My Monthly Dose of Martha

Chocolate Sugar Cookies

Brad wanted sugar. I wanted chocolate. Nothing from the store would do. I had dog-eared these cookies from Martha Stewart's March 2007 issue - the special gardening one, which didn't really teach me much about gardening - but as soon as I saw this Cookie of the Month I knew I had to have one. They were simple, and I chose to use shortening instead of extra butter, which really made them more crumbly than I'd have liked. They reminded me of drop sugar cookies, very sweet and grainy, and I think next time I'll try the extra butter to help them spread and maybe be a bit more chewy. After we ate a few they were taken to my parents' house. I got the container back two days later - completely empty and washed clean! (Thanks, Mama!) So I guess you could say they were tasty.

Giant Chocolate Sugar Cookies
Adapted from Martha Stewart
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In addition to a stick of butter, this recipe calls for vegetable shortening or additional butter. The former will yield flaky cookies with a soft center and crisp edge; the latter will result in thinner, uniformly crunchy cookies.

1.5 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1.5 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup shortening, melted and cooled
1 large egg
1.5 teaspoons vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about three minutes. Mix in shortening. Add egg and vanilla and mix well. Lower speed and gradually add flour mixture. Beat until just combined.
4. Drop dough onto baking sheets, about 4 inches apart. Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until cookies are firm. Cool a few minutes on sheets before removing to wire racks to cool completely. Store in air-tight containers.