Absolutely Perfect Dark Chocolate Cookies Recipe | Foodal (2024)

When you come home from work on a Monday night in need of chocolate, sure, it might be easy to run to the store and buy a bag of Oreos (particularly if you were running there anyway to stock up on parchment paper as, ahem, one of us was).

But trust me, this is better.

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When you are driving down the street the next night, lowering your windows because the weather has finally cooled down and the fall breezes have arrived, but just as your window slides down, it pops off its track and falls deep into the insides of the door, and you think, wow, I could go for a cookie right now – trust me, these are the ones you’ll be glad to have beside you.

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There aren’t a lot of times when baking up a batch of these cookies wouldn’t make sense.

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I ate them while my brother was visiting, and I brought some to work the next day to share with Becky. We finished the small stash before 11 a.m. and had to make toast to tide us over until lunch. I ate them again with Michele and Wendi last night, after we enjoyed organic locally made pizza and pored over the largest map of Colorado I’ve ever seen in preparation for my upcoming trip to Denver (!).

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These pretty little cookies are as simple to make as can be. After a little mixing, chilling, rolling, and baking, and they turn out soft, sweet, and covered in shiny bits of crystallized sugar.

Based Martha Stewart’s recipe for Grammy’s Chocolate Cookies, the product of one contest-winning Anne Feldman who’d inherited the recipe from her grandmother Ivyle Phinney Morrow, my adapted version is made with dark chocolate cocoa powder.

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This rich and delicious ingredient creates cookies that are almost pitch black with the look of potting soil, the kind you’d half expect a geranium to pop out of when you arrange them on a plate.

This recipe claims to be easy enough for kids to make, which it is. But, hello? You have to chill the dough for a whole hour before you get to bake them! What kid (or yours truly…) likes that?

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I may or may not have eaten some of the raw dough because I just couldn’t wait, raw eggs and all. Can you blame me?

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These are perfect for Monday mornings, Wednesday nights, or really any time.

Wherever you are today, whatever you’re doing later, I hope you’ll set a few minutes aside, find something fun to occupy your time for an hour of chilling, and give them a shot. One tray out of the oven, it will be worth it. You’ll see.


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Absolutely Perfect Dark Chocolate Cookies

★★★★★5 from 2 reviews
  • Author: Shanna Mallon
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 23 minutes
  • Yield: 2.5-3 dozen cookies 1x
Print Recipe


When you take your first bite of pillowy soft, absolutely perfect dark chocolate cookies, you’ll melt away on a cloud of chocolatey goodness



  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup dark Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups unsalted butter, room temperature (2 1/2 sticks)
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • Demerera or sanding sugar


  1. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
  2. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in eggs and vanilla on medium speed until combined.
  3. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet, combining on low speed until fully incorporated.
  4. Smooth the dough into a large disc, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and chill for about 1 hour.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.
  6. Roll dough into 1.5-inch balls and then roll them in demerera or sanding sugar. Place them on the baking sheets about 1.5 inches apart.
  7. Bake for about 8 minutes. Cool on the sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks. Once cool, seal them up in an airtight container with a paper towel to keep the cookies soft.
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 minutes
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Dessert

Keywords: dark chocolate, cookie, holiday baking

Cooking By the Numbers…

Step 1 – Soften Butter and Measure All Remaining Ingredients

Leave refrigerated butter out at room temperature for 30 to 60 minutes to soften. If you want to speed up the process, you can soften it in the microwave for 15 seconds on 30% power.

Measure out all remaining ingredients and set them out in the order they are listed, to make it easier to create the recipe.

Step 2 – Sift Dry Ingredients

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Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl.

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Set aside.

Step 3 – Make Dough

Add the sugar and butter to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Cream them together by beating on medium-high speed until fluffy, for about 2 minutes.

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Add the eggs and vanilla, and beat on medium speed until combined.

