Heirloom Chocolate Cookies

One needs to have an Heirloom Chocolate Cookie dough to complement the recipe for Heirloom Sugar Cookies from a previous post.  This particular recipe has been used before to make lovely Mint Chocolate Cookies, so if you’ve already baked those magnificent treats, then you know what you’re in for.  Let’s focus on the dough, because it’s such a great recipe to work with and is meant to be used with any type of cookie cutter.

Using the finest dutched cocoa powder will yield a thoroughly rich cookie with a dark coloring.  People respond to these cookies because of it.  I’m partial to iced chocolate cookies for birthday parties and celebrations.  My niece and nephews adore the chocolate cookies I bake during the holidays, so I know for a fact that they’re well received by little ones.  Adults will love them to!

I don’t add a lot of sugar to the recipe because the cookies don’t need it.  Just like the Heirloom Sugar Cookies, these tender morsels don’t contain any leavening agent.  Every single cut out, whether it’s a simple square or an elaborate and fancy Bunny & Chicken will hold its shape during baking.  Piping a bead of royal icing along the outline of the cookies for flooding will be a snap for all of you.

Here’s the recipe once again, minus the sandwich filling.  Remember this dough and use it for your future baking projects.


The Ingredients
  • 3 cups {390 g.} all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cups {80 g.} dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 3/4 teaspoons {3.75 ml} fine sea salt
  • 18 tablespoons or 2 sticks + 2 tbsp {254 g.} unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups {345 g.} granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Yield: approximately one dozen 5-6” cookies

Equipment: bakings sheets & parchment paper or silpats

  1. In a bowl, sift the all-purpose flour, dutch-process cocoa powder and fine sea salt.  Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter on medium speed for 1 minute.  Add the granulated sugar and continue to beat for 3-4 minutes or until light and creamy.  Stop and scrape down the bowl & paddle at least once during this process.
  3. Add the egg and beat until combined and emulsified, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.  Add the vanilla extract.
  4. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the reserved dry ingredients.  Beat until a mass of dough forms.
  5. Remove the dough from the bowl and divide into 2 disks between overlapping pieces of plastic wrap.  
  6. Chill the dough for at least 1 hour.  The dough can be refrigerated for up to 2 days, but it can be frozen for up to 1 month in a zip top bag (thaw overnight in the refrigerator).

On a lightly floured surface, working with one disk at a time, roll out the chocolate dough to 1/8” in thickness.

Cut out your cookie shapes, dipping the cookie cutter in flour as you work to reduce sticking.  Any excess flour left on the cookies can be brushed off with a clean pastry brush.

Arrange the cookies about 2” apart on cookie sheets.

Chill the cut outs for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350° F (177°C)

Bake each sheet of 5-6” cookies for approximately 12-15 minutes.  

The tops will feel set.  

Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes.  Transfer them with a wide spatula onto racks and cool completely.

Ice as desired!

Marbled Cookies

If you want to make cookies extra special, take 1 disk of this dough and mix it with the Heirloom Sugar Cookies to create marble cookies.  Mix pieces of chocolate & sugar cookie dough as you would play-doh. The dough should be handled and baked just as you would either of the recipes.  

The photos above are courtesy of my friend Janet.  She made my recipes a few days ago and had great success with them.  I'm not surprised, because Janet is a superb baker!! 

What’s lovely about making marbled cookies is that each cookie will be entirely different.  No two will be alike.  Surprise your recipients and let them figure it out on their own.

Marbled Cookies by Janet!  Go to her post and read how she made these unique cookies.  Click [here].

Here are a few of my marbled cookies.  You can see how varied and unique the cookies can be when you work the dough this way.

The wings on these cookies are so nice.  Stacked on this baking sheet are the Heirloom Chocolate Cookies and some Marbled Cookies.  Delicious!

Have fun baking!!


  1. Thank you for the mention, David. Your recipes (all of them!) are spectacular! You already know that I cannot imagine a holiday season without your Gingersnap cookies and these Heirloom sugar cookies are now my go-to recipe for PERFECT cut-out cookies.

    Thank you again!


  2. Oh yum! And I just love how the marbled cookies look!

  3. THANK YOU, Janet for everything you do!!

    I think we're going to have a lot of fun creating cookies in the future!

    Jayne, those marbled cookies are pretty awesome, aren't they? Personally, I want to bite into one of those dog bones that Janet created! Mmmmm...


  4. I can't wait to find out what Janet is going to be using the dog bones for. My imagination is going crazy! Love how these look though and am hoping to get to make them very soon.

  5. I know what you mean! I wanted to eat a few of those dog bones. :)

  6. Hello, do you prefer this heirloom chocolate cookie recipe to the one you used for your chocolate hearts http://www.goodthingsbydavid.com/2013/02/chocolate-cookies.html with regards to taste and texture?


  7. I don't have a preference. I just like that this particular recipe makes a larger amount of dough. Both are equally suitable and delicious. Use whatever you feel comfortable making!



  8. I see, thanks for the answer! Will try these out soon :)

  9. This recipe looks great- do you know if you can freeze the h.cookie dough before baking?
    Thank you
    Tasha Uk

  10. Tasha,

    You can absolutely freeze the dough before you bake it. There are 2 ways to go about this.

    #1. Freeze the disks of dough wrapped in plastic wrap and stored in zip-top freezer bags. Thaw the dough overnight (with all of the wrapping) in the refrigerator. Roll out & bake as instructed.


    #2. Roll out and cut the dough (as instructed) and freeze the cut out shapes on flat cookie sheets until solid. Transfer the frozen shapes onto a cookie sheet and double wrap it in plastic wrap to prevent freezer burn. Bake as instructed straight from the freezer.

    Both of these methods will work.

    I hope you make the dough soon.

    Have fun baking!



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