These chocolate cookies are made by the "rolled cookie" method where the dough is rolled out flat and the cookies cut out with cookie cutters.
A few tips:
- Chill the dough thoroughly before rolling it.
- Lightly dust your work surface with flour before rolling out the cookies. But don't use any more flour than you absolutely need, or the cookies may come out too hard.
- Cut the cookies out as close together as you can to minimize leftover scraps. You can reroll these leftovers. But doing so toughens the glutens, and cookies made from these rerolled scraps will likely turn out too hard.
- 8 oz unsalted butter (2 sticks)
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling
- 1 teaspoon salt (table salt, not Kosher salt)
- 1 large egg
- ¼ cup milk, plus more for washing tops of cookies
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1½ tablespoons baking powder
- 5 cups cake flour, or 4 2/3 cups pastry flour, or 4¼ cups all-purpose flour, sifted
- 2/3 cups cocoa powder
Let all the ingredients come to room temperature before you begin.
Using the paddle attachment of a stand mixer, cream the butter, sugar and salt on low speed.
Note: The longer you cream these ingredients, the more air you'll incorporate, giving you a lighter cookie. If you want a chewier cookie, cream only enough to combine the ingredients.
Add the egg, milk, and vanilla and mix until blended.
Sift the flour, cocoa, and baking powder together into a separate bowl.
Add the dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until they're combined.
Wrap the dough in plastic and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Be gentle with the dough while wrapping it. Overworking the dough will toughen the cookies.
Preheat oven to 375F.
Prepare your baking sheet pan by greasing it with butter or shortening or lining it with parchment paper. Or use a silicone baking mat, which is my favorite technique.
Unwrap the chilled dough, transfer it to a lightly floured workbench or butcher block and use a rolling pin to roll the dough out quite flat: about one-eighth of an inch thick.
Cut out the cookies and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Remember, cut them as close together as you can.
Using a pastry brush, wash the tops of the cookies with milk and sprinkle the tops with sugar.
Bake 8-10 minutes or until the edges and bottoms of the cookies are barely beginning to turn golden brown.
When the cookies are cool enough to handle but still warm, remove them from the pan and cool them on a wire rack. You can eat them as soon as they're cool enough that they won't burn your mouth. Or if you'll be storing them, make sure they've cooled thoroughly first.
The recipe may also be halved.