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Shiny Happy Chocolate Cookies

by on January 7, 2009 · 44 comments

Today’s cookie is another example of how beating the eggs can make a shiny cookie; and it’s also representative of just how much chocolate you can shove into one cookie! I wasn’t sure this recipe would work, but it did. Just make sure you chill the batter, otherwise it will be too thin to scoop up into balls. Since these cookies are mostly chocolate, I recommend using the best. If you live near me, check H.E.B. because they are having a blow-out sale on Scharffen Berger and selling 6 oz blocks for $2.50. Come to think of it, I’m mad at myself for not just buying them all up yesterday.

shiny chocolate cookies

And here’s another thing I’ve been meaning to tell you. I’ve stopped melting chocolate in the microwave. Directions saying “melt chocolate over a pan of barely simmering water” used to sound like a pain, and I’d always melt chocolate in the microwave instead. But what I realized was the only pain was figuring out which bowl fits over which saucepan. Once you’ve found the perfect size metal bowl to fit over your saucepan, melting chocolate over barely simmering water is much less stressful than melting it in the microwave. First off, there’s less chance of it seizing. And second, you don’t have to stop and stir every 30 seconds. You can go about your business while the chocolate gently melts. And finally, once you are done melting the chocolate (which always seems smoother and happier having been melted this way), you can dump the boiling water into sink and over dirty spoons or something else with gunk on it. All of the above applies only to people who for one reason or another are resistant to buying a double boiler. I am, because I hate buying something when I know I can build it. Here’s my contraption. I’d say the bowl is about an inch from the simmering (barely) water. Please excuse my dirty stove.

double boiler

P.S. In regard to melting chocolate over barely simmering water, I have a feeling a bunch of you are saying “Of course, dummy.” but since I’ve been baking for about 30 years and am only now getting comfortable with the melting chocolate over indirect heat method, maybe there are others out there who are still relying on the microwave….not that there’s anything wrong with that. I just feel I’m getting better results melting chocolate over barely simmering water.

UPDATE:  I’m calling myself out on that remark.  I STILL use the microwave and it’s just as good — just be careful with the settings.  You can also toast your walnuts in the microwave, but again — you have to play with the settings.  I generally use 50% power for about a minute and a half.  Sometimes I stop halfway through to shuffle the nuts around.

And now for those cookies!

Shiny Happy Chocolate Cookies
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Shiny, fudgy cookies
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 20
  • 1/4 cup sifted all-purpose flour (1 oz)
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 oz chopped semi-sweet chocolate (62%)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 packed tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
  • 2/3 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped and toasted (optional)
  1. Mix together the flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
  2. In a metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, melt chocolate with butter. Cool slightly (about 3 minutes). If you melt the chocolate over barely simmering water, it shouldn’t be too hot in the first place.
  3. Beat eggs and sugar in a mixing bowl using high speed of an electric mixer for 2-3 minutes. Beat the melted chocolate mixture into the egg mixture. Beat in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture and stir it gently into the batter. Make sure the batter is cool, then add the chocolate chips and walnuts.
  4. Chill dough for at least one hour.
  5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. I used an insulated cookie sheet.
  6. Scoop up rounded tablespoons of dough and set dough balls on parchment paper spacing about 2 ½ inches apart. Bake for 11-13 minutes. Let cookies cool on sheet for about 3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  7. Note sure of yield, but I'll estimate 20.


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Published on January 7, 2009

{ 44 comments… read them below or add one }

CindyD January 7, 2009 at 12:02 pm

How many cookies did you make? And I finally found espresso powder – would it amp up the chocolate to add it?

Anna January 7, 2009 at 12:13 pm

Cindy, I am not quite sure because I only baked up some of the dough. I’m going to estimate that you could get at least 20 good sized cookies.

Another thing I am going to add to the recipe is that I used an insulated baking sheet. Not sure if it is what gave me such great results, but the cookies were nice and fat. Also, I think the espresso powder would be an excellent addition.

J January 7, 2009 at 12:21 pm

Shiny cookies always look more special. Like tasty little jewels….

They look scrumptious!

I miss Texas and I miss H.E.B.

I must seek out this Scharfenberger of which you speak.

Katrina January 7, 2009 at 12:31 pm

Those cookies look really good!
I just made some almost non-fat brownies using Egg Beaters and they are the shiniest brownies I’ve ever seen. Must be the extra egg white and less yolk. I’m going to post them, but instead of oil or butter, I used black bean puree. They are pretty good with NO bean taste. (I’m trying to get my son to eat more fiber and protein and he’s loving the brownies!)

