Simple Salted Butter Cookies

Remember those Danish sugar cookies that come in the blue tins? I haven't had them in forever, but they were THE staple cookie of my childhood. My parents and my grandparents often had them on hand for a sweet treat and their tins were always repurposed into excellent storage containers. I liked the crinkly paper that contained the different shapes of cookies that all tasted exactly the same. I never thought much of them because they were so unassuming and plain, but before I'd know it I'd eat ten of them. They were addictively satisfying in their simplicity.

That's the inspiration for these cookies. I just wanted to make a cookie that had almost no frills and tasted mostly of butter. Good butter.

If you've made pie crust from scratch then this recipe will feel familiar. If you have never made pie dough, this recipe is still on the easy end of the baking spectrum. A food processor helps the cause, but a pastry cutter or hands will work too.

The key for simple dishes is that all of the ingredients should be great. For these cookies you'll want to invest in very good butter above all else. A nice fleur de sel, sel gris, or flake salt would be helpful, too. And that's it... anyway, there are only about 5 ingredients in this cookie. It's the perfect recipe for when you're in a baking mood but not in a going-to-the-store-to-get-what-you-need mood.

These buttery crumbly crisp things are especially perfect dunked into a hot beverage. Good strong black tea or coffee with a drop of cream.

Salted Butter Cookies
Adapted from Dorie Greenspan's Salted Butter Breakups recipe
Makes 22-24 cookies, depending on size (or one sheet-pan's worth)

  • 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup vanilla sugar or regular granulated sugar (I throw discarded vanilla bean pods into a jar and fill it with sugar. Voila! Vanilla sugar is born and used all the time)
  • 1/2 cup organic cane sugar (I like the texture of this - it's usually coarser - and I like it in baking. You can use 100% vanilla sugar, 100% cane sugar, 100% regular sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon fleur de sel, or sel gris (gray salt), or flake salt, or 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) very cold good quality unsalted butter, small cubed
  • 3-5 tablespoons ice cold water
  • 1 cold egg yolk + a few drops of cold water beaten together
  • Turbinado sugar to sprinkle on in the end (optional)

In a food processor (or using a whisk), pulse the flour, sugars, and salt together.

Cube the butter into small chunks and drop them into the processor. Pulse a few times until the pea-sized clusters form. You want this pretty coarse so that you don't overwork the butter. Small chunks of butter will be visible in the finished dough. If you don't have a food processor, you can combine the butter and flour mixture using a pastry cutter, or you can even use your hands.

Add the cold water to the food processor one tablespoon at a time and pulse again. Pulse until the mixture sticks together when you press it with your hands (or using your hands to combine if you're skipping the FP). Only pulse to combine everything. Again, don't overmix or your dough will be tough and gross instead of crumbly and wonderful.

Transfer your mixture to a flat surface. Form it into a large disc or ball (flatter round disks are easier to roll out later). Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Here's where patience is a virtue: refrigerate for at least 1 hour. You could keep it in the fridge for hours before you're ready to use it, but definitely you need at least one solid hour of chilling.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Lightly dust a flat surface with flour. Roll the dough out until it is 1/4-1/3-inch in thickness. Using a fork, run the tines of the fork into long stripes in the dough. I go in one direction and then I do the second direction after. I like a crisscross shape (see cookie above). This step is so optional... it's mostly for aesthetics but it is also nice texturally. You can go pretty deep, the dough will rise and the lines fade as it bakes.

Cut out the cookies and transfer them to a parchment-lined baking sheet. I used a square cookie cutter, but you can use any size/shape/style cookie cutter you'd like. Alternatively, you could cut it into squares using a knife.

Beat together one cold egg yolk with a few cold drops of water. Using a pastry brush, lightly (!) brush the tops of the dough with the egg wash. Sprinkle the cookies with Turbinado sugar (or coarse sugar) if you like that kind of thing. You can skip this step and it will be fine. You can also sprinkle with a tiny bit more salt if you're into saltier cookies.

Bake for 30 minutes, rotating the pan after 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Watch carefully, ovens vary and you don't want them to get too dark/browned. Remove from the oven and let the cookies sit on the baking sheet for 2 minutes. Transfer the cookies to a rack and let them fully cool. The texture will be better once they're room temp.

