Chocolate Sparkle cookies are the creation of Thomas Haas, a local chocolatier I’ve mentioned previously on this blog. These chocolate cookies are the best cookies I have ever tasted. If you like a deep, dark, intense chocolate taste then these cookies are for you. The Vancouver Sun newspaper called them the “World’s Best Cookie” and when he shared his cookie recipe with the LA Times, they rated it as “One of the top ten favorite recipes of the year”. I can’t argue with either publication.
Thomas Haas does sell his Chocolate Sparkle cookies online and at his chocolate shop. But if you want to try making them yourself, the good news is that you can and I’m going to share the recipe with you today. They are very easy to make and have only a few ingredients. As a bonus, they are also gluten and wheat free.
But first I do have a confession to make. I’ve never eaten these cookies cold. In fact, I thought you were supposed to eat them warm. I have always bought the pack of six that you take home and bake in the oven for 12 minutes. They are warm, decadent chocolate morsels that are the perfect accompaniment to Haagen-Dazs Vanilla ice cream or a similar premium ice cream.
So for those who have been dreaming of the best dark chocolate cookies in the world, your dreams have come true. These are truly spectacular and may be all you need this Valentine’s Day. The recipe follows. Thank me later…
You will need to melt your chocolate either in a double boiler on the stove or the microwave. I used the stove method for more control as I had a large chunk of Callebaut dark chocolate to melt. I don’t own a double boiler so I improvised with two pans, one on top of the other. Two important things here: don’t let the smaller pan touch the water below in the larger pan and keep the water at a slow simmer, not a boil. I didn’t have any rolling bubbles in my water. You want the steam to melt the chocolate as you don’t want to burn the chocolate.
Place the chocolate in the top pan and it should begin to start melting immediately. It took about 25 minutes for my chunk of chocolate to completely melt. If you can buy good quality chocolate chips it would speed up the melting process significantly.
While the chocolate was melting, I continued on with the other part of the recipe. In a small bowl, combine the ground almonds, cocoa powder and salt mixing them all together. Try to take any lumps out that you find. Set this aside.
Crack two eggs into a bowl and beat them with your mixer. I used eggs with Omega-3’s for extra goodness. As you are mixing, add in the sugar gradually.
As well add in the honey. Thomas Haas uses blackberry honey but I used the honey I had in the cupboard – liquid natural clover honey. In about 8 to 10 minutes the mixture will start to thicken.
By now your chocolate should be melted. Add your softened butter to the melted chocolate and remove from the heat of the stove.
Stir the butter until it melts into the chocolate. It’s so luscious and creamy right now. You will be tempted to dip your finger in at this point for a “taste” because goodness knows we don’t know what melted velvety chocolate and butter tastes like! Now fold your egg mixture into the chocolate mixture.
Once that is mixed well, gently add in the almond mixture into the chocolate. It’s still a liquid and you’re going to be thinking how am I going to make cookie dough with this? You cover the pan and put it in the fridge overnight to harden really well. If you made this mixture first thing in the morning, you could then continue the recipe later in the day.
After refrigerating for many hours or overnight, the mixture is hard and you can continue on. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Because the chocolate mixture is pretty hard, it’s easier to scoop out with an ice cream scooper. My ice cream scooper has little teeth on it so it made things easier.
Scoop the chocolate so you have enough to make one-inch chocolate balls. My ice cream scoop didn’t create a ball on its own so I had to take the mixture from the scoop and rub it between my palms to make the ball. If you use your hands it can get messy as the chocolate starts to melt in your hands as you are rolling so you have to work really quickly. Periodically, you may have to rinse your hands. Take the balls and roll them into granulated sugar.
Because I only have one cookie sheet, I created half the balls, rolled them in the sugar and placed them on the baking sheet about two inches apart. Off they went into the preheated oven at 325 degrees F. In the meantime, make up the remaining chocolate balls rolling them in the granulated sugar and then place them in the fridge until the first batch from the oven is done.
They should be in the oven for only 10 to 12 minutes but because some of my balls kinda grew into larger ones as I was making them, it took about 15 minutes for mine to bake. Watch them around the 10-minute mark. They should have cracks just starting to appear on the top and be little half mounds of cookie. The granulated sugar becomes the ‘sparkle’ in the cookies.
When they come out of the oven, let them cool slightly and then sprinkle them with some icing sugar if you like. The recipe makes 36 but my batch made 29 cookies since mine were a little larger.
Personally, before this I didn’t sprinkle them with icing sugar. They are warm and ready to pop into your mouth just the way they are. You have to promise me to try one of these warm so you get the same experience I did the first time I had them. You’ll see why I call these the best Chocolate cookies. Ever!
Here’s the full recipe:
1/2 lb bittersweet chocolate (Haas recommends Valrohna if possible)
3 tbsp butter, room temperature
1 tbsp honey (Haas recommends Blackberry)
1/3 cup sugar, plus more for rolling
3/4 cup ground almonds
2 tsp cocoa powder
pinch of salt
powdered icing sugar, for garnish
Melt chocolate on top of a double boiler, over (but not in contact with) simmering water. Remove from heat. Cut butter into small pieces and mix into the heated chocolate until melted.
Beat eggs, gradually adding the sugar and honey until light and the mixture falls into thick, smooth ribbons (about 10 min). Fold into the chocolate mixture. Add the cocoa powder and salt to the ground almonds and mix; gently add to the chocolate mixture. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Use an ice cream scoop to form the dough into 1 inch balls. Working quickly, roll the balls into granulated sugar. Place on the Baking sheet 2″ apart. Bake at 325 for 12 minutes, until the centres are moist, but not wet. Cool slightly. Dust lightly with powdered icing sugar. Makes about 36 cookies.
Note: You may find this recipe has cocoa and honey added that were not included in the original recipe. Thomas Haas tweaked the recipe between the LA Times version and Vancouver Sun printed version.