Published November 1, 2005.
Chocolate butter cookies usually taste bland or surrender their crisp, delicate appeal to a chewy, brownie-like texture. How about great flavor and great texture?
A cookie that looks like it's made of chocolate is no guarantee that it will taste like it's made of chocolate.
We wanted to cram big chocolate flavor into a tender, crisp cookie.
Cocoa powder--with a much higher percentage of cocoa solids than other forms of chocolate--was clearly the best candidate to maximize chocolate flavor, so we first doubled the amount of cocoa in our working recipe. The cocoa did indeed boost the flavor, but the texture of our cookie was
now dry and pasty; reducing the flour and adding egg yolks for more
structure was the answer. To get still more chocolate flavor, we increased the amount of vanilla extract, which enhanced the aromatics in the chocolate. Then we discovered that "blooming" the cocoa powder in melted butter (along with a teaspoon of instant espresso) before adding it to the dough really maximized the chocolate flavor. The only remaining challenge was to take the cookies out of the oven at just the right moment, as overcooking robbed the cookies of the chocolate flavor we had worked so hard to establish.list of recipes