Cookies can be stored in an airtight container for 2-3 days (or longer if you can make them last that long).

Brown Butter, Salted, Chocolate Chip Cookies - Part 2

I'm not sure that I'll ever have enough chocolate chip cookie recipes. For me, the chocolate chip cookie platonic ideal has remained unchanged: crisped on the outside, soft on the inside, with lots of caramel flavor and a touch of salt.

Each time I make a batch of cookies I learn something new. The other day I was helping my friend cater a small event and we were serving chocolate chip cookies as part of the desert. I am always picking up great tips from her, and she often figures out how to make recipes as simple as possible. She said she uses 3 sticks of 100% browned butter, and she mixes everything up without a mixer. I took a cue from her, and revisited my cookie recipe.  I used more butter (but also more flour), cut out any electric mixers, and I added some molasses (just a touch) to the batter to add another layer of caramel flavor. 

Here's a few things I've learned about making soft/crispy cookies:
  1. The darkness of the sheet pan matters. I prefer a lighter pan because it will keep the cookies from getting too hard/crisp. Darker pans make darker cookies (seriously).
  2. Don't over bake. Take these guys out as soon as they start to color but still look a little underdone.
  3. Let the cookies cool on the sheet pan for a few minutes, but not for too long... 5 minutes max.
  4. Using more brown sugar than white sugar helps with the gooey texture/caramel flavor. Molasses helps, too.
  5. Use really good chocolate... I like 60-70% dark or bittersweet chocolate Guittard or Guirardelli for chips... You could use a good quality dark chocolate if you want to do chunks instead.
I'm sure this won't be my last round of chocolate chip cookie testing... but for the time being this recipe will definitely do the trick.

Brown Butter Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes approximately 4 dozen cookies

cups unsalted butter (3 sticks)
1 cup light brown sugar
 ½ cup granulated sugar

2¾ cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
 ½ teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons molasses
2 eggs
1 10-12 oz. bag chocolate chips (238-340 grams) different brands come in different weights
flake salt to sprinkle at the end

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Place the racks in the top 1/3 and lower 1/3 of the oven. Line your baking sheet(s) with parchment paper. This recipe will make about 4 sheets worth of cookies.

In a saucepan that is light in color (like stainless steel or ceramic... you want to make sure you can see the color of the butter) make the brown butter. Start by melting the butter over low heat. Once the butter is melted you can raise the heat to medium. The butter will start to get foamy, swirl it around or stir; this will help make sure all the moisture and bubbles get released. Watch the butter closely, once it turns brown with little sand-like flecks you have brown butter. It will smell very nutty and aromatic. Remove it from the heat, transfer it into a heat proof mixing bowl and add the sugar to the brown butter. Stir and let the mixture cool a bit while you prepare the other ingredients. 

In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

Once the butter sugar mixture has cooled slightly, add the vanilla and molasses. Stir until incorporated. Add two eggs. Stir until the eggs are fully incorporated. Slowly add in the the flour mixture. Stir until the batter just comes together, be careful not to over mix. Add the chocolate chips and stir until they are evenly distributed. Let the dough rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or even overnight. You can also scoop out the dough, freeze it on the tray, transfer it to the bag, and save for when you're ready to bake cookies.

Using a 1½ tablespoon ice cream scoop, or using a heaping tablespoon, scoop out the dough onto the parchment-lined sheet pan. Make sure each scoop is at about 2 inches apart from each other. The cookies will spread as they bake. Sprinkle the dough with flake salt.

Bake for 11-13 minutes, or until the cookies just start to turn golden but still appear soft. Let the cookies sit on the sheet pan for 3 minutes, then carefully transfer them to a rack to cool.

Eat warm or at room temp and enjoy!


Hamantaschen are generally a simple cookie: sweet pastry filled with jam, poppy seed fillings, prunes or other dried fruit combinations in triangular form. They're usually made of a sturdy sugar cookie-type dough. They're also often a little dry and boring.

Last year, I used basic pie dough for my hamantaschen. I really like those cookies because you can never go wrong with good pastry, but this year I wanted to bake more traditional hamantaschen. I did a little research and found the Ovenly recipe. Their pie dough + powdered sugar + egg yolk combination inspired me. I found I needed a little more liquid than the original recipe called for, but otherwise it's very similar to theirs. Next time I would probably omit the honey from the dough as it's plenty sweet with the powdered sugar (if you do this you may need to add a little extra water). 

