The best thing about lasagna is that there are almost always leftovers the next day. And it’s easy enough to reheat in my toaster oven, since I finally ditched the microwave. But that’s another story.
But I felt sort of empty around suppertime, having not actually made anything all day. I should have revelled in it, but instead I made cookies. (This is not actually a big deal; having had a cookie bakery and cranked out 100 dozen cookies in a night, one little batch is a snap. I actually make a little game of challenging myself to turn on the oven and then mix up the dough and get it onto the sheets before it’s preheated. Like a cookie race. I have a very exciting life. It’s very exciting.)
And then I got all nostalgic and started thinking about the very first cookies I made for my bakery, One Smart Cookie, which I built when I was 25 on the 8th floor of an old office building downtown. (Another really long story.) These were by far my biggest sellers – low fat brownie-like cookies that before I found my bakery space I used to bake in my apartment and smuggle out to the coffee shops I supplied in a laundry basket covered with towels while my landlord stood in the foyer and scowled at me. I pretended I was a clean freak. I’m not.
I originally made these for my dad, who tends toward high cholesterol and tries to limit his saturated fat intake; my nephew named them chocolava when he was 7 because of their crackly resemblance to lava. I almost got Subway to carry these. But that’s yet another story. Anyway, I haven’t made them in ages, and it occurred to me that it’s a recipe y’all should have.
Also, I just wanted something chocolate.
Don’t overbake these. You want them to be chewy, like you would a chocolate chip cookie or a molasses-ginger cookie; that means that they should come out of the oven set around the edges, but still soft in the middle. They will firm up as they cool, so if they are set all the way through, they may be soft while they’re hot, but won’t be once they’ve cooled off.
These are rich, intensely chocolate, brownie-like cookies, rolled in icing sugar before they’re baked to create a crackled surface as they rise and spread in the oven. They’re also low fat.
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup butter, softened
3 large egg whites or 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tsp. vanilla
icing sugar, for rolling
Preheat oven to 350°F.
In a large bowl or in the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, brown sugar, cocoa, baking powder and salt, breaking up any lumps of brown sugar. Add the butter and pulse or stir with a fork, pastry cutter or whisk until the mixture is well combined and crumbly.
Add eggs and vanilla and stir by hand just until the dough comes together. The dough will be fairly dry – it will seem at first that there isn’t enough moisture, but if you keep stirring, or get in there and use your fingers, eventually it will come together.
Place a few heaping spoonfuls of icing sugar into a shallow dish. Roll dough into 1 1/2” balls and roll the balls in icing sugar to coat. Place them about 2” apart on a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with nonstick spray. Bake for 12–14 minutes, until just set around the edges but still soft in the middle. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Makes 20 cookies.
Per Cookie: 111 calories, 2.6 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat, 0.7 g monounsaturated fat, 0.1 g polyunsaturated fat), 21.3 g carbohydrates, 6.2 mg cholesterol, 1.8 g protein, 1.3 g fiber. 20% calories from fat