I know it seems strange to make what looks like a holiday cookie for your office gift exchange in August but the slice and bake cookie should not be limited to only a few months out of the year. Oh would you like a few reasons why? I’m so glad you asked. These cookies are tiny (which makes them extra cute). These cookies travel well (which makes them perfect for picnics). These cookies have two kinds of chocolate (which makes them double delicious).
These cookies also have one of my favorite words in the title, which is not chocolate or salted because those are number two and number three but sparkle. Sparkle and its various forms -ed, -ly, -s, -ing is one of those words that should be used more in everyday life.
For example, the phrase “Would you please hand me that box of cereal?” could be made so much better by saying “would you please hand me that sparkling box of cereal?”
But let’s talk cookie!
This cookie is like an out of control good bite-sized brownie. A double hit of melted chocolate and dark cocoa powder gives these cookies intense chocolate flavor while a quick roll in sparkling sugar - which just like tart pans - makes everything look fancy. But under baking them ever so slightly and just a pinch of flaky sea salt is what really brings these cookies to another level.
I love making baked goods tiny because tiny things are just generally cuter but they also wrap up and travel easier. A little bag of these cookies would be the perfect hostess present or perhaps wrapped up as a back-to-school treat for your favorite teacher and it just so happens that schools should be starting soon.
But that is just yet another reason to make these now.
Salted Chocolate Sparkle Cookies
Makes 3 dozen tiny cookies
Adapted liberally from The Art of the Cookie
3.5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped (or about 1/2 cup [90 grams] good quality chocolate chips)
1 1/4 cup (156 grams) flour
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (35 grams) unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons (56 grams) butter, room temperature
1/2 cup (100 grams) brown sugar
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla
about 1/4 cup coarse sugar for rolling
flaky salt for finishing
Melt the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth, then remove from heat and set aside. While the chocolate melts, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.
Beat the butter and brown sugar together in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add the egg and the vanilla and beat until smooth. Add the melted chocolate and mix until combined then add the flour mixture all at once and stir until all the flour is incorporated. The dough will be quite stiff.
Divide the dough into two equal portions and shape each into a log roughly 1 1/2-inches in diameter. Wrap each log in parchment paper and twist the ends to seal. Refrigerate for at least an hour or up to several days. If you are pressed for time (or perhaps are like me and can not wait) you should be able to get away with chilling the dough in the freezer for about 30 minutes.
When you are ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment.
Working one log at a time, remove the parchment. If the dough has lost any of its roundness while chilling, gently roll the dough back and forth on the countertop to reshape. Sprinkle a few tablespoons of coarse sugar on the parchment and roll to completely cover the log with sugar. Slice into 1/2-inch rounds, place on the prepared sheet and sprinkle each cookie with a pinch of flaky salt. Repeat with the remaining log.
Bake for 6 minutes or until the top is barely set and just beginning to crack. Be sure to watch the cookies carefully as they will go from perfectly soft to perfectly crispy quite fast.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an air-tight container at room temperature.