If you love chocolate, you will love this recipe - it's one of the best chocolate cookies you'll ever make. My Double Chocolate Sugar Cookies are a chocolate lover's dream! I have a simple and easy recipe for the perfect homemade chocolate cut-out cookies that don't spread and hold their shape during baking to make the sharpest little shapes. I fill them with luscious dark chocolate ganache so you get one mega delicious and indulgent chocolate cookie sandwich.
WHY YOU WILL LOVE THIS RECIPE
- Easy sugar cookies - this cookie recipe is easy to make because there are few steps and if you don't have a mixer, you can even make them by hand with a spatula to cream the butter and sugar.
- Soft chocolate sugar cookies - these chocolate sugar cookies have a wonderful soft and slightly chewy texture. They are not dry. Then, once you fill them, the moisture from the ganache slowly migrates to the cookie and you end up with the most plush chocolate sandwiches that keep for days!
- Double chocolate flavour - a good dose of rich cocoa powder makes these sugar cookies so full of chocolate flavour!
- Cut out cookies that hold their shape - this recipe makes a cookie dough that holds its shape during baking for nice clean, sharp edges.
- Dark chocolate ganache filling - to make these sandwich cookies, we fill them with a smooth and creamy rich dark chocolate ganache that's made with just 2 ingredients!
INGREDIENTS FOR CHOCOLATE SUGAR COOKIES
- Salted butter - soft salted butter adds incredible flavour and helps build structure during the creaming step for tender cookies. Pull it out of the fridge at least 2 hours before baking so it is softened to room temperature. I also like to use salted butter to give the cocoa an extra rich taste! If you use unsalted butter, then double the added salt to ½ teaspoon.
- Brown sugar - the molasses in brown sugar gives these cookies a toffee-like flavour.
- Granulated sugar - this recipe uses both brown sugar and white granulated sugar. The white sugar will help them crisp up around the edges.
- Pure vanilla extract - vanilla will elevate the deep chocolate flavour and it is really important in this recipe. I like this Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla extract.
- All purpose flour - regular unbleached all-purpose flour makes wonderful sugar cookies.
- Cocoa powder - It's worth it to have good cocoa powder for these cookies! It’s the main flavour and you want it to shine so use the best you can find. I love to use this Dutch Process cocoa powder for this recipe.
- Espresso powder - it adds really nice depth and heightened roasted notes to these cookies which enhances the chocolate taste. It is optional and you can leave it out. See the FAQ section below to find out how this will affect the cookies.
- Salt - don't leave out the salt! It really elevates the chocolate taste and balances the sweetness.
- Dark chocolate - you'll need dark chocolate to make the filling. You can use anything between 50% and 70% dark chocolate. You can chop it up from a bar of chocolate or use these 63% dark chocolate chips.
- Cream - you will need 35% heavy whipping cream to make the filling which is a simple ganache. It is so easy to make and incredibly delicious!
HOW TO MAKE CHOCOLATE SUGAR COOKIES: STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTIONS
- STEP 1). Combine dry ingredients. Sift flour, cocoa and baking powder into a medium bowl to remove any lumps. Add salt and whisk to blend evenly.
- STEP 2). Cream butter and sugar. Beat together the soft butter with brown sugar and granulated sugar until very pale and fluffy. This will take about 3-5 minutes. You can use a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium-high speed, or you can also use an electric hand mixer. Stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl a few times during mixing.
- STEP 3). Mix in egg. Add the egg mix until well combined and smooth. Mix in vanilla.
- STEP 4). Add dry ingredients. Add dry ingredients and mix on low until it just begins to incorporate.
- STEP 5). Chill the dough. Cover the dough in the bowl and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
- STEP 6). Roll & Bake. Take the chilled dough from the fridge and let it stand for 5 minutes to soften just slightly, then roll it on a lightly floured work surface or between two sheets of parchment paper until it is just under ¼-inch thick. Cut out shapes as you wish and place them on parchment lined baking sheets with about 1 inch of space between them. Bake for 9-11 minutes until slightly puffed and they feel dry around the edges. Transfer trays to a rack and let cookies cool on trays for 3 minutes before transferring individually to the rack to finish cooling.
- STEP 7). Make the filling. Place chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Add cream and honey to a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. When bubbles form around the edges, immediately pour the cream over the chocolate in the bowl. Swirl the bowl to cover all the chocolate with the cream and cover. Let stand for 1 minute, then stir gently from the center and working your way out to the sides until it transforms into a smooth glossy silky ganache. Let it cool for 15-20 minutes until thick and spreadable.
- STEP 8). Fill the cookies. Spread a layer of ganache over half of the cookies and then place another cookie on top. Press them together gently to make a sandwich and enjoy!
TIPS FOR MAKING CHOCOLATE SUGAR COOKIES
- Use salted butter! It really makes a different when working with a chocolate dough. It adds a richness that makes these taste ultra chocolatey
- Get chocolate chunks instead of chips - if you like the melty "puddle" effect of the dark chocolate, then get you favourite dark chocolate bar or block and chop it up into rough chunks
- Chill the dough - giving this dough time to sit in the fridge will help the cocoa settle into the butter and will give time to let the flour hydrate. This produces chewier cookies with a richer flavour.
