I have to admit, I did need a bit of a nudge to try this recipe which was emailed to me by my friend Lisa. Although these were billed as “The best cookies in the world”, I was kind of put off by the picture in the article because it reminded me of chocolate shortbread, which I don’t find particularly interesting unless it’s topped with layers of other stuff. I waited until a day when I needed something quick, something chocolaty, and something that didn’t use a ton of ingredients. That is, today.
These are really good. They’re not shortbread-like, but they’re not chewy nor very crunchy either. What they are is a super chocolaty and sturdy. They’re extremely easy to put together and the dough freezes well. If you make these, use the best chocolate you have available because it’s what stands out. I used Hershey’s Dark cocoa because it’s what I had. That’s also why my cookies are a bit darker. For the chocolate pieces, I used a combination of chopped up Godiva dark and chopped up Ghirardelli bittersweet chips. Use whatever you want, but make sure it’s good.
This recipe is adapted from from Paris Sweets: Great Desserts From the City’s Best Pastry Shops. It is also featured on many web sites, including Splendid Table.
Makes about 36 cookies
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s Dark)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 stick plus 3 tablespoons butter at room temperature
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel or 1/4 teaspoon fine seas salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, dropped into small bits
Sift the flour, cocoa and baking soda together in a bowl.
In a mixing bowl, beat butter until creamy. Beat in both sugars, the salt (if using) and vanilla and beat for another minute or two. Reduce speed to low or by hand (which is how I do it), stir in the dry ingredients. Stir only until the dry ingredients are incorporated, then add the chocolate.
Turn the dough out onto a smooth work surface, divide in half and, working with one half at a time, shape the dough into a log that is 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Wrap the logs in plastic wrap and chill them for at least 1 hour. (Wrapped airtight, the logs can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 1 month.)
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Working with a sharp thin-bladed knife, slice rounds that are 1/2-in thick. (Don’t be upset when the cookies break, just squeeze the broken-off bit back onto the cookie.) Place the cookies on the parchment-lined sheets, leaving about 1 inch of spread space between each cookie. Bake only one sheet of cookies at a time and bake each sheet for 12 minutes. The cookies will not look done, nor will they be firm, but that’s just the way they should be. Transfer the baking sheet to a cooling rack and let the cookies rest, on the baking sheet, until they are only just warm or until they reach room temperature. Repeat with the second sheet of cookies.
Keeping: The dough can be made ahead and either chilled or frozen. In fact, if you’ve frozen the dough, you needn’t defrost it before baking – just slice the logs into cookies and bake 1 minute longer.