Valrhona Dulcey feves, Valrhona cocoa powder and heart-shaped Chocolate Love Letter Cookies with Crispearl decorations

A Love Letter to Chocolate

Feb 12, 2024Eshun Mott

Do you like to bake? If so, chances are good that your first baking experiences revolved around chocolate. Squares of unsweetened Bakers chocolate, bags of Chipits and yellow canisters of Fry’s cocoa powder are somewhat ubiquitous in kitchens across the country, and they conveniently come with recipes for brownies and cookies printed right on the labels - which is where those of us who didn’t grow up with recipes on Tiktok and cooking videos on every platform, began.

There’s a nostalgic factor about brownies and chocolate chip cookies that’s hard to beat, though most people move on from those first recipes to find new favourites (if you haven’t tried Tara O’Brady’s Basic Great Chocolate Chip Cookies you definitely should), forgetting that the ingredients themselves could also do with an upgrade. There’s “eating” chocolate, and there’s “baking chocolate”, and it’s good to have a stash of each. But the world of chocolate available to professional chefs is where these categories seriously overlap, and giving consumers easy access to these ingredients was one of the first things we at Flavourfull were determined to do.

Belgian chocolatier Callebaut makes high-quality chocolate in a very useful range of shapes, strengths and flavours. Valrhona is a step up (in both price and flavour) - we carry only a few of their special products right now. Valrhona cocoa powder has an amazing depth of flavour, and their Dulcey (caramelized white chocolate ) is a pretty special treat - even straight from the bag - old school snacking style. We also love the little Belgian chocolate coated cereal crisppearls because they are both tasty and have great texture - a perfect simple decoration.

All of which led us back to a hankering for playing around with chocolate in the kitchen, and wondering if we could make a chocolate sandwich cookie that felt a little bit like eating a brownie. When we succeeded in getting the right chewy cookie with those “corner of the brownie” firmer edges, we decided to elevate it with a whipped ganache filling made with that delicious Dulcey (sounds fancy, but it’s super easy to make). An excellent treat for sharing with others this coming week if you’re into that. You could of course skip the filling and just drizzle a little melted Dulcey overtop (crispearls are also optional of course). Use a food processor or mini chop to grind chopped chocolate into a powdery mixture. And please use a digital scale to measure if you have one - your baking will be so much better for it.


Chocolate Love Letter Cookies

This is a very easy dough to work with and shouldn’t need any flour to keep it from sticking to the counter - a real advantage when using cookie cutters!

220 g (1 2/3 cups) all-purpose flour

30 g (1/3 cup) unsweetened alkalized cocoa powder - ideally Valrhona

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp fine sea salt 

115 g (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, rm temp, cut into pieces

100 g (1/2 cup) granulated sugar

110 g (1/2 cup) packed brown sugar 

1 large egg

80g (1/2 cup) finely ground dark chocolate (such as Callebaut dark or dark/semisweet)

Whipped Dulcey Ganache:

85 g (22 feves) Dulcey

1 Tbsp (14 g) unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1/3 cup whipping cream

1/4 tsp fine sea salt

Decorate with extra melted Dulcey and crispearls if desired


  1. Combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt in a small bowl and stir with a fork until uniform. Set aside. 
  1. Combine butter and sugars in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until fluffy and well combined. Add egg and beat until fully incorporated. Add dry ingredients and beat until just absorbed. Scrape down sides, add ground chocolate and beat until dough is uniform.
  1. Wrap dough in plastic and flatten into a disk and chill for 30 min or until firmed up but still pliable. 
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. 
  1. Roll dough out to about 3/8-inch thick and use 2-inch cookie cutters to make hearts or other desired shapes. Place hearts about 2-inches apart on prepared baking sheet and bake, one sheet at a time, for 7-8 min or until cookies are set in the centre but still soft to the touch. Gather, chill and re-roll scraps as needed to use up dough. Let cool fully.
  1. Place Dulcey and butter in a small bowl. Put cream and salt in a small pot and bring to a boil over medium heat. Immediately pour cream over chocolate and butter and make sure they are all submerged. Let stand 3 min then stir until mixture is smooth and combined. Place in the fridge for 30 min or until it has thickened and feels cool to the touch. Whisk or beat mixture for 1 min or until it has lightened in colour and become a spreadable texture.
  1. Working quickly, use a small offset spatula to spread a scant 2 tsp of whipped ganache on the bottom of half of your cooled cookies, then top with a second cookie to make a sandwich. Decorate sandwiches with more melted Dulcey and crispearls as desired or even just a sprinkle of Maldon Salt.

Makes about 22 sandwich cookies depending on size

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