Day 7. Wow, the 12 days of Christmas baking are really zooming by. This recipe is all about chocolate, which is a sure hit this time of year. These little Chocolate Butter Cookies are delicious plain or topped with a chocolate glaze. They have both great flavor and great texture that will melt in your mouth.
“Remember, if Christmas isn’t found in your heart, you won’t find it under a tree.” -Charlotte Carpenter
Chocolate Butter Cookies
This is a recipe from Cooks Illustrated Chocolate Cookies. I love using their simple cookie recipes during the holiday gift giving. Their recipes have been tested hundreds of times and they are always a safe bet. I don’t ever worry about a poorly written recipe when using their recipes. This chocolate cookie is slightly crisp, yet tender, and packs a big chocolate flavor thanks to the cocoa powder.
These can easily be packaged on a cookie plate. If you are really creative, you could stack them and package them in a decorative plastic with a big bow to give as a gift.
- Unsalted Butter
- Dutch Processed Cocoa Powder
- Espresso Powder
- Vanilla Extract
- All Purpose Flour
- Bittersweet Chocolate
- Corn Syrup
How To Make Chocolate Butter Cookies
First, in a medium saucepan melt 4 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add in cocoa powder and espresso powder. Stir until the mixture forms a smooth paste. Set aside to cool for 15-20 minutes.
In a bowl use the stand mixer with the paddle attachment, mix the remaining 16 tablespoons of butter, sugar, salt, and cooled cocoa mixture on high speed for about one minute until well combined and fluffy. At medium speed mix in the egg yolks and vanilla. With the mixer running on low, add flour in 3 additions. Wait until each addition of flour is well incorporated before adding the next. Keep mixing until dough forms into a cohesive ball.
Place the dough onto a flat work surface and dive into three 4-inch disks. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 60 minutes until the dough is firm, yet malleable.
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Move the oven rack to middle position and heat the oven to 375°F. Roll out one dough disk between two large sheets of parchment paper until it is of even thickness, 3/16 inch. Peel parchment off one side of the dough and cut into desired shapes with a cookie cutter.
Place on a baking sheet about one inch apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until cookies offer slight resistance to touch. Cool for 5 minutes and then use a spatula to transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
How to Make Bittersweet Chocolate Glaze
Melt 4 ounces of bittersweet chocolate with 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter and whisk until smooth. Add 2 tablespoons of syrup and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and mix until smooth and shiny. Use the back of a spoon to spread a scant teaspoon of glaze up to the edge of the cookies. Allow the freshly glazed cookies to dry for at least 20 minutes. Now they’re ready to eat and enjoy!
Special Equipment to Make The Cookies
You want your dough to be of even thickness when rolling out. I like to use a rolling pin with thickness guides to ensure I roll the dough out evenly. I used a simple Christmas Tree cutter for my cookies, but use any cookie cutter you have.
- Butter should be soft enough that your finger will leave an indent if pressed into the butter, but not soft enough that your finger can press all the way through.
- Be sure to measure your ingredients properly. Too much flour is a key factor in dry cookies.
- Line your baking pan with parchment paper, or a Silpat.
- This cookie dough freezes well. Wrap your 4″ disk well or place in an airtight container and place in the freezer. When ready to use, thaw in the refrigerator.
- These cookies will keep for about a week in an airtight container for about a week.
If you are catching up on days one through six, here is where you can find all the other holiday recipes. I hope you enjoy this recipe for chocolate butter cookies as much as I do and don’t forget to save some for yourself!
Looking For More Recipes?
Chocolate Butter Cookies
Cooks Illustrated – Chocolate Butter Cookies
- 20 tablespoons unsalted butter softened to cool room temperature
- 1/2 cup Dutch processed cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons corn syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Melt 4 tablespoons of butter in medium saucepan over medium heat.
- Add cocoa powder and espresso powder; stir until mixture forms smooth paste. Set aside to cool 15 – 20 minutes.
- In bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, mix remaining 16 tablespoons butter, sugar, salt and cooled cocoa mixture on high speed until well combined and fluffy, about 1 minute.
- Add yolks and vanilla and mix on medium speed until combined.
- With mixer running on low, add flour in 3 additions, waiting until each addition is incorporated before adding next. Continue to mix until dough forms cohesive ball.
- Turn dough onto work surface; divide into three 4-inch disks.
- Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate until dough is firm, yet malleable, 60 minutes.
- Line large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375°F.
- Roll out 1 dough disk between 2 large sheets of parchment paper to even thickness of 3/16 inch. Peel parchment from one side of dough and cut into desired shapes using cookie cutters.
- Place on prepared baking sheet, spacing them about 1 inch apart.
- Bake until cookies offer slight resistance to touch, 10 – 12 minutes.
- Cool for 5 minutes, then using spatula, transfer cookies to wire rack and cool completely.
Bittersweet Chocolate Glaze
- Melt 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate with 4 tablespoons unsalted butter and whisk until smooth.
- Add 2 tablespoons corn syrup and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and mix until smooth and shiny.
- Use back of spoon to spread scant teaspoon glaze to edge of cookie.
- Allow glazed cookies to dry at least 20 minutes.
Here are a few of our favorite holiday cookie recipes:
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases. What that means is if you click on one of our affiliate links they may toss a few pennies our way for a commission.