MAKES: 3 to 4 dozen

TIME: About 30 minutes

Thin, light, crisp, and chocolaty, these cookies are spread onto the baking sheets instead of being mounded and dropped. They’re showstoppers, but this version is super-easy to make. When the cookies are still warm, they are removed and molded into various shapes like cones or just twisted or curled by being draped over ramekins, glasses, rolling pins, or wire racks or shaped by hand while still warm. As the cookies cool, they become crisp (and harder to manipulate, so work quickly).

4 egg whites

1 cup confectioners sugar

1/4 cup cocoa powder

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, plus a little more if needed, as well as some soft butter for greasing the baking sheets

Preheat the oven to 375В°F. Grease 2 baking sheets or cover them with parchment or a silicone mat.

Whisk the egg whites until foamy. Mix in the sugar, cocoa, and flour, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the melted butter and stir until just incorporated. The dough will be more like a very thick batter than a cookie dough. If it’s not spreadable, add more melted butter, a teaspoonful at a time.

Spoon the batter onto the prepared sheets and use the back of the spoon to spread the batter into thin (less than 1/4 inch thick) 2- to 3-inch circles. Bake until firm and slightly darkened around the edges, 8 to 10 minutes. While still hot, use a metal spatula or butter knife to transfer the cookies to a rack to cool flat or drape over a dowel or rolling pin to form the traditional curved tuile shape.

Variations

Chocolate Rice Cookies. Super-crisp and light, but also a little more fragile: Substitute rice flour for the all-purpose flour.

Chocolate Dessert Cups. Great for holding berries, pudding, ice cream, or flavored whipped cream. Prepare the recipe as directed. When the cookies come out of the oven, drape them over inverted small ramekins or coffee cups to cool, pressing gently to form a cup on the inside. Fill as you like, just before serving so they don’t get soggy.

8 Things to Sprinkle on Chocolate Cookies

Sprinkle the cookies with any of these just before baking:

  1. Black and white sesame seeds or poppy seeds
  2. Crumbled lavender buds
  3. Crushed pink peppercorns
  4. Anise or fennel seeds
  5. Finely chopped nuts
  6. Chopped pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds
  7. Ground spices, like cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, star anise, cardamom
  8. Citrus Sprinkle