Slowly add the sifted dry ingredients to the wet ingredients on low speed. Continue to beat until fully incorporated.

Step 4 – Chill Dough

Remove the dough from the bowl and dump out onto a sheet of plastic wrap.

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Form the it into a large disc, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, and chill for at least 1 hour.

Step 5 – Shape and Bake

When you are ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350˚F. Line two large baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.

Place a few tablespoons of sanding or raw sugar on a small plate or saucer. Set aside.

Roll dough into 1 1/2-inch-wide balls. Roll the dough balls in your choice of decorative sugar, coating on all sides. Place on the baking sheets, being sure to set them about 1 1/2 inches apart.

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Bake for 8 minutes. The cookies should be puffed up, and the edges should be set. Note that the center will still be soft – don’t overbake them. The puffiness will sink after they are removed from the heat, so don’t be alarmed when this happens. You’ll notice this with other cookies with a similar texture, like our big and soft ginger cookies.

Remove from the oven and cool on the baking sheets for about 3 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Place in an airtight container with a paper towel to keep the cookies soft.

When You’re Craving Chocolate…

It’s okay to give in to that chocolate craving from time to time. When you don’t have chocolate chips in the house, forget about the classic chocolate chip cookie and go for these bad boys instead.

I honestly can’t believe how soft these cookies stay. I’ve had them stored for a handful of days, and they are still melt-in-your-mouth perfection.

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You’ll love the satisfying chocolate flavor, and these cookies are so simple to make. They are ideal for any holiday baking you have coming up, and the extra twinkle from the sugar coating is lovely on a dessert tray.

For even more chocolatey delicious recipes, you can check out our tasty combinations here.

Want even more tasty cookie recipes? Then check out some of our other chocolate ones:

  • Classic Oatmeal Chocolate Chip
  • Chocolate Raspberry Cream Sandwiches
  • Chocolate Pistachio Biscotti

If you need chocolate cookies with alternative flours, we know what you want: try our almond meal chocolate coconut cookies, or these cookies and cream spelt cookies.

Who will you bake these tasty morsels for? Tell us in the comments below, and be sure to rate this incredible recipe the moment you try it for yourself!

Photos by Meghan Yager, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on September 16, 2009. Last updated: December 13, 2022 at 13:22 pm. With additional writing and editing by Meghan Yager and Allison Sidhu.

Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.

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About Shanna Mallon

Shanna Mallon is a freelance writer who holds an MA in writing from DePaul University. Her work has been featured in a variety of media outlets, including The Kitchn, Better Homes & Gardens, Taste of Home, Houzz.com, Foodista, Entrepreneur, and Ragan PR. In 2014, she co-authored The Einkorn Cookbook with her husband, Tim. Today, you can find her digging into food topics and celebrating the everyday grace of eating on her blog, Go Eat Your Bread with Joy. Shanna lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with Tim and their two small kids.

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Absolutely Perfect Dark Chocolate Cookies Recipe | Foodal (2024)


Is dark chocolate best for cookies? ›

Balance Is Best

"At home, I like to use anything that's at least 66 percent and higher. Since the dough itself is sweet, darker chocolate balances it out beautifully," she says. Still, she warns not to go to extremes.

Why are black and white cookies so soft? ›

Buttermilk – the buttermilk is what helps give them a soft texture. Check out my How to Make Buttermilk Post if you need an easy substitution. Light corn syrup – light corn syrup is colorless, sweet, and has a hint of vanilla flavor, it gives the icing a nice gloss.

Why is my chocolate chip cookie dough dark brown? ›

Brown sugar adds a beautiful color as well as a more complex flavor. They'll also make cookies chewier, softer, and thicker than white sugar. Adding too much can result in dark brown cookies. Adding too little results in paler cookies.

What makes the cookies Brown? ›

The Maillard reaction is a chemical reaction between amino acids and reducing sugars, so along with the caramelizing sugar, proteins in the cookie begin to brown, producing a rich, nutty, toasted flavour. This is the same reaction that occurs in bread and seared steak.

