09 December, 2014

12 Days of Christmas, Day 9: Chocolate Sugar Cookies

So...one of the most talked about cookies in our household EVER has got to be sugar cookies.  I ask the Mister what kind of cookie he'd prefer and inevitably the answer is "Sugar cookies, Dear...".  I get sick of asking.  I know what I am going to hear, but just once I suppose I hope the answer that comes out of his mouth will rhyme with "shmocolate".  It never does.

How to make him happy and me happy at the same time?  The answer is, of course, simple.  A chocolate sugar cookie.  But we've tried them over the years and neither one of us ever found a recipe we liked.  A recipe that when we tried it, we turned to each other, and at the same time said "That's it!  Jinx, you owe me a trip to Disneyland!" (shut up...we grew up in the 80's...).  That is...until I stumbled upon THIS recipe...

Chocolate Sugar Cookies
12 T. unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 c. cocoa powder (I use Callebaut; I buy it on Amazon.com)
2 T. molasses (I always use Grandma's)
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. sugar + more for dipping
1 large egg at room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla paste or vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 F and put parchment paper on 3 trays.

Melt 4 T. of butter in a medium sized bowl and whisk in the cocoa powder and molasses until well incorporated; set aside.  Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl (I used my stand mixer for this...if you don't have one and you bake a lot, I recommend getting one.  Look on Craigslist, eBay, Amazon, and garage sale pages on Facebook for the best deals.  I see people selling them all of the time!).

Using a spatula paddle (scrapes the sides of the bowl continuously) beat the remaining stick of butter and 1 c. of sugar until it looks slightly fluffy.  Add in the cocoa mixture and beat until combined.  Add in your egg and vanilla mixing until that is completely incorporated.  Then, using a low speed, add in the flour mixture and mix until the flour appears to be completely mixed into the dough.

Pour about 1/4 c. of sugar onto a small plate and using 1 T. of dough at a time (I used my Pampered Chef medium scoop...it makes measuring out cookies go SO quickly!), dip the top of each ball of dough into some sugar and put the sugar side UP onto the parchment paper.

Do this until all of the dough has been portioned out.  Bake 1 sheet at a time in the oven for 12-14 minutes, rotating the sheet half way through (this is usually a move that has to be done with gas ovens or ovens that YOU have personally noticed have "hot spots", or places that cause uneven baking to occur.).  My cookies took the whole 14 minutes.  When the cookies are done, remove pan from oven and allow to cool on the pan for at least 2 minutes before removing to the cooling rack.  Allow them to cool completely before serving.

(The difference between the two photos was daylight lighting in the top photo and inside lighting (light bulb) in the bottom photo.  Your cookies don't change color...)

My Mister and I tried these at roughly the same time and decided that we could make these every year, no problem, and it would cover the bases of sugar cookie and chocolate sufficiently.  Ha!  We loved them.  They were chewy enough and had the texture that resembled what they needed to for his brain to register "sugar cookie" and because of the Callebaut powder's deep, rich chocolate flavor they were chocolatey enough for my brain to decide it had chocolate and it was rich enough that I don't need to eat 10 of them before I am satisfied.  Much less than that; 2 cookies were good enough for me.  These cookies are sure to be a hit with your crowd this Christmas.  The best part is that they are SO easy to make! 

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