New This Month

Chocolate Charms

38

The dusting of cocoa on these little cookies, much like that on a chocolate truffle, may seem to promise a similar velvety interior, but the illusion is fleeting. One bite reveals the unmistakable crumbly texture of shortbread.

  • Yield: Makes 40

Source: Martha Stewart Living Special Issues 2001

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for dusting
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Sift together flour, cocoa, and salt into a bowl. Set aside.

  2. Place butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add sugar, and beat about 2 minutes more, until very light in color and fluffy, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Add vanilla, if using. Add flour mixture, and combine on low speed, scraping with spatula if necessary, until flour is just incorporated and dough sticks together when squeezed with fingers.

  3. Form dough into a flattened disk; wrap in plastic. Chill until firm, at least 1 hour.

  4. Using a spoon, form dough into 1-inch balls; place on prepared baking sheet. Bake until firm, 20 to 25 minutes, rotating halfway through. Cool completely on wire rack. Dust with cocoa powder just before serving.

Cook's Notes

If giving as a gift, enclose about 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder in a small bag, along with instructions for dusting.

Reviews Add a comment

  • MS11976414
    22 NOV, 2015
    These are nice little cookies, and they're so easy to make. In the future I will add a teaspoon or so of espresso powder to the dough to lend some depth to the chocolate flavor, which is a bit one-note as written. At 1" in diameter per cookie, my yield was 70 cookies rather than 40. I agreed with some reviewers' comments that the unsweetened cocoa powder sounded unappealing as a coating, so I used a mixture of 1T cocoa and 1tsp powdered sugar instead. Still looked chocolatey but tasted great.
    Reply
  • Since1982
    2 JAN, 2015
    Ghiradelli has a Sweet Ground Cocoa that is nice for dusting truffles and cookies.
    Reply
  • ACreech
    21 NOV, 2012
    WOW! I don't really like shortbread, but I love Chocolate. This recipe is AWESOME! I chilled my dough overnight. It was a little too stiff the next morning so I left it out for about an hour and then used an ice cream scoop to form the cookies! Try it. I also just used the regular attachment with my stand mixer. I had to stop an use the spatula to scrape off the beater a little more, but it still worked.
    Reply
  • MS10702140
    18 APR, 2012
    Sometimes I use a sweetened cocoa powder like Nesquick or Starbucks ( like the type you mix with milk for chocolate milk or hot chocolate) instead of the unsweetened or dutch chocolate.
    Reply
  • jessieann2811
    26 JAN, 2011
    where is the recipe???
    Reply
  • iheartsb
    5 DEC, 2010
    Anyone know of a cocoa powder to use when making these cookies? For the dusting part. Don't love the unsweetened cocoa for the top. Any suggestions?
    Reply
  • Anarie
    28 JUL, 2010
    Also, be sure you're using UNsalted butter. The amount of water in salted butter is less predictable. That doesn't matter much for some recipes, but in cookies or pastry, it can really change the results.
    Reply
  • marniaH
    28 JUL, 2010
    in response to two comments down from here, if your cookies are spreading i have 2 suggestions: 1. make sure your oven is at the right temperature before putting the cookies in. 2. try putting the dough in the fridge for 10 minutes before scooping out the cookies. sometimes if the dough is too warm the butter melts before it has the chance to create the steam necessary for cookies to rise.
    Reply
  • blueberry_cheezcake
    28 JUL, 2010
    @ laur_n: Paddle attachment is used basically for creaming the butter and sugar in all recipes w/c makes use of the creaming method, it is also use to blend ingredients together in some recipes. If your blender is the old fashion one, you can use the whip attachment that comes w/ it, but only use it on a lower speed. A wooden spoon is also a nice tool to blend ingredients together.
    Reply
  • Alice514
    19 JUL, 2010
    I've tried twice to make these cookies, but although they taste delicious, I have not been able to get a batch to look like the photo. Instead of retaining the round shape, they flatten out like snickerdoodles. Any suggestions.....?
    Reply