Recipe ~ The Best Chocolate Cookies. Ever. Thomas Haas Sparkle Cookies

by 8chocolate on February 5, 2009

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 Sparkle CookiesThomas 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…

Double BoilerYou 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.

Melting ChocolatePlace 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.

Almonds - Cocoa - SaltWhile 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.

Eggs - SugarCrack 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.

Honey - MixedAs 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. 

Chocolate - ButterBy now your chocolate should be melted. Add your softened butter to the melted chocolate and remove from the heat of the stove.

Chocolate - Butter MeltedStir 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.

All ingredients mixed inOnce 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.

Refridgerated MixtureAfter 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 into Balls and Roll in the SugarScoop 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.

Ready for the OvenBecause 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.

Finished BakingThey 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.

Chocolate Sparkle Cookies BakedWhen 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
2 eggs
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.

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{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

Carolyn 02.06.09 at 1:32 pm

Wow, these look amazing. I made some similar cookies from the A16 cookbook. But really, anything with dark chocolate in it has to be good!!!

8chocolate 02.06.09 at 4:46 pm

I promise you they are VERY good. I like the name of your blog, eatabeet. Have you ever tried dipping beets in chocolate? Maybe it would make my partner like them as he’s not fond of them BUT I am.

Screamin' Mama 04.06.09 at 2:50 pm

Wow…my mouth is…slurp…watering…

lynda jowell 11.03.09 at 11:14 am

These are absolutely the Best Chocolate Cookie Ever.

8chocolate 11.15.09 at 11:14 am

I totally agree!

jane 11.23.09 at 5:07 pm

I’ve been trying to find a lost recipe of a chocolate cookie who’s center was like soft fudge at room temperature while the exterior was just a bit crunchy. I only remember that I used a double boiler. Can you describe the mouth feel of this cookie? Thanks in advance. I was trying to surprise my sister for T’giving.

8chocolate 11.24.09 at 5:24 am

I would say it’s more like a fudge or truffle when they are warm with a slightly harder outer shell. At room termperature, they are more like a brownie but not cake like if that makes sense. I always eat them warm and it creates an intense dark chocolate taste.

lattemochachinobuzzbuzz 12.11.09 at 4:13 pm

Ok – I made them! Thank you so much for posting this. I admit I was hooked at “best chocolate cookie ever” and there was no turning back. A bit more fussy to make then standard cookies, but these are by no means standard. I think if a Ferrero Roche and dark chocolate made a cookie baby – this would be it. Very unique and very rich. I am gonna be a star at tonight’s Christmas cookie swap. Thanks again!!

8chocolate 12.11.09 at 5:53 pm

Aren’t they great! I LOVE them warm out of the oven with French vanilla ice cream. Hope you get some yummy ones back in the cookie exchange.

Amy Doyle 02.15.10 at 6:01 am

Hi – I just saw Thomas Haas on the Today Show and I’m thrilled to find your blog with his recipe. I have one question – how finely did you grind the almonds? In a food processor? I worry about making almond butter accidentally.

Terry 02.18.10 at 12:11 pm

I also googled to find this after seeing it on the Today show. They look great. I buy almonds already ground…not sure where to recommend.

Leslie 02.22.10 at 8:26 pm

these cookies look so delicious!

8chocolate 02.23.10 at 2:48 pm

They definitely are!

Lynne 02.24.10 at 2:44 am

These look great. Can they be frozen? That is of course if I have any left.

8chocolate 02.24.10 at 6:24 am

Yes, you can freeze them before you bake them. Thomas Haas also sells them frozen at his store. Those are the ones I buy because I think they taste so much better warm out of the oven.

Not sure how long they would last but a month or so I would think. I have a friend that made them and froze them. Then takes a few out at a time but that takes willpower.

Samantha 03.23.10 at 8:37 am

Your photos look fantastic!!! Have you had these cookies around long enough to say how they taste a few days after they are made?

8chocolate 03.23.10 at 4:46 pm

Ok, I’m embarressed to say that they never make it past a day after I’ve made them.

I have a friend that freezes them without baking them. Then when she wants a few, she takes them out and bakes a couple. She’s a fan of them warm too. I believe they last a couple of months frozen.

Has anyone tried these and had them around a few days that could comment?

Samantha 03.24.10 at 4:28 am

Thanks for your response. I want to make them for a party favor for a shower, which means I’ll have to make them ahead of time. Guess I’ll have to make them and taste them each day. It’s a dirty job but someone has to do it :-)

8chocolate 03.24.10 at 7:15 am

The sacrifices we make! Please post how they were cold once you’ve finished your daily taste testing. Don’t forget to have some warm. Heaven!!

Laura 04.26.10 at 1:07 pm

These are the best cookies EVER. I have made them 4-5 times but lately I find that I am having a hard time getting them to rise properly. They flatten when I take them out of the oven. any suggestions on getting them to that perfect dome shape?

8chocolate 06.20.10 at 7:41 am

I wonder if larger cookie rounds to begin with will help the problem. If they are too small of a ball maybe they flatten out fast rather than staying dome shaped. All taste the same – yummy – no matter what the shape. :o)

nadeen 06.23.10 at 2:22 pm

I made these cookies and they are beyond doubt the BEST I’ve ever tasted and i am a chocoholic.. You cannot stop at 4 or 5 they are addictive. YUMMMM !!!

Kristie 12.07.10 at 9:58 pm

I singled out these cookies from the smorgasbord of desserts that punctuated my gym’s (yes a gym class with a sweet tooth) Christmas Party.
After tracking down who made them I had to have the recipe! They are just scrumptious and yes, I agree with eating them warm. I took some home with me and heated them in the microwave for about 40 seconds. With vanilla ice-cream they reminded me of a chocolate fondant with their gooey insides!
Time to explore the rest of your recipes!

bulk candy sales 01.05.11 at 4:11 am

This looks amazing! I love dark chocolate. I always like to eat Healthy Energy Bars. Lovely site here and like the recipes too. I’ve been telling everyone about Healthy chocolate; it’s all natural, diabetic friendly, promotes weight loss and tastes awesome!!! Thanks for sharing.

angela 02.07.11 at 10:19 am

nice post. the chocolate cookies sounds like a great idea. it’s that time again that we strive to look for the perfect gifts and chocolates that have been associated with food for love will definitely try this chocolate cookies. they look so appealing and the recipe is easy to follow. thanks

Lian 03.24.11 at 1:53 am

Im just wondering if i substitute grounded almond with flour would it still work?

Laura 04.12.11 at 9:10 pm

These are my absolute favorite cookies (I use the LA Times recipe). I remember how blown away I was the first time I made them — they’re better than I thought a cookie could possibly be.

8chocolate 04.13.11 at 11:44 am

No, definitely not. With so few ingredients and lovely almond flavour from the ground almonds, you would not have the same taste at all.

8chocolate 04.13.11 at 11:46 am

I know. Me too! But I always eat them warm. Yummy!

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