I came across this Cocoa Cookie recipe one day when I didn't have any chocolate chips but wanted a chocolatey snack. They are simple and straightforward and at the risk of grossing some people out, they sort of taste like cocoa puff cereal! At least how I remember cocoa puffs from my childhood. Okay fine, possibly my first couple years of college too.
Besides their ability to cure a chocolate craving when I'm in the mood for something besides a chocolate chip cookie, I love the texture of these cookies. I use a teaspoon sized scoop to make cookies so they become these wafer thin, crispy on the outside but soft through the center cookies. The teaspoon size scoop is also nice for making them uniform for more even baking.
Using high quality ingredients makes all the difference. I prefer to use Ghirardelli cocoa powder, over the easier to find Hershey's cocoa powder...
A pure vanilla extract, I buy this one at Plum or Whole Foods...
And kosher salt. I haven't used table salt in cooking in a long, long time so I can't say that it makes any difference if you convert the measurements properly. However, I prefer the flakier pieces of kosher salt to help my "cocoa puff" cookie taste a little more grown up with a perfect sweet and salty combo.
The batter itself looks very dry when all of the ingredients are in, but that is normal for this recipe. Just use a spoon or spatula to scrap down the sides, give it one more beat from the Kitchenaid paddle and you're in business...
^^ If I have chocolate chips I usually throw in a 1/4 c to a 1/2 c because we like it, but you definitely don't need to!
After chilling the dough for about 15 minutes, I scoop the dough evenly on a lined cookie sheet...
It is really important to let cookies cool for a few minutes before removing them from the cookie sheet. This helps the puffiness settle, the outsides crisp up and gives you a cookie that will hold its shape.
1/2 c butter, softened
1/2 c brown sugar, packed
1/4 c sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp vanilla
1 c flour
1/4 c cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp kosher salt
Using a mixer, cream your butter and sugar. Add your egg and vanilla and blend until combined. In a medium bowl, sift and whisk together your flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Add dry mixture to the wet mixture in standing mixer. Let the paddle blend for a few stirs, then use a mixer to scrap down the sides, then beat again, just until mixed, don't over stir.
Put cookie dough in a bowl in the fridge for 15 to 30 minutes to thoroughly cool the dough. I often will make a batch of cookie dough and leave it in an air tight container for up to a week, scooping out what we need to make a fresh sheet of cookies every other day or so.
When you're ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Using a teaspoon scoop, scoop out about 12 cookies per sheet and bake for 8 1/2 minutes. Let cool for about 10 minutes before using a cookie spatula to remove from cookie sheet. Cool completely before storing.
Makes about 30 cookies.