I am frequently wary of all purpose cookie doughs. They are usually butter cookie dough based, and maybe I should not say wary so much as they do not result in the kinds of cookies that I love, so I pass them by. But then a few weeks ago I was browsing Fine Cooking: Chocolate, and I noticed that they had a chocolate all purpose cookie dough. And it made cookies both crispy and chewy. Now that I found intriguing.
Fine Cooking provided 3 possible cookies; I made 1 of the suggestions close to exactly, I adapted another suggestion, and I created my own third cookie. 2 of the cookies I loved, one I thought was good not great (I loved the slice and bake cookies and the bar cookies; the drop cookies were good but not amazing). I imagined loads more possibilities.
The dough is made in a food processor, which means it is not just a useful dough but also a very easy one. It does not require eggs either, which makes it a fun dough for
Sammy everyone to steal bites of. I found it more useful to double the recipe, because if I am going to bother making 2-3 different kinds of cookies, I wanted more than just a few of each kind (including extra dough to freeze). The recipe as written below is doubled, and it will fit in a 16 cup food processor, but it may need some additional help from a spatula.
The pictures are of 2 of the resulting cookies, one a slice and bake cookie and one a drop cookie. I used 1/3 of the drop cookie portion to bake drop cookies, but then I used the remaining 2/3 dough to make brownies, or a bar cookie version, which I greatly preferred for its superior chewiness (but alas did not get a chance to photograph). I say experiment and try it in all sorts of drop, bar, and slice-and-bake cookies.
- 20 oz (4½ cups) AP flour
- 6¾ oz (2¼ cups) natural cocoa powder
- 3⅓ cups sugar
- ¾ t baking soda
- 1 t fine sea salt
- 21 oz (2½ cups (5 sticks) plus 2 T) unsalted butter, slightly softened
- 9 T whole milk
- 1 T vanilla
- Possible Mix-ins for slice and bake:
- Nothing--will yield a crisp wafer cookie
- finely chopped or pulverized bittersweet chocolate (I tried, was delicious)
- instant espresso or finely ground coffee beans (I tried the latter, was delicious)
- mini chocolate chips
- cacao nibs
- peppermint oil or extract
- spices such as cinnamon or chile pepper
- Try sprinkling the unbaked sliced cookies with salt or coarse sugar
- Possible mix-ins for drop and bar cookies:
- chocolate chips or chunks--white, milk or semi/bittersweet (I tried, was excellent)
- flavored chips, such as mint or peanut butter
- M&Ms or other chopped candy
- candied ginger
- cacao nibs (I tried, was excellent)
- chopped nuts
- dried fruit
- coarse sea salt (mixed in or sprinkled on top) (I tried and loved)
- Place the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda and salt into a large (16+ cups) food processor. Process for a few seconds to mix. Add the butter in chunks. Run the processor for another 5-10 seconds. Use a spatula to scrape the bottom and sides if needed. With the processor running, add the milk and vanilla until the dough clumps around the processor blades.
- Scrape the dough onto a clean work surface and knead briefly to finish mixing. Knead or mix in any of the options listed above.
- If you are making slice-and-bakes, roll the dough into logs and chill for at least 3 hours.
- When you are ready to bake, either right away or after chilling the logs, Preheat the oven at 350 F.
- Bake at 350 F until done--the thinner the cookie, the longer they will take to bake. I started checking at 8 minutes for individual cookies and 20 minutes for bars. I took them out when the tops got a little dull but were still soft. Play around and experiment!