Hallie January 7, 2009 at 12:57 pm

I still melt chocolate in the microwave, just because I’ve been too lazy to buy good glass bowls that will work as a double boiler. Oh well…some day. Those cookies look great and very chocolaty.

clumbsycookie January 7, 2009 at 1:08 pm

I’m with you about buying things we can make ourselfs. I have a tiny little double boiler that I never use. So Shirley was right, he? I thought she might be!
Those are gorgeous cookies! They look happy and I’m sure I would look happy as well after eating them!

Karen January 7, 2009 at 1:10 pm

Did you use the optional nuts? I was wondering if I left them off would they spread out more?

Cherie January 7, 2009 at 1:15 pm

Those look excellent!

I love using a double boiler to melt chocolate for the exact reason you said: you just ignore it for awhile. I own a “real” double boiler that was ridiculously expensive considering it’s a bowl made to sit in a pot and I NEVER use it. I just use a stainless steel bowl that I found at a restaurant supply shop for around $8. It fits over every single one of my pots (doesn’t nest in like yours does, just sits on top) and it’s perfect!

Sue January 7, 2009 at 1:29 pm

Your cookies look scrumptious! I love this quote, “….and it’s also representative of just how much chocolate you can shove into one cookie!” That’s the kind of drive and determination I like to see. :-)
I started out using a double boiler to melt chocolate, then embraced the microwave method, but then in December I burned first white chocolate in the microwave, and then a few weeks later I burned some unsweetened in the microwave. I’ve never burned any kind of chocolate prior to that. It was carelesness on my part both times but I’ve learned my lesson and will return to the mock double boiler method!

Mattie January 7, 2009 at 1:31 pm

These LOOK just like your Savannah chewies; how do these compare in taste and texture? I am always interested in recipes like these because I myself am on a mission to replicate/find/crack the code on the Great American Cookie Co. chocolate cookie. My mother adores these and we have yet to find the recipe for them. Anyway, I plan to compare your recipe here with one I found on King Arthur’s site and test both. So much work to do, so little time, too much fun! Thanks for such a great site. You are like my morning cup of coffee; my day is not complete until I have read your daily post!

VeggieGirl January 7, 2009 at 2:01 pm

Oooooh, love the shine :-D

Therese B. January 7, 2009 at 2:02 pm


Holy toledo those look awesome! Girl…what is a H.E.B.? Once again I wish I lived in a bigger city for this reason. Regardless..your cookies look amazing. And NO you are not a dummy!! And you should see my oven…the inside. I hate cleaning it. You are so funny and much too hard on yourself. Hey….you help us all to become THE BEST bakers bar none! Did you know that I am considered THE BEST COOKIE BAKER in the family??!!! I give all credit to you! Seriously! Thank you for alternative to the double boiler..I am gonna try it! I have scorched a lot of choc. in the microwave.
Thanks again!

Rebecca January 7, 2009 at 2:25 pm

When the recipe calls for melting the chocolate and butter together, I’ve become a big fan of melting just the butter in the microwave. I then pour it over the chopped chocolate and let it sit for a few minutes and then whisk it together, kind of like when making ganache. This works best with brownies and cakes where the butter percentage is higher than with cookies and it satisfies my short attention span without burning the chocolate!

Kathy January 7, 2009 at 2:55 pm

These look wonderful! I’ll print this out and try it for Valentine’s. Have you ever made biscotti? I’m always looking for new tried and true biscotti recipes. I like to give these as gifts with tea and coffee.

Love your blog – off to search more of your recipes

Anna January 7, 2009 at 3:21 pm

J, a lot of mainstream chocolate stores are selling Scharffen Berger. Otherwise, try Whole Foods.

Katrina, I’ve been curious about black bean brownies every since I saw them on Heidi Swanson’s blog. Your recipe must be different because I don’t think she would use Egg Beaters. I’ll check it.

Hallie, try a metal bowl. They’re pretty cheap and they heat up really fast.

Rita, that Shirley knows her stuff ;).

Karen, I did use the nuts. However, I think the cookies would be fine without them. They might spread a tiny bit more, but they are so fat to being with it would matter.

Cherie, I think it’s funny that you and Rita both own double boilers and never use them.

Sue, what got me using the bowl/simmer method was that I suddenly started having seizing issues with microwaved chocolate. Even when I used low power, the chocolate was still getting too hot.

Mattie, that’s the first thing I thought when I took these out of the oven — that they looked like Savannah Chewies. These are very different, though. They’re dense, fudgy, and not as nutty.

Veggiegirl, I guess we both like shiny things.

Therese, let me know what you think about the bowl and simmer method. Like Cherie mentioned, it doesn’t have to nest perfectly….just make sure it doesn’t topple off. I think you’ll like this way better.

Rebecca, that sounds like a good way to do it. I guess you’d have to chop the chocolate pretty well.

