Sunday, October 3, 2010

Super Duper Chocolate Cookies

These cookies come with a disclaimer: I am not to be held liable for any action, reaction, or lack of action that is the result of eating this cookie. Another disclaimer: these cookies will not always be perfect. This weekend, however, these cookies were perfect. Divine, actually. Every bite I took of every cookie from this batch was a spiritual experience. Every cell in my body warmed and tingled at the taste of these cookies. Oh yes, they there that good.

My super-duper chocolate cookies are developing a reputation among the people who have had the privilege of eating my baked goods over the past couple of years. I cannot honestly remember the first time I made these, nor how long ago it really was. The recipe is out of my favorite cookbook, The New Best Recipe, but with my own minor twist which makes it a quadruple chocolate cookie. The recipe calls for cocoa powder, semisweet chocolate, and my addition of bittersweet chocolate chips and white chocolate chips. The better your chocolate, the better the cookie (I always use Ghirardelli).

Back to these cookies. I feel like I should start naming my batches of cookies, because really, every batch is not the same. I don't know what it is that made these turn out so perfectly, but the result was amazing. The baking gods were surely smiling down upon me as I was baking them. Maybe it was Barbara Streisand- I was watching Funny Girl as I baked. Maybe it was the pajamas- I don't usually bake in pajamas. Or maybe the temperature of the kitchen, combined with the temperature and freshness of the ingredients, led to the perfect conditions for the perfect cookie. No matter. Without further ado, here is the recipe:

Super-Duper Chocolate Cookies
adapted from The New Best Recipe

Makes roughly 2 1/2 dozen

2 cups (10 oz) all-purpose flour
½ cup (1 ½ oz) Dutch-processed cocoa
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
16 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
4 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp instant coffee or espresso powder
10 tbsp (1 ¼ sticks) unsalted butter, softened but still cool
1 ½ cups packed (10 ½ oz) light brown sugar
½ cup (3 ½ oz) granulated sugar
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips

1. Sift together first four ingredients in medium bowl; set aside.

2. Melt the chocolate in a double-boiler (in a heat-proof bowl over simmering water); remove from heat. In a small bowl, beat the eggs and vanilla lightly with a fork, sprinkle the coffee powder over to dissolve, and set aside.

3. Using an electric mixer with a paddle attachment beat the butter at medium speed until smooth and creamy, 5 seconds. Beat in the sugars until combined, about 45 seconds; the mixture will look granular. Reduce the speed to low and gradually beat in the egg mixture until incorporated, about 45 seconds. Add the chocolate in a steady stream and beat until combined, about 40 seconds. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. With the mixer at low speed, add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Do not over beat. Add the chocolate chips and incorporate using a rubber spatula. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature until the consistency is scoopable and fudge-like, about 30 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, adjust the oven racks to the upper- and lower-middle positions and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Scoop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets using a size 20 ice cream scoop (about 2-in).

5. Bake until the edges of the cookies have just begun to set but the centers are still very soft, about 8-10 minutes (depending on your oven), rotating the baking sheets from front to back and top to bottom halfway through the baking time. Cool the cookies on the sheets about 10 minutes, slide the parchment with the cookies onto wire racks, and cool to room temperature.


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