziplock bag.