You can fill these cookies with your favorite thick jam, or you can make a poppy seed or dried apricot filling. Ovenly also has a few ideas for inspired hamantaschen fillings. 

These hamantaschen are perfect along with a hot cup of tea or coffee, especially during these lingering winter days... They are soft and delicate, buttery and crumbly, small and sweet. 

Happy Purim!

Raspberry Hamantaschen
Recipe slightly adapted from Ovenly
Makes approximately 40 hamantaschen

for the dough-
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons honey
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter or margarine, cold and cubed
2-3 tablespoons ice water

for the filling-
1/2-3/4 cup thick jam (I used organic low-sugar raspberry jam... or sub with your favorite filling choice)

for the egg wash-
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon water

for the dough-
Sift together the flour, sugar and salt. This step is critical as powdered sugar is generally lumpy, and this step eliminates the lumps. Cube the butter. Add the flour and butter to a food processor. Pulse until a coarse meal forms. If you don't have a food processor, combine the flour mixture and the butter using a pastry cutter.

Next, make a well in the dough, and add the egg yolks and the honey to the well. Combine everything together with your hands or a spoon. The dough will be crumbly and it will just start sticking together. Add 2 tablespoons of ice water, and combine the dough. If the dough still isn't coming together, add more ice water 1 tablespoon at a time. Be careful not to over-mix or your dough will get tough. Also, be careful not to add too much water. You want to just form a ball of dough without it being too sticky or wet.

Form the dough into a 6-inch dish. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15-30 minutes. If you see flecks of butter in the dough that is a very good thing

to assemble the hamantaschen-
Once chilled, roll the dough out until it is about 1/8-1/4 inch thick. Using a 2-inch biscuit or round cookie cutter, or using a small glass, cut rings out of the dough.

Combine the scraps of dough, and re-roll it and cut out more rounds.

Add about 1/2 a teaspoon of filling to the center of each cookie. Pinch the sides closed so that you form a triangle. You want to make sure the dough is sealed very well together, otherwise the filling will escape as the cookie bakes.

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Transfer the hamantaschen to a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Freeze the cookies for 15 minutes before baking, or about as long as it takes for the oven to preheat.

Make an egg wash by whisking the egg yolk and water together. 

Before placing the cookies in the oven, brush the dough with the egg wash. Bake for 13-15 minutes or until golden brown.

Transfer the cookies to a rack and allow them to cool. 

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

I love happy accidents in the kitchen. The other night, I was testing out apple crisp topping recipes. I was playing around with ratios for the perfect, crumbly, buttery, lovely crisp topping. One batch of topping felt more like cookie-dough than the crumbly mixture I was looking for. I could have tried to salvage the mixture by adding more flour, but instead I thought, "what if I add an egg, some baking soda and some chocolate chips to this... will it make a cookie?"

The answer is a BIG yes. Not only did it make cookies, it made delicious cookies. It made the kind of cookies I'm always going for: crisp on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside.

Usually I make cookies by creaming room temp (or melted) butter and sugar together, then adding dry ingredients to that. What I discovered with these cookies is that you can actually use super cold butter, and make the dough similarly to how you make pie or biscuit dough. No creaming of sugar and butter first. No waiting for butter to come to temp. No stand-mixer. This recipe doesn't make a huge batch of cookies, but because the recipe is so easy, it's the perfect thing to whip up for a small group of friends or family when you're craving cookies and want them fast. Of course, you can also double or triple the recipe.

One note about my brand preferences - I'm a big fan of Ghiradelli's semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips. They're a little larger than most of the mainstream brands of chocolate chips. I think they have deeper chocolate flavor, and a silkier texture. I'm also a fan of Guittard. I always pick up a bag when I see it on sale. Regular semisweet chocolate chips will do just fine. You can also swap dark chocolate for milk or white chocolate chip. I'm not a big fan of white chocolate, but if you are and want to make this recipe festive, you could also add dried cranberries to the mix. You can also add your favorite spices to the batter, or omit entirely.

