The idea for “cat eye cookies”came from one of my writerly friends, Dawn Lairamore. (Dawn writes middle grade adventure stories. Her second book, a fun fractured fairytale called Ivy and the Meanstalk, just came out this month. Congratulations Dawn!)
I also have to thank my husband for the cookie concept. I told him I wanted create a cat eye cookie recipe, and he suggested doing a thumbprint cookie. Brilliant! I had recently made jam thumprints from The Everything Kids’ Cookbook. I decided to adapt that recipe by making the dough chocolate with a custard filling instead of jam. The custard filling was inspired by my favorite Black Bottom Cupcakes in the Joy of Cooking. Not only are these cookies fun to make, they are not overly sweet and addictively delicious!
Makes 24-36 cookies (depending on the size of your cookies)
1 cup butter (2 sticks) softened
½ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 & 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon salt
white sugar to coat
About half a bag regular-sized semisweet chocolate chips
4 oz cream cheese, softened
3 Tablespoons sugar
1 egg yolk
1) Preheat oven to 350º. Set oven rack in the center slots.
3) In a separate bowl sift flour, cocoa, and salt. Add to wet ingredients. Mix well. Dough will be thick and heavy like play dough.
4) Refrigerate dough while you make the filling. For filling: Cream the cream cheese and sugar till smooth. Add egg yolk and blend well.
5) Shape dough into 1” balls. Roll in white sugar, then place 2” apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
6) Make a longish thumbprint in each cookie. Pinch the long ends back together and shape into a slanty cat eye.
7) Put ½ teaspoon filling in each eye socket. For pupils put two chocolate chips, bottoms together, in the center of each filled cookie. (This is one of those rare cases where you may have extra pupils, and it’s perfectly okay to eat them.)
8) Bake at 350º for 12 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
9) Stare back.
10) Take them into a dark room and see if they glow like real cats’ eyes.
11) Dig out the gooey pupil and whites with your finger and eat them first.
12) Place them gently over your spouse’s eye sockets and take creepy pictures.