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Naughty or nice? Naughty earns you coal in your stocking! Tuck a package of these "coal" cookies in the toe of your favorite "naughty" person's stocking on Christmas Eve.
1/2 cup (4 ounces) unsalted butter
1 1/3 cups (10 ounces) brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons espresso powder
1 tablespoon (1/2 ounce) vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup (2 ounces) Dutch-process cocoa
1 1/2 cups (6 1/2 ounces) King Arthur 100% Organic White Whole Wheat Flour or King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips*
*Or a mixture of raisins, chips, and nuts.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease two baking sheets, or line them with parchment. Or lightly grease a mini-muffin pan. Or use a combination of pans: the recipe makes 36 cookies.
In a medium bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, baking powder, espresso powder, vanilla, and salt. Add the eggs, beating until smooth. Stir in the cocoa powder, then the flour; the dough will be stiff. Mix in the chocolate chips, or the chips/raisins/nuts.
Drop the dough by tablespoonfuls (about 1 1/2" balls, about 1 1/8 ounces) onto the prepared baking sheets, or into the mini-muffin cups; a tablespoon cookie scoop is the perfect tool for this. Bake the cookies for 12 minutes (on a baking sheet); 15 minutes (in an aluminum mini-muffin pan), or 21 minutes (in a silicone mini-muffin pan); they'll look not-quite-done in the center. Remove them from the oven, and allow the cookies to cool for about 10 minutes; or the mini muffins to cool for 20 minutes. Gently squeeze and shape the cookies into uneven balls, to resemble chunks of coal. Yield: 3 dozen cookies.
Note: Cookies stay fresh at room temperature no longer than a week. For extended storage, bake, then freeze immediately to serve later.