We need a bit of the holiday right now - I was holding this recipe for my next cookie book but I think we all need these now and we have the time.
As a disclaimer you need a very cool kitchen to make the dough for these cookies, nothing that produces heat can be on, nothing, well the oven, but nothing else. Trust me, I worked very hard to recreate this cookie we had in Belgium, rich chocolate taste but not too sweet. This is my favorite cookie even though is a pain in the butt to make.
2 tablespoons of Greens & Blacks Organic Cocoa powder - do not skimp, this works the best
4 oz of 100% chocolate - yes 100% chocolate, Scharffen Berger, if you can not find it the 99% will do - rough chop
1 1/2 cups of unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoons of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick of unsalted butter at almost room temp - chopped into cubes
3/4 cup raw sugar
1 teaspoon of real vanilla extract
1 teaspoon of instant coffee dissolved in a tablespoon of hot water - tried using espresso but it did not taste the same.
Before starting place the large bowl for the stand mixer in the fridge to cool.
In the food processor place the cocoa, chocolate and 1/4 cup of flour - first pulse, then once the chocolate bits get smaller go full speed until the chocolate is finely grounded. Now add the balance of the flour, baking powder, and salt, pulse to blend.
Take the bowl from the fridge and place on the stand mixer and cream the butter and the sugars until very light and fluffy. Place the mixer on medium and add the egg, vanilla, and coffee. Once smooth and the bowl is still cool, lower the speed to low and slowly add the chocolate flour mixture to the butter mixture - do not over mix the dough. Quickly remove the dough from the bowl, form into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and chill until firm at least 3 hours.
Note: I measure all the ingredients out first, have them ready and I can make the dough in about 10 minutes before the bowl has gotten to room temp.
While the dough is chill-in I also place two large cutting boards in the ridge as well. You need to work quickly when you roll out the cookies and you will need a cool surface.
Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees
Divide the dough into quarters, place the other quarters back in the fridge as you work on one. Remove a cutting board from the fridge and lightly flour it. Warm the dough a bit in your hands and then roll it out to about 1/8 inch thick - with the cookie cutter of choice, I use a bear. Cut out the cookies and place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet - collect the trimmings and roll into a ball and place it in the fridge.
Bake in the oven for about 10 to 12 minutes until firm. Remove place cookie sheet and with a quick move over a cooling rack side parchment and all the cookies from sheet onto a cooling rack - It takes a few times to get the hang of it. I found it since its hard to tell when the cookies are brown, if you leave them on the hot cookies sheet they keep cooking and sometimes they burn even when out of the oven.
Repeat until all the dough is gone - this recipe makes about 2 1/2 dozen cookies.
Place the cutting board you just used back in the fridge when you bring out the other one to start cookie batch two and so on.