How do you make 100% dark chocolate taste good? ›

For a decadent and nutritious treat, dip or drizzle honey or maple syrup on a square of dark chocolate and let the flavours melt together in your mouth! Or, dip your favourite fruits (dried or fresh) in melted chocolate!

What percentage dark chocolate is best for cookies? ›

Use a dark chocolate that contains between 60% to 80% cacao for a classic chocolate chip cookie. The bittersweet flavor of the dark chocolate balances out the sugars in the cookie dough, resulting in a well-balanced, traditional chocolate chip cookie.

What is the secret to keeping cookies soft? ›

Putting a slice of fresh white bread in the container with the cookies will help the cookies stay soft: fresh bread is moist, and that slice will give up its moisture for the greater good: keeping the cookies from drying out.

What is the secret to soft cookies? ›

Cornstarch Is The Secret To Soft And Chewy Cookies.

What ethnicity are black and white cookies? ›

The black-and-white cookie is commonly traced to Glaser's Bake Shop in the Yorkville neighborhood of Manhattan, founded in 1902 by Bavarian immigrants. The black-and-white cookie was among the original recipes used by Glaser's Bake Shop.

What is the best brown sugar for cookies? ›

Using all light brown sugar will yield cookies with a lighter flavor (that's not a bad thing!). They'll be buttery with accents of vanilla and a soft interior, but a lighter molasses flavor. Opting for all dark brown sugar will give you a richer flavor and ever-so-slightly softer centers.

Which brown sugar is best for chocolate chip cookies? ›

For chewier and more flavorful cookies, use more brown sugar than white sugar. Dark Brown Sugar: Light brown sugar and dark brown sugar are interchangeable in most recipes. Though either works in this chocolate chip cookie recipe, I love using dark brown sugar for extra flavor because it contains more molasses.

What kind of brown sugar is best for cookies? ›

The molasses content in dark brown sugar will make your baked goods moister than if you use light brown sugar. That means that not only is the flavor affected, but the texture will be, too. Light brown sugar will result in a subtler flavor, while dark brown sugar will give your baked goods a richer flavor.

What happens if you forget to add brown sugar to cookies? ›

What happens when you bake without brown sugar? To be succinct, the resulting baked good could be slightly drier or more crisp. Without the excess moisture from the molasses in the brown sugar, the final cookie won't be as chewy and the final bread might be drier.

What is the best sugar for cookies? ›

In that role, white sugar aerates the dough when creamed with butter for thick and puffy cookies. Brown sugar, meanwhile, is dense and compacts easily, creating fewer air pockets during creaming—that means that there's less opportunity to entrap gas, creating cookies that rise less and spread more.

What kind of chocolate is best for cookies? ›

Dark chocolate, which contains from 50% to 90% cocoa solids, is often referred to as the best chocolate for cookies. The best type of dark chocolate for chocolate chip cookies will be the one that has at least 60% of cocoa solids.

Should I use dark or milk chocolate for cookies? ›

The obvious answer to this is high quality dark chocolate, with at least 55% cocoa content, preferably 60-70%. You can use any chocolate you want, whether dark, milk, white, or even use a flavored chocolate bar such as mint dark or orange dark. I definitely prefer dark chocolate though.

What kind of chocolate can I use for cookies? ›

“While milk, semisweet and dark chocolate will all make delicious cookies, semisweet is preferred because it provides a good contrast and balance with the sweetness of the cookies,” said baker Annalise Sandberg of Completely Delicious. Semisweet chocolate generally has a cocoa solid content between 35% and 65%.

Is dark chocolate better for baking? ›

Dark Chocolate In Baking

It is a personal preference. Still, each type has its unique make-up of cocoa butter (fat), cocoa solids, sugar, and sometimes stabilizers and other ingredients that might affect the texture, flavor, and overall quality of our baked goods.

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