Sunday, September 13, 2009

Chocolate Cookies

Double Chocolate Cookies - February 4, 2009

Tonight's baking is Double Chocolate Cookies from Baking with Julia by Julia Child. I've made these cookies before but I forgot to take a picture of them the first time I made them so I had to make them again and take a pic for posterity and my next tastebook. I'm bringing them into work tomorrow for a coworker lunch. These are pretty good - they don't spread that much and are really rich.

The trick to pure chocolate cookies is to use the best quality chocolate possible. It doesn't have to be super high end but don't use the no-name generic, cheap stuff either. It won't be worth making if you do. So many people ask me for recipes and I give it to them but when they make it on their own, they say it didn't turn out like mine. Most of the time, using the right ingredients is the difference. You know you've made chocolate cookies right when you taste them at room temperature and the chocolate flavor really comes through. Also, it's better to underbake cookies rather than overbake them, especially chocolate cookies. The cookies may not look done yet when you take them out of the oven but remember, the chocolate "sets" as it cools. Overbaking will make a dry, tough cookie and those simply aren't worth the calories.

½ cup all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, cut into larger than chip size chunks

1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped

4 large eggs, at room temperature

1½ cups sugar

1. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside until needed. Divide the bittersweet chocolate in half and set half aside.

2. Place the butter, the remaining bittersweet chocolate, and the unsweetened chocolate in the top of a double boiler over, but not touching, simmering water. Heat the mixture, stirring occasionally, until the butter and chocolates are melted and smooth. Remove from the heat.

3. Meanwhile, put the eggs, sugar, coffee and vanilla in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat at high speed for about 10 minutes, until the mixture is very thick and forms a slowly dissolving ribbon when the whisk is lifted and the mixture is allowed to drizzle back into the bowl.

4. With the mixer on low speed, very gradually add the warm butter-chocolate mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and work your rubber spatula around the bottom of the bowl, then continue to mix just until the chocolate is thoroughly incorporated. Add the dry ingredients and the remaining bittersweet chocolate chunks and mix thoroughly. The mixture will look like a thick, marshmallowy cake batter.

5. Chilling the dough: Cover the bowl with plastic and chill for several hours, or overnight. The dough can be made ahead and kept refrigerated for up to 4 days.

6. Baking the cookies: When you are ready to bake, position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.

7. Using a heaping tablespoon of dough for each cookie, drop the dough onto the lined sheets, leaving at least 2 inches of space between each mound of dough – these are spreaders. Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, rotating the pans front to back and top to bottom halfway through the baking period. The cookies will puff, then sink and crinkle and wrinkle around the edges. These cookies are better underdone than overbaked, so if you have any doubts, pull them out of the oven earlier rather than later. These shouldn’t appear dry and they won’t be crisp. Use a wide metal spatula to transfer the cookies to cooling racks to cool to room temperature. Repeat with the remaining dough.

8. Storing: The cookies can be wrapped in plastic and kept at room temperature for 2 days or frozen for up to a month. Thaw, still wrapped, at room temperature.

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