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Good, Quick, Chocolate Cookie

A tin of these fudgy chocolate cookies is a mighty nice thing to have around.

Lest you think it’s all root veggies and  greens around here, I present to you the quickest and one of the most satisfying cookies I make. Actually last Saturday was the first time ever that I taught a class and sent people home without a treat. Even for the students who had never been to a class and wouldn’t have known any better I had to do a spiel about how this class was shorter, focused on winter greens and how I managed to squeeze five dishes into our 90 minute class which is why they weren’t getting dessert. They were gracious and I think will return, however, I do love to bake and even if class time doesn’t permit the making or even eating of something sweet, there are always those little waxed paper bags concealing something for the road on your way out the door.

This cookie is in that rotation. And I, in my cook-with-what-you-have fashion, vary them each time. Sometimes I use whole-wheat pastry flour, sometimes spelt or sometimes just all-purpose. Today it’s golden raisins but sometimes it’s dried cherries or apricots. I even vary the amounts of cocoa a bit. And today I found a few tablespoons of orange marmalade in the fridge as I was preparing to make these and ended up mixing that in. I’ve always loved the combination of orange and chocolate and I’m definitely going to repeat that variation.

So if you have 20 minutes (that includes the baking time!) and some cocoa on hand and a few other pantry basics you can have your chocolate/cookie fix in no time. And you mix the dough in a sauce pan so clean up is fairly minimal too.

You start by melting the butter and then adding the cocoa and sugars and then all the remainder of the ingredients right in the saucepan.

Fudgy Chocolate Cookies
–adapted from pastry chef, writer, food stylist and friend Ellen Jackson

You can mix these incredibly easy, fudgy cookies right in the saucepan. I add golden raisins or chopped dried apricots, cranberries or dried cherries or chopped crystalized ginger to these depending on what I have on hand. In today’s batch I added a couple of tablespoons of orange marmalade (a definite winner), in addition to golden raisins. You can also omit the dried fruit or add nuts and dried fruit.

1 cup all-purpose flour, spelt or whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons butter
6-7 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1/2 cup granulated sugar or coconut sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar or coconut sugar
generous 1/3 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cups dried fruit (see headnote)

Preheat oven to 350°. Combine flour, soda, and salt and set aside. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat; stir in cocoa powder and sugars. Add yogurt and vanilla, stirring to combine. Add flour mixture, stirring until moist. Drop by level tablespoons 1 inch apart onto baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 8 to 10 minutes or until almost set. Don’t over bake and err on the side of underdone, if you like moist, chewy cookies that is. They will firm up as they cool. Cool on pans 2 to 3 minutes or until firm. Remove cookies from pans; cool on wire racks.

11 Comments Post a comment
  1. Excellent recipe. I’ve made them twice since you posted. The first time I didn’t have quite as much cocoa as called for, and no yogurt so I just shorted the cocoa and subbed soy milk for the yogurt. Those got raisins and were very good.
    The second batch just came out of the oven. For those I had some wild cherries preserved in kirsch so I pitted those for the fruit. I forgot that I didn’t have yogurt so I used some of the kirsch instead. I also cut back on the sugar, adding just a little more than a half cup of raw sugar. These are amazing.

    February 5, 2012
    • So glad you like them.They are so quick, adaptable and satisfying. I made another batch for class yesterday and used more orange marmalade and golden raisins and less sugar. Delish! and I left them extra fudgy. Thanks for the report Josh!

      February 5, 2012
  2. sair #

    I made these with my two year old today— cut the sugar even further (1 cup cane sugar for a double recipe), and made a few substitutions (carob powder for the cocoa, vanilla yogurt for the plain, and coconut oil for half the butter). Truly a cook-with-what-you-have adventure— and they still turned out INCREDIBLE! Thanks for this– I really appreciate all your simple and versatile recipes!

    February 13, 2012
    • Thank you for the report on your version of the cookies Sair. I made them last night with less sugar too and more orange marmalade. Definitely my new favorite version. I’m so glad you experimented and that they turned out well. Sounds wonderful!

      February 13, 2012
  3. Catherine #

    I was curious to know how many cookies this yields. I made this for the first time tonight and got about a dozen. I didn’t add fruit to this batch and used whole milk vanilla yogurt. They are delicious.

    February 15, 2012
    • I usually get 12 – 16 depending on how big I make them (since I rarely measure carefully:) and hope much other stuff I add. Glad they turned out well.

      February 15, 2012
  4. Ariana #

    Great recipe! Totally helped me satisfy my post-house-cleaning chocolate craving. I added a square of unsweetened baking chocolate to the butter when I melted it because I was looking for a chocolatey explosion of awesomeness, and it made them almost brownie like – super delicious! I spread preserves on top of them instead of mixing it in, made the perfect balance since they do come out super thick and are good at sticking to the roof of your mouth. Not that I’m complaining about that 🙂

    February 21, 2012
    • Thanks for your note Ariana and I love the idea of adding some chocolate too. Nice post-house-cleaning snack for sure!

      February 21, 2012
  5. Whelp, I used “what I had on hand”. Let’s just say outcome was less than desirable!!!! I used a delectable mixture of: baking mix, gluten free flour, whole wheat flour (oxymoron cookies?) tapioca flour. Had no yogurt, so used plain almond milk. Used dried vanilla bean instead of liquid. And used apricots as a fruit (why?). Also, I used less sugar than called for (<1/2c total). Then, the batter was super runny so I added more whole wheat flour. Sooooo…I totally botched your recipe, and got totally botched results. I made them huge – they sure did look delicious. The tops were smooth like muffins and their texture was reminiscent of sponge-cake + flakey biscuits – the top flaked off!! Kinda tasted like the garbanzo bean flour. I think the apricots may have been a little old (tough). My boyfriend's face as he ate them was priceless. First time he requested I *not* make a cookie again. =)

    June 26, 2012
    • Angela that is a hilarious report! I’m sorry they were a mess but I hope you try again. I love the oxymoron cookie description:)! And I don’t think the apricot instinct was a bad one though if they were super hard ones that wouldn’t be great. Apricot jam is a delicious addition. I love the choc apricot combo in general, like Sachertorte.

      June 26, 2012
  6. Jessica Pease #

    I added mint and dark chocolate, chocolate chips and they were soooo yummy!! I just love the combination of dark chocolate and mint in a fudgy chocolatey cookie YUM :-p

    September 20, 2013

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