When you come home from work on a Monday night in need of chocolate, sure, it might be easy to run to the store and buy a bag of Oreos (particularly if you were running there anyway to stock up on parchment paper as, ahem, one of us was). But, trust me, this is better.
When you are driving down the street the next night, lowering your windows because, aha!, the weather has cooled down and here are the September breezes! and just as your window slides down, it pops off its track and falls deep into the insides of the door, and you think, wow, I could go for a cookie right now, trust me, these are the ones you’ll be glad to have beside you.
There aren’t a lot of times these cookies wouldn’t make sense, in fact.
Over the last two days: I ate them Monday night while my brother was visiting, and he let me borrow his camera to decide if I could ever understand it (jury’s still out); I brought some to work the next day for me and Becky, where we finished the small stash before 11 AM and had to make toast to tide us over until lunch; and I ate them with Michele and Wendi last night, while we ate organic pizza and looked at the largest map of Colorado I’ve seen (because, side note: we are going to Denver in ONE WEEK!).
These pretty little cookies are as simple to make as mixing, chilling, rolling and baking, and they turn out soft and sweet and covered in shiny bits of crystallized sugar, which makes them perfect for just about anything, at least in my opinion.
Based on a recipe from Martha Stewart’s Cookies for Grammy’s Chocolate Cookies, the product of one contest-winning Anne Feldman who’d inherited them from her grandmother Ivyle Phinney Morrow, my adapted version of these is made with dark chocolate cocoa powder, which creates that they’re-almost-pitch-black look of potting soil, the kind you’d half expect a geranium to pop out of when you set them all on a plate.
They’re good for Mondays, good for Wednesdays, and, this morning, wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, I hope you’ll give them a shot. One tray out of the oven, it will be worth it. You’ll see.
Adapted from Martha Stewart
This recipe claims to be easy enough for kids, which it is, but, hello? You have to chill the dough for a whole hour before you get to bake them!? What kid (or yours truly) likes that? So I’m just telling you: the rich and chocolate batter that you absolutely should not eat because it has raw eggs in it? It tastes very good. Be warned.
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup dark Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Raw or sanding sugar, for rolling the cookies
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, sugar and eggs on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add vanilla, and mix to combine. Gradually add the bowl of dry ingredients, combining on low speed until fully incorporated. Smooth dough into a large disc, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for about an hour.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with Silpat baking mats or parchment paper. Roll dough into 1.5-inch balls and roll them in raw/sanding sugar. Place them on baking sheets about 1.5 inches apart. Bake for about eight minutes. Cool on sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire rack (or, what I did: eat them one by one before sealing them up tightly in a Tupperware container, with a paper towel to keep them soft).