I've made these particular cookies for a few years now. It all started when we first moved to Austin and my mom made us all take the trek down to the famous Congress Street bridge around Halloween to watch the millions of bats fly out from under it once it was dark. It's a pretty cool thing to watch, especially when leading up to my favorite holiday, Halloween!
When we go to see the bats, and we usually do every year, I always like to take some wine and a snack. We always take the guided bat boat tours which can last a good hour or two while we wait for it to get dark enough for the bats to surface.
I had seen ginger-bread skeletons before, so one year I got smart and thought it would be super cute to make these cookies over in a healthy way while also packing them up for a 'bat night' treat.
My little one has been begging me for a month now to make these bat cookies, so I finally broke down and made this years batch.
It's taken me a couple of years to perfect the recipe. First they were to chewy, then they were too rich with dark cocoa and another time way too sweet with too much of the royal icing. Finally I've managed to get it just right!
The cookies are crisp and crumbly while having just the right amount of gingery chocolate goodness with a touch of sweetness from the royal icing to balance out the dense dark cocoa.
Since we're going out of town this weekend for a little vacation, I decided to take the most of these up to my daughter's school for her teachers to enjoy. I mean, they're healthy and delicious cookies, but I certainly couldn't eat the 40 of them in two days time!
These yummy chocolate cut-out cookies hold their form extremely well. I did notice that staying the freezer for a full 5 minutes helped them to hold their shape even better - if you're wanting those nice sharp edges.
While I did mine in the shape of bats, really you could use any cookie cutter. Just know that the amount of cookies you get will vary depending on the size of the cutter!
Skinny Chocolate Ginger Bat Cookies
Servings: 40 • Size: 1 Cookie • Calories: 75.9 • Fat: 2.8 g • Carb: 12.6 g • Fiber: 1 g • Protein: 1.4 g • Sugar: 5.5 g • Sodium: 45.9 mg
1 C. Light Butter, Softened
1/2 C. Sugar
1/2 C. Natural Sweetener (I used Stevia in the Raw.)
1 Tsp. Vanilla Extract
1 Whole Large Egg
1 1/4 C. All Purpose Flour
1 1/4 C. Whole Wheat White Flour
1/4 C. Dark 100% Cocoa Powder
1/4 C. Cocoa Powder
1 Tsp. Ground Cinnamon
1 Tsp. Ground Ginger
1 Large Egg White
1/4 Tsp. Vanilla
1 C. Confectioners Sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and line a baking sheet with foil, parchment or a baking mat; set aside.
In a large bowl, beat together the butter, sugar and sweetener.
Beat in the egg and vanilla.
In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flours, cocoas, cinnamon and ginger until well combined.
Add the dry chocolate and flour mixture in to the wet mixture one large scoop full at a time until it's all incorporated.
The mixture will be quite thick - pretend there's a picture of the mixed batter here. I somehow missed it in the fog of my head-cold today - oops!
Lightly dust a rolling surface with cocoa powder and roll the dough out to about 1/4" thickness.
Place into the fridge or freezer for a few minutes to let it firm up a bit more to make cutting easier.
Use a cookie cutter of your choice, mine was a 4" bat cutter from a set of vintage cookie cutters handed down to me by my mom.
Transfer to cut-outs to the prepared baking sheet.
Place the baking sheet into the oven to bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes, or until the cookies no longer look 'wet'.
Allow to cool slightly on the sheet before transferring to a wire rack to continue cooling.
While the cookies are cooling, mix up your royal icing.
Beat the egg and vanilla on a high speed until it's starting to look foamy.
Add in the confectioners sugar slowly on a low speed until well incorporated.
Increase the speed back to high and continue to beat the mixture until it starts to form stiff peaks; about 5-7 minutes.
Scoop the royal icing into a piping bag or even just a ziplock like I do. Just make sure either way that the tip is pretty small/fine.
Decorate your cookies accordingly!
I of course, did mine like little bat skeletons.
Allow them to sit for about 15 minutes to get the royal icing to firm up properly.
These can be stored on the counter top in an airtight container for 3-5 days.