I've been stepping up the baking experiments over the past few days. I have more time to bake now but fewer people to eat my baking since I'm not going into the office anymore or working at the moment. So I have to leverage when I do see people and can pawn off, er, share, my baking experiments. Sometimes I email one (or two) of my ex-coworkers to see if they're around so I can do a dropoff of baked goods that they can share with the rest of the office. No way am I eating all this by myself. I'm also finding I have a dismaying tendency these days to lose my sweet tooth. Sometimes even a bite or two already satisfies. While that may be good for the waistline, it's a little (frankly) irritating when my greedy taste buds wants something but the rest of me says, "hey, that's enough. I'm good." I almost feel betrayed. By myself.
When I can, I like to make up cookie doughs and put them in the freezer for when I need them. Sometimes I'm in the mood to bake and sometimes I'm not. It's so much easier to always have cookie dough on hand ready to bake at a moment's notice when the occasion arises. This one's a bit impractical to do that with since it calls for a glaze and you don't want to hang onto glaze too long. However, I exercised a little creative license and instead of making the glaze, I frosted these with some nutella. I bought the Costco-sized jars so it's almost inevitable that I'm going to be focused on making things with nutella in the immediate future. I'm not big on ganache-type glazes anyway and nothing is simpler than warming up a little nutella for easier spreading. It also has the added advantage that you can use as much or as little as you need from the jar without fussing over making a ganache and using it all at the same time.
The dough for this was pretty soft, almost the consistency of a brownie batter. Let the melted chocolate and butter mixture cool slightly but not too much before you add the rest of the ingredients. You want to add the flour before the chocolate sets or stiffens up and makes mixing harder. The more you have to mix in the flour, the tougher your cookies will be so minimize the mixing as much as possible. Once you have it mixed, let it sit for a few minutes to cool into more of a cookie dough texture then when you scoop it into dough balls, it'll hold its shape better. Lastly, I also omitted the nuts and substituted Heath milk chocolate toffee bits for the raisins. There's no need to ruin a perfectly good chocolate cookie with raisins. Seriously.
This came out pretty fudgy-moist, chocolaty and rich. I don't think I really needed to add the toffee as just chocolate chips would've done. For serious indulgent decadence, let these cool to just slightly warmer than lukewarm so that they're not so fragile but still warm enough to melt the nutella, top with a spoonful of nutella and enjoy blasting into the chocolate stratosphere.
3 ½ ounces unsweetened chocolate (I used 4 ounces)
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1 ¼ cups sugar
2 whole large eggs
1 large egg yolk
1 cup raisins (I substituted Heath toffee bits but you can omit entirely or add more chocolate chips)
¾ cup chopped pecans (optional)
4 ounces (¾ cup) semisweet chocolate chips
½ cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons sugar
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped small
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1. Preheat the oven to 325˚F. Line several baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Melt the unsweetened chocolate and the butter in the top of a double boiler placed over simmering water (don’t let the bottom of the top half of the double boiler touch the boiling water). Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
3. Sift the flour and baking powder together into a small bowl and set aside.
4. Place the sugar in a medium-size mixing bowl, add the melted chocolate mixture, and blend for 10 seconds. Scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula.
5. Add the eggs and the yolk and mix until blended, stopping the bowl once to scrape the sides with a rubber spatula.
6. Add the flour mixture on low speed and mix until blended, stopping the mixer once to scrape the bowl.
7. Add the raisins and blend 5 seconds. Then add the nuts and chocolate chips. Finish the mixing by hand. (If the dough seems too soft, let stand for a few minutes and it'll cool to more of a dough consistency that'll hold its shape when you scoop into dough balls.)
8. Scoop heaping tablespoons of dough and form them into mounds with your hands. Arrange them 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.
9. Bake the cookies until they form a thin crust, 20 to 25 minutes. Allow them to cool on the sheets.
10. Meanwhile, prepare the glaze: place the cream and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, whisking occasionally. Remove from the heat immediately.
11. Add the chocolate and butter to the pan, cover, and let sit about 5 minutes until the chocolate melts.
12. Stir the mixture with a whisk until it is shiny and velvety.
13. Dip each cookie, upside down, in the glaze, coating the entire top. Place right side up on cooling racks or on a sheet of parchment paper to set for several hours.
14. Store the cookies in an airtight container, with parchment paper between the layers, for a couple of days in the refrigerator. After that, store them in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.