Soft Red Velvet Sugar Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting

Soft red velvet sugar cookies with cream cheese frosting

February is my month to host the group, What’s Baking.  With Valentine’s Day and all, I thought red velvet would be appropriate.  I don’t think I have ever made anything red velvet. I’m really not sure why. But, it’s been on my baking to do list for a long time, so let’s cross this one off.

I had a hard time figuring out what to bake. Brownies, cookies, cake, cupcakes?  So, many to choose from. But, if you’ve been here before, you know my family’s love for soft, frosted sugar cookies. You know, the Lofthouse style ones? I finally came across these red velvet cookies with cream cheese frosting and immediately knew they were it.  Have you ever visited the blog Cooking Classy?  If not, you totally should.  Jaclyn’s pictures are just beautiful and everything she bakes looks amazing.  I can’t tell you how many things I’ve pinned.  Now, I just need to find the time…

These cookies were easy enough to make.  But, I think I should have used regular cocoa versus the Dutch processed.  The color would have been more red and a bit less muddled. But, I guess that’s just aesthetics and I need to get over it. For Jaclyn’s cookies, it looks like she frosted them by hand. I can never make my cookies look nice that way, so I chose to pipe them instead.  I pulled out like 10 different colors of sprinkles, but I loved the white against the white frosting.  Then, I decided white sprinkles weren’t enough, so I added some disco dust for sparkle. Disco dust…say what?  I have never heard of it before either. It’s edible glitter and it will make your cookies look beautiful.

The verdict? My husband and kids absolutely loved them. I had 21 cookies yesterday and only 4 today.  These cookies are really soft, with just a hint of chocolate which pairs perfectly with the sweet cream cheese frosting.  If you haven’t made anything red velvet, or you have and you’re crazy for it, make these cookies. You’ll love them. Promise.  Another keeper for me.

Stay tuned for the round up of all the yummy red velvet desserts….I can’t wait to see what everyone made!

Whats Baking Badge

Soft Red Velvet Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting

Yield:  16 cookies ( I got 21)


2 1/4 cups cake flour

3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder    I used Valrhona Dutched

2 tsp cornstarch

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup softened unsalted butter

1/4 cup vegetable shortening  I like Crisco sticks- more accurate and less mess

1 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

1 large egg white

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract   (I used 1 tsp vanilla and 1/2 tsp vanilla paste)

1 tsp lemon juice or vinegar

Red food coloring   I used ~ 1.5 tsp of AmeriColor Super Red Gel Paste

Sprinkles,  if desired.

Cream Cheese Frosting

4 oz. cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup butter, softened (I used unsalted and added a pinch of salt)

3/4 tsp vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

In a large bowl, whisk together the cake flour, cocoa powder, cornstarch, baking powder and salt until well combined.  Although the directions didn’t say, I sifted the mixture because my cocoa was lumpy. Set aside the flour mixture.

In the bowl of your KitchenAid mixer, blend the butter, shortening and sugar with the paddle attachment until light-colored and fluffy, ~ 3 minutes.  Mix in the egg, then the egg white, vanilla, vinegar (or lemon juice) and food coloring.

With your mixer on low, slowly add in the dry ingredients. Mix just until combined.  Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula to make sure every last bit is incorporated.

Cover your mixing bowl with plastic wrap. Chill x 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat.

Remove the dough from the fridge. Shape the dough into ~ 3 Tbsp balls. I got 8 cookies per sheet. Grease or lightly wet your hands and press the dough down to about 1/2-inch high.

Bake ~9 to 11 minutes. Rotate the cookie sheet halfway through the bake time.  Remove the sheet from the oven and cool the cookies on the baking sheet ~2 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

Cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting:

In the bowl of your KitchenAid, with the whisk attachment, whip the cream cheese and butter until light-colored and fluffy.  Blend in the vanilla. Slowly add in the powdered sugar, blending until well combined and fluffy. I added about 1 tsp half and half to thin the frosting out a bit to make piping easier. 

