There was no way I could cook up a batch of Avengers-themed treats and not include one for Black Widow!
Played by Scarlett Johansson, Black Widow (aka Natasha Romanoff) is the cool and stealthy Russian assassin, international spy, S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and the first female member of the Avengers. (In the movie universe, that is. My husband and son tell me that in the comic book universe, Wasp - as in Antman & The Wasp is the first female Avenger!)
Some of my favorite moments with Black Widow in the Marvel movies include the tightly choreographed fight scene between her and Hawkeye, and her tense negotiation with Bruce Banner (aka the Hulk) in Calcutta as she convinces him to join the team - both in the first Avengers movie.
In Captain America: Civil War she is in Lagos and single-handedly takes down 11 bad guys… and then two more to boot! Black Widow is deadly, sultry, smart, and a fiercely loyal friend.
We just watched Avengers: Endgame and don't worry - I won't give away any spoilers here. I'll only say it was epic, emotional and mind-blowing.
Here is my sultry and fiercely decadent treat to honor her: Black Widow Chocolate Dipped Cookies.
Looking to the black and red colors of Black Widow - the Avenger and the spider, I used my recipe for Chewy Chocolate Thins to hold a sweet center of bright red, buttercream frosting.
These cookie sandwiches then get a chocolate dip - an enrobing, if you will.
And the finishing touch? A black widow emblem to top every cookie.
They are rich and delicious! And for the dipping (or enrobing, if you will) I use a trick I learned watching The Great British Baking Show (my fave!): a potato masher!
The flat surface of the inside of a potato masher makes a very handy contraption for coating each cookie sandwich quickly and easily, and then they slide right onto a cooling rack to set.
“I've got red in my ledger. I’d like to wipe it out.” -Black Widow
If like Black Widow you are also working on getting the red out of your ledger, or if you’re just trying to avenge your way through the day, a bite of these Black Widow cookies will fix you right up.
Oh, and if you're viewing this around holiday time, here is a little video of Avengers heroes singing carols!
The recipe is below. If you need even more Avengers themed treats well baby, I have some for you!
Black Widow Chocolate-Dipped Cookies
- ⅔ cup cocoa powder
- 2 ⅓ cups all-purpose flour, unbleached
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- 1 ⅓ cup butter, unsalted and softened, divided
- 2 teaspoons vanilla, divided
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon strong coffee
- 4 cups confectioner’s sugar
- ¼ cup milk
- Red food coloring
- 12 ounces chocolate chips
- 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
- 2 ounces red fondant
For the cookies:
- Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, combine the cocoa powder, flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer beat together the sugar, brown sugar, and 1 cup of the butter for about 3 minutes until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add in one teaspoon of the vanilla and the egg, and mix until combined. Mix in the coffee. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients in 2 or 3 additions, and mix together on low speed until combined. The mixture will look light and a little sticky.
- Use a 1 ½ tablespoon sized cookie scoop to drop the dough onto the lined baking sheets with about 2 inches between each cookie.
- Bake the cookies for 15 minutes. The cookies will flatten and be just firm enough to easily move with a spatula. Transfer the cookies to a cooling rack. To cool completely.
While the cookies cool, prepare the buttercream:
- Blend together the remaining ⅓ cup of softened butter and the remaining teaspoon of vanilla extract. Add in the confectioner’s sugar and beat the ingredients together.
- With the mixer running add the food coloring. Add in the milk just a little at a time. Keep beating the frosting and adding milk little by little until the frosting reaches a good consistency: fluffy and not too stiff. If the frosting is not red enough mix a few more drops into it until you have the shade you like - try to have it be close to the shade of red in your fondant.
- When the cookies are completely cool make cookie sandwiches by spreading 1 tablespoon of buttercream on the bottom of one cookie and pressing the bottom side of another cookie together with it. Press the cookies together just enough so that the frosting spreads out to be even with the edges of the cookies. (This will help the sides look smooth when they are coated in chocolate.) Make sandwiches with all of the cookies.
Coat the cookies:
- In a bowl in the microwave oven or in the top of a double-boiler on the stovetop, melt the chocolate chips with the vegetable shortening, stirring them together until the mixture is completely smooth.
- Have ready on your work space a cooling rack set over a parchment paper-lined surface, the cookie sandwiches, the bowl or pan of melted chocolate, a large spoon, and a fork. You will also need a utensil to hold the cookies: I like to use a potato masher that when held pointing down has a flat surface where the cookie can sit. Alternatively you can also use a large slotted spoon or a large fork: something that will allow excess chocolate to drip away.
- Place a cookie on the potato masher or utensil, hold it over the bowl of melted chocolate, and use a large spoon to spoon the chocolate over the cookie. Be sure to spoon it over all of the exposed cookie including the sides and around the bottom edge. When the cookie is coated push it off the potato masher onto the cooling rack - you can do this by sliding the fork under the cookie to move it onto the rack.
- Repeat these coating steps with all of the cookie sandwiches. Allow them to set at room temperature until the chocolate is firm - the time will vary depending on how warm your kitchen is, but you can aim a small fan at the cookies to speed the process along.
- Roll out the fondant to a 1/4-inch thickness - you can use a tiny bit of confectioner’s sugar on your work surface if the fondant is sticking. Use a sharp knife and a ruler to make straight cuts, and slice the fondant into 1-inch x 2-inch rectangles. I do this by first cutting the fondant into 1-inch thick strips and then slice these strips into 2-inch long sections.
- When you have enough rectangles (one for each of your cookie sandwiches) slice through each rectangle corner to corner, like a giant X through the middle. You will use the triangles from the shorter sides - the flatter triangles can be discarded (or eaten sneakily while you work.) Place two triangles on the top of a cookie sandwich in the center, so that the points are touching and form an hourglass shape - like the marking on a black widow spider.
- If the triangles are not sticking to the cookie you can moisten the backsides slightly with water and this will help them stick. Place triangles in the hourglass pattern on each of the cookies. They are now ready to serve. Or more fittingly for Black Widow, they are now ready to kick some butt.
- These cookies can be stored covered in a container deep enough that the tops won’t be smudged or otherwise mussed, for up to three days. Makes about 26 cookie sandwiches.