Colpa Degno (Flourless Triple-Chocolate Cookies)

November  6, 2017
6 Ratings
Photo by Rocky Luten
  • Makes 2 dozen cookies
Author Notes

We named these chocolate-packed rounds colpa degno because the term roughly translates as “worth the guilt.” Created by Megan Fitzroy Phelan, currently an owner of Richmond, Virginia’s lauded Longoven restaurant, and formerly a Sullivan Street pastry chef, these cookies are small and addictive and so delightful that they are well worth any remorse you might feel from eating a half dozen or so. The batter is quick, easy, and sticky and makes for cookies that are crispy, chewy, and suffused with chocolate.
Recipe from The Sullivan Street Bakery Cookbook by Jim Lahey with Maya Joseph. Copyright © 2017 by Jim Lahey. Reprinted with permission of W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. All rights reserved. —Food52

What You'll Need
  • 1 2/3 cups (185 g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 scant cup (40 g) unsweetened dark cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 g) coarse sea salt
  • Whites from 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons (6 g) vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) milk chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) dark chocolate chips
  1. Heat the oven to 375°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and salt with a fork in a medium bowl to combine. Whisk together the egg whites and the vanilla with the fork in a small bowl.
  2. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the egg whites; stir the mixture with the fork until it just begins to come together. Add the chocolates and stir until well combined. The dough will be extremely sticky and as dark as black licorice.
  3. At the bakery, we use a #60 scoop (like a small ice cream scoop) to scoop and ball these, but an ordinary 1 tablespoon measuring spoon works well too. Pack the batter into the spoon by squashing and dragging the spoon against the inside of the bowl to make sure the rounds of dough are tight and compact—if the dough is too loosely packed, the cookies tend to really spread out and separate as they bake.
  4. Place the rounds of dough on the parchment-lined cookie sheet a good 3 inches apart and bake for about 12 minutes or until the tops are glossy and set. When the cookies are done, they will be quite gooey, but they will continue to cook as they cool. Once they’ve cooled off enough to eat, they should be soft and chewy—if they’re hard or crisp, they’ve baked too much.
  5. Cool the cookies on the paper, set on a wire rack, for 10 minutes. Repeat with the remaining dough. Serve these cookies the day they are made.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Chandler
  • Cee Cee
    Cee Cee
  • Margaret Roth
    Margaret Roth
  • THEToughCookie
  • Anusha Rutnam
    Anusha Rutnam

23 Reviews

ebearrow April 16, 2020
These cookies are absolutely delicious! They are fudgy and chewy perfection. I will definitely be making them again.

Next time I make these I will likely - replace 1/4c of the powdered sugar with espresso or coffee grounds to bring out the chocolate and reduce the sweetness.

One BIG callout - 12 minutes was far too long. At about 7 minutes, the bottoms of the cookies were burnt black. I recommend no more than 6 minutes.

The dough is a bit hard to come together by stirring. I had to use my hands to combine all the ingredients together - which was quite messy.
Chandler March 11, 2020
This recipe is wonderful! Perfectly chewy and love that it's GF. The darker the cocoa the better. Super easy clean up too.
Cee C. November 12, 2018
Have made this recipe twice now and love how easy it is. The photo here doesn't do it justice. They are more like a macron shell on the outside, a little crispy, but soft and gooey on the inside. Adding this to my regular line up!
teribelli September 26, 2018
Just wondering if anyone has made these ahead. I'd like to bring to a cabin weekend. Recipe says to serve the day they're made though.
Cee C. November 12, 2018
Personally, I'm still more than happy to eat them after a day or two. You can make ahead, but they won't have the same nice texture as the first day - slightly crisp on the outside and gooey on the inside.
Margaret R. January 17, 2018
I have been using this site for the last four years and I have to say that this may very well be the absolute best recipe I've ever tried from Food52. The idea that only 118 people have "loved" this recipe is a shame for the rest of the community and a secret well-kept for the rest of us!
THEToughCookie December 15, 2017
I've made these at least 1/2 dozen times, because they're so easy to whip up on short notice. I've played with some spices, too, just to shake things up. SO chocolatey and so great.
Kathleen December 13, 2017
Would substituting honey or stevia for the sugar work?
ebearrow April 16, 2020
I'm not sure about stevia, but honey will NOT work as the sugar is the main dry ingredient that brings together the dough.
Halii November 29, 2017
Will these cookies freeze well? I'm thinking these could be awesome at Christmas.
Brian G. November 23, 2017
Do you think you could grease cookie sheet or need to use parchment paper?
Dawn D. November 23, 2017
I think you could grease the cookie sheet (unsalted) but I have always gotten such good results with parchment paper, now I use it for so many things - lining the pan when roasting vegetables, under the meatloaf, and always when baking a cake to make sure it won't stick. If you try with a greased baking sheet, please post your results!
ebearrow April 16, 2020
I would not recommend greasing the cookie sheet or the parchment paper. This made the bottom of the cookies quickly burn.
Isa November 16, 2017
I'm hoping to vegan-ize these...Thinking a flax egg (or two!) or using newly purchased bobs red mill egg replacer, and only dark chocolate those substitutions seem reasonable? These look absolutely amazing!
Anusha R. November 15, 2017
Slim pickings for unsweetened dark cocoa powder in Australia. Do you think Nestle Plaistowe Cocoa Premium would be an ok substitute?
ebearrow April 16, 2020
That will likely work! If the cocoa powder is slightly sweet, I'd recommend decreasing the sugar and increasing the cocoa powder (maybe by 1/4c) to balance out the sweetness.
Dawn D. November 13, 2017
Does anyone think if the dough is refrigerated for say 30 minutes or so, then they might not spread quite so much when baking?
ebearrow April 16, 2020
I rolled the dough into tight balls after scooping them and that decreased the spread. They are actually more puffy than the picture. Only thing to watch out for is the baking time - with the doughs rolled into balls, the bottoms burned quite quickly. I'd say no more than 6 minutes in the oven.
Catherine R. November 13, 2017
Ok just to make sure....confectioner's sugar = powdered sugar, right?
ebearrow April 16, 2020
Clémentine G. November 12, 2017
Just made them today, THEY ARE SO GOOD !!! Really intense and chocolate-y, crispy outside and soft inside, and quick to make. I will definitely make them again !
I just lessened the amount of sugar, and despite making 1,5 the amount of dough I have not nearly two dozens cookies, but maybe I made them bigger than you did. Anyway, not a problem in itself !
Also, thank you very much for putting the amounts in grams, as a French girl it's really helpful !
frecklywench November 12, 2017
They look so good! How much sugar did you end up using?
Clémentine G. November 13, 2017
I used 125g while making 1,5 time the recipe, I think I could have gone with 100g ! But I am quite sensitive to sugar :-)
Regardless, I really recommend this recipe !