When it comes to satisfying my post-meal sweet tooth, only dark bittersweet chocolate accomplishes the task, although I enjoy semi-sweet chocolate, white chocolate and milk chocolate on occasion (and by “on occasion”, I mean any time I am out of dark chocolate.)
The more bittersweet my chocolate treat is, the better. I’ll take 90% cocoa over 70% cocoa any day of the week. I’m adventurous like that.
Like red wine, bittersweet or dark chocolate is an acquired taste. I remember hating Hershey’s Special Dark chocolate bars when I was a kid, and they were always the last pieces left in my Halloween stash at the bottom of the bowl (which my mom tried to hide, but I always found.) I couldn’t even give them away to my brother.
I also used to hate the taste of red wine.
Oh, how things have changed.
I found that, once I started to sample and bake with different types of bittersweet chocolate, I gradually lost my taste for varietals that contain more sugar…..no offense to the almighty M&M. I think this is because the chocolate flavor is so concentrated in bittersweet bars that it seems like you get more bang for your bite. Even a small piece will fill my required post-dinner chocolate quotient (commonly known as the PDCQ.)
That said, I’ll often have two pieces, just because.
Most of my baking is done with dark chocolate or, in the case of these cookies, unsweetened cocoa powder which often mimics the taste of dark chocolate when enough is used in a recipe. You can buy dark unsweetened cocoa powder, also known as black cocoa, but it is harder to find than regular unsweetened cocoa. For this recipe, either varietal will work.
Cocoa powder is much lower in fat than dark chocolate, but doctors have said that dark chocolate is an antioxidant that can help to lower blood pressure. So I say, bake with both!
Use this cookie dough recipe with my classic royal icing recipe found here. For a dark chocolate cookie, I recommend flavoring the icing with and almond, peppermint or coconut extract instead of lemon juice. Or you can just leave it vanilla-flavored, because these cookies are anything but “plain vanilla!”
This recipe was inspired by the dark chocolate wafer cookies that my mom used to make into a chocolate pie crust. I have a hard time finding those cookies in the grocery store, so I decided to create my own. These deep chocolate cookies hold their shape beautifully when they bake, and their rich flavor is a nice complement to sweet royal icing.
- 3-1/4 cups (800 mL) all purpose flour
- 1 cup (250 mL) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
- 1-3/4 cups (425 mL) granulated sugar
- 1-1/4 cups (300 mL) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tbsp. (15 mL) vanilla extract
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder and salt.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the sugar and butter on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla.
- With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the flour mixture to the bowl, mixing until combined.
- Turn the dough out onto a work surface and divide into three equal pieces. Shape each piece into a flat disk. Wrap each disk tightly in plastic wrap, Refrigerate at least 1 hour, until cold, or up to 3 days.
- Preheat the oven to 350F/180C degrees, placing racks in the upper and lower thirds. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- On a lightly floured work surface, roll out one disk of dough to a thickness of 1/4-inch (.5 cm). Using a cookie cutter, cut out shapes and carefully transfer them to the two prepared cookie sheets, spacing them apart about 1 inch (2.5 cm). Reroll scraps as necessary. Repeat process with remaining disks of dough.
- Bake cookies for 11-15 minutes, switching positions of cookie sheets halfway through, until cookies are set and firm on top. Let cookies cool on cookie sheets for 10 minutes, then transfer cookies to wire racks to cool completely before decorating.
It's easier to bake these cookies using 4 cookies sheets instead of 2. While the first batch of cookies is baking, you can roll and cut shapes for the second batch so that they are ready to bake as soon as the first batch is done.