The Colts or the Saints-who will be the big winner? It doesn't matter what side you're on, you will need refreshments while you watch and cheer for your favorite. What better dessert than chocolate footballs? This is a chocolate cut-out cookie recipe from Martha Stewart's Cookies published by Clarkson Potter, New York, in 2008. This crisp cookie is not overly sweet, just enough to go with the rest of your football fare.
Ingredients: 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup cocoa, 1/8 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks)butter, softened, 1 1/2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar, 1 egg, lightly beaten, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Frosting: 1/4 cup butter, softened, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, 2 tablespoons milk or cream.
Instructions: Sift flour, cocoa, salt and cinnamon into a bowl; set aside. Put butter and confectioners' sugar in mixing bowl and beat on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in egg and vanilla. Gradually add flour mixture, beating on low until thoroughly combined. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, one hour or overnight.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out 1/2 of dough to 1/8 inch thickness. Transfer to a baking sheet and pop in freezer for about 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove sheet from freezer; place dough back on work surface and cut out with flour-dipped cutters. Place on ungreased baking sheet, pop back in freezer about 15 minutes. Repeat with remaining half of dough. Transfer from freezer to preheated 350 degree oven and bake until crisp, about 8 minutes. Let cool completely on sheet, then transfer to cooling racks. To make frosting, put softened butter in small mixing bowl and beat until fluffy; add vanilla. Add confectioners' sugar and mix (will be dry); slowly add in milk or cream until of spreading consistency (may need more milk). Frost as desired.
Alternate: Before placing in freezer the final time, you may sprinkle cookies with nonpareils, if you're not going to frost them.
Makes 3-4 dozen cookies; I only cut-out 15 footballs because my cookie cutter was larger (plus one round circle of leftover dough, for taste-testing).
May the best team win!