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These rich dark chocolate cookies are made with a combination of regular cocoa powder and black cocoa to create a deep chocolate flavor. Add white chocolate and butterscotch chips and candy eyeballs for a simple festive touch!
THESE FESTIVE COOKIES ARE THE EASIEST HALLOWEEN TREATS
If you need an easy Halloween treat but don’t want to make anything too involved, then these chocolate Halloween cookies are for you. They are super simple to make (no chilling!), don’t require any frosting or decorating, and are sure to be a hit at any Halloween party you take them to.
The truth is, these dark chocolate cookies are an adaptation of my favorite chocolate white chocolate chip cookies. What makes them Halloween themed is the very dark color, butterscotch chips and white chocolate chips which take care of the orange and white of the remaining color scheme, and of course, candy eyes to bring in some true Halloween flair.
Halloween treats don’t need to be complicated! You can make something super simple that is absolutely delicious and simply adorable.
INGREDIENTS FOR DARK CHOCOLATE HALLOWEEN COOKIES
These dark chocolate Halloween cookies are a spooky version of my chocolate white chocolate chip cookies, but they are a much darker brown (nearly black!) thanks to the black cocoa, and have some added butterscotch chips for some extra fall-inspired flavor and color.
For these chocolate Halloween cookies, you will need:
• all-purpose flour
• Dutch processed cocoa powder
• black cocoa powder
• baking powder
• unsalted butter
• vanilla extract
• white chocolate chips
• butterscotch chips
• candy eyes
REGULAR UNSWEETENED COCOA POWDER VS BLACK COCOA POWDER
It took me a couple tries to get these cookies exactly right, because black cocoa works completely differently in baked goods than traditional unsweetened and even Dutch processed cocoa powder.
To understand the necessary changes to the recipe base, let’s talk about all the different kinds of cocoa powder we use in baking and how they differ.
Unsweetened or natural cocoa powder
This type of cocoa powder is made from cocoa beans, acidic, and super chocolatey in flavor. Since it is acidic, it is often paired with baking soda (a base) in order to react properly to bring rise to baked goods.
Dutch processed cocoa POWDER
This type of cocoa powder is unsweetened cocoa powder that has been processed in an alkali solution to reduce its acidity. This process brings a smoother, darker, and richer chocolate flavor than natural cocoa, and you’ll often (but not always!) see it paired with baking powder since it (neutral) will not react with baking soda (a base).
Black cocoa powder
This cocoa powder is a form of Dutch cocoa powder that has been alkalized even further to neutralize its acidity. It’s often called ultra-Dutch processed. It is the smoothest tasting cocoa powder of all the cocoa powders, and, like Dutch processed cocoa powder, is neutral so will not react with baking soda (a base).
Since we’re using both Dutch processed (lighter: on the left) and black cocoa (darker: on the right), we lean completely into baking powder. My original chocolate cookies use baking soda, but a 1:1 swap won’t cut it. Baking soda is significantly stronger than baking powder, so we need more baking powder to bring enough lift and spread to this cookie recipe.
WHY USE TWO COCOA POWDERS?
Because black cocoa is ultra-processed, it brings us a deep dark brown (nearly black) color, but we lose a lot of the chocolate flavor.
Dutch processed cocoa powder still has significant chocolate flavor, so a combination of the two brings the perfect balance of black color without using black food coloring and also a solid, lovable chocolate flavor that is rich and indulgent.
It’s the perfect balance for dark chocolate Halloween chip cookies to showcase those pops of color and bright white eyeballs.
HOW TO MAKE CHOCOLATE HALLOWEEN COOKIES
This is a great recipe to whip up if you’re short on time, since you can bake the cookies without chilling the dough.
In a medium size bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, cocoa powders, baking powder, and salt. Set this mixture aside.
Next, cream together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy (approximately 2-3 minutes). Turn the mixer speed down to medium, add the egg and vanilla, and beat again until combined.
With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour/cocoa mixture and beat until just combined. Add the butterscotch and white chocolate chips and continue mixing until evenly dispersed.
Roll the dough into balls and place them on the prepared baking sheet and bake until edges are set and center is no longer shiny (about 9-11 minutes).
Remove the cookies from the oven, press two candy eyeballs into each cookie, and allow the cookies to cool on a baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
VARIATIONS AND SUBSTITUTIONS
BLACK COCOA POWDER: if you don’t have black cocoa powder, you can use black gel coloring for the spooky color. They won’t turn quite as black as they will if you use black cocoa, but you will still get a nice dark color!
CHOCOLATE CHIPS: you can add whatever kind of chocolate chips that you want! The white chocolate chips and butterscotch add a nice contrast of color, but you can throw in milk chocolate chips, dark chocolate chips, or even semi-sweet chocolate chips if you prefer to have a larger mixture of chocolate flavors in the cookies and/or a different aesthetic.
I think you’ll love these cookies that have a firm, crisp edge and a chewy center. They have a dark chocolate flavor that pairs so nicely with the sweet and creamy white chocolate and butterscotch notes, and they can appeal to both adults and kids.
Chocolate Halloween Cookies Recipe
- 1 and ¼ cups (150g) all-purpose flour be sure to measure properly
- 3 Tablespoons (18g) Dutch processed cocoa
- 3 Tablespoons (24g) black cocoa powder
- 1 and ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup (113g) unsalted butter softened to room temperature
- 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup (42g) white chocolate chips
- ¼ cup (42g) butterscotch chips
- Preheat oven to 350ºF (177ºC). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.
- In a medium size bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powders, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl with a handheld mixer or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy (approximately 2-3 minutes). Turn the mixer speed down to medium, add the egg and vanilla, and beat again until combined.
- With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour/cocoa mixture and beat until just combined. Add the butterscotch and white chocolate chips and continue mixing until evenly dispersed.
- Using a cookie scoop (I use this #50 cookie scoop for all of my standard size cookies), roll the dough into balls and place on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 9-11 minutes, or until edges are set and center is no longer shiny.
- Remove from oven, press two candy eyeballs into each cookie, and allow to cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature up to 1 week. Baked cookies can be frozen, up to 2 months. Rolled cookie dough can be frozen, up to 3 months. Place on baking sheet and add 1-2 minutes to baking time.
All nutritional values are approximate and provided to the reader as a courtesy. Changing ingredients and/or quantities will alter the estimated nutritional calculations.