Seeking a recipe for a great chocolate cookie
April 12, 2019 12:11 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a recipe for a good chocolate cookie - or maybe more correctly, a biscuit. My platonic ideal is the chocolate biscuit from Fassbender.

On the recommendation of a friend, I stopped in at Fassbender while I was in Cologne. The cake and coffee I had was wonderful, but what made me happiest was the small chocolate biscuit - perhaps a chocolate shortbread cookie? that was the treat alongside the coffee. I bought a bag of them and brought them home and have since eaten them all and if it's possible to make them at home, I'd like to try. The cookies were small and coin-shaped, maybe about the size of a silver dollar. They were crisp and the sides had been rolled in sugar. At a guess, they were formed as a log and sliced?

They were really chocolatey-tasting, but also with the flavor of butter which is what makes me wonder if they're technically a shortbread. (I'm not a trained baker so hopefully my terminology is right.)

You can see the cookie here if that helps. It's balanced on the rim of the saucer.
posted by PussKillian to Food & Drink (11 answers total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
Dorie Greenspan's world peace cookies, a variation on a chocolate sable, are incredible. Have never been to fassbender but stylistically these seem to be barking up the right tree.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 12:14 PM on April 12, 2019 [7 favorites]

Seconding that Dorie Greenspan’s world peace cookies sound very similar to what you describe. They are quite easy to make! Just make sure to take them out of the oven at the proper time even though they’ll seem really underdone—they aren’t once they cool.

I’ve heard this style of cookie often called a sandie or a sablé.
posted by sallybrown at 12:17 PM on April 12, 2019

Maybe something like this? Smitten Kitchen's Icebox cookies. They're super easy and she has a variation where you swap some of the flour for cocoa. I haven't done the chocolate one but the regular kind definitely comes out crisp and buttery.
posted by brilliantine at 12:18 PM on April 12, 2019

Best answer: I am a big fan of Smitten Kitchen's Intensely Chocolate Sables, which are also formed in a log, sliced, and coated in sugar.
posted by saeculorum at 12:18 PM on April 12, 2019

Yup, looks like a shortbread, or a sable. Help us with the texture? Was it:

- more dry than moist
- more crumbly than chewy
- lighter than dense
- if you dunked it in your tea or coffee, would it soak it up like a sponge and dissolve quickly, or was it sturdier?

Also, brown sugar is going to make a chewier cookie, as Dorie says.
posted by ApathyGirl at 12:22 PM on April 12, 2019

Response by poster: It was definitely dry and crumbly. No pieces of chocolate in it, like the World Peace cookies. They were very uniform in shape. I want to say they're more dense in that they wouldn't dissolve immediately in coffee and you would have to bite firmly into them. (This makes them sound tough! They are not!)

They also sold an almost identical cookie that seemed to be more like a traditional butter shortbread, with no flavorings besides the butter and sugar.

So far, the Smitten Kitchen chocolate sables look closest, although the poster says they are formed in a log and sliced but the recipe shows them being rolled out and cut with a cookie cutter.
posted by PussKillian at 12:31 PM on April 12, 2019

Best answer: I've always made the recipe as a log with cookies sliced. I should have clarified that.
posted by saeculorum at 12:35 PM on April 12, 2019

Best answer: For my money, you want a recipe for chocolate sables. I've made this one from Miette in San Francisco for years.
posted by Making You Bored For Science at 12:36 PM on April 12, 2019 [1 favorite]

I can't vouch personally for this recipe, but they look promising:

This one is for regular sables, but I like the way it's presented. Swapping cocoa powder for flour will work.

Lastly, here's some info about all the kinds of cocoa powder out there, to help you pick what will taste best to you: The ABC's of Cocoa.
posted by ApathyGirl at 1:06 PM on April 12, 2019

Nigella Lawson has a recipe for a chocolate biscuit that is dark and plain and dense. Crisp, a little shortbready, it's fantastic with milk or coffee. The recipe is in Domestic Goddess.
posted by glitter at 2:36 PM on April 12, 2019

After reading this thread I was overcome by a craving for chocolate sables and immediately made the Miette ones linked by Making You Bored for Science. They were delicious but the recipe is not that well written and it was a frustrating baking experience. The Pierre Herme one from the Guardian appears to be the same (and indeed the source cookie for Miette) and the recipe looks easier to follow.

In any case, I want to reinforce the need to use high quality cocoa and chocolate. I made the Nigella Lawson one many years ago with Hersey’s and didn’t think much of it. I am now stocked up with Valrhona and ready to try again!
posted by chocotaco at 10:28 AM on April 14, 2019

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