flour’s double-chocolate cookies
My grandma is obsessed with chocolate. She’s also almost impossible to shop for (which, coincidentally, she also passed down to her daughter/my mom). So this Christmas, I decided to just make her a bunch of chocolate treats, package them semi-prettily, and call it a day.
I’m also determined not to forget about my Flour cookbook in favor of the recipes on my computer, which I’ve tended to do with other cookbooks in the past, so I was excited for the chance to try out another one of Joanne Chang’s recipes. I was also intrigued by her use of slivered, unmelted unsweetened chocolate in this dough, which goes against every experience I’ve had with temptations to taste melted unsweetened chocolate. (What? It doesn’t smell unsweetened!) So I settled pretty quickly on this one as part of my grandma’s present. I bought some fancy Schaffen Berger or however it’s spelled chocolate at the shop close to school, figuring that if she was actually going to taste that particular chocolate, it’d better be good.
And ohhh man these were intense. They were pretty much the chocolate-iest cookies I could ever hope to bake. I couldn’t really taste the unsweetened chocolate in the “bleh” way; it just seemed to add even more intensity to the cookies. My mom told me my grandma’s been crumpling them into her ice cream lately, which sounds like yum. They were soft and warm and ugh I need to make them again, stat.
4 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped, plus 2 oz., finely shaved
5 oz. bittersweet chocolate (62-70% cacao), chopped, plus 4 oz., chopped into 1/2-inch pieces [I just used the Ghirardelli chips]
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon instant espresso powder or instant coffee powder [I left this out]
3/4 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped [left these out, too]
1. In a heatproof bowl, combine the 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, the 5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, and the butter. Place over barely simmering water in a saucepan and heat, stirring occasionally, until completely melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and whisk in the vanilla. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. [Actually, I would leave it out on the counter—it re-solidified when I refrigerated it.]
2. Using a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment or a handheld mixer, beat together the sugar and eggs on medium speed for about 5 minutes, or until light, thick, and pale yellow. (This step will take 8 to 10 minutes if using a handheld mixer.) On low speed, slowly add the chocolate mixture and mix for about 15 seconds. The mixture will not be well mixed at this point, but that’s okay. You will finish combining all of the ingredients by hand.
3. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, salt, espresso powder, the remaining 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, the remaining 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, and the walnuts. Using a rubber spatula, fold the flour mixture into the sugar-butter mixture just until the flour mixture is totally incorporated and the dough is evenly mixed.
4. For the best results, scrape the dough into an airtight container and let it rest in the refrigerator overnight (or for at least 3 to 4 hours) before baking. When you are ready to bake, position a rack in the center of the oven, and heat the oven to 350 degrees.
5. Drop the dough in 1/4-cup balls onto a baking sheet, spacing them about 2 inches apart.
6. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the cookies are cracked on top and soft but not liquidy when you press them in the middle. Let cool on the baking sheet on a wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes, then transfer the cookies to the rack to cool completely.