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
Makes about 12-14 medium-large cookies

1¼ cup all purpose flour (can substitute with gluten free flour)
½ cup rolled oats
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
good pinch of kosher or flake salt
8 tablespoons (½ a cup or 1 stick) of COLD unsalted butter, cubed small
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup good quality dark chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients: flour, oats, sugars, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Stir until evenly mixed.

Cube the butter into small pieces. Add the cubed butter to the dry ingredients. Using your hands, combine the butter and dry ingredients together until the butter is fully incorporated and the mixture resembles a coarse pea-sized meal.  Don’t worry too much about perfection here… you’re looking to just break apart the butter as you mix-in the dry ingredients. It takes a little elbow grease, but it’s not hard. If you are nervous you can use a pastry cutter or a food processor instead.

Next, add the beaten egg and vanilla extract. Mix until just combined (be careful not to over mix at this point). Fold in the chocolate chips. 

Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Scoop out heaping spoonfuls of dough. Flatten slightly so the dough is2-3 inches in diameter (as shown below). Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, allow to cool on the sheet pan for 2 more minutes, than transfer the cookies to a cooling rack.

If you prefer smaller cookies, you can use heaping teaspoons and bake the cookies for 8 instead of 10 minutes.

The cookies should be crispy on the edge and chewy on the inside. They will look a little undercooked when you first take them out, but don’t worry, they’ll harden and firm up as they cool.

The best chocolate chip cookie

People tend to fall into two camps: those that like crisp chocolate chip cookies, and those that prefer them chewy. For me, I want a cookie with a slightly crisp edge that is chewy in the center. I don't want a cookie that's too doughy, hard, or crunchy. We can agree to disagree if your preferences don't align.

In the quest for the perfect cookie, I have come to terms with the fact that I will probably continue to pursue a flawless, un-improvable chocolate chip cookie recipe. True perfection may take years to master, and my definition of perfection may change. However, I'm getting pretty close...

A number of things are crucial to the success of this recipe:
1) Cooking time and temperature
2) Equipment
3) The size of your scoop of cookie dough
4) Butter in addition to shortening
5) Starting with ingredients at room temp

Those things matter a lot, but it's important to note that your results will differ based on the fact that every egg is different, the way each person scoops their flour differs, the lightness or darkness of your baking sheet affects the cookie, the quality and type of your sugar matters, the type of chocolate chip you use makes a difference, and so on and so forth. Just like pizza, your cookie will taste good even if it doesn't always match up to your dreams. But if you're unsatisfied with the results, keep fiddling with those things until you arrive at your cookie nirvana.

The one thing that everyone says makes the biggest difference is baking the cookies on a baking stone. I don't own a baking stone (yet), but my stubborn side also feels like there has to be a way to create cookie perfection on a baking sheet. I've done it before with other recipes, so why should this type of cookie be any different?

There are a lot of similar recipes on the Internet, and I have tried so many that my own recipe is derived from all of them. Most recently, I have been using this recipe as my starting point, sent along to me by my friend. After I made these cookies, I found this post which has a similar recipe, and if you want to get super technical it has all the info you need. I'd like to thank all the chocolate chip cookie makers who have come before me and already discovered these ratios... I'm happy I'm catching up.

Classic Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes 36 cookies

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt (table salt, which has a different sodium content than kosher salt)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temp
1/2 cup organic vegetable shortening, at room temp
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temp
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 10 oz bag chocolate chips (I like Ghirardelli 60% bittersweet chocolate baking chips for their size and flavor) - I also am a fan of mixing 1/2 dark and 1/2 milk chocolate chips)

Preheat the oven to 350°F/176°C.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, sift together your flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, beat together the room temp butter, shortening, white and brown sugar. Beat until the mixture is light and fluffy, no less than 3 minutes, and you can go as long as 5 minutes. You can't over beat your dough at this point.

On medium low, add the eggs one at a time until fully incorporated. Add the vanilla extract. Beat for a minute.

On low, slowly add your flour mixture to the egg mixture a little at a time. Mix until just incorporated. You can over-beat your dough at this point, so don't let the flour mix too long. If you're nervous, stop the stand mixer, take the bowl out, and finish mixing up the wet and dry ingredients with a wooden spoon. Fold in your chocolate chips until they are evenly incorporated. Again, be careful not to over mix. Place your dough in the fridge for 20-30 minutes (truthfully, it didn't make THAT much of a difference whether or not I chilled the dough first, but lots of people swear this step is crucial... so there you go).

