This morning, I awoke to a rather timely tweet from @Real_Simple. “Today’s thought: ‘There is nothing better than a friend, unless it is a friend with chocolate.’ — Charles Dickens.” Well, Mr. Dickens, today I come bearing chocolate. Today, I am a friend to all.
There’s nothing better than a looker of a cookie, and these chocolate quakes from The Essential NYT Cookbook are just that. They’re the kind of cookie that turns you back into a 6-year-old; you’ll want to watch through the window of the oven as they transform from powdered sugar balls into crackly snow-covered beauties. They really are adorable, though no trickier to make than a basic sugar cookie dough. And did I mention they’re chocolate? So, yes, they’re all sorts of yumminess, too.
From The New York Times Essential Cookbook (Amanda Hesser, p. 702)
• 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
• ½ cup granulated sugar
• 1 large egg
• 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract (this is upped from the original ½ teaspoon)
• 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch-process
• ½ cup all-purpose flour
• ½ teaspoon baking powder
• 1/8 teaspoon salt
* ¼ cup finely ground almonds or pecans (I skipped this ingredient, but feel free to add away)
• ¼ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
• about ¾ cup powdered sugar
In a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or in a bowl with a hand mixer), beat the butter, granulated sugar, egg and vanilla on low speed until pale yellow in color and thickened, about 1 minute. Sift the cocoa, flour, baking powder and salt into the bowl, and mix on low speed until incorporated. Fold in the chocolate chips (and nuts, if using). Cover, and chill until dough is firm enough to be handled, at least 1 hour.
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment, foil or Silpat. Place powdered sugar in a medium bowl.
Form the dough into 1-inch balls, place in the powdered sugar, and roll until completely covered. Place dough balls on baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake for 12 minutes, or until the cookies are puffed and the surfaces are cracked (centers will look undone). Remove from the oven, let sit for 5 minutes, and then transfer cookies from the baking sheet to a wire rack to cool completely.
Are you sharing in the chocolate love today? What’s your favorite chocolate dessert? Does anyone use chocolate in a non-desserty dish? Chili or spaghetti, maybe? Do tell!