Source:  Cooking Classy

Soft red velvet cookies with cream cheese frosting


Soft and Chewy Double Chocolate M&M Cookies

Soft and Chewy Double Chocolate M&M Cookies

My daughter loves to bake with me. Last weekend, she asked if we could make some cookies. So I pulled up my Pinterest cookie board and told her to pick one.  She is a total chocolate lover like her mom, so these were an easy choice for her.  Chocolate + cookies + M&Ms? It doesn’t get much better for a 6-year-old.   We set to work, her measuring and pouring and then her aunt called.  She is crazy about her aunt, so the cookie idea was quickly abandoned for girl talk.  She was sad that after her 20 minute phone call, I had finished the batter and had a sheet in the oven.  Well, the type A in me could not leave cookie dough unfinished.  But, no worries. All was forgiven when she tasted this cookie.  Sammie said “I have to say, my taste buds went on a yummy trip”.  I love this girl!  And I have to agree. These were some delicious cookies. The cookie base was very brownie-like and chewy. The M&Ms gave a nice pop of chocolate flavor and just look adorable anyways.  This one is definitely a keeper. A good lunch box cookie for sure. 

Soft and Chewy Double Chocolate M&M Cookies
Yield: 24 cookies.  I only got 18.

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder   I used Valrhona Dutch Processed
1 teaspoon cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup mini M&Ms   I used 3/4 cups:   1/2 cup for the dough and 1/4 cup to press into the top of the dough

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line one or two baking sheets with parchment paper.  I never bake more than one batch of cookies at a time.

In a medium bowl, sift the following together:  flour, cocoa powder, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt.  I almost never sift, but when cocoa powder is involved, I do because it is always so lumpy. In the bowl of your KitchenAid with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar and brown sugar on medium until light and fluffy, ~3 minutes. Beat in the egg, then the vanilla.  With the mixer on low,  add the dry ingredients a little at a time, beating until just combined.  Stir in the mini M&M’s by hand with a rubber spatula.  I would add about 1/2 cup to dough and reserve 1/4 cup to press into the top of the cookies after they are portioned. They look prettier this way.

Using a small cookie scoop, drop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. Press the reserved M&Ms into the top of each ball. About 5 or 6 should do it. Bake for about 8 minutes (rotating your cookie sheet(s) halfway) or until the edges of the cookies are set.  The centers may look a bit underdone – but they will finish baking on the cookie sheet. Please do not over bake! No one likes dry, burnt cookies.  Allow the cookies to cool for a few minutes on the cookie sheets.  Remove the cookies from the sheets and allow to cool completely, if you can wait, on a wire rack.

Source:  Tracey’s Culinary Adventures

Dahlia Bakery Chocolate Truffle Cookies

Dahlia Bakery Chocolate Truffle Cookies

Chocolate truffle cookies.  That was all I had to read before I decided I had to make them immediately.  I’m not sure if it is just me,  but I honestly don’t get it when someone says a dessert is too rich or too chocolately.   There is no such thing.  The more chocolate, the better.  And these cookies have a trifecta of chocolate:  bittersweet, cocoa powder and chips.   Sounds like perfection to me.  Besides, I have heard wonderful things about the famed Dahlia Bakery and I already love Tom Douglas as a Top Chef guest judge.  Though, I have to say, Top Chef has been pretty disappointing this season.  I am a huge fan, but Seattle is almost as bad as Texas, I’m afraid.  But, I keep watching anyways.  I think I just love Tom 😀

These cookies were easy enough to make.  I wouldn’t even bother with the double boiler. I have always had good luck melting my chocolate in the microwave.  I just melt it on defrost at 15-20 second increments and mix before putting it back in the microwave.  Just be careful to not melt until totally smooth or it will be overdone and bitter.  There should still be small chocolate chunks and the residual heat will melt the rest.  Make sure to beat the batter after you add the eggs for several minutes so you get the pretty shiny tops.  When you add the flour, fold lightly just until combined and your cookies will be tender.  As they bake, the smell of chocolate is intoxicating.  I love how the top cracks, hinting at the dark, delicious fudgeyness underneath.  These cookies were so good, I immediately ordered the Dahlia Bakery Cookbook.  I have a feeling that these cookies are just a hint of the deliciousness to come…..