- Measure the flour accurately to ensure you get the right texture. Too much flour will makes them dry and crumbly, and too little will cause them to spread excessively.
- Stir the ganache gently. When you add the hot cream to the chocolate, stir gently in concentric circles right in the center. This will allow the cream to slowly incorporate into the chocolate to make a smooth emulsion that won't split. If you stir too vigorously, it will incorporate air and it may cause the ganache to separate.
What is Dutch process cocoa powder?
Dutch process cocoa powder is alkalized cocoa which means that it has been treated with a basic (alkaline agent) such as sodium bicarbonate or potassium bicarbonate. This neutralizes the acidity of the cocoa and brings the pH up from around 5 or 6 to above 7.
How does Dutch process affect cocoa flavour?
Alkalizing reduces the acidic or sour taste of cocoa and makes it more smooth or mellow. I find that as the pH gets higher (more heavily Dutched cocoa, like black cocoa) the taste can get slightly smoky. It also tends to have less complexity. Natural cocoa has a more pronounced fruity character.
What type of cocoa is best for chocolate sugar cookies?
You can use either Dutch process or natural cocoa powder in this Triple Chocolate Cookies recipe. I prefer Dutch cocoa in this application for it's deep colour and more smoky taste to complement the sweet white chocolate. This is my favourite Dutch cocoa. I would just not recommend Black cocoa which almost has a smokey salty taste due to its high alkalinity.
Do I need to chill the dough?
I highly recommend chilling this cookie dough since it will help with the texture and it controls the spreading. It also improves the flavour since cocoa powder needs time to hydrate to really shine.
How do I store chocolate sugar cookies?
These cookies are best stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 5 days. The cookies will soften from the moisture of the filling, but that's the point - it will make a soft delicious sandwich. You can also keep these cookies in the fridge for a firmer texture.
Why did my ganache separate?
The ganache can separate if the cream is too hot (do not boil it), or if you stir too fast.
How do I make sugar cookies that hold their shape?
This recipe makes chocolate sugar cookies that don't spread during baking. They will hold their shape pretty well, and the key is to chill the dough and also it is important to have the right ratio of flour to egg. If the dough is too wet and sticky, then it will spread more.
Should sugar cookies be soft or crispy?
That's up to you! This recipe makes chocolate sugar cookies that are crisp around the edges and slightly chewy. They soften as they sit with the ganache. If you prefer crispy cookies, then bake them for 2 minutes longer and then don't fill them.
Are sugar cookies supposed to be soft when they come out of the oven?
Yes, these cookies will still feel slightly soft in the center when they are ready and they will harden as they cool and set on the baking sheet.
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Double Chocolate Sugar Cookies
- 1 ⅔ cups 235g all-purpose flour
- ½ cup 42g Dutch process cocoa powder (I prefer this one) (not black/onyx cocoa)
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅔ cup 150g salted butter, at room temperature
- ⅔ cup 135g granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup 75g packed light brown sugar
- 1 large egg at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon espresso powder optional
- 6 oz 170g dark chocolate
- ½ cup 35% whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon 5ml honey
- Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt into a large bowl and whisk to blend evenly.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and both sugars for 5 minutes, until very pale, creamy and fluffy. It should be almost white by the end of the mixing time. Beat in egg, espresso powder (if you're using it) and vanilla until well incorporated. Add flour mixture and mix on low speed until just combined.
- Divide dough in half and wrap each well in plastic wrap, flattening it to form a disc. Refrigerate for about 45 minutes.
- Remove one disc and unwrap it. Place the dough between two pieces of parchment paper and press down on it with a rolling pin along its length to soften it a bit. Continue rolling between the parchment (it will soften more as you roll) to ¼-inch thickness. Cut out shapes using the cutters of your choice. I get about 25 cookies if I use 2 to 3-inch wide heart cutters. Transfer cut-outs to parchment-lined baking trays, spacing them 2 inches apart. Refrigerate the trays with cut-outs for 15 minutes while your oven heats.
- Preheat your oven to 325°F.
- Bake cookie dough cut-outs for 10-12 minutes, until they feel dry but soft to the touch. Transfer trays to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes before transferring cookies individually to the rack to finish cooling.
- To make the filling, place chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Add cream and honey to a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. When bubbles form around the edges, immediately pour the cream over the chocolate in the bowl. Swirl the bowl to cover all the chocolate with the cream and cover. Let stand for 1 minute, then stir gently from the center and working your way out to the sides until it transforms into a smooth glossy silky ganache. Let it cool for 15-20 minutes until thick and spreadable.
- Spread about a teaspoon of ganache evenly over the undersides of half of the cookies and then gently press another cookie on top to make a sandwich. Let them set completely for about 1 hour then transfer to an airtight container for storage.