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double chocolate cookies

October 21, 2010

Whoops, yet another hiatus there, sorry about that—and it’s actually probably going to continue until our memo assignment stops rearing its ugly head. But I thought I’d come up for air for a sec to post about the cookies I took a break from researching and outlining to make last night for our anniversary. (That sentence made no sense. Proof of brain-meltage.)


When Chris and I first started dating, we made each other cookies all. the. time. (You can see why we worked out.) We used to each make a batch every month and trade them…which kind of died off when we went to college and didn’t exactly have a serviceable oven at our disposal.


Ugh, crappy lighting, sorry.
Five years ago, I somehow really wasn’t obsessed with cooking like I am now—I made pumpkin bread every year for Thanksgiving and dinner every once in a while because my mom wanted to make sure I could actually cook when I left the house (which, uh, still hasn’t happened yet), but that was about it. So when I made cookies for Chris, it was just the recipe on the back of the chocolate chip bag.


And it’s kind of funny to think about, but now, Chris and I have tried out so many recipes—and cookie recipes in particular—that I just can’t be happy with that recipe anymore. They always come out oddly flat or unevenly-baked because the butter was too softened or wasn’t softened enough or I didn’t cream it with the sugar for long enough. And let’s face it, I’m not willing to spend that much effort on such a fussy recipe if the results aren’t gonna be delicious.


So this time around, I tried something different from—what else?—Cook’s Illustrated. Both this recipe and the chocolate toffee cookies stand-by used a pound of chocolate, but the rest of the ingredient list was pretty different, so I was curious to see how they’d turn out. Answer? Delicious. Sooo much better than Tollhouse. While both recipes end up with pretty crackly crusts and are still nice and soft the next day, while the chocolate toffee ones melt away in your mouth, these are fudgy and brownie-like and basically there was a risk that there wouldn’t be any left in the batch when I got around to actually giving them to Chris at the end of the day.


And now, back to my work-cave. *sigh*

Double Chocolate Cookies
Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon table salt
16 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped [I used at 24-oz. bag of chocolate chips and stirred the last 8 oz. in at the end]
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened but still firm
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar

Directions:
1. Sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl; set aside. Melt chocolate in medium heatproof bowl set over pan of almost-simmering water [or in the microwave], stirring once or twice, until smooth; remove from heat. Beat eggs and vanilla lightly with fork and set aside.
2. In bowl of standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter at medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 5 seconds (15 seconds with hand mixer). Beat in sugars until combined, about 45 seconds (1 1/2 minutes with hand mixer); mixture will look granular. Reduce speed to low and gradually beat in egg mixture until incorporated, about 45 seconds (1 1/2 minutes with hand mixer). Add chocolate in steady stream and beat until combined, about 40 seconds (1 minute with hand mixer). Scrape bottom and sides of bowl with rubber spatula. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture and mix until combined, about 40 seconds (1 minute with hand mixer). Do not overbeat. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature until consistency is scoopable and fudgelike, about 30 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, adjust oven racks to upper- and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment papers. Leaving about 1 1/2 inches between each ball, scoop dough onto parchment-lined cookie sheets with 1 3/4-inch diameter ice cream scoop.
4. Bake cookies until edges have just begun to set but centers are still very soft [seriously, a couple of mine looked completely underbaked/shiny, so I panicked and left them in for a couple extra minutes, but they still came out shiny and they firmed up fine in the end, so don’t worry about them looking raw], about 10 minutes, turning cookie sheets from front to back and switching from top to bottom racks halfway through baking.
5. Cook cookies on sheets about 10 minutes, slide parchment with cookies onto wire rack, and cool to room temperature; remove with wide metal spatula.

Source: Cook’s Illustrated

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