Dahlia Bakery Chocolate Truffle Cookies

Yield: 30 cookies, 3.5in diameter

1 1⁄4 cups (7 1⁄8 ounces/205 grams) all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon (3 ⁄4 ounce/20 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder     I used Valrhona

1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

1 pound plus 4 ounces (567 grams) bittersweet chocolate, chopped        I used Callebaut

1⁄2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (1 1⁄4 sticks/5 ounces/140 grams) unsalted butter, softened

2 1⁄4 cups (1 pound plus 1⁄4 ounce/460 grams) sugar

6 large eggs, room temperature

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

2 cups (12 ounces/340 grams) bittersweet chocolate chips   I used semisweet mini chips

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a small bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, and baking powder.  Stir in the salt. Set aside. Place a heat-proof bowl over a saucepan filled with about 1 inch of water.  Heat the water until very hot but not boiling.  Put the chocolate in the bowl and stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove the bowl of chocolate from over the water and cool for ~ 5 – 10 minutes.    I melted in the microwave at 15 second intervals, stirring in between.

Combine the softened butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle.  Cream on medium until well combined. Add the eggs, one at a time.  Mix on medium until the eggs are incorporated.

Increase the speed to high and beat for a few minutes until the mixture is very light, creamy, and pale in color. Scrape down the bowl as needed. This is what gives the cookies the shiny, cracked tops. Add the melted chocolate and  vanilla. Mix just until combined. Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the dry ingredients with a spatula. Do not overmix or the cookies with be tough. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Start scooping the cookies as soon as the batter is made. The batter is very soft and sticky at first.  But it starts firming up quickly as it sits, making it difficult to portion. The easiest way to portion the cookies is with a 2- oz ice cream scoop. Pack the scoop 3/4 full. Or use a scant 1 ⁄4 cup or 1 1 ⁄2 ounces of cookie dough for each cookie.

Scoop the cookies onto baking sheets lined with parchment, about 2 inches apart.  Flatten each mound of dough slightly with a dampened hand.

Immediately after scooping the batter, place them in the oven. If baking in batches, don’t refrigerate the scooped dough.  Instead, leave them at room temperature. They will not spread properly if the dough is chilled.

Bake until the cookie tops are evenly cracked and they are soft set, ~14 to 16 minutes. Rotate the pan at ~ 7 minutes. If you have 2 pans of cookies in the oven at the same time, also switch them between the racks.

Remove the pans from the oven and cool on a wire rack. Allow the cookies to cool completely before removing them from the baking sheets with a metal spatula.

Source: The Dahlia Bakery Cookbook via In Sock Monkey Slippers

Dahlia chocolate truffle cookies

Brownie pudding

Last month, I made myself this hot fudge pudding cake for my birthday.  It was so delicious that Jack and Sammie haven’t stopped talking about it since.  I thought about making the same cake again, but then I remembered Ina’s brownie pudding, that I made a few years ago, was very similar.  I love that this pudding is made from pantry staples and honestly, it only takes 10 minutes, 15 minutes tops, to prepare the batter.  Then you pop it in the oven, and like magic, a crispy, crusted brownie develops on top with a thick, rich, deep dark chocolate pudding on the bottom.  How easy it that?  All that is missing now is a big scoop of good vanilla ice cream.

I totally love Ina, but I can’t help but think that these it’s fine memes are hilarious. 😀  In every recipe she writes, she calls for “good” ingredients, those used in the Hamptons, I suppose.  This recipe is no different as she asks for good cocoa, which to Ina, is Pernigotti.   I have made this pudding with the “good cocoa” and it was delicious.  This time I used Hershey’s Special Dark and it was fine.  Well, better than fine.  Sammie says it was divine.  Apparently she learned that adjective from the cooking lady, AKA Giada.  Gosh, how I love that girl!  Another thing you’ll notice about Ina’s recipes, is that she always uses extra large eggs, a carryover from her catering days.  I almost never have them because large eggs are used in essentially every other recipe but Ina’s.  A few times, I bought them specifically for one of her recipes and then had to scramble the rest.  But, here I substituted 4 large eggs for the 4 extra large eggs and it was fine. ;D   The pudding has to be cooked in a water bath, so make sure you have a big enough pan to put your baking dish in.  I couldn’t find my big roasting pan anywhere because the baby likes to push his stuffed dog around in it or he likes to sit in it like a sled.  So, I had to make do with a 13 x9 Pyrex, but it was a close fit with all the water.  Oh well, it worked.  At least this time I had all of my measuring cups.  Some of them were missing for about a week, until I found them hidden in the griddle box (Alex!!) when I went to make pancakes.  Wow, it is so much easier to measure by the cup than by third cups.