At this stage, an inexpensive piece of equipment makes a huge difference in the outcome of the cookie. I use a 1.5 tablespoon ice cream scoop to make even balls of cookie dough. I use that same ice cream scoop for meatballs, matzoh balls, and for ice cream (of course). It's a good investment and really helps these cookies become the right shape and size.

Scoop out 12, 1.5 tablespoon-sized balls of dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Space each piece of dough a few inches apart. Resist the urge to flatten the dough. The cookies come out less chewy when I've done this.

Bake the cookies in the oven for 8-9 minutes or until the edges are just slightly starting to turn golden. Your cookies will look a little underdone. Don't worry about that. If you want a chewy cookie, err on the side of under-doness. Also, the cookies will continue to cook as they cool. Keep the cookies on the baking sheet for 2 minutes (no more). Transfer them to a cooling rack so that they can cool properly. This final step is as important as any of the ones that came before it. If you leave the cookies in the pan, they will continue to cook and will potentially become too dry and won't stay chewy. That would be a bummer. A cooling rack is another great inexpensive investment, and a must for anyone that likes to bake things.

Let the cookies cool for 8-10 minutes, or for as long as you can resist biting into one. Serve with milk. Cookies will stay chewy and great for 3-5 days after baking, but they probably won't last that long. You can also scoop and freeze the dough. If you are baking frozen cookies, make sure the dough comes to room temp (about 30 minutes) before you bake them in the oven.

Happy cookie baking!

Strawberry Hamantaschen Tartelettes

I need no excuse to make a cookie, but holidays are a good one.  Purim is this Saturday, and Hamantaschen, a three-sided cookie with a filling, is traditionally eaten and given as gifts on this holiday.

There are 2 things that hamantaschen need to be: three-sided and filled with something (jam, poppy seeds, prunes, etc.)  These aren't bad requirements for a cookie.  The only problem is that most of the Hamantaschen I've eaten in my life kind of suck.  They tend to be large in size, with dry bland cookie dough surrounding average tasting jam.

The only exception to the sucky-hamantaschen rule are my grandmother's (of course).  Instead of cookie dough, she made a pastry dough that she typically used for peroshke.  She also made her hamantashen small. She also filled them with homemade jam.

Pie dough is my favorite type of dough, and I  thought why not make hamantaschen with that?
The result: it worked.

These don't taste like typical hamantaschen. They taste like little pies.  If you want to make them into tartelettes (in fact, my french roommate says they reminded him of these), you don't need to form them into triangles.  If you want to make them triangular, you need to make sure you fold over the corners really well. This is a versatile base to work with, and I'm sure I'll play around with this recipe in the future.

I apologize in advance for the directions on this one... I sort of winged it, and some of this you have to do by feel... make sure your dough isn't too wet, don't roll it out too thick, make sure you chill the dough, and make sure you chill the cookies before you bake them. They are a little labor intensive, but they're also fun to make, if you like this sort of thing.

Pie-Dough Hamantaschen with Strawberry Filling
Makes 30 cookies

for the dough-
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup very cold unsalted butter (1 stick), cubed
1/4 cup ice water

for the filling-
1/2 cup strawberry jam (thick is best, recipe below if you want to make your own)
3-4 strawberries, quartered and sliced very thin
1 egg
turbinado or coarse sugar

for the dough-
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and sugar. For all pie dough, keep all of the ingredients as cold as possible.

In a food processor, add the flour and the cubed butter.  Pulse until the butter looks pea-sized and the mixture is crumbly.  Slowly add the ice water, a little at a time.  Pulse each time you add.  The dough is ready when it sticks together when you press it with your fingers.

Form the dough into a ball, flatten it into a disc, and cover it in plastic wrap.  Let the dough chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.

to assemble-
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Make an egg wash by cracking an egg and beating it in a small dish.

Cut the dough into thirds, keep the dough you're not using in the fridge.  Roll the dough out until it is about a 1/4-inch thick.  Cut the dough with a 2-inch biscuit cutter. You can take the scraps of dough and re-roll those out so that none of the dough goes to waste.  If you want the tartelettes larger, use a 3-inch biscuit cutter or a glass (add more filling accordingly).

