Sparkling Chocolate Sugar Cookies are the perfect accompaniment to a cup of tea or coffee and the kids would love them with a steaming mug of hot chocolate. Rich and indulgent, these lovely cookies are pure heaven in every bite.
While they are a fun addition to school lunches or an after-school treat, they also would be a wonderful part of your holiday dessert buffets. And everyone would love to receive them as part of a cookie exchange or as a hostess gift.
These cookies call for Dutch-process unsweetened cocoa. This gives you dark cookies and a more delicate chocolate flavor. If you want to learn more about the differences between natural cocoa and Dutch-process cocoa, there is a comprehensive article from Sally’s Baking Addiction you should check out. She explains all the ins and outs of the two cocoas.
Because you are resting the dough in the refrigerator to hydrate the flours, it is important that you use double-acting baking powder (the most common variety). It begins to activate when combined with liquids, but most of the rising action takes place when the dough hits the heat. You need that to get the oven spring you’re looking for. If you want to learn more about the chemistry behind baking soda and baking powder, see this article from What Sara Bakes.
These beautiful cookies do take a little extra time because you need to let them sit on the baking sheet for 5 to 10 minutes after they come out of the oven. Then they finish cooling on a wire rack. The extra time gives the cookies a chance to gently finish baking all the way through. But I promise you will wind up with a perfect cookie with crunchy edges and chewy centers!
To help you with the timing of these cookies, bake them one sheet at a time. This give you time to prep the next sheet of cookies while the first one bakes and cools. It also is one of my secret weapons for the best cookies – everything cooks more evenly with only one sheet in the oven at once.
These cookies are a true delight. They are crunchy with a chewy center. I baked mine for 14 minutes and the centers would probably be chewier if I only baked them for 12 minutes. They will soften as they sit.
Sparkling Chocolate Sugar Cookies are a terrific addition to your annual holiday baking marathons. Easy to make and even more fun to eat, these are winning cookies that everyone will love. Enjoy!
If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a star rating, comment below, and don’t forget to snap a pic and tag it #theheritagecook on Instagram! Seeing your creations makes my day. I love hearing from you!
Ingredients needed for Sparkling Chocolate Sugar Cookies:
- Gluten-free or regular all-purpose flour, Dutch-process cocoa
- Baking powder, kosher salt, unsalted butter, sugar, sparkling sugar
- Egg plus 1 yolk, vanilla, mini white chocolate chips, optional
Be sure you are using double-acting baking powder because once you mix up the dough you need to let it rest, covered, in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. This allows the flour to absorb all the liquid and become fully hydrated. Double-acting baking powder reacts twice, once when you add it to liquids and secondly when it hits the heat. You need that second reaction to get the cookies to rise.
How to make Sparkling Chocolate Sugar Cookies:
- Line baking sheets with parchment. Mix the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt together. Set aside. Pour the sparkling or turbinado sugar in a shallow bowl or pie plate.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer (or using a hand mixer), beat the butter until creamy, about 1 minute. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the egg, extra yolk, and vanilla, beating on low speed until combined.
- Add half the dry ingredients and beat on low until combined. Add the remaining flour and mix until there aren’t any white streaks. Scrape the bowl and beater. Mix in the white chocolate chip if using.
- Scoop out 2 tbsp of dough and roll it in the sparkling sugar, coating all sides. Place them on the prepared baking sheets, 8 per sheet pan.
- Bake one sheet at a time in a 350°F (177°C) oven, until the sides of the cookies are set and the tops begin to crackle, about 12 to 14 minutes (12 min for chewier centers). Leave the cookies on the sheet pan for 5 to 10 minutes to finish cooking and firm up a bit.
- Transfer the cookies to the wire rack to fully cool and continue baking the rest of the dough, one sheet at a time.
Dutch-process cocoa has been treated and has a more delicate chocolate flavor in addition to being darker. Dutch cocoa is not acidic and won’t activate baking soda, so you use baking powder for leavening with it.
Recommended Tools (affiliate links; no extra cost to you):
- Kitchen scale
- Mixing bowls
- Baking sheet pans
- Parchment paper
- Stand mixer
- Cookie scoop
- Pie plate
- Wire cooling rack
*You can adjust any baking recipe to gluten-free by using 120 grams per cup of my favorite gluten-free flour blend. If you are using another brand of gluten-free flour, whisk the mix, spoon it lightly into a measuring cup until mounded, level off the top with the back of a knife, and weigh the flour left in the cup. Use that weight as your standard per cup of that specific flour. Do this for each flour blend you use. Commercial blends such as Pamela’s All-Purpose Artisan Blend, Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1, or King Arthur Measure for Measure are all good choices.
All recommended ingredients are gluten-free as of the writing of this article. Always check to be sure the products haven’t changed and are still safe to consume.
- 2 cups (240g*) gluten-free all-purpose flour* or regular all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup (42g) Dutch-process cocoa powder (dark cocoa such as Droste)
- 3/4 tsp double-acting baking powder
- 3/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks; 227g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1-3/4 cups (347g) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg plus 1 large yolk
- 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup (177g) mini white chocolate chips, optional
- 1/2 cup (90g) sparkling or Turbinado sugar, for rolling the cookies
- Adjust an oven rack to the middle of the oven. Line three sheet pans with parchment paper.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Add the granulated sugar and beat on medium-low speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the whole egg, extra yolk, and vanilla, and beat on low speed until combined.
- Add half the flour blend to the sugar/egg mixture and beat on low speed until combined. Add the remaining flour and mix until there are no white streaks. Stir in the white chocolate chips if using. Press a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the dough and refrigerate for 30 minutes to fully hydrate the flour and firm up the dough.
- Heat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Place the sparkling or Turbinado sugar in a shallow bowl or pie plate.
- Scoop the dough into 2 tablespoon (45g) portions. Roll each ball in the sparkling or Turbinado sugar. Place 8 cookies on each sheet pan.
- Bake one sheet pan at a time, rotating halfway through baking, spinning the tray front to back. Bake until the sides are set and the tops begin to crackle, 12 to 14 minutes. (Bake 12 min for chewier centers.)
- Transfer the sheet pan to a wire rack and let the cookies cool for 5 to 10 minutes on the pan, then remove the cookies and let them cool completely on the wire rack. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Recipe found at www.theheritagecook.com
*You can adjust any recipe to gluten-free by using 120 grams per cup of my favorite gluten-free flour blend. If you are using another brand of gluten-free flour, whisk the mix, spoon it lightly into a measuring cup without a spout until mounded, level off the top with the back of a knife, and weigh the flour left in the cup. Use that weight as your standard per cup of that specific flour. Do this for each flour blend you use. Commercial blends such as Pamela's, Bob's Red Mill 1-to-1, or King Arthur Measure for Measure are all good choices.
All recommended ingredients are gluten-free as of the writing of this article. Always check to be sure the products haven’t changed and are still safe to
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 87Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 17mgSodium: 67mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 0gSugar: 2gProtein: 2g
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is calculated by online tools and is merely an estimate.
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