Chocolate Drop Cookies

When I was growing up, I had a great Aunt that was famous for her chocolate drop cookies.  She would make them by the dozens. She would put them on paper plates which she put into plastic bags with a twist tie then freeze them.  Whenever we would go to Henefer to visit my grandparents, we would run down the street to see if Aunt Erma had any baby sheep that needed feeding.  We would always leave with a plate full of her chocolate cookies.  They were the best.  I tried to recreate her recipe for years with no luck.  I have had to make some changes to the original recipe to get them to turn out as moist as Aunt Erma's.  I think these are pretty close.  Ahhh such sweet memories.

You will need butter (ugh, no margarine please), sugar, cocoa (I use dutch process, LOVE IT) eggs, vanilla, sour cream, milk, baking soda, salt and flour.

In a large mixing bowl, add 1 cup softened butter.

To the butter cream in cocoa and sugar.  Look at how nice and red that cocoa is.  I buy DeZaan Cocoa in 5 lb bags.  I don't like the real dark black cocoa.  It makes everything look like asphalt, so stay away from that stuff.

I generally let it beat together for a couple of minutes.

Beat in the eggs.

Add the vanilla...

...Sour cream and milk.

After you have the vanilla, sour cream and milk creamed in, give the sides and bottom of the bowl and good scraping.

Mix again until nice and smooth.

Add the salt and baking soda to the flour.

Give it a whisk.  This is how I sift.

Add the flour to the creamed mixture.

Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl again.  Them mix until the dough is smooth.

Use an ice cream scoop to drop cookies dough onto a parchment lined cookie sheet (LOVE the parchment).  The scoop I use holds about 2 tablespoons of dough.  I just don't believe in little cookies.  I never make little cookies.  I like big cookies.  I'd rather eat one big one instead of ten little ones.

Place about 2-inches apart.  Put in a 400 degree oven for 10-12 minutes.

While the cookies are baking, let Luke and Emi lick the beater and spatula. 

Touch the top of the cookies slightly with your finger.  If the finger mark springs back up, the cookies are done.  It's the same as checking to see of a cake is done.  Remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool completely before icing.

For the icing you will need butter, cream cheese, cocoa, vanilla, powder sugar and a couple of tablespoons of milk.

Put the butter and cream cheese in a mixing bowl.

Cream the two together.

Add cocoa...

...and vanilla


Add the powder sugar 1 cup at a time.  Beating after each addition.

Blend until smooth.

Add milk one tablespoon at a time.

You want a nice spreadable consistancy.

Spread a generous amount of icing on top of each cooled cookie.  I generally lift the cookie off the cookie sheet to ice them, but I can't demo the icing while holding the cookie and trying to take a picture.  I'm not quite that talented.

I have established the fact the I LOVE nuts, right?  I love walnuts and chocolate.  I have topped some of the cookies with a walnut half and some with a pecan half.  You could use chopped nuts, but I just like to stick a big nut on top.  Then if someone wants to remove it, they can and give it to me so I can lick off the frosting and eat it!

I dumped out the bag of walnuts because I was trying to find whole pieces.  Then I noticed that there was one cookie that was larger than the rest.  So I took that big ol' cookie, loaded on the icing and smoothered the top with walnut pieces...

...then I ate it...

...the WHOLE thing.  Without one regret.

Thank you, Aunt Erma, for creating something so wonderful.  We will enjoy your cookies for generations to come.  What a great legacy you have left behind. 

Love you.

I hope  Aunt Erma's cookies will become a favorite for you and your family. 

Chocolate Drop Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/4 cups sour cream
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 cups flour

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, sugar and cocoa.  Add eggs and vanilla.  Blend in sour cream and milk.  Mix until creamy scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl periodically.  Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt.  Add to cream mixture.  Mix until thoroughly.  Drop cookie dough onto a parchment lined cookie sheet with an ice cream scoop (approximately 2 tablespoons of dough).  Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 10-12 minutes or until the dough springs back after lightly touching.  Let cool completely before icing.

Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing

1/2 cup butter, softened
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 cup cocoa
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk

In a medium size mixing bowl, cream together butter and cream cheese.  Add vanilla and cocoa and beat until smooth.  Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time and mix until smooth.  Add milk one tablespoon at a time until desired consistency   Spread over cooled chocolate drop cookies


  1. Steven Barton4/9/10, 1:34 PM

    Janet, is it important whether we use salted or unsalted butter? You haven't specified, but I notice that your photo shows unsalted butter.

  2. I find myself using unsalted butter more and more these days for everything. I feel like I'm eating french butter. It's just sweeter and fresher. No, it really doesn't matter. Just use what you have on hand.

  3. holy cow that is some good batter!! I hope I have a little will-power so at SOME of them will turn into cookies! Thanks for sharing this recipe! ~nom~nom~

  4. How many cookies does this make? (Planning for a cookie exchange).

  5. You should get about 3 least the size I make them.

  6. Janet one quick question...can I substitute plain curd/yogurt with sour cream as this is not available in this part of the world....Aunt Erma rocks!!

    1. Yes you can substitute. I would use whole milk yogurt not non-fat. The fat helps create a moist crumb. This should work just great. Good luck. Let me know how your cookies turn out. Yes, Aunt Erma does rock!

  7. Your recipe makes me VERY happy. I've been in fruitless search of the perfect chocolate drop cookie Of My Youth (as my mother would say). Once upon a time, back in the 1950s in the middle West, my dear mom baked made her yearly (?) batch, lifted the cookies to a rack while still warm, put a bowl of whipped cream to one side, and went somewhere for a few minutes. (Five children will do that to you.) Not long thereafter she found me in the kitchen with whipped cream up to my eyebrows, and made me eat the whole thing. Such cruelty! Each year I've tried a different recipe, hoping to recreate hers-- which came from her own dear mother.
    Thank you!

    1. What a fun story. Thank you for sharing. I hope this recipe is close to your mother's.

  8. Hi there and thank you for sharing.
    What other cocoa cab you recommend that I don't have to buy in such large quantity ?

    1. Any cocoa you can find in your local grocery store will work just great.

  9. Do the cookies need to be refrigerated if iced and made few days before eating?

    1. They do not. They do, however, freeze very well for about 2-3 weeks.

  10. Can you freeze them already frosted?

    1. These cookies freeze wonderfully. I would freeze them in a single layer. Once they are frozen, you can layer them between sheets of waxed or parchment paper. Thaw cookies in a single layer.