Monday, January 24, 2011

Chocolate Marble Chunk Cookies

Chocolate Marble Chunk Cookies - made January 23, 2011 from The Good Cookie by Tish Boyle (book #44)

The Good Cookie by Tish Boyle is one of my favorite baking books.  Almost every recipe I've tried from it has come out, including some killer brownies.  People often ask me what my best, most fudgy brownie recipes are and most of them are from this book or from one of Lisa Yockelson's.  Tish Boyle was the editor of the now-defunct Chocolatier magazine.  I always enjoyed the recipes and pictures from Chocolatier and was sorry to see it go out of publication, especially since I was a lifetime subscriber.  Now I'm always on the lookout for anything Tish Boyle publishes as I'm sure it'll have the same excellent standards.

Over the Christmas holidays, my old college roommate, Caroline, brought me a box of cookies from one of her favorite bakeries in Central CA when she came to visit.  One of the types of cookies was a marbled cookie.  It wasn't a black and white in terms of having white chocolate chunks in a fudge cookie like the previous cookie recipe I just made but it was actually vanilla and chocolate cookie doughs marbled together.  It was pretty good and I thought I'd try to make something like it on my own.  Fortunately, The Good Cookie had a recipe that looked like it could be similar.  I left out the nuts - that should almost go without saying now.

I only added chocolate chips to the chocolate batter, for no particular reason other than I wasn't really trying to make chocolate chip cookies but a marbled vanilla/chocolate cookie.  The dough turned out a bit soft so to do the marbling, I dipped a spoon in the non-chocolate batter to scoop up a bit of dough then dipped it in the chocolate batter to get some chocolate dough then rounded the doughs together with another spoon, shaping between the two spoons back and forth.  You don't have to worry about keeping each batter pristine since they're going to be marbled together anyway.  I put the marbled dough balls in the freezer first to firm up then baked them in the convection setting of my oven to prevent too much spreading.

The recipe says this makes 60 cookies - if you make them small, I suppose you could come up with 60.  I only ended up with 28 "regular-size" cookies.  If you do make them a bit larger, adjust the baking time accordingly.  The original directions say to bake just until the lighter-colored dough just begins to brown but I baked mine for longer than that since they were bigger and when the lighter colored dough started to brown, the middles of the cookies were still "wet" and raw.  I had to bake them long enough that the lighter-colored dough actually did turn light brown.  Consequently, they didn't look like white and chocolate doughs marbled together.  More like chocolate chip cookie dough marbled with chocolate dough.  Next time I'll aim to make them smaller and see if they'll look more like vanilla and chocolate marbled cookies.  In any case, these also tasted like chocolate chip cookies marbled with chocolate cookies.  They were pretty good but not quite as special as I had hoped.  I'm glad I tried them but I don't know if they'd make my holiday baking list (that bar is quite high).  Regardless, if you do make these, make them small and be sure not to bake them too long.  I know I say that with almost every cookie recipe but the texture really does change - if you underbake them properly, the chocolate cookie part is fudgy, if you bake them "just right" but not overbaked, the chocolate cookie part is cakey but not dry.  I prefer the fudgy version.  The lighter colored cookie seems like it's just along for the ride.

2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs
¼ cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder, sifted
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, cut into ½-inch pieces
1 ¾ cups pecan pieces

1.     Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 375˚F.
2.     In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.
3.     In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugars at medium-high speed until light, about 2 minutes.  Beat in the vanilla extract and eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition and scraping down the sides of  the bowl as necessary.  At low speed, add the flour mixture, mixing just until blended.
4.     Transfer 1 ¾ cups dough to another bowl and set aside.  Add the cocoa powder to the dough remaining in the mixer bowl and mix on low speed until blended.  Add half of the chocolate and half of the pecans and mix until blended.  Stir the remaining chocolate and pecans into the light colored dough.
5.     Fill one side of a 1-tablespoon measuring spoon with the light dough, making it well rounded, not level.  Fill the remaining half with chocolate dough.  Roll the doughs into a ball and place on an ungreased baking sheet.  Moisten your palm to prevent sticking, and flat the dough into a 1 ½-inch disk.  Repeat with the remaining dough, spacing the cookies 2 inches apart.  Bake one sheet at a time, for 8 to 10 minutes, until the lighter dough just begins to color.  Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature up to a week.  Makes about 60 cookies.

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