Kathy, you should find a whole biscotti category in the left sidebar. I don’t make it as often as drop cookies, but I love it.

snooky doodle January 7, 2009 at 3:22 pm

I made these and they were purely delicious. These look so yummy I couldn t resist :)

Joanna January 7, 2009 at 3:29 pm

i always melt chocolate in the microwave, too. i’m just scared that i’ll burn a bowl by doing it over boiling water and have my parents scream at me for it. i’m proud of you for doing this method!! we always make mountains out of anthills, don’t we?

don’t worry about your stovetop. ours is black and gets gunk on it ALL the time. i think my stepdad regrets buying a black stove because he has to clean it so often.

dawn January 7, 2009 at 3:30 pm

I hate melting choco in my microwave as I always burn it! Not good. I do a much better job over the stove on water.
I’m with you, shiny is good, especially when you want to impress guests or…

Emily January 7, 2009 at 4:01 pm

They look like Star Crunch.

johngl January 7, 2009 at 4:42 pm

You must be a gourmet, using that bowl over the simmering water technique and all.

The technique works great for other things, too. Like hollandaise. I wouldn’t put that on a cookie though. Well, at least not these cookies.

Katrina January 7, 2009 at 6:13 pm

I melt chocolate in the microwave more often than I use my double boiler that came with the Wolfgang Puck pots and pans my husband got me a few years ago. The annoying thing about the double boiler is that the pot you melt the chocolate in has a strange ridge/indentation about half way up the pot, and you can’t get all the melted chocolate out of it. Stick with the bowl over water method!
Anna, I’ve never seen Heidi’s recipe for the brownies with beans, I’ll have to look at it, too. I got these from
Great site for using things you keep in your pantry, like beans. She used boxed brownie mix (also good, made that kind on Monday), I just tried two different ways by scratch and both are good, but different brownies. I’m using the less fat/protein issue as an excuse to eat too many of these! Gotta find a way to use less sugar now. Hmmm.

bakingblonde January 7, 2009 at 7:08 pm

Just beautiful! They remind me of the Chocolate Shock Cookies I made a while back. Darn those were good, can’t wait to try these!

Anna January 7, 2009 at 8:04 pm

I compared them to Chocolate Shock cookies because the Chocolate Shocks have become my go-go chocolate cookie. I think these are as good. They’re probably about the same. I’d need to eat them side by side to really know.

chris January 7, 2009 at 9:43 pm

I just made the choc shiny cookies and we loved them! How can I get your daily blog?

maggie January 8, 2009 at 6:46 am

these look sooo delicious!

i hope you’re venting your double boiler – i remember reading on another blog recently about someone who caused a major chocolate explosion & facial burns because of melting chocolate this way.

love your website!

Anna January 8, 2009 at 7:01 am

Maggie, thanks for raising awareness. What an awful story!

Heather - Ghost Baker January 8, 2009 at 7:42 am

I’m considering your bowl over the saucepan contraption.. How do you keep from burning yourself when trying to remove the hot, chocolate filled pan from the also hot saucepan? I just have visions of scalding myself with a bowl full of chocolate!

Anna January 8, 2009 at 7:47 am

Heather, don’t worry. It’s not too difficult. I burn myself all the time, but haven’t managed to injure myself removing the chocolate bowl. Just use a hot pad and you’ll be fine.

Jenn's Baking Chamber January 8, 2009 at 9:16 am

Wow! Those look extrodinary, I love what the inside of the cookie looks like. I most definitely agree, I used to hate melting chocolate over simmering water because I could never find two pots to fit but now i realize its so much easier! thanks for the chocolatey recipe

runjess January 8, 2009 at 10:10 am

Those look amazing and very similar to a cookie I made over Christmas:

patsyk January 8, 2009 at 10:18 am

I actually do have a double boiler. I didn’t have any metal bowls that I could use, so my hubby was sweet enough to get me one. :)

These cookies look like something we would love – all that chocolate, has to be amazing!

giz January 10, 2009 at 4:17 pm

They certainly are shiny and how is it possible for a cookie not to be happy ? I think I’m almost ready to eat some cookies.

Karen January 11, 2009 at 2:45 pm

I made these yesterday while I was home with my sick daughter. They were unbelievable. The family gave them the highest rating, E+. I make a LOT of cookies and brownies so they are careful giving out the E’s. Thanks for a new family favorite. I do agree that the quality of the chocolate is a make or break for these cookies.

Wendy January 12, 2009 at 2:27 pm

These LOOK fabulous! I, too, am on the quest for the Great American Cookie Co. Chocolate cookie… but it’s hard to tell texture from a picture. Did these come out more cakey or chewy?

Anna January 12, 2009 at 2:36 pm

These are fudgy. They are very similar to Maida Heatter’s Whoppers.

