When my daughter requested a cookie bar instead of a cake for her recent birthday the first thing I grabbed was the awesome cookbook, Martha Stewart’s Cookies.
I found almost all of my recipes for the party there and in true Martha fashion: the directions were clear, the cookies delicious and there were plenty of choices to satisfy everyone from chocolate to citrus lover, nuts or no nuts, easy or fancy. The chocolate crackles were a hit and the girls loved helping roll in double sugar.
Makes about 5 dozen
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon coarse salt
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 ½ cups packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup whole milk
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
Melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring. Set aside and let cool. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.
With an electric mixer, beat butter and brown sugar on medium speed until pale and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Mix in eggs and vanilla, and then the melted chocolate. Reduce speed to low; mix in flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the milk. Divide dough into four equal pieces. Wrap each in plastic; refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Divide each piece into sixteen 1-inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar to coat, then in confectioners’ sugar to coat. Space 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
Bake until surfaces crack, about 14 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through. Let cool on sheets on wire racks. Cookies can be stored between layers of parchment in airtight containers at room temperature up to 3 days.