Everyone loves cookies. They are my husband’s favorite dessert. Children grow up eating cookies after school. They are easy to make and easy to store. Why don’t we make them very often anymore? Once you realize how easy they are to make from scratch, you may be more willing to bypass the store-bought versions. I hope this recipe and the others I share with you will help with that choice!
These cookies are a little fudgy in the middle and a little crispy at the edges. Kind of the best of all worlds! A mouthful of chocolate that will appease even the most fanatical chocoholic. If you want to take them to the next level, you can press a chocolate “kiss” in the center of the dough before baking!
This recipe comes from a fantastic cookbook, “Bittersweet” by Alice Medrich. Alice is the recipient of multiple James Beard awards for Cookbook of the Year. This is the equivalent of an Academy Award and just as elusive. It is incredible to receive one, let alone two. Alice is known in the industry as the “First Lady of Chocolate” and expert bakers look to her expertise when they have chocolate challenges. “Bittersweet” is a book that takes baking with chocolate to a new level. If you have ever tried to substitute one kind of chocolate for another and had your tried and true recipe fail, this is the book for you!
She started her career by making the most sinfully rich chocolate truffles that America had ever tasted and soon opened a shop called “Cocolat” a few doors down from Chez Panisse in Berkeley, CA. At the time truffles were virtually unknown, and with her beginners enthusiasm, Alice created what became known as “California” truffles. Cocolat expanded to a chain of seven stores in the San Francisco Bay Area and with that experience transitioned into one of the country’s most beloved cookbook authors. She teaches cooking classes around the country and if she comes to your area, do yourself a favor and take the opportunity to experience a true expert in her field!
With the holidays right around the corner, recipes for cookies become as valuable as gold. Add these Fudge Drops to your annual baking list and you’ll be the most popular person in your town!
Jane’s Tips and Hints:
You can also melt the butter in the microwave and transfer to the bowl of your stand mixer. Then follow the directions as written, being careful not to over-mix the dough.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour (bleached flour makes more tender cookies)
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
- 5 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/3 cup low-fat yogurt or buttermilk
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- Powdered sugar
- Arrange the racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment or Silpats.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, salt, and cayenne together thoroughly. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, heat the butter until it is melted and sizzling. Take it off the heat, transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer, and stir in the cocoa until blended and smooth. Stir in both sugars; the mixture will be sandy. Mix in the yogurt and vanilla. Add the flour mixture all at once and fold and stir just until it is entirely moistened and incorporated. Be careful not to over-mix dough.
- Scoop level tablespoons of the dough 1-1/2 inches apart onto the lined baking sheets or use an ice cream scoop for easy uniformity. Use a fine strainer to sift powdered sugar over the tops. Or you can place powdered sugar in a pie plate and drop the balls of dough into it, roll them around to coat, and then place on lined baking sheets.
- Bake until the cookies look dry and cracked on top but still feel a little soft when pressed, 9 to 11 minutes. Rotate the sheets from top to bottom and spin them halfway through the baking. Slide the cookies, still on the parchment paper, off the sheets and onto wire racks to cool; or set the pans on the racks and let cool.
- The cookies will keep for 2 to 3 days in an airtight container, although they soften and lose their crunchy exterior.
- Yield: about 3 dozen cookies
- My preference here is for natural cocoa, which has the liveliest and most complex flavor, but use Dutch-process if you prefer it. I avoid "black" cocoa because of its harshness. These easy cookies have crunchy edges and chewy, fudgy centers.