Chocolate Tea Cakes

January 20, 2017
3 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Makes 40 to 45 1 1/2-inch cookies
Author Notes

Don’t use chopped bar chocolate, wafers, disks, callets, or pistoles— baking chips are the way to go here, because the pieces hold a shape and help to keep the cookies shapely, too. You'll need a food processor and 2 cookie sheets, lined with parchment paper, for this recipe. —Alice Medrich

What You'll Need
  • 1 1/2 cups (255 grams) semisweet or dark chocolate baking chips (see note)
  • 3 tablespoons (36 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 cups (255 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 16 tablespoons (2 sticks/225 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extarct
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar, for dusting (optional)
  1. Pulse the chocolate chips in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade until pieces range from pulverized to 1/4-inch. Don’t reduce all of the chocolate to powder, you want lots of small pieces as well as some powder or the cookies will be flat and less tender. Transfer the chocolate to a bowl and set aside. Wipe the bowl of the food processor with a paper towel to remove excess oil from the chocolate.
  2. Put the granulated sugar in the processor and process until it is fine and powdery. Add the flour and salt and pulse just to mix. Add the butter and vanilla. Process until the mixture looks damp and begins to clump together. Add the chocolate and pulse just until combined. Transfer the dough to a bowl. Cover and refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.
  3. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Position the racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Shape slightly more than level tablespoons (18 grams) of dough into 1 1/4-inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on cookie sheets. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until the tops look slightly crackled and don’t feel squishy when lightly pressed with a finger. Rotate the cookie sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through the baking time to ensure even baking.
  4. While baking, put the powdered sugar in a small bowl. When the cookies are done, let them cool on the pan for 5 minutes, and then sieve powdered sugar over the top of each one. Cool completely on a rack before storing. They may be stored, in an airtight container, for at least 2 weeks. Sieve additional powdered sugar over the cookies before serving, if necessary.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Kamilah
  • Janet
  • vivian wood
    vivian wood
  • JudyH
My career was sparked by a single bite of a chocolate truffle, made by my Paris landlady in 1972. I returned home to open this country’s first chocolate bakery and dessert shop, Cocolat, and I am often “blamed” for introducing chocolate truffles to America. Today I am the James Beard Foundation and IACP award-winning author of ten cookbooks, teach a chocolate dessert class on, and work with some of the world’s best chocolate companies. In 2018, I won the IACP Award for Best Food-Focused Column (this one!).

6 Reviews

Kamilah October 30, 2018
something this straightforward shouldn't taste so good. chocolate cookie perfection!
Janet March 2, 2018
Ugh. dry, kind of tasteless. i'd be happier eating the chocolate chips and forgetting all the "cookie" prep. Really awful. Waste of effort and ingredients that are not inexpensive.
vivian W. February 6, 2017
It makes 40 - 15 cookies???
Victoria C. February 7, 2017
Don't you think she meant 40 - 50 cookies?
Lucy October 26, 2017
It does say 40-45 1 1/2 inch cookies.....
JudyH January 25, 2017
These are quite fabulous. I highly recommend you make them. They disappeared in a day in our three person household.