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.

  • Yield about 16 large cookies


  • 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.