I suppose another name for these would be “sick cookies” but that doesn’t sound nearly as appealing. Last week I babysat a friend’s kids for the afternoon and we decided to pass the time making these cookies. Most of the desserts I’ve made lately are woefully short on chocolate, and my hormones were screaming that I had better deliver some chocolate immediately or someone was going to get hurt. Even though the youngest kid is two (and therefore almost zero help in the kitchen) and sick (no better way to spread germs than to cough all over every single one of my kitchen gadgets!), I forged ahead, knowing that that the resulting cookies would likely be well worth all the effort. So, with the help of big brother, we measured the cocoa (*cough*…”please cover your mouth when you cough!”), the sugar (*cough*… “honey, remember to cover your mouth!”), the butter (*cough*… oh, I give up…) and the result was these “sick cookies” filled with more germs than most public transportation handrails. I figured that the oven would cook most of those germs to death and anything else that was within range (*cough*) would just get sanitized in the dishwasher. “Sick cookies” baked up beautifully and became “sparkly chocolate cookies.” Now don’t those sound delicious?
The secret to these delicious sparkly cookies is to make sure you do not overcook them. They will look undercooked when they come out of the oven. You’ll hesitate, put them in for another minute, and then one more, and then one more, and then you’ll end up with bricks for dessert. Not that I’m speaking from experience. Instead, listen when the instructions say to cook them for 10 minutes and have no fear. They’ll firm up and be delicious and not at all raw in the middle.
Also, don’t forget to roll the cookies in sugar before you put them in the oven. It might be easy to miss this step if you were, say, trying to keep two kids from destroying your house or killing each other. The cookie results would not be nearly as tasty without their sparkles. Again, it’s not like I’m speaking from experience or anything.
sparkly chocolate cookies
from Cook’s Illustrated
1/2 cup granulated sugar for coating
1/3 cup granulated sugar for the cookies
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup Dutch processed cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup dark corn syrup
1 large egg white
1 tsp vanilla extract
12 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
4 oz bittersweet chocolate (either use chocolate chips or you can chop a bar of chocolate into 1/2-inch sized pieces)
Adjust oven racks to upper- and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 large (18- by 12-inch) baking sheets with parchment paper. Place ½ cup granulated sugar in shallow baking dish or pie plate. Whisk flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt together in medium bowl. Whisk corn syrup, egg white, and vanilla together in small bowl.
In 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 bowl once with rubber spatula. With mixer running at low speed, add flour mixture and chopped chocolate; mix until just incorporated, about 30 seconds, scraping bowl once. Give dough final stir with rubber spatula to ensure that no pockets of flour remain at bottom. Chill dough 30 minutes to firm slightly (do not chill longer than 30 minutes).
Divide dough into 16 equal portions; roll between hands into balls about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Working in batches, drop 8 dough balls into baking dish with sugar and toss to coat. Set dough balls on prepared baking sheet, spacing about 2 inches apart; repeat with second batch of 8. Bake 10-11 minutes, reversing position of the baking sheets halfway through baking (from top to bottom and front to back), until cookies are puffed and cracked and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft. The cookies will look raw between cracks and seem underdone. Do not overbake.
Cool cookies on baking sheet 5 minutes, then use wide metal spatula to transfer cookies to wire rack; cool cookies to room temperature.