How does one read brownie pudding and not want to make it?  It is quick and easy.  It tastes divine.  I know you have the ingredients….

Brownie Pudding

Yield: 2 quart casserole

1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus extra for buttering the dish

4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature  I used 4 large eggs and it was fine

2 cups sugar

3/4 cup good dutch processed cocoa powder    I used Hershey’s Dark

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

Seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean

I added a pinch of espresso powder

1 tablespoon framboise liqueur, optional   I omitted

Vanilla ice cream, for serving

Preheat the oven to 325 F. Lightly butter a 2-quart (9 by 12 by 2-inch) oval baking dish.  Melt the 1/2 pound of butter in the microwave. Set aside to cool.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs and sugar on med-high speed for ~ 5 to 10 minutes, until very thick and light yellow. Meanwhile, sift the cocoa powder and flour together to remove the lumps. Set aside.

When the egg-sugar mixture is ready, reduce the speed to low.  Add the vanilla seeds, framboise (if using), and the cocoa-flour mixture. Mix only until combined. With mixer still on low, slowly pour in the cooled butter.  Mix again just until combined.

Pour the brownie mixture into the prepared dish. Place it in a larger baking pan. Add enough of the hottest tap water to the pan to come halfway up the side of the dish.  Bake for exactly 1 hour. A cake tester inserted 2 inches from the side will come out 3/4 clean. The center will appear very under-baked.  This dessert is between a brownie and a pudding- so it should.

Allow to cool and serve with vanilla ice cream.

Source: Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics: Fabulous Flavor From Simple Ingredients   by Ina Garten

Hot Fudge Pudding Cake

Happy birthday to me! Ugh, another year closer to 40. 😀  That’s okay, because it was a good one. My husband got up early with the baby so I could sleep in a bit.  When I woke up, Justin made me my favorite ATK buttermilk pancakes and bacon.  The kids colored me birthday cards, with Sammie’s all covered in pretty Disney princess stickers.  My husband had to coach a volleyball game tonight, so we are going to celebrate tomorrow with dinner and a movie. My sisters in law are awesome and are taking the kids for the night, so we can sleep in Saturday.   So, today I spent the day with the kids and I had to get some grading done before date night.

I didn’t have a lot of time to make a layer cake or cupcakes.  So, I decided to make a cake that makes its own sauce, this hot fudge pudding cake.  It’s kind of crazy in that you make the batter, put a thick (and I mean thick) cover of cocoa powder mixed with sugar over it, and then pour boiling water over that.  But, it’s an America’s Test Kitchen recipe, so I don’t question, I just do it.  So, you put your cake covered in boiling water in the oven and bake it.  It magically transforms, as all that liquid goes to the bottom and a cratered, cake forms on top.  When you scoop out the chocolate cake, there is a thick layer of hot fudge sauce underneath.  Make sure you get all that goo, as that is the best part.  Then, of course, you must add a scoop of ice cream to the warm cake. cream and cake, with my kids, at 3 in the afternoon, completely spoiling our dinner.  Now, that’s a happy birthday!

Hot Fudge Pudding Cake

Yield: 8×8 cake

1 cup sugar, divided

1/2 cup Dutch processed cocoa powder, divided

1 cup all purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup milk

4 tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted

1 large egg yolk

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1 cup boiling water

Vanilla ice cream or whipped cream for serving

Adjust the oven rack to the middle position.  Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray an 8×8 metal or glass pan with cooking spray.  Whisk 1/2 cup of sugar with 1/4 cup of cocoa in a small bowl.

Whisk flour, remaining 1/2 cup of sugar, remaining 1/4 cup of cocoa, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.

Whisk milk, melted butter, egg yolk, and vanilla in a medium bowl until smooth.

Stir the milk mixture into the flour mixture, just until combined.  Fold in the chocolate chips. The batter will be stiff.

Using a rubber spatula, scrape batter into the prepared pan and spread into the corners. Sprinkle the reserved cocoa mixture over the top.  Gently pour the boiling water over the cocoa.  Don’t stir.

