When it comes to anything food-related, America’s Test Kitchen is pretty much the gold standard as far as television is involved. Its creator, the founder of Cooks Illustrated and my spirit animal, Christopher Kimball told the NY Times a while back, “I hate the idea that cooking should be a celebration or a party. Cooking is about putting food on the table night after night, and there isn’t anything glamorous about it.” Yuuuup. Leave me alone for an hour and I’ll let you know when it’s finished. Then we can talk. This might sound a little curmudgeonly, but I prefer to work without distraction (multi-tasking is a concept that remains foreign to me). And, with very few exceptions, simple and consistent is my ideal.
Speaking of simple and consistent and terrible segues, America’s Test Kitchen is currently in the midst of a “25 Days of Cookies” run and every single recipe they’ve published so far looks like a winner. I went with this one because it’s very similar to the Dutch Cocoa Sugar Cookies I’m so fond of. I tweaked the directions a bit for clarity, but other than that, this is basically coming straight from their website. And, unsurprisingly, they’re absolutely wonderful.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
DIRECTIONS (makes 20 – 22 cookies)
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees and prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- Using a hand mixer, mix sugar, eggs (one at a time), and vanilla.
- Combine butter and chocolate in a bowl and microwave on half power for about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add chocolate mixture to egg mixture and, using your hand mixer, mix until just combined.
- Fold in flour mixture until fully incorporated. Let it sit for about 15 minutes. It’ll have the consistency of a thick brownie batter. Don’t be alarmed!
- Place sugars in two separate bowls.
- Roll about two tablespoons worth of dough into a ball (it won’t be perfect). Drop ball into granulated sugar and completely coat. Repeat for the confectioners’ sugar.
- Space sugar-covered balls on prepared baking sheet, about 2 inches apart.
- Bake for about 12 minutes, rotating halfway through. They’ll look like they aren’t finished. Surprise…they are!
- Let completely cool on sheet before serving. For some reason, I like to take a spatula and flatten ’em a bit while they’re cooling.