Monday, July 19, 2010

Triple Threat Chocolate Chip Cookies

Triple-Threat Chocolate Chip Cookies - made July 19, 2010 from The Pastry Queen

If you don't like chocolate or are indifferent to it, move along, there's nothing to see here. But, if you're like me and think chocolate is the greatest invention of mankind and would inject it directly into your veins if you could, then this is the cookie for you. I think of it almost as baked fudge. It's rich, it's moist, it's just good. But two caveats - first, this isn't for the faint of chocolate heart. This cookie does pack a (chocolate) punch. Second, you must use high quality chocolate. There's a high proportion of chocolate in relation to the other ingredients and if you use inferior chocolate, you'll get an inferior cookie. For the bittersweet chocolate, I used Lindt Excellence 70%.

You should time this recipe as it's sometimes hard to tell when they're done baking. I go mostly by appearance - the cookie is done when it isn't as glossy and fine dry cracks appear slightly. But I say time it because you don't want to overbake it. I bake it for 10 minutes, take them out of the oven and let them sit on the hot cookie sheet a few minutes more to keep baking. Once they're cool and the chocolate sets, they're perfect.

Note that the dough is very soft, almost like a batter, and doesn't really harden. For that reason I don't give this my usual cookie dough treatment of portioning into dough balls and freezing first. It's actually unnecessary because the cookies don't really spread since they have such a high proportion of chocolate relative to butter. Do let it rest for 20 minutes as the directions call for as you don't want the batter to be too liquid before you bake the cookies. Oh, and it goes without saying I left out the nuts and only added milk chocolate chips. This is pure chocolate.

1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup chopped walnuts
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups semisweet or milk chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Arrange the pecans and walnuts on a baking sheet in a single layer and toast for 7 to 9 minutes, until golden brown and aromatic. Cool the nuts completely.
2. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats, or grease generously with butter or cooking spray.
3. Melt the butter, bittersweet chocolate and unsweetened chocolate in a small saucepan set over low heat. Stir occasionally, watching carefully to make sure the chocolate does not burn. Remove the pan from the heat to cool.
4. Using a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the eggs and sugar in a large bowl on medium speed about 3 minutes, until fluffy. Add the vanilla and melted chocolate. Beat on medium speed about 2 minutes, until the dough is thick and glossy. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt to the chocolate mixture, stirring just until incorporated. Let the dough rest for 20 minutes, which makes it easier to scoop.
5. Use a 1 ¾” diameter scoop to drop spoonfuls of dough on the prepared baking sheets, spacing them at least 1 ½” apart. Wet your fingertips lightly with water and gently flatten the cookie dough (no need to press hard; just press out the hump). Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the tops begin to crack and look glossy. Cool the cookies for 10 minutes before removing them from the baking sheets.

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