Bake until the top of the cake looks cracked, sauce is bubbling, and a toothpick inserted into a cakey area comes out with moist crumbs attached, ~ 25 minutes.  Do not overcook, or the cake will be dry and lose its fudge sauce.  So, err on the side of under.  Cool on a rack for at least 10 minutes. To serve, scoop warm cake into individual bowls and top with ice cream or whipped cream.

Store leftovers, covered in plastic, in the fridge.  Reheat individual servings in the microwave.

Source:  Cook’s Country February/March 2007

Classic Fudgesicles

Just like their mother, my children adore anything with chocolate.  They have also been loving the popsicles I have been making lately.  So, I wanted to combine the two and make fudgesicles.  But I kept on forgetting to buy malted milk powder.  Dang, I used to have the memory of an elephant and I still do when it comes to drugs…kind of important for a pharmacist.  😀  But, when it comes to everyday stuff, geez, unless it is written down, I won’t remember it.  Then, I also have to keep track of that list because I tend to lose it too.  When I was grocery shopping, chocolate syrup was on the list (I have a recipe for homemade, but I was too lazy and still sick) and the malted milk powder, although not on the list, was right next to it and somehow I remembered that I needed it for these pops.

Jack and Sammie were so excited as I made the fudge mixture before they left for a day at the children’s museum with my husband.  I promised them that they would be ready when they got home.  After the museum, my husband took them out for dinner and then ice cream.  Jack and Sammie both said they didn’t want any ice cream because they wanted the fudgesicles mom made.  They knew the chances of them getting two desserts was slim.  But, it was their lucky day.  Ice cream and fudgesicles for dessert!  We have to spoil them once in awhile.  Through chocolate covered lips (and chin and cheeks), Sammie told me that I did a great job and that they were perfect.  High compliments from my 5 year old.  Now, it doesn’t get much better than that!

Classic Fudgesicles

Yield: 6 to 9 ice pops

1 3/4 cups (14 fl oz/430mL) half and half

1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

2 Tbsp malted milk powder

1 Tbsp light corn syrup

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

4 oz (125g) semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

In a saucepan, combine half and half, cocoa powder, malted milk powder, corn syrup, vanilla and salt.  Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, and cook until the cocoa and malted milk powder have completely dissolved.  Remove the mixture from the heat and stir in the chopped chocolate.  Stir until the chocolate has completely melted and the mixture is smooth.  Let cool to room temperature.

If using conventional ice pop molds, divide the mixture among the molds.  Cover and freeze until solid, at least 4 hours and up to 3 days.  If using sticks, insert them into the molds when they are part frozen, about 1 hour.  Then continue to freeze until solid, about 3 more hours.

Source:  Ice Pops: Recipes for Fresh and Flavorful Frozen Treats

Note:  These aren’t real sweet.  If you prefer a sweeter pop, you can add a bit of sugar (to taste) to the hot cocoa mixture.  Superfine would dissolve best.  My daughter and I thought the sweetness was fine, but my son would have liked it a bit sweeter.  It didn’t stop him from eating the whole thing though faster than either of us did.

Cream filled chocolate cookies

It’s no secret that I love Oreos.  Actually, it’s the only crisp cookie that I like.  Then again, I dip them in milk, so I guess I turn them into soft cookies.  I was flipping through Martha’s (another love) Cookie book and couldn’t flip another page when I saw these Oreo looking cookies.   I had to make them today!  The cookie dough comes together easily and rolls by hand nicely.  No refrigeration, no rolling with a rolling pin or cutting out with cookie cutters.  I love how these cookies bake up with the old fashioned looking cracks, glistening from a heavy coating of sugar on the outside.  Unlike Oreos though, these are only crisp on the outside and more chewy on the inside.  But, the filling is more like the original than other recipes I have tried because it contains shortening.   To me, Oreos for eating are the double stuff, as opposed to baking Oreos, the regular.  So, you better believe I filled these cookies to capacity with icing.  While these aren’t exact Oreo replicas, they do replicate the flavors.  The intense chocolate cookie, the creamy filling…..Now I need milk. 😀

Cream Filled Chocolate Cookies

Yield: 2 1/2 dozen    I got 15 sandwich cookies

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder   I used Valrhona

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups sugar, plus more for flattening cookies

10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 large egg, room temperature

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Into a medium-size bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream sugar and butter until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg; beat to combine. With mixer on low speed, gradually add the flour mixture; continue beating until dough is well combined.

