• Yield: Makes 3 to 5 dozen, depending on size

  • Time: 45 minutes prep, 14 minutes cooking, 1 hour total

What This Recipe Shows: By rolling the dough balls in plain sugar first, the confectioners sugar does not soak in so much and stays on the surface better.

Corn syrup in the dough helps prevent crystallization to produce the soft chocolate center.

Oil greases flour proteins to produce a tender to the point of gooey chocolate center.


  • 1-3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons (8.2 oz/232 g) spooned and leveled bleached all-purpose flour

  • 1-1/2 teaspoons (7 g) baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon (3 g) salt

  • 8 ounces (227 g) semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

  • 2-3/4 cups (19.3 oz/547 g) sugar, divided

  • 1/3 cup (79 ml) canola oil

  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) light corn syrup

  • 2 large eggs (3.5 oz/99g)

  • 1 large egg yolk (0.65 oz/18 g)

  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) pure vanilla extract

  • 1 cup (4 oz/120 g) confectioners sugar


1. In a medium bowl, beat together well the flour, baking powder, and salt, and set aside.

2. Melt the chocolate in the microwave on 50% power for 1 minute, stir, and microwave for 15 seconds more and stir.

3. In a mixer with the paddle attachment, beat together 2-1/2 cups (17.5 oz/496 g) of the sugar, the oil, and corn syrup to blend. Beat in the eggs, egg yolk, and vanilla. Then on low, beat in the melted chocolate. Add the flour mixture and beat in on low speed.

4. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

5. About 30 minutes before you are ready to bake, arrange a shelf in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 325 F/163 C. Line a baking sheet with Release foil (nonstick side up).

6. Take out about one-quarter of the dough at a time to shape. Roll the dough into 1-1/2 to 2-inch (3.8 to 5 cm) balls. Pour the remaining 1/4 cup (1.8 oz/51 g) granulated sugar into one bowl and the confectioners sugar in another bowl. Roll each cookie dough ball lightly in granulated sugar first, then very heavily in confectioners sugar. (By rolling in plain sugar first, the confectioners sugar does not soak in so much and stays on the surface better.)

7. Arrange cookies 2 inches (5 cm) apart on the foil. For crisp cookies, bake 12 to 14 minutes. You can have several sheets of foil covered with cookies ready.

8. When one sheet is done, you can pull off the foil and cookies to a cooling rack. Rinse the baking sheet with cold water to cool and then slip the sheet under another sheet of foil with cookies on it and get it right back into the oven. Allow the cookies to cool for 2 minutes, then remove to a rack to cool completely.

Reprinted from BakeWise: The Hows and Whys of Successful Baking by Shirley O. Corriher (Scribner, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 2008). Copyright 2008 by Confident Cooking, Inc.

Shirley O. Corriher is a writer, author, biochemist, teacher and lecturer. She writes a column for The Los Angeles Times' "Great Chefs" series as well as articles in the Journal of Biological Chemistry. Her book Cookwise: The Hows and Whys of Successful Cooking is received a James Beard award.