These are one of those cookies that make self-control truly difficult, even heroic. You might tell yourself: "I'll only have half of one as a treat." Only to go back 20 seconds later for the other half.
And then a whole second cookie.
And perhaps a third.
Why not a fourth? After all, calories don't really count during the Christmas season...
And pretty soon the whole batch is gone and you're forced to make another batch to replenish the cookie jar before your husband notices. This may or may not be a completely hypothetical scenario.
Either way, these will be a welcomed addition to your Christmas cookie tray. The perfect accompaniment to a mug of hot chocolate or a steaming latte.
adapted from Dorie Greenspan
1 stick plus 2 tablespoons (10 tablespoons total) unsalted butter, cut into 10 pieces
1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
10 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa power
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
2 large eggs
Dump the butter, sugar, and chocolate (in that order) into the bowl of your KitchenAid. Grab a pot or saucepan with a lip large enough to allow the KitchenAid bowl to snugly tilt/fit. Fill it with water and bring it to a slow simmer. Place the KitchenAid bowl over the simmering water, and gently stir the mixture with a heatproof spatula as the chocolate, butter, and sugar all melt together. Once it is completely melted, fit the mixing bowl onto the base of your mixer. Let the chocolate cool slightly.
Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and cloves.
Using the paddle attachment, beat the chocolate mixture on low speed. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition to ensure that each one is well blended. With the mixer still on low, gradually add the dry ingredients, mixing just until the dough is smooth and shiny. It will clean the sides of the bowl and form a ball. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and divide it in half. Wrap each piece in plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour, or up to 3 days (if the dough is solid, leave it on the counter for 30 minutes before proceeding).
Position the oven racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Take 1 tablespoon of dough at a time and roll between your hands into a firm, shiny ball. The dough may break a bit as you work, but just squeeze and mold it into a ball shape. Place the balls about 1 inch apart on the baking sheets. Lightly press each one down just a little with your fingertips.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, rotating the baking sheets from top to bottom and front to back at the midway point. The cookies should be delicately firm and crackled across the top. Be sure not to overbake. Remove the sheets from the oven and let the cookies rest on the baking sheets for 2 minutes before carefully transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. Sprinkle sifted powdered sugar over the cookies as they cool, if desired.