Chocolate Cookies

These chocolate cookies are basically sugar cookies with cocoa powder added to the batter. They’re terrific for frosting and decorating or simply turning into drop cookies. And, if you can bear to part with them, they make a swell gift.

Two girls sharing a chocolate cookie decorated with sprinkles.

Some cookies are so good you want to eat them all yourself. And then there are some cookies sooooo good you just can’t help but share. These chocolate cookies make it difficult to decide which sort of good they are. And they’re versatile as heck, enabling you to make either roll-out cookies or plumper drop cookies. Chocolate chips optional. [Editor’s Note: See the CHOCOLATE COOKIES VARIATIONS beneath the recipe for easy peasy how-tos on making each of these incarnations.]–Renee Schettler

Chocolate Cookies

  • Quick Glance
  • (1)
  • 20 M
  • 1 H
  • Makes about 40 cookies
5/5 - 1 reviews
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Ingredients


Directions

In a large bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, and salt.

Add the butter and mix until a dough forms. (It may take up to several minutes, but trust us, a dough will eventually form. It may look a little sandy but that’s okay.) Add the milk and vanilla and mix until the dough is smooth. (Again, it may take a minute or more, but the dough will turn smooth. If you opted to use a spoon and not a stand mixer, you may have to eventually work the dough with your hands.)

Mold the dough into one big blob, wrap it in plastic wrap or plunk it in a resealable container, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C) and butter a baking sheet or line it with parchment paper.

Roll out the dough to about 1/4-inch thick between sheets of parchment paper. (If the dough is too hard to roll, let it stand at room temperature for about 10 minutes and then try again.) Cut out the cookies with a round cookie cutter (or any shape you like). You can reroll any dough scraps. Place the cookies at least 1 inch apart on the baking sheet. (If the dough seems exceptionally sticky as you try to roll it, either return it to the fridge for a few minutes or, alternately, shape it into a log and slice it into rounds about 1/4-inch thick.)

Bake for 8 minutes if you like a softer cookie, 10 minutes if you prefer a crisper cookie. If the cookies look a little soft when you take them out, don’t worry! They’ll firm up as they cool. Cool completely on the baking sheet or transfer to a wire rack after a few minutes. Originally published May 10, 2013.

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    Chocolate Cookie Variations

    • Chocolate Chocolate Chippers
    • Mix in 1 cup chocolate chips after Step 1. Scoop the dough with a spoon and form a ball of dough with your hands. Place the dough on the baking sheet and press down gently to flatten each cookie. Add a few extra chocolate chips to the top when no one is looking. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until set but still soft—and enjoy!

    • Ice Cream Sandwiches
    • Super easy to assemble. Get your ice cream of choice and scoop it onto a freshly baked chocolate cookie. Top with a second cookie. Roll the edges of your ice cream sandwiches in sprinkles/jimmies or chocolate shavings, if you please. Wrap each sandwich in plastic wrap and stick in the freezer. Let them set for at least 1/2 hour. That’s it. Take them out. Eat right away. Do a dance of appreciation.

    • Classic Chocolate Cookie Crust
    • Mix 1 2/3 cups chocolate cookie crumbs and 1 tablespoon granulated sugar. Add 1/3 cup butter, melted, and stir until combined. Press the mixture into a 9-inch pie pan. Bake at 350°F (176°C) for 5 to 10 minutes. (For making any kind of cookie crust, you can run the cookies through a food processor or put them in a sturdy plastic storage bag and roll them with a rolling pin. Baking a cookie crust is optional, but I tend to like doing it so as to set the crust and crisp it up.)

    Recipe Testers' Reviews

    This is a lovely cookie I’ll be making again. They were light, crispy, and full of chocolate flavor. I began mixing this on a low speed in my KitchenAid. As the “dough” started to blend, I accelerated the speed on the mixer. It took about 4 1/2 minutes for the butter to blend into flour mixture. It didn’t really resemble dough at this point—more of a wet chocolate sand.

    Once I added the milk and vanilla and began mixing, the sandy texture turned to dough. The dough wasn’t sticky but more like a sugar cookie type of dough. Using parchment paper made easy work of rolling the dough. I used a 2 1/2-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter.

    These are delicious, thin, crispy, dark chocolate cookies that are perfect with a glass of milk. Definitely a good thing to have in your arsenal. I like the generous amount of cocoa in the recipe. It really delivers a rich dark chocolate flavor. My tasters at work loved them, too.

    The cookie dough first formed into fine grains, and it took about 8 minutes of mixing to start clumping together. I added the liquid ingredients and mixed the dough for another 2 minutes until it was smooth, and then I refrigerated the dough for 2 hours. When I took it out of the fridge, it was a little hard to roll, so I left it on the counter for about 10 minutes and then it was perfect. I put a piece of parchment paper on the counter and then rolled the dough without any flour or even a second piece of parchment paper; the dough is so easy to roll. It didn’t really even stick to the rolling pin until it got a little too warm.

    After I filled the first 2 baking sheets I put the rest of the dough in the fridge to firm up again, and I was able to reroll the dough and use all of it without the cookies being tough. The cookies were easy to pick up from the parchment paper and move to the cookie sheets. I baked them for the full 10 minutes since it’s hard to tell when they’re done and I wanted them to be crisp. I might even bake them for a couple of minutes longer next time to ensure that they stay crispy in the middle.

    I made 3-inch cookies, but they’d also be great as small tea cookies. I also think they’d be good with a sprinkle of flaky sea salt.

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