When it comes to baking, I’m always in favor of quick and easy recipes…. with high yields and great outcomes! Yep, this sounds like a tall order, but these cookies fit the bill. You’ll get over 3 dozen cookies that are uber choclate-y and tender inside with a crisp yet chewy exteriors. They come together in no time with no mixer or even egg cracking required. Yes, this time, you CAN have it all.
If you make them, let me know by leaving a comment or tagging me on Instagram @letsgosho
Why It Works
This recipe is very simple, a bit unconventional and seriously delicious. First of all, they are made with buttermilk and without eggs. I first made Baking Bite’s cookies over 5 years ago when I was looking for ways to use up leftover buttermilk. The buttermilk does a lot of the heavy lifting here. It works as both a binder and leavening agent with the baking soda – typically the role of eggs, which is why this recipe can be egg-free. There’s also a large amount of cocoa powder in the dough, which gives the cookies a soft and slightly chewy texture and a rich chocolate flavor. The original recipe was pretty great, but I played around with the sugar and flour ratios and added another flavor that IMHO make them even more irresistible — espresso powder!
Cocoa & Espresso, Baking BFFs
Cocoa powder and espresso are perfect partners in baked goods. Even if you’re not looking for a coffee flavor, espresso plays a supporting role of making the chocolate flavor more chocolate-y and a hint of bitterness and dimensionality that balances the sweetness. I usually add a bit of instant espresso powder to my brownies and chocolate cakes even if it’s not mentioned in a recipe. It’s never steered me wrong.
Natural vs. Dutch Processed Cocoa Powder
There are 2 types of cocoa powder available in grocery stores in the US – natural and dutch processed. The short answer for this recipe is that you can use either but they are best made with dutch processed cocoa powder. I’ve made them both ways and prefer the texture of cookies made with dutch processed cocoa powder. If you use natural cocoa, you’ll get a lighter colored, possibly less chewy cookie, but they will still be delicious.
Because learning is fun and I love science, let me the tell you a bit more about the differences. Natural cocoa powder is simply cocoa beans that are dried, roasted and ground into a powder. It is slightly acidic and the flavor is more towards fruity and sharp. Dutch processed cocoa has been treated with an alkalizing (basic) agent to reduce the acidity and create a neutral pH product. As a result, dutch processed cocoa has a darker color and smoother and some might say deeper flavor.
Acidity is important when you are working with baking soda (bicarb) in a recipe. The baking soda reacts with acidic ingredients (think science class volcano) to create small bubbles in the dough or batter which expand in the oven giving rise (height and/or volume) to the baked good. Fortunately for us, this recipe uses lots of buttermilk, which is very acidic. Cookies made with dutch process cocoa still get a bit of lift from the acidic buttermilk reacting with the baking soda.
Choose Your Chocolate
You can use standard semi-sweet chocolate chips or mix and match with chopped chocolate bars of your choice. I really like a mix of chopped white chocolate and bittersweet chocolate chips. The white chocolate caramelizes around the edges adding even more flavor. I also think this could be great with some peanut butter chips as well. Perhaps now is a good time to pre-heat your oven. I’ll wait right here.
Tips For Living Your Best Cookie Baking Life
Use parchment paper if you can. It prevents sticking and helps to ensure even baking by changing how the heat is distributing across the baking sheet. You can get it in rolls or pre-cut by the plastic wraps and many versions are compostable. You can also reuse it. If you don’t have parchment paper, you can lightly grease the baking sheet with butter or oil. Don’t use foil because it will cause the bottoms of the cookies to bake faster so you could easily burn your cookies.
Scoop the flour with a spoon. Using more or less flour in a baked good can significantly impact the final consistency. To avoid over-packing the measuring cup and adding too much flour, use a big spoon to scoop flour from the container into the measuring cup. The best way to ensure consistency in measuring is weigh your ingredients on a scale. I also find weighing to be quicker and easier to clean up because you don’t need measuring cups and can just weigh ingredients directly in the mixing bowl.
Rotate your baking sheet. Our home ovens have hotter and cooler zones. If you rotate the baking sheet 180 degrees partway through baking, you’ll get more consistently baked cookies. If you’re baking two trays of cookies at one time, you can also rotate the top and bottom baking trays when your rotate the trays 180 degrees.
Double Chocolate Buttermilk Cookies
These cookies have chewy, crispy edges, soft melty centers and a deep chocolate flavor from a combo of cocoa, espresso and chocolate.
Look for cocoa powder with “dutch processed” or “processed with alkali” on the label. You can freeze balls of dough or baked cookies. See notes below for tips on freezing.
- ½ cup (1 stick or 113g) unsalted butter
- ¾ cup (65g) dutch processed cocoa powder (cocoa processed with alkali)
- 1 ¾ cups (350g) white sugar
- 1 ¾ cups (220g) all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp fine salt
- ⅔ cup buttermilk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract or paste
- 2 tsp (20g) instant espresso powder
- 2 cups (340g) chopped chocolate and/or chocolate chips (semi-sweet, bittersweet, white chocolate)
- small microwave safe bowl (for melting butter)
- small plate (that will fit over the small bowl)
- parchment paper
- medium bowl (for mixing dry ingredients)
- large bowl (for mixing dough)
- mixing spoon
- spoon (for scooping flour)
- measuring cups
- measure spoons
- baking sheet(s)
- cooling rack (or paper towels or kitchen towel)
- Add 1 ¾ cups of flour, ½ a tsp of salt and ½ tsp of baking soda to the medium bowl and whisk everything together. Check that the oven rack(s) you intend to use are in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Place the stick of butter in the small bowl. Cover it with a piece of parchment paper and top with the small plate. The parchment paper/plate lid keeps the butter from splattering in the microwave. Microwave the butter for 1 minute then in 30 second intervals until the butter is melted. Pour the butter into the large bowl while it’s still warm and whisk in ¾ cup of cocoa powder until the mixture is smooth.
- Add 1 ¾ cup sugar, 1 tsp of vanilla, 2 tsp espresso powder and ⅔ cup of buttermilk to the cocoa mixture and whisk everything together. Set the whisk aside. Add about half of the flour mixture to the large bowl and stir gently with the mixing spoon until it’s incorporated. Add the remaining flour and mix just until there are no white streaks of flour remaining.
- Add 2 cups of chocolate chips/chunks and mix them into the dough. Use a tablespoon to scoop equal-ish portions of dough. Roll the scoops into balls and place them 2 inches apart on the baking sheet. The cookies will spread as they bake, so you’ll need the space between them. FYI, you can fit 4×4 rows of cookies on a 12×16 inch baking sheet.
- Bake the cookies for 5 minutes in the preheated oven then rotate the tray and continue baking for another 4-6 minutes (9-11 minutes total). They are done when the edges look dry and the centers are puffed and only slightly wet. Let the cookies set for 2-3 minutes on the cookie tray before transferring them to the rack to cool completely. If don’t have a cooking rack, you can use two layers of paper towels or a drying towel instead. Enjoy!
How to bake cookies from frozen dough – No need to thaw the dough. Just place frozen balls of dough on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake a few minutes longer (11-14 minutes total).