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
40 to 45 1 1/2-inch cookies
1 1/2 cups
(255 grams) semisweet or dark chocolate baking chips (see note)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Craftsy.com, 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!).