I often hear people saying that they want to reduce the sugar in a recipe, or they don’t want something to be “too sweet.” I’ve had cookies that are made with too much sugar and they taste grainy and unpleasant, but I don’t generally want to reduce the sugar in any other recipes. Sugar is a huge contributor to the texture of baked goods, helping to make things light and moist in some cases and densely fudgy in others. I try to aim for the “right” amount of sugar in a dessert, to give it a good flavor and texture without leaving you feeling like you need to eat a Saltine to cut the sweetness.
That said, if you simply don’t like your cookies, brownies or other chocolate goodies to be too sweet, these are probably going to be the cookies for you. They aren’t reduced sugar cookies, they just get a lot of their chocolate flavor from cocoa powder – and since cocoa powder has is naturally unsweetened and has a slightly bitter taste (when tasted plain, anyway), it definitely cuts the sweetness of the sugar in the cookies and leaves a great dark chocolate flavor. Since the sugar isn’t actually reduced, the cookies have a good chewy texture, too.
I used dark chocolate chips in my cookies just to keep the dark chocolate flavors going, but you can use any other type of chocolate chip you like. White chocolate chips would actually go quite well in these because their vanilla flavor would stand out against the darker cookie.
For the record, I think these cookies are “just right” in terms of sweetness, flavor and chocolatiness. They’re a bit on the grown up side, but are still amazing with a big glass of milk.
Dark Double Chocolate Cookies
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp instant espresso powder (optional)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup semisweet or dark chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Beat in egg, followed by vanilla extract. Gradually, with the mixer on low speed, blend in the flour mixture, stopping when no streaks of dry ingredients remain. Stir in chocolate chips.
Place rounded tablespoons of dough (about 1-inch balls) onto prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, until cookies begin to crack on the top.
Cool for 2 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes 2 1/2 dozen