A couple of weeks ago we had a pretty big snow here and these happened. Since then, we've had some pretty stellar spring-like days around here and I'm loving it but a surprisingly large percentage of me is wishing that it would snow again just to have the excuse to make these incredibly rich and decadent cookies again. Because guys, if you are a fan of the elixir known as chocolate, you will fall madly in love with these and pretty much do anything to get your hands on some. Dense, dark, not too sweet--these are chocolate with a capital "C" and you have not truly experienced the magic of a chocolate cookie until you've eaten one of these. Are you running to check the weather forecast yet?
This is not the first time I've tasted these cookies--they are a specialty of one of my favorite bakeries, Flour, located in Boston and the savior of many long, tiring hockey weekends. My daughter and I discovered them one day after a batch had just come out of the oven and we've been addicted ever since. To be able to recreate them at a home, almost indistinguishable from the bakery version, is nothing short of a miracle and I'm so excited to be able to share them with you!!
Honestly, they don't look like much, which makes their indescribable deliciousness that much more surprising. Think chewy, fudgy brownie but with the consistency of a cookie and you almost have it. But words don't do these justice--you've got to experience them firsthand. But like all good things, you must pay a price. Not only do you really have to let the batter for these sit at least 4 hours before baking (and really these are better if the batter hangs out overnight in the fridge--I know, it's so hard to be patient!!) but you also have to melt chocolate, chop chocolate and finely shave some as well--quite a lot of it actually--but all of the effort is absolutely worth it. Enough talk--make these asap, snowstorm or not and book a little extra time in the gym--low calorie these are not!!
Ultimate Chocolate Cookies
Makes about 18 cookies
Prep Time: About 1 hour (but some of this is letting the chocolate chill and prepping ingredients) Chill Time: At least 4 hours and better yet, overnight; Bake Time: 15 minutes
- 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
- 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely shaved
- 5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped roughly
- 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into bite-sized chunks
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1/2 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon instant espresso powder
- 3/4 cup toasted and chopped walnuts
1. In the top of a double boiler or a bowl set over barely simmering water, combine the 4 ounces unsweetened chopped chocolate, the 5 ounces chopped bittersweet chocolate and the butter and stir every now and then until completely melted and smooth. Remove the bowl from the heat and whisk in the vanilla. Chill the bowl in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
2. Once the chocolate mixture has cooled, attach the whip attachment if you have a stand mixer (if not, just use your regular hand mixer--you may need to beat for longer) and in a large bowl, beat the sugar and eggs together on medium speed for about 5 minutes until light, thick and pale yellow (more like 8-10 minutes with a hand mixer). Turn the speed to low and slowly add the cooled chocolate mixture. Mix for about 15 seconds so that the mixture is barely mixed together. Remove the bowl from the mixer and set aside.
3. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, salt, espresso powder, shaved chocolate, remaining bittersweet chocolate chunks and walnuts. Then use a rubber spatula to fold the dry ingredients into the butter-sugar mixture, just until you can no longer see any traces of the flour mixture and the dough is evenly mixed.
4. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place it into the fridge for at least 4 hours or even better, overnight (you could even make the dough and store it in an airtight container for up to one week ahead.) Before you're ready to bake, preheat oven to 350ºF and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Drop the dough in large, almost 1/4 cup balls onto the sheets, about 2 inches apart.
5. Bake for about 15 minutes, until the tops are cracked and the cookies are soft when you gently press on one but not liquidy. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool on the sheet for about 15 minutes before transferring the cookies to the sheet to finish cooling completely. Absolutely eat one of these while still a little warm!! Store leftover cookies in an airtight container for 3-4 days at room temperature.
Note: Recipe adapted from Flour by Joanne Chang.