Using a 1 1/4-inch ice cream scoop, drop dough onto parchment-lined baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Dip bottom of a glass in sugar; press to flatten cookies to about 1/8 inch thick. (You may need to carefully remove dough from glass with a thin metal spatula.)  After pressing with the glass, I dipped the top of the cookie in more sugar because I like how it sparkles and the extra texture.

Transfer to oven, and bake until cookies are firm, about 10 to 12 minutes, rotating baking sheets halfway through. Transfer baking sheets to wire racks to cool completely.

Place cream filling (recipe below)  in a pastry bag fitted with a coupler ( I put into a big Ziploc and snipped the corner), and pipe about 1 tablespoon filling onto the flat side of half the cookies. Place remaining cookies on top, and gently press on each to squeeze filling to edges. Filled cookies can be stored in airtight containers at room temperature up to 2 days.

Vanilla Filling

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening   Use the sticks, so much easier to measure!!

3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and shortening until well combined. With mixer on low speed, gradually add the confectioners’ sugar, and continue beating until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the vanilla, and beat to combine. Set aside at room temperature until ready to use

Source:  Martha Stewart

Chewy Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Okay, so I have quite a few chocolate cookie recipes on my blog.  But, really, can one have too many?  I say no. 😀  And, though they are all chocolate cookies, each recipe is very different.  While most chocolate cookies are like cakey brownies, this one is more like a chewy chocolate sugar cookie.  The cakey texture of other cookies comes from melting chocolate into the dough, which is softened by the fat in whole chocolate.  So, dutch processed cocoa powder replaces melted chocolate in this recipe.  An egg white instead of a whole egg gives the cookie structure and the dark corn syrup contributes to the chewiness.   America’s Test Kitchen always figures this stuff out just right.  What you end up with is an intensely chocolate sugar cookie, studded with big chunks of semisweet chocolate, with a sweet crunch from the sugar that glitters across the top.  Could a chocolate cookie get much better than this?  I’m gonna go ahead and say no.  Am I wrong?  I don’t think so, but you might have to try it and find out…

Chewy Chocolate Chunk Cookies

1/3 cup (2 1/3 oz) granulated sugar

1 1/2 cup (7 1/2 oz) all purpose flour

3/4 cup (2 1/4 oz) dutch processed cocoa powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4tsp + 1/8 tsp salt

1/2 cup dark corn syrup

1 large egg white

1 tsp vanilla

12 tbsp unsalted butter, softened

1/3 cup ( 2 1/3 oz) packed dark brown sugar

4 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces    I used Callebaut semisweet

1/2 cup (3 1/2 oz) granulated sugar for rolling

Adjust oven racks to upper and lower middle positions and heat oven to 375°.  (I always bake cookies 1 sheet at a time in the middle).  Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.  Whisk flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt together in medium bowl. Whisk corn syrup, egg white, and vanilla together in small bowl.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter, brown sugar, and remaining 1/3 cup granulated sugar at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to medium-low, add corn syrup mixture, and beat until fully incorporated, about 20 seconds, scraping down the bowl as needed with a rubber spatula. Reduce speed to low, add flour mixture and chopped chocolate; and mix until just incorporated, about 30 seconds, scraping bowl as needed. Give dough a final stir with rubber spatula to ensure that no pockets of flour remain and the ingredients are evenly distributed.  Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes to firm slightly. The dough will still be soft.

Place 1/2 cup granulated sugar in shallow baking dish or pie plate.  Remove dough from fridge.  Divide dough into 16 equal portions (about 2 Tbsp, or 50g if you are a nerd like me); roll between hands into balls. Roll half of the dough balls in sugar to coat.  Place dough balls 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets.  Repeat with the remaining dough balls. Bake until cookies are puffed and cracked and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft (cookies will look raw between cracks and seem underdone),  10 to 11 minutes, switching and rotating baking sheets halfway through baking. Do not over bake.

Let cookies cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes, transfer cookies to a wire rack and let cool to room temperature.

Source: The Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook

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