Some years I have a hard time getting into the holiday spirit but this year, I am ALL ABOUT IT. I think a lot of it is that our kids are at just the right age and everything about this time of year is utterly magical to them. Their excitement (borderline hysteria, really) is infectious! I’ve been on a holiday music bender, have been having a blast decorating, and my mind is positively overflowing with recipe ideas to share with you all for the season. If you have requests for things you would like to see posted, please let me know in the comments. I received lots of good feedback about this on Instagram for those who follow me there, but let me know if you have additional suggestions.

I’m sharing this recipe first because it would be a perfect addition to your holiday baking plans. It has so much going for it! Sparkling dark chocolate cookies – the name alone has me sold! But just in case you needed more convincing, these are very simple to make with a dough that mixes up in a flash from pantry staples only and requires no chilling, rolling or cutting. A quick roll of the dough balls in granulated sugar lends them their sparkly appearance and also is a nice textural addition to the final product. These would be a simple and beautiful addition to holiday cookie trays, cookie exchanges, etc. Or, do as I have been doing, and enjoy one at the end of each hectic day with a glass of milk and a few precious minutes of peace and quiet. They are equally lovely for that purpose. Don’t forget to practice acts of self care at this busy time of year – it is so important.


  • 1¾ cups (249 g) all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup (50 g) dark cocoa powder
  • ¾ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 cup (227 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1¾ cups (347 g) sugar, plus extra for rolling
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract


  • 01

    Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk to blend, and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar. Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Blend in the egg and vanilla and mix just until combined. With the mixer on low speed, add in the dry ingredients. Mix just until the dough comes together and the dry ingredients are fully incorporated.

  • 02

    Place additional sugar for coating the dough balls in a shallow dish. Use a scant ¼ cup of dough for each cookie and roll into a ball. Gently roll each dough ball in the granulated sugar to coat fully, then transfer to the prepared baking sheets. Space the cookies out generously (I had 6-8 cookies per sheet, widely spaced.) Repeat with the remaining dough.

  • 03

    Bake 14-16 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the baking time. Let cool on the baking sheets a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

  • 04


    • As with most cookie dough, this dough can be made in advance and frozen. Freeze as shaped dough balls to save time later. If you go this route, coat with sugar just before baking. Add a few minutes to the baking time if baking from frozen.

  • Tracy

    I’ll admit, when I read the recipe title I thought there would be champagne in these cookies…

    They still sound simple and tasty and worth making!

  • Angela

    This speaks to me on a deep level. Baking as self care. Baking is my stress relief. I put on my earphones and blast music while baking all the things. I love this post and I especially love how you staged (is this the correct verb?) the photos. They are so lovely and balanced with the dark deliciousness of the cookies and the light from elsewhere. Very well done.

  • Annie

    Haha, good call! Maybe I’ll keep that in mind for future recipe development ideas.

  • Annie

    Yes! I almost always have music on while I am in the kitchen. It’s a necessity!

    Glad you love the photos too! They were actually very challenging to take because the natural light was almost completely gone thanks (not) to DST. Thank goodness for my tripod! Styling is usually the verb used for that action, but staging is synonymous, I think.

  • Tracee Marshall

    I vote Peppermint Pound Cake! =) Everything you make is amazing. We are having benchiladas tonight because they are our favorite! Have a good weekend Annie!

  • Lanette

    These look great. And with a rare snow day in the PNW, I think I’ll bake these up to add to my cookie trays that I’m sending out. :) Baking = therapy for me these days.

  • saramama

    These cookies look amazing. I just finished rolling a batch of Dori’s snow covered brownie drop cookies which have the same sort of feel. Thanks so much for your blog it is a highlight of my day and can’t wait for 2017 posts!

  • Brooklyn

    Dark chocolate is my favorite kind of chocolate, but I have never had a dark chocolate cookie.
    Looks like I know what I’ll be baking next :)

  • Lindsay

    Yum! These look and sound delicious. I agree with the commenter below; lovely photos. They are so pretty with the sugar sparkling in the light.

  • Jodi Fehr

    These look so good! On the list to try. We have soup on Christmas Eve so I would love to see a recipe for that or suggestions that you have from your currrent recipes. Thanks!

  • Emily @ Life on Food

    These look so good and the sparkling name definitely makes me want to make them a tiny bit more. Adding them to the list.

  • Danielle R

    I made these over the weekend and they were delicious! They came out very light and a little crunchy – I expected them to be a bit thicker but I wonder if I beat the butter too long? They were still amazing with a glass of milk, though :) Thank you!

  • Amanda

    These look similar to a family favorite recipe we’ve used for years. I’m curious to try this recipe to compare.

    If the thought hasn’t crossed you mind yet, I love the cookies we make as quick ice cream sandwiches. When we have guest in the summer, I often make a batch and have a variety of pints of ice cream (vanilla, strawberry, coffee, mint, peanut butter, etc.) for guest to make their own sandwich!

  • Amy Kaufman Hill

    Silly question when you say dark would that be like the special dark that Hershey sells? Or dutch cocoa?

    These look delish!

  • Donna

    I made a half recipe of these cookies tonight, using regular cocoa, as a test for my Christmas gift plates. These are gooooood cookies!!!!

  • b*schus

    Made these with my 5YO this weekend! We only had regular dutch-process cocoa and they were still delish. She loved the job of rolling them in sugar :)

  • WendyAZ

    Will be trying these out tonight! I had thoughts of colored sparkling sugar but it probably would not show up with the dark cocoa. Can’t wait!

  • AlbanyDana

    Made a giant chocolate pancake on the silpat, all the sugar absorbed into the dough. Is the butter in the recipe double what it should be?

  • Annie

    Yep, that works perfectly!

  • Annie

    No, the quantities are correct. Sorry to hear that!

  • fraochmuir

    I had this issue too. And at 14 minutes the cookies burnt to a crisp. This recipe didn’t work for me at all.

  • Annie

    So glad you enjoyed them!

  • Amy Kaufman Hill

    These were amazing. My seven year old has requested that we make them again!

  • I made these this past weekend and they’re amazing! I love them dipped in milk!

  • Annie

    That is my favorite way to eat them too! Can’t get enough of them!

  • Mary Cook

    Same for me. No idea what happened.

  • Melinda Z.

    I needed some baking therapy last night, so I made these with what I had on hand. I’m happy to report that they were phenomenal with the regular cocoa powder and that they will now become part of my regular cookie rotation :)

    P.S. Who has a “regular cookie rotation?1?” Weird.

  • Annie

    Wonderful, so happy to hear it!

  • Annie Bunnell

    I also had to cut back the baking time to about 8 minutes because mine were charred after 13 minutes. The ones that turned out okay were gone before I got to try one.

  • Cara

    Made these for Christmas and everyone loved them! Subbed white whole flour and used regular cocoa powder because that’s all I had on hand and they still tasted excellent :)

  • Shari

    Oh Annie I usually do not like all chocolate cookies but these were amazing!