Cook the Book: Chocolate Clouds Recipe

Cook the Book: Chocolate Clouds Recipe

[Photograph: Quentin Bacon]

There are so many types of chocolate chip cookies out there and all of them have their passionate supporters ready to stand up for their preferred cookies. There's the crisp, crunchy faction, the lovers of chewy centers, those who want their cookies thick, and others who prefer a wafer-thin cookie.

These Chocolate Clouds from Sarabeth Levine's Sarabeth's Bakery are made for chocolate chippers who like a crisp, airy crunch to their cookie.

The signature cracked tops comes from rapping the pans towards the end of baking. This jarring motion drives the air out of the baking cookies, deflating them and causing those cracks that lend such a pronounced crunch. While I loved the super crisp texture of these cookies, and I'd definitely bake them again, next time I'd add a touch more salt and go with a darker, more bitter chocolate to cut the sweetness a bit.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Sarabeth's Bakery to give away this week.

Adapted from Sarabeth's Bakery. Copyright © 2010. Published by Rizzoli. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved.

  • Yield:3 dozen cookies 


  • 1 1/3 cup superfine sugar
  • 1 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • ¾ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature, beaten
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) toasted sliced almonds
  • 2 cups (12 ounces) chocolate chips 


  1. 1.

    Position racks in the center and top third of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Line 3 half-sheet pans with parchment paper.  Rub the superfine sugar and brown sugar together through a coarse-mesh wire sieve into a medium bowl; set aside.  Beat the butter in the bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on high speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Gradually add the sugar mixture, then the vanilla. Beat, occasionally scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl, until the mixture is pale yellow and light-textured, about 5 minutes. Gradually beat in the eggs.

  2. 2.

    Sift the flour, baking soda, and salt together into a medium bowl. With the mixer speed on low, add the dry ingredients in three additions, mixing just until each addition is incorporated. Add the almonds and chocolate chips and mix just until combined. Remove the bowl from the mixer. Empty the dough onto the work counter, and use your hands to thoroughly distribute the almonds and chocolate chips in the dough.

  3. 3.

    Using a 2-inch diameter ice cream scoop, portion the batter onto the prepared pans. Using the heel of your palm, slightly flatten each ball of dough. Bake two of the pans with the cookies, switching the position of the pans from top to bottom and front to back about halfway through baking, until the cookies are evenly golden brown, 15 to 18 minutes. During the last 3 minutes, rap each pan on the rack. The cookies will deflate and their signature cracks will appear on the tops. Repeat with the third pan. Cool on the pans.

    Note:Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.