Disclosure: I wrote this post in partnership with The Hershey Company. It is a delicious, chocolatey partnership, and I’m so glad to have them in my kitchen today.
Praise everything good and living, it’s cookie baking season! I can hardly contain my excitement. Before Thanksgiving, I took my daughter to the kitchen shop and let her pick out new holiday cookie cutters and jars of festive sprinkles (she wanted all the jars!). At this point in her life, she’s only ever used cookie cutters to cut out felt shapes for a felt play mat. Little does she know that cookie cutters produce much, much more delicious things!
I’ll give you some time to sort out your cookie decorating drawers in your own house (and shop for new sprinkles and such), and instead share a recipe with you today for perfect chocolate drop cookies. This dough is my favorite for so many reasons—
- You don’t have to roll the dough into perfect round balls. Just scoop and drop, and they’ll bake up perfectly round.
- You know that jar of HERSHEY’S SPECIAL DARK cocoa powder in your pantry? That’s what I used here. It makes these cookies the absolutely chocolatiest they can be. They’re so rich, you might only eat one cookie (no guarantees).
- This dough doesn’t require any chill time.
- A quick roll in sugar makes these super sparkly and festive.
- The salted caramel buttercream in between two cookies is the end-all be-all for cookies. If caramel buttercream has a better mate than dark chocolate cookies, it ghosted him a long time ago. And furthermore, the caramel buttercream is super easy to make thanks to the new HERSHEY’S Kitchens Sea Salt Caramel Chips! Seriously, run–don’t walk–to find these new chips. But don’t even think about trying to find them in the city I live in–I already bought them all!
This recipe makes ten cookies, or five cookie sandwiches. Scale it up if you need to, or wrap them in plastic wrap and hide them in the freezer for your next chocolate cookie emergency. I love these cookies after a deep freeze, because they stay soft! I let them rest on the counter for about 15 minutes to soften them slightly.
Yields 5 cookie sandwiches
Chocolate drop cookies that don't need chill time! Don't miss the salted caramel buttercream (to die for!)
20 minPrep Time
11 minCook Time
31 minTotal Time
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder (optional)
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup HERSHEY’S SPECIAL DARK cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 cup milk
- For rolling: 1/2 cup sugar (coarse or granulated sugar is fine)
- 1 cup HERSHEY’S Kitchens Sea Salt Caramel Chips
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- Preheat the oven to 350.
- In a small bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy with a hand-held mixer, about 1 minute.
- Next, add the vanilla and egg yolk and beat until combined.
- In a separate small bowl, whisk together the espresso powder (if using), flour, HERSHEY’S SPECIAL DARK cocoa powder, salt and baking soda.
- Add half the dry ingredients to the butter-sugar mixture and beat a few seconds to combine, before adding half the milk. Repeat with the remaining dry mixture and milk.
- Have the coarse sugar ready in a shallow bowl on the side.
- Press the dough flat into the bowl, and divide it in half by eye. You should get 5 dough balls from each half.
- Scoop the dough balls out with a cookie scoop into the bowl of sugar, and roll to coat in sugar.
- Space the dough balls evenly on the baking sheet, and bake for 9-11 minutes, until the edges are the cookies are set.
- Let cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Meanwhile, make the salted caramel buttercream: combine the HERSHEY’S Kitchens Sea Salt Caramel Chips and heavy cream in a double boiler (alternatively, melt in the microwave at 50% power for about 90 seconds, stirring every 30 seconds until melted).
- Once the chips are fully melted into the cream, move the bowl to the fridge and chill for 20 minutes. It should have the consistency of spreadable butter after 20 minutes. If not, chill for another 20.
- Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to the melted mixture, and beat with an electric mixer until it resembles fluffy buttercream, about 2 minutes.
- Spread 5 cookies with the buttercream, top with the remaining 5 cookies, and sandwich together.