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chocolate sugar cookies

The holidays are here, and the cookie kick continues. Our local stores are running out of apples after the mountains of apple cider snickerdoodles we have baked these past few weeks. Thankfully, the lovely Natalie and Holly at The Modern Proper invited us to join their virtual cookie party, so we changed course to a new recipe we could binge on which will last us through the new year. The very first place we turned to was Sarah Kieffer’s new release, The Vanilla Bean Baking Book. From its glowing reviews, we knew we would find a competent cookie contender in her wonderful new book filled with classic desserts and sweet treats. Just as we expected, these chocolate sugar cookies were beyond our expectations, an ultra-chewy and chocolatey contribution to the Modern Proper’s virtual #CalmAndBrightCookieNight cookie exchange.

These jumbo-sized cookies are a chocolate lover’s dream. Using a whopping eighty-five grams of dough per cookie, one entire batch makes ten gigantic servings. Hot from the oven, they come out airy and puffy, but within minutes, they cool and flatten into the chewiest cookie imaginable, like a condensed brownie with seductively crispy edges and deep chocolatey flavor.

This is the perfect holiday cookie, and they are so easy to make. You stir the dry ingredients in one bowl, the liquids in another, mix them together, roll the dough in sugar, then you’re ready to bake! If you have any willpower and are feeling generous, gift them to lucky friends and neighbors, or stash them away for yourself so you have something to snack on while you watch Stranger Things for the third time. Cookies may not be the answer to every problem in the world right now, but these rich and chewy, crisp and chocolatey treats are certainly a positive step in the right direction.

Check out all the other bloggers who participated in the virtual cookie party below!

The Modern Proper
Wood & Spoon
Floating Kitchen
Brewing Happiness
The Vintage Mixer
Wu Haus
The Almond Eater
Chocolate + Marrow
Hungry Girl Por Vida
Honestly Yum
The Judy Lab
Gather and Dine
Betty Liu
Harvest and Honey
Bakerita
The Faux Martha
The Kitchen Paper
Life is But a Dish
Oh Honey Bakes
The Brick Kitchen
Alexandra Cooks
Hello My Dumpling
Snixy Kitchen
Tending the Table
Milly’s Kitchen
PDX Food Love
Lasting Ingredient
Heart Beet Kitchen
Carly Diaz
Cloudy Kitchen
Lena’s Kitchen Blog

Chocolate Sugar Cookies
adapted from The Vanilla Bean Baking Book by Sarah Kieffer
makes about 10 large cookies

1 3/4 cups (249g) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (50g) natural cocoa or blended cocoa
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (227g) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
1 3/4 cups (347g) granulated sugar, plus about 1 cup (198g) more for rolling dough
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350ºF, and set the rack to the middle position. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking sheets, and set aside.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt; whisk to combine, and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the softened butter until light and smooth. Add 1 3/4 cups of sugar and continue beating, scraping down the sides of the mixing bowl as needed, until fluffy and soft. Add the egg and vanilla extract, and continue beating until thoroughly combined. Add the flour mixture and mix slowly just until combined. Finish stirring by hand briefly, if needed. Pour about 1 cup of granulated sugar into a shallow bowl.

Pick up a piece of dough to make a two-inch ball (about 1/3 cup / 3oz / 85g) and roll the dough between your palms until smooth. Roll the ball in the bowl of sugar until lightly coated on all sides with sugar. Place on one of the lined baking sheets, then repeat with the remaining dough, leaving at least 4 inches of space between each ball. Place one of the sheets in the oven, and cook until the edges of the cookies are dry and the centers are set and beginning to crinkle, 12 to 16 minutes. When done, remove the sheet from the oven and place it on a wire rack. Let the cookies cool completely on the pan while you bake the second sheet of cookie dough. Serve warm, or allow the cookies to cool completely on the pans before storage. Enjoy!