Louise January 16, 2009 at 7:57 am

Scharffen Berger chocolate is actually owned by Hersheys since 2005. :-) I was just reading everyones comments regarding melting chocolate. I’ve had an induction cooktop for over two years and cannot say enough good things about it. There’s are low temperature settings so I can melt chocolate right in the pan with no fear of burning it. It’s sweet. And, if I’m cooking something that I expect to spatter, I put parchment paper on the cooktop between the burner and the pan.

lindsay weiss July 27, 2009 at 10:39 am

These are fantastic…emphasis on the “make sure to chill for at least an hour” instructions. The dough is almost like cake batter until you chill. I was sure I’d messed these up, but wasn’t about to waste all that good chocolate.

Once I chilled these baked up beautifully and are melt-in-your-mouth delish! A new favorite around here…

Katherine July 30, 2009 at 1:12 pm

OMG! I am in chocolate heaven. I just made these as a trial run for my sis-in-law’s baby shower. She has been craving chocolate and she will LOVE these. I added espresso powder and used 72%Dark Chocolate. After they cooled (but still sort of warm) I sandwiched them with vanilla ice cream. It tastes like chocolate molten cake from a fancy restaurant. Another awesome recipe Anna! Thanks :)

Kristen December 11, 2010 at 2:02 pm

Thanks for the recipe! One word of caution to others, though–I didn’t have an insulated pan, and the cookies I had on a slightly lower rack in the oven burned pretty badly in less than 8 minutes of cooking. Make sure to put these on the top rack! The batter was great, though, and I salvaged most of the cookies in the end. Super chocolate-y and awesome.

Anna December 11, 2010 at 2:06 pm

Hi Kristen,

Thanks for the tip! I always bake my cookies on the center rack, so I didn’t anticipate that happening. However, I guess it could if your oven is very hot and you’re cooking on a lower rack. Also, my insulated pans are pretty worn out so lately I’ve been stacking two pans together. That is, baking cookies on one sheet, setting it on top of another, and putting both pans in the oven. If you are having trouble with burnt bottoms, this should help.

Sabrina December 9, 2012 at 9:19 pm

I just want to say i made your cookies tonight it did make more than 20… :)~
I even used the double boiler method. :) the chocolate was for sure like you said a much happier blend. I love the taste of them they are amazing. but i want to add they didn’t rise and weren’t (fat/thick) type cookies they spread out and were melted into each other, apparently when working with a 4 yr old helper you just don’t get them far enough apart. I seperated the dough at the end added pecans and chilled for the one hour, the nut ones came out thicker than the ones with out. THANK YOU for this recipe they really are delish!!! and we will make them again! SHHHH…. i also added white ch. chips and caramel ones too. still yummy.

Anna December 9, 2012 at 9:45 pm

Hi Sabrina,

Thanks for trying them and for taking the time to post your experience. I’ve made a lot of chocolate cookies and here are some things I’ve learned

— different brands of chocolate affect spreading. Cookies made with melted chocolate chips instead of chopped chocolate will spread less.
— Using an ungreased cookie sheet can help because the less-slick surface gives the cookies something to grip. In this case, parchment should be fine, but it’s something to think about next time you get a cookie that spreads.
–If your baking powder is old, the cookies will spread. Also, I use Rumford. I think some other brands might not give you as much leavening actions, but that’s just a hunch that I haven’t confirmed. Not sure what brand you use.
–If you can, chill the dough until it’s just firm enough to shape, shape the cookies, then chill the shaped cookies overnight until you have very firm balls of dough. Most of the chocolate cookies I make are much thicker when the dough has spent at least 12 hours in the refrigerator. However, you do need to shape them when it’s still kind of soft or the dough will get too thick to shape.
Also, have you ever tried Maida’s Chocolate Whoppers? If you liked this recipe, I recommend you try this one as well.

Sarabeth’s chocolate cookies are also really good (and fatter).

Anyway, I’m happy you liked these even if this batch didn’t turn out as thick as you hoped. I think that if you use fresh baking powder and chill the dough overnight after it’s been shaped, you’ll get thicker cookies.

Sabrina December 10, 2012 at 8:20 am

Spot ON! my baking powder is old! and i will also use the melted chocolate chips next time as well thank you for the tip! my hubby and 2 boys ate them all before I got up this morning! apparently they didn’t care what so ever if they were flat! LOL the taste was amazing!

Zack March 13, 2013 at 11:21 pm

I wanted a recipe for shiny cookies and found your blog through this recipe! Just wondering though, will this recipe work for normal chocolate chip cookies without the melted chocolate? As in, will I get a shiny crust by just adding melted butter to the egg+sugar mix? Thanks so much!

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