Prep 30 mins
Cook 20 mins
For your inner chocolate
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1⁄4 cup cocoa powder, sifted (preferably natural)
- 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, grated
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cool and cut into small pieces
- 5 tablespoons vegetable shortening
- 3⁄4 cup sugar
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1 1⁄2 tablespoons milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1⁄2 cup sanding sugar or 1⁄2 cup coarse sugar, preferably clear, spread on a plate
- Position the racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven; preheat oven to 375°.
- Whisk flour, cocoa powder, and grated chocolate in a bowl until uniform; set aside.
- Add butter and shortening in a big bowl; use an electric mixer on medium speed to soften them into a fairly soft mass.
- Add in sugar; beat until fluffy but still a little grainy, about 1 more minute.
- Beat in egg until smooth; then beat in milk and vanilla.
- Stop the beaters; add in the flour mixture, then beat at low speed just until a dry, rough dough forms.
- Dust a clean, dry work surface with the smallest sprinkling of flour, then turn the dough out onto it and knead it a few times, just until it coheres into a fairly smooth ball.
- Break of walnut-size pieces, roll them into balls between you palms; place them 2-inches apart on 2 nonstick baking sheets.
- Press the bottom of a medium drinking glass into the remaining unused dough, and then press the glass’s bottom into the sanding sugar.
- Use the bottom of the glass to flatten the cookies gently; pressing down to let the crystals adhere, until the cookies are about ½ inch thick.
- Repeat until all the balls are flattened and coated with sugar.
- Bake for 5 minutes, then reverse the sheets top to bottom and front to back.
- Continue baking for ABOUT 5 more minutes or until the cookies are dry at the edges and somewhat firm to touch.
- Cool on the sheet for 1 minute, then transfer to wore racks to cool completely.
- **White Chocolate Almond Sugar Cookies: substitute grated white chocolate for the semisweet chocolate; substitute almond extract for the vanilla extract.