In case you ever wonder why I always seem to predominantly make cookies and brownies, I do a lot of care packages and goodie bags to give away to friends and family and those are the easiest things to make and give away. I probably should expand my baking repertoire a little more but what must be baked must be packaged up and given away so that sometimes limits my options. I've spoiled myself over the years in eating only the freshest baked goods, often within minutes after coming out of my oven. Once they're cool and more than a few hours old, I've lost interest and focus on finding them a good home.
In fact, one of the reasons I started this baking blog in the first place was to blog about not only how recipes have turned out but also what I would recommend people can do to make them better so they can bake them on their own. If you don't bake, it's hard to know the joys of a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie 10 minutes out of the oven or the moist fudginess of a really good brownie when it's barely cool. Sure you can buy the stuff but it's just not the same as making it yourself or having immediate access to someone who does.
I also try to match my baking to who I'm seeing and what their favorites are. I'm meeting several different chocolate lovers for dinner and lunch this week so a chocolate chocolate cookie seemed like the right thing to put in their goodie bags. Really, you have to like anything that repeats the word "chocolate" in its title. If you look at the recipe, you'll see the high proportion of chocolate as an ingredient compared to the other ingredients. That means, by all chocolate holiness, please use the best quality chocolate you can. I used Valrhona 70% for this particular recipe. You can also use Lindt, Callebaut, Scharffenberger or something equally hi-falutin'. But use the good stuff. Trust me, it's worth it.
Given the high amount of chocolate in these, it should come as no surprise that they pack a serious chocolate punch. As chocolate-loving as I am, even I drew the line at just having one cookie. At a time. The inside was moist and fudgy, almost like eating baked fudge. If you have a chocolate lover in your life, make these for them and prepare to accept their undying love and adoration.
1 pound bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
4 tablespoons (½ stick) butter, cut into pieces
1 cup walnuts, toasted
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 ¾ cups sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
2 cups chocolate chips
1. Melt the chocolate and butter in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, coarsely chop the walnuts. When the butter and chocolate have melted, remove from the heat.
2. In a standing electric mixer, using the whisk attachment, whip the eggs, sugar and vanilla at high speed until they form a well-defined ribbon when you lift the whisk. Remove the whisk and attach the paddle to the mixer. Turn the speed to low, and mix in the melted chocolate mixture.
3. In another bowl, stir together the flour and baking powder, then add them to the batter. Add the chocolate chips and the nuts. Chill the dough until it is firm, at least 30 minutes.
4. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough with your hands into three 10-inch logs, 2 inches in diameter. If the dough is too cold and firm, wait until it becomes malleable.
5. To bake the cookies, position the oven racks in the center and upper part of the oven and preheat the oven to 350⁰F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
6. Slice the logs into ½”-thick cookies, and place them on the baking sheet, evenly spaced. Bake for about 9 minutes. Rotate the baking sheets and switch racks midway through baking. Once they have cooled, store the cookies in an airtight container.