Last weekend was kind of busy. I had an apartment to clean, a bag to pack, a scene breakdown to write and Christmas cookies to bake for my neighbours. Fortunately, the latter, at least, was no big deal. I'd made the dough weeks ago, rolled them into logs and stashed them in the freezer so all I had to do on the day was slice and bake. Which meant I had just enough time to test for quality control with a cup of tea (and take a photo). Intensely chocolatey from the double hit of Dutch cocoa and 70% chocolate, these are appropriately luxurious for the season of excess. Though I didn't have enough time to try it out, I reckon they'd be brilliant baked a little larger as the "bread" in an ice-cream sandwich with some softened, good-quality vanilla ice-cream. Another weekend. When I return to summer. And Sydney. See you soon.
Adapted from a recipe by San Francisco bakery Miette
You may like to use different sugar for sprinkling on top. I used caster (superfine) as I did in the dough, and it kind of melted into the cookie. Raw sugar or just regular sugar might be more interesting texturally and stand out more against the darkness of the chocolate.
1 cup (5 oz) flour
1/3 cup (1 oz) cocoa powder (I used the nice dark Dutch stuff)
1/2 cup (4 oz) butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup (4 1/2 oz) sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 1/2 oz 70% dark chocolate, grated
- Preheat he oven to 350 deg F. Line two baking sheets with parchment (baking) paper.
- Sift together the flour, cocoa and baking soda into a bowl and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter, sugar, salt and vanilla til lightened, about 4 minutes. Add the dry ingredients and grated chocolate and mix just to combine. At this point the dough will look less like a dough than a bowl of crumbs. Do not panic.
- Gather it together with your hands, and press/roll the dough into a long log shape on a lightly-floured surface. Use a plastic ruler to create hard edges, so that the dough is uniform in thickness, all sides are smooth and flat and the ends look square, or squarish. Wrap in plastic and refridgerate til firm, at least 30 minutes. Alternatively, you can freeze the dough (for up to 1 month) and slice it straight from the freezer when ready to bake.
- Using a sharp knife, slice the dough into square cookies and place on a baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. Sprinkle lightly with sugar.
- Bake the cookies til they are firm, 10-12 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool. Store in air-tight containers for up to 2 weeks.