1 1/4cup(2 1/2 sticks // 10 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2cups14 ounces granulated sugar
2teaspoonspure vanilla extract
For the Sugar Cookie Coating
1/2cup3.5 ounces sanding or other coarse sugar (see baker's notes)
In a medium bowl, combine 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, 3/4 cup HERSHEY'S SPECIAL DARK Cocoa, a pinch of ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon baking soda, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt until well combined. Set aside.
In the bowl of a freestanding electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine 1 1/4 cup unsalted butter and 2 cups granulated sugar. Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, at least 5 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally. Once the mixture has doubled in size, lower the mixer speed to its slowest setting. Add 2 large eggs one at a time, only adding the second egg when the first egg has fully incorporated into the mixture. Add 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract, then, with the mixer still in its slowest setting, add the dry ingredients (from the 1st step) and continue mixing until the flour mixture just about disappears into the batter.
Stop the mixer and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or 1 hour, until firm enough to scoop but not so hard that it gives you resistance when doing so.
While the dough is chilling, center a rack in the oven and preheat to 350 (F). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper, set aside. Transfer 1/2 cup sanding sugar to a small bowl.
Remove dough from refrigerator. Use a 3 tablespoon cookie dough scoop to scoop out around 30 dough balls, and roll each dough ball in the bowl of sanding sugar (from the 4th step) until it is entirely covered. Arrange on the baking sheet, leaving 2 inches between each dough ball to allow the cookies to spread. Gently press down on the top of each cookie to flatten it slightly.
Bake in the preheated oven for 11 to 13 minutes, until the edges have set and the centers are puffed and starting to crack. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and allow the cookies to cool on the sheet for 20 minutes, before turning out on the wire rack to cool completely.