Adult chocolate cookies

November 6, 2012 at 8:28 pm (A (4 stars, love, favorite), Alice Medrich, Cookies, Derek's faves, Necessarily nonvegan)

This recipe from Alice Medrich’s Cookies and Brownies is actually titled “Robert’s Chocolate Cookies,” but I call them adult chocolate cookies because they’re supposed to be  chocolate cookies for the “sophisticated palate.”   Medrich describes these cookies as “only slightly sweet, but rich and gooey, and laced with the chunks of the finest unsweetened chocolate in the world.”  Robert Steinberg created the recipe for his company, Scharffenberger, and thus they call for Scharffenberger unsweetened chocolate.  Medrich says if you can’t find it then use bittersweet chocolate of another brand, as most brands of unsweetened chocolate are too harsh and bitter to enjoy as chunks.   I first made these cookies in 2006, when I checked Cookies and Brownies out from the Pittsburgh library.  I adored them, but didn’t make them again until now.  Right before I moved to Germany, I toured the Scharffenberger factory in Berkeley, and bought a number of bars of their chocolate.  The Berkeley factory is now sadly defunct.  Hershey bought out the company, and closed down the factory, and consolidated Scharffen Berger production in Illinois with some of their other “gourmet” chocolate brands.  I haven’t tried the chocolate since the buy-out.  But I still had an (expired) bar of Berkeley-produced Scharffenberger  unsweetened chocolate in the pantry, and I decided it was finally time to try these cookies again.

Robert’s Chocolate Cookies


  • 9 – 10 ounces unsweetened Scharffen Berger Chocolate (or 6 ounces of any other unsweetened baking chocolate and 3 – 4 ounces of premium-quality bittersweet chocolate)
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour (1 2/3 oz or 47.25 g)
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. finely ground, freshly ground coffee
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup walnut pieces (optional)


  • 2 cookie sheets, lined with parchment paper (Medrich says the parchment paper prevents the edges from scorching before the centers are baked.)


  1. Divide the Scharffen Berger chocolate into two portions as follows: Cut 3 – 4 ounces into chunks about the size of large chocolate chips, and chop 6 ounces for melting. If using a brand other than Scharffen Berger, use the unsweetened for melting and the bittersweet for chunks. Set aside.
  2. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl and mix together thoroughly with a whisk or fork. Set aside.
  3. Melt the butter with the 6 ounces of chocolate in a double boiler over barely simmering water, stirring occasionally, until melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  4. In a medium-large bowl, beat the eggs with the sugar, coffee, and vanilla with a mixer until pale and thick, about 5 minutes.
  5. Stir in the chocolate mixture with a rubber spatula. Stir in the flour mixture followed by the chocolate chunks and the nuts, if using them.
  6. Cover and refrigerate until firm, about an hour, or up to 4 days.
  7. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Position the racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven.
  8. Drop level tablespoons of batter for small cookies or heaping tablespoons (equivalent of 2 level tablespoons) for large cookies, 2 inches apart on the cookie sheets.
  9. Bake until the cookies are puffed, dry, and cracked on the surface but soft and gooey within, 8 to 10 minutes for small cookies, 10 to 12 minutes for large cookies.
    Rotate the cookie sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through baking time to ensure even baking.
  10. Slide the parchment paper onto racks to cool completely before storing or stacking.  May be stored in an airtight container for 2 days at room temperature.

Yield: Makes 50 small or 25 large cookies

My notes:

I made 42 2-inch cookies. (I used my small ice cream scoop slightly overfull.)  The cookies came out great, and just as I remembered them.  They are very chocolate-y but the coffee and bittersweet chunks and walnuts keep them from being overwhelmingly rich.  Even folks here who say they don’t like American-style über-chocolatey brownies really liked them.  Derek loved them as well.  I made these at the same time as Medrich’s gingersnaps, and although I love the gingersnaps, I have to confess that I like these even better.

Note that the refrigeration step is essential.  Before putting the batter in the fridge it was liquid.  Afterwards, it was thick cookie batter.

Rating: A
Derek: A

Per cookie:  83 calories, 6g fat, 6g sugar, 1g protein, 1g fiber, 21mg sodium, 7% iron.


  1. austingardener said,

    2 A’s . wow.

  2. hanaleahjh said,

    I made these for holiday gifts. I liked the flavor and texture, but they were too sweet for me.

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