I tend to be opposed to using the word "decadent" in the title of a dessert. I think it's sort of redundant, because isn't all dessert decadent? But this cookie goes above and beyond. It is really rich and chocolatey, but in an ever so subtle way — not that gooey and sugary sort of decadent, but much more refined and demure.
This cookie's name came about one Christmas season when we were trying to think of appropriate names for three holiday additions. We had three baristas at the time, so we decided to honor each of their grandmothers by naming a cookie after them. This one is Stephanie's grandma's namesake.
Click here to see How to Make Perfect Cookie Dough.
Put the chocolate chips and the butter into a microwave-safe bowl, and heat on high power for 1 minute. Stir them together, and then heat for 1 additional minute. You may need to heat the mixture for an additional minute or more, but be sure to stir the mixture thoroughly between heatings and do not overheat it. Let the chocolate cool for 5 minutes.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, cocoa powder, and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the eggs and orange zest and mix on low speed for 1 minute. With the mixer running on low speed, pour in the melted chocolate and mix for 1 minute, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed for 10 seconds.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead it for about 30 seconds, until all of the flour has been incorporated and the dough comes together. Divide the dough in half; cover one half with plastic wrap and set it aside.
Place a sheet of parchment paper on a work surface, and put the other half of the dough on the parchment. Flatten the dough slightly with your hand and then top it with a second sheet of parchment. With a rolling pin, roll the dough out between the sheets of parchment to about 1⁄8-inch thickness. You can use a light dusting of flour if the dough is sticky. Unwrap the other half of the dough and roll it out as you did the first half. Transfer the dough, still sandwiched between the parchment, to a baking sheet and chill it in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the dough from the refrigerator, peel off both sheets of parchment, and put the dough on a cutting board. Using a cookie cutter (you can use whatever shape you desire, but make it about 2 ½ inches in diameter), cut cookies out of the dough, rerolling the scraps once. Put the cookies on a parchment paper–lined baking sheet, spacing them 1 inch apart.
Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes. The cookies are done when they begin to feel slightly firm and you can smell the chocolate. Be careful not to overbake them. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack and let them cool.