I don't think I need to convince you that these are good. They are chocolate and they are cookies. Enough said.
I'm not actually a chocolate obsessive, but I really loved these cookies. Make sure you use good chocolate, and make sure you've got the right amount of sweetness - not too much. Cookies are one of my favorite baked goods to make because they are so simple - put everything in a bowl, drop it on a sheet, and bake. These are slightly more labor intensive than normal because you have to melt the chocolate, but other than that, since they are drop cookies and require no rolling or shaping, they are really easy.
They also make a great gift, since they are small but thick so they are easily packed away without fear of being demolished by the time they are opened. Everyone I gave them to gave a big thumbs up.
DARK CHOCOLATE CRACKLES (5 dozen)
- 11 1/4 oz. (2 1/2 cups) unbleached flour
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 tsp. table salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temp.
- 2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
- 2/3 cup natural unsweetened cocoa
- 2 tsp. finely grated orange zest
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs
- 8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted, then cooled to warm
- 3/4 cup chopped chocolate
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer, beat the butter, brown sugar, cocoa, orange zest, and vanilla on medium speed until well-combined, about 4 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating briefly between additions. Add the cooled chocolate and mix until blended, about 1 minute. Add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until almost completely blended, about 1 minute. Add the chopped chocolate and mix until blended, about 15 seconds.
Shape the dough into 1 1/4" balls with a small ice cream scoop or 2 Tbsp. Pour the granulated sugar into a shallow dish. Dip the top of each ball in the sugar and set the balls sugar side up about 1 1/2" apart on the prepared cookie sheets. Bake one sheet at a time until the cookies are puffed and cracked on top, 11-12 min. Let the cookies cool on the sheet for 5 min. before transferring them to a rack to cool completely.