The cookies had absolutely nothing otherwise to do with Hanukkah, and I think that rescuing them from the month of December was a brilliant move on my part. Not to eschew a fine family holiday tradition, but these cookies are too good to eat only once a year.
My mother's yellowed recipe card calls them "Chocolate Sugar Cookies," but I think they taste like brownies that someone has compressed with a rolling pin – that is, firm but also tender, immensely rich, with a substantial chocolate flavor for such a small package.
Brownie Roll-Out CookiesMakes 65 1½-to-1¾- inch cookies, from ¼-inch-thick dough
3 cups (375 grams) all- purpose fl our, plus more for counter
½ cup (55 grams) unsweetened cocoa
¾ teaspoon table salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (225 grams or 2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1½ cups (300 grams) sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Whisk the fl our, cocoa, salt, and baking powder together in a bowl, and set aside. Beat butter and sugar with electric mixer until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, scraping down bowl. Mix in vanilla. Gradually mix in the dry ingredients. Wrap in plastic, and chill for at least 1 hour.
2. Roll out the cookie dough on a floured counter. Cut into desired shapes, brushing extra deposits of flour off the top. (It does disappear once baked, though, so don’t overly fret if they go into the oven looking white.) Bake on a parchment- lined baking sheet for 8 to 11 minutes (the former for 1/8- inch- thick cookies, the latter for ¼- inch cookies), until the edges are firm and the centers are slightly soft and puffed.
3. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Cooking note: I use fancy Dutch cocoa when I make them these days, but my mother made them then and now with Hershey’s old- school natural cocoa, and we were never disappointed in their flavor.
Excerpted from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman. Copyright © 2012 by Deb Perelman. Excerpted by permission of Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.