This blog post was written by editorial intern Perry, who once had great culinary aspirations that included Parisian pastry school.
Bittersweet Decadence Cookies
Now that Thanksgiving has past and it is socially acceptable to be excited about Christmas, we’ve decided to share with all of you one of our great traditions here at Workman – the Holiday Cookie Swap. Every year at the holiday party, a bunch of us bake cookies and have a cookie swap. We all bring in a batch of homemade cookies, put them all out on a table, and then everyone can put together a box, providing families, roommates and (let’s be honest) ourselves with an assortment of homemade cookies for the holiday.
And now we’d like to invite you to join the fun! For the month of December, we are going to post a delicious cookie recipe every Sunday until Christmas from one of our cookbooks that you can try at home. We’ll share our experiences making them and we hope you’ll do the same in the comments section below!
This week, I chose to make the Bittersweet Decadence Cookies from Alice Medrich’s Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-In-Your-Mouth Cookies.
This great cook book won the 2010 IACP Baking Book of the Year. The pictures are gorgeous and it is uniquely organized by texture. So there’s a section on crispy cookies, chewy cookies, gooey cookies, etc. I was drawn to the chunky section. I’m usually a pie kind of gal myself, but you can’t beat a cookie chock full of stuff. These decadence cookies are full of chocolate chunks and nuts, all held together by a bittersweet dough. Once I got a look at the picture, I was hooked! You’ll find the recipe at the very bottom of this post, but first, let me show you how it went for me.
Cookie Night In The World’s Smallest Kitchen
Baking these went really smoothly for me. Now I consider myself a pretty proficient baker—up until about two months ago, I was seriously considering pastry school. But you don’t have to have much experience to make these little beauties! The real challenge was dealing with my tiny New York kitchen:
Yes, this is literally the whole thing.
Despite the small space (my roommate Alexa—who you’ll meet later—and I affectionately call our apartment, “The Shoebox”), I soldiered on. I gathered up the necessary ingredients….
You’re looking at a majority of my counter space.
… and got started! This recipe involves 3 bowls and a double boiler. I mixed up my dry ingredients in one bowl, the egg/sugar mixture in another, and melted the chocolate and butter together in the third.
Once I combined all of those together, I end up with a dough that looked like this:
This was the exact moment that my wonderful roommate, Alexa, walked in and grabbed a spoon:
I then scooped the dough out onto a cookie sheet and baked them for 14 minutes. Apparently, my oven runs pretty cold; when I took the first batch out, they were only half-baked. I ended up turning the oven up to 450°F (my oven runs really cold) and 10 minutes later they were perfect! Know your oven, people. Know your oven.
That’s me in the hat!
Needless to say, these cookies turned out pretty damn good! Fresh out of the oven, they were warm and gooey with a nutty crunch in every bite. Alexa’s boyfriend was pretty excited when he came home from a hard day at work to find a plate of awesome waiting on the counter. (Editorial intern Rachel would like to add that she was equally excited when I brought a few extras into the office on Wednesday morning.)
The best part is that these are easily customizable to your tastes – you can throw anything you want in there! Next time, I’m going to mix in crushed potato chips and see what happens!
If you’d like to see what else Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-In-Your-Mouth Cookies has to offer, you can get a copy by following the links at the bottom of this post. And if you’d like to tell us about your experience making these cookies, or if you have any other cookies you’d like to see us try, let us know in the comments!
Bittersweet Decadence Cookies
Makes 30-36 cookies
1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
8 oz bittersweet or semi sweet chocolate with up to 60% cacao or 7 oz chocolate with 61% to 64% cacao, chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar (plus 1 tablespoon if using chocolate with 61%-64% cacao)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
6 oz semisweet or bittersweet chocolate with any percentage cacao you like, chopped into generous-sized chunks, or purchases chocolate c hunks
2 cups walnut or pecan halves or large pieces
Cookie sheets, lined with parchment paper
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven.
2. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl and mix together thoroughly with a whisk.
3. Place the 8 ounces of chocolate and the butter in a large heatproof bowl set directly in a wide skillet of barely simmering water. Stir frequently until just melted and smooth. Remove the chocolate from the skillet and set it aside. Leave the heat on under the skillet.
4. In another large heatproof bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar and vanilla together thoroughly. Set the bowl in the skillet and stir until the mixture is lukewarm to the touch. Stir the egg mixture into the warm (not hot) chocolate
[This is important—if the chocolate is too hot, you'll end up with scrambled eggs. And that would be super gross.]
5. Stir in the flour mixture, then the chocolate chunks and nuts.
6. Scoop slightly rounded tablespoons of batter and place 1.5 inches apart onto the lined cookie sheets. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, until the surface of the cookie looks dry and set and the centers ares still gooey. Rotate the sheets from top to bottom and from front to back half way through the baking time to ensure even baking. Set the pans or just the liners on racks to cool. Let the cookies cool completely before storing or stacking. May be kept in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
* To Make The Dough Ahead: Refrigerate or freeze scoops of batter until hard. Place them in an airtight bag and refrigerate for up to 3 days, or place in a second freezer bag or airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to bake, thaw frozen scoops in the refrigerator. Place scoops on lined pan, bring to room temperature, and bake as directed.
** The intern surprise: add crushed potato chips