Chocolate Sugar Cookies






Happy Veteran’s Day! As I baked these treats, which taste like an amazing combination of a sugar cookie and a dark chocolate brownie, I thought about the care packages that members of the US military receive from their families. Then, I thought about all of the veterans I’ve known—men, mostly, in my family and among my friends—and how profoundly grateful I am to have known them.

One of my favorite veterans was Francis Kruhm, our landlord in Sunshine, MD. Mike and I lived there before our move into DC while he was on active duty with the Maryland Army National Guard. Mr. Kruhm served in the Army during World War II, and was part of the invasion at Anzio, Italy in 1944.  The Kruhms were friends of my Aunt Liz’s in-laws, the Brighams, and they had a tiny apartment on the side of their house that they rented to us for an extraordinarily low rate.

About a week after we moved in, Mr. Kruhm gave me a service banner to hang in the front window. He had a full-sized flagpole in the front yard and raised the stars and stripes every single day. Mr. Kruhm was an active member of the VFW and an impressive gardener; I would often come home to find bags of corn, tomatoes, and zucchini on my porch. Even after we moved to DC and later, back to Pittsburgh, I sent Mr. Kruhm a Christmas card every year, and he sent us one in return. He passed away not long ago, another member of the Greatest Generation who surely made it into heaven.

I wish to sincerely thank all of the member of the US military, as well as their families, for their bravery and sacrifice. I am truly grateful to be a citizen of this amazing nation, and to the men and women who fought for our freedoms.


  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup Dutch-process cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup shortening, melted and cooled
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Line several baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

In a mixing bowl, combine sugar and butter; beat until fluffy.

Add shortening and beat well.

Add egg and vanilla and beat until creamy.

Add flour mixture in two batches, beating until combined after each.

Using a two-inch cookie scoop, drop onto baking sheets about two inches apart.

Bake for 18 minutes.

Cool on a wire rack.




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