Why It Works
- A hefty portion of Dutch cocoa, which is more bitter and earthy than natural varieties, helps balance the sweetness of Easter candy.
- Baking soda increases the alkalinity of the dough, creating a deeper, darker chocolate flavor.
- Thorough creaming aerates the dough to prevent the cookies from turning out too dense.
This cookie dough is ridiculously bitter and dark, making it the perfect foil to whatever assortment of chocolate Easter candy you have on hand. It's best to mix and match your favorite candies, which makes for a more interesting flavor overall.
- 6 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 1/3 cups, spooned; 170g)
- 6 ounces Dutch-process cocoa (about 2 cups; 170g), such as Cacao Barry Extra Brute (see note)
- 12 ounces assorted Easter candy (about 2 cups; 340g), such as chocolate bunnies and peanut butter eggs, plus more for optional garnish (see note)
- 8 ounces unsalted butter (2 sticks; 225g), soft but cool, about 65°F (18°C)
- 7 ounces white or quick-toasted sugar (about 1 cup; 195g)
- 8 ounces light brown sugar (about 1 cup, packed; 225g)
- 2 teaspoons (8g) Diamond Crystal kosher salt; for table salt, use half as much by volume or use the same weight
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 ounce vanilla extract (1 tablespoon; 15g)
- 1 large egg
Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Sift flour and cocoa powder together in a medium bowl. Chop candy into roughly 1/4-inch pieces.
Combine butter, white sugar, brown sugar, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on low to moisten, then increase to medium and beat until soft and light, about 5 minutes. With mixer running, add egg and continue beating until smooth. Scrape bowl and beater with a flexible spatula, then resume mixing on low. Sprinkle in flour/cocoa; once it is incorporated, add chopped candy and continue mixing until well combined.
Divide dough into roughly 32 portions of 1 1/2 ounces each. (If you like, some dough can be frozen for up to 3 months in heavy-duty zip-top bags, then brought to room temperature for baking.) Arrange portioned dough on a parchment-lined aluminum half-sheet pan, shaping each piece into a craggy, cookie-shaped blob. If you like, top cookies with a few extra candy pieces. Bake until puffed and firm around the edges, though steamy and soft in the middle, about 15 minutes. Cool to room temperature directly on sheet pan; cookies will be extraordinarily fragile while warm. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Stand mixer with paddle attachment, half-sheet pan
This recipe works best with a mix of chocolate-friendly Easter candy, such as Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs, Butterfinger "NestEggs," Cadbury Mini Eggs, Snickers Eggs, Whoppers Robin Eggs, and any sort of M&Ms or chocolate bunnies. However you mix and match the candy, balancing its collective sweetness hinges on the bitterness and intensity of a good-quality Dutch cocoa, such as Cacao Barry Extra Brute.