What is it about thin, crispy cookies? I guess I love them because they appear so insubstantial; it doesn’t seem like you’re eating much, a guilt-free mini-indulgence. The only problem I run into is that if they’re good, it’s sort of hard to eat just one, isn’t it?
Take these chocolate cookies for example. They seem so innocuous. Thin, light. But with a deep chocolate flavor from natural cocoa, and lightly spiced with cinnamon, vanilla, molasses, and just a sprinkling of tongue-tingling cayenne, these cookies are hard to resist after the first bite.
They’re sort of seductive that way. Perfect for a Valentine sweetheart. Enjoy.
Although the prep time is stated as 1 hour 45 minutes, an hour of that is the resting time for the dough.
If using salted butter, skip the added salt in the recipe.
When you measure out flour, if you don't have a kitchen scale, gently scoop the flour using a spoon into the measuring cup, leveling the top off with a knife. Do not pack down the flour.
- 1 1/2 cups (195 g) all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup (70 g) natural, unsweetened cocoa
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
- 8 Tbsp (1 stick, 110 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3/4 cup (150 g) sugar
- 1 egg (size large)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 teaspoon molasses
1 In a large bowl, vigorously whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and cayenne.
2 In a stand-up mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until fluffy, a couple of minutes on medium speed (start on low speed or else the sugar will fly out). Beat in the egg, vanilla, and molasses. (The mixture may look a little curdled, don't worry about it.)
3 Add the dry ingredients to the wet, a third at a time, beating after each addition. When well mixed, remove the dough from the mixer, and form it into a ball. It should have the consistency of playdoh. If not, if it's stiff and unmanageable, work some water into it, a tablespoon at a time. Then wrap it in plastic wrap, and chill it in the refrigerator for half an hour. (You can chill it overnight, but then you'll need to let it sit out for a while before trying to roll it out.)
4 When you are ready to roll-out the dough, preheat the oven to 350°F (175° C). Break off a chunk of dough from the ball of dough (about a quarter of it) and place it between two pieces of parchment paper. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out to an even 1/8-inch thickness.
5 Use a cookie cutter or the rim of a small glass to cut out cookie shapes from the rolled out dough. Place on a parchment paper or Silpat lined baking sheet, allowing at least 1/2 inch between cookies on the cookie sheet. (If you are making different sizes of cookies, don't mix them on the baking sheet or the smaller ones will be done before the larger ones.)
6 Bake in the middle rack for 8 to 10 minutes, less or more, depending on the size and thickness of the cookies. (I recommend doing a test batch of a few cookies to see what is the optimal time for your batch of cookies in your oven.) The cookies should bounce back when you press on their centers, and some of them should be a little dark around the edges. When cool, they should be crispy, but not burnt.
7 Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes before removing the cookies from the tray to cool completely on a rack.