Chocolate Shortbread Footballs
Cream together the butter and sugar for 5 minutes. Add the cocoa and flour and mix together well until it combines. Allow to rest for 1 hour, covered in plastic.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
With a rolling pin, roll the dough to 1/4-inch thickness and with a cookie cutter shaped like a football, cut the dough into footballs. Place on parchment paper on cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Turn the sheet and bake another 5 minutes. Allow to cool.
Mix together the mascarpone and 2 tablespoons of confectioners' sugar until well blended. Spread a little of this mixture on 1 football and top with a second football to make a sandwich. Continue spreading the mixture until all cookies are used.
To make the royal icing, combine the 1 cup of confectioners' sugar with the egg white. Mix until the consistency is very smooth. Pour icing into a piping bag fitted with a round #1 tip. Pipe a football lace design on the cookies. Let dry.
*RAW EGG WARNING
Food Network Kitchens suggest caution in consuming raw and lightly-cooked eggs due to the slight risk of Salmonella or other food-borne illness. To reduce this risk, we recommend you use only fresh, properly-refrigerated, clean, grade A or AA eggs with intact shells, and avoid contact between the yolks or whites and the shell.