I’m pretty sure that cookies are one of life’s great triumphs — at least in the world of dessert. Where else are you going to find a sweet that’s so universally loved? A treat that can be baked quickly, travel easily and please grandparents and toddlers alike? They’re like the stuff of fairy tales, really. There are humble beginnings (we’re talking dough balls, y’all), followed by courageous middles (baking is not for the lighthearted) and, finally, the beautiful, delicious endings. Yes, cookies are pure magic. No two are the same, and yet they all have tales worth telling.
This cookie’s story is none too fancy, though sprinkles and nuts and chocolate chips do not a hero make. Sometimes it’s simplicity and earnestness that win out in the end.
Chocolate sugar cookies are exactly as they sound. They are simple sweets that pack a lovely chocolate punch by way of Dutch-process cocoa powder, with enough butter to remind you they’re a sometimes food.
They need very little else, besides a source for dunking. Coffee is always a good friend to chocolate, but I dare say these taste best when paired with an ice cold glass of milk.
And this recipe makes a mountain, so be sure to share with friends. Or with strangers, who will quickly become your friends.
Chocolate Sugar Cookies
Adapted slightly from Martha Stewart’s Cookies
• 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
• ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (Dutch process)
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• ½ teaspoon salt
• 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, ½ cup at room temperature and ½ cup melted
• 1 ½ cups sugar
• 1 egg
• 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the ½ cup room-temperature butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the (cooled) melted butter, and mix until well blended. Add the egg and vanilla, and mix until creamy. With the mixer on low, gradually add the dry ingredients, and mix until just combined.
Use a 1-inch cookie scoop to drop dough in rounded tablespoons on a parchment- or Silpat-lined cookie sheet. Bake for 10-14 minutes, until edges are firm. Let the cookies cool on the sheet for minute, then move them to a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes about 4 dozen