Stout Smiley Cookies for Grown Ups

For those of you who are familiar with Pittsburgh and the surrounding area, you know about Eat'n Park and their Smiley Cookies.

Eat'n Park is a regional restaurant chain that is a cross between Friendly's and Perkins. In Pittsburgh, it's one of the few places that's open 24 hours, so, as a college student, my friends and I would often go there in the wee hours of the night to grab dessert or a late night meal.  Especially when we were under 21.  It became a Thursday night ritual (until we all became 21, haha); we would go to ENP around 10pm and stay until we were stuffed.

ENP is known for their mascot, Smiley.  Their smiley cookies are their signature item.  They consist of a sugar cookie with royal icing.  Since the Steelers are playing today, I thought that I would make my own "black and gold" smiley cookies!

To make the "black" coloring, I used unsweetened cocoa powder - dark cocoa would have been even better!  For the yellow, I used some of my natural yellow food coloring from The Pink Peppercorn.

Here's a quick link to the history of the Smiley Cookie and you can see how my design compares!

Ingredients:

For the cookies:
Lightly adapted from Yummy Mummy Kitchen

1 1/2 c. vegan powdered sugar
1/8 tsp. sea salt
1 c. coconut oil, softened
1/4 c. stout, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 c. organic white flour
2 T. cornstarch
1 tsp. baking soda (aluminum-free)
1 tsp. cream of tartar

For the royal icing:
2 c. vegan powdered sugar
2 T. stout
yellow food coloring or 2 T. unsweetened cocoa powder

For the cookies:
In a small bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, salt, baking soda, and tartar.  Mix well and set aside.

In a larger mixing bowl, cream the coconut oil and powdered sugar.  Add the vanilla and beer.  Mix well, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.  Slowly add the dry ingredients.

In between two pieces of floured parchment paper, or on a well-floured surface, roll out half of the cookie dough.  Carefully remove the top layer of parchment and cut out your desired shapes.  Place these cut outs on a lined cookie sheet and pop them into the fridge for 30 minutes.  (This will prevent your cookies from becoming amoeba blobs.)  Repeat with the second half of the dough.

Preheat your oven to 375°.  Once they have chilled, bake the cookies for 7-9 minutes.  

For the icing:
Combine the sugar and beer in a bowl.  Add vegan food coloring if you want to - The Pink Peppercorn has some amazing products.  You can put the icing into a piping bag or a squeezy bottle to ice your cookies.  If you want to learn more about icing beautiful cookies, this tutorial is helpful.  I recently learned about piping and flooding and it was a eye-opener.  (Decorating cookies is not my strength; I get easily bored and frustrated.)  I mixed the yellow icing and then added it to the squeezy bottle; then I used the same bowl to mix the chocolate icing.  Saving dishes here, people!

Outline the cookie in one color and allow it to dry so it doesn't flood over.  Pour a dollop of icing in the center and spread it out evenly.  When that layer dries, use the second color to make a smiley face, as shown.  When you're done, make sure you let every layer harden!

Enjoy these grown up treats!  They are VERY boozy!

Cheers,
-Aileen

This post is affiliated with Vegan Mofo.  Check out #VeganMoFo on social media for ideas and recipes during the month of September.