Spoon a 1/4 teaspoon of strawberry jam into the center of each round. Top the jam with a thin slice of strawberry.  Fold over the edges of the dough onto the jam, forming a triangle.  I start by folding one third, then another, then the last.  Pinch each corner super tight, otherwise the dough will unfold when the cookies bake. Here's a good tutorial.

Place the cookie on the baking sheet, leave an inch or two of room between each cookie.  Once you fill up the tray, place the tray of cookies in the freezer (or fridge) to chill for 15-30 minutes before baking. Take the cookies out of the freezer.  Brush the egg wash over the edges of the cookie, sprinkle with coarse sugar.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the dough is golden brown.

Fresh Strawberry Jam
adapted from Ina Garten's recipe

2 pints fresh strawberries, rinsed and cut into small pieces
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
juice and zest of one lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine the sugar, lemon zest, vanilla, and lemon juice in a small saucepan and cook over very low heat for 10 minutes, until the sugar is dissolved. Add the strawberries and continue to cook over very low heat for 45 minutes, until the strawberries release some of their juices and the mixture boils slowly. Cook until a small amount of the juice gels on a very cold plate, and the mixture starts to look thick and jammy. (I keep one in the freezer.) Pour carefully into a canning jars and either seal or keep refrigerated. Use immediately, or follow proper canning guidelines below.

Flourless Chocolate Brownie Cookies (gluten free)

I stumbled across this recipe for Chocolate Brownie Cookies in the January 2014 issue of Bon Appetit. The picture of the cookie looked great, and the recipe seemed as simple as any cookie recipe could possibly be.

Well done Bon Appetit test kitchen!  This is a stellar cookie, and an excellent gluten free dessert.

Look, I'm a big fan of gluten.  I don't have an intolerance to it, and I have nothing against it from a nutritional perspective.  But, I know many folks that do have difficulties with gluten; and it's nice to have more recipes I can serve those friends.

Plus, the omission of flour is texturally significant in these cookies. They are crispy and light on the outside, and gooey in the center.  They remind me of a cross between a meringue and a french macaron.  What could be bad about that?

I only made a few changes to the recipe. Next time, I might add cinnamon or cayenne to the batter. But really, it's pretty perfect as is.

Chocolate Brownie Cookies 
Makes 2 dozen cookies

3 cups gluten-free powdered sugar (you can also use regular powdered sugar if you aren't gf)
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (the better the powder, the better the cookie)
1 tsp. kosher salt (essential)
2 large egg whites
1 large egg
4 oz. (1/2 cup) bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I used semi-sweet chocolate chips instead)
3 tbsp. cacao nibs (I did not have these on hand. Instead, I added 3 extra tablespoons of chocolate chips)

Place racks in lower and upper thirds of oven; preheat to 350°F.

Whisk powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and salt in a large bowl, then whisk in egg whites and egg; fold in chocolate and cacao nibs.  You don't have to be perfect about any of these steps. This batter is very forgiving.  Just don't overmix the batter once you add the eggs; err on the side of clumps.  

Your batter should look glossy and almost like melted chocolate

Spoon batter by the tablespoonful onto 2 parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing 2" apart.  I used an actually measuring tablespoon.  The batter is very very sticky, so I scooped up spoonfuls, and needed to use my hand to release the batter from the spoon.  

Bake, rotating sheets once, until cookies are puffed, cracked, and set just around the edges, 14-16 minutes. Mine took 14, I always prefer cookies just under, and they continue to cook even out of the oven.

Transfer baking sheets to wire racks and let cookies cool on pan (they'll firm up). Okay, here's the ONLY tricky part of this recipe.  My cookies needed to cool in the pan for a minute or so before they would unstick from the bottom. The first hot cookie I tried to move with a spatula broke apart.  After a minute, it was easier.  It also helped to lift up the parchment off of the hot cookie tray, transfer the parchment to the counter, and lift the cookies off the parchment once they were not in the pan. This is still a delicate process, and you'll want a good spatula for the operation.

Do ahead; Cookies can be baked 3 days ahead.  Store airtight at room temperature.  

And this is what you get!