Double Chocolate Cookies with Optional Fruit and Nuts

IMG_2682These cookies took me three batches to really get right, but most certainly worth the effort.

As I’ve documented here before on many occasions, cookbooks aren’t always so clear or even reliable.  And with each recipe I bring my own preconceived ideas about things, in this instance it was the size of the cookie.  They just seemed impossibly BIG and the amount of batter was way to much to be formed into the 1 foot logged called for.   After some wrangling I came to realize one of the things that gives these over the top cookies their texture is their size.  Also, really, how many of us have ever met a cookie that was too big?  Even if it was too big that is why you have friends, so that you can share your overly big cookies with.  However, in this case I think you will find that once you have started to eat one of these intensely chocolate cookies you will not being sharing it with anyone!  Thankfully this recipe makes a fair amount of cookies so all your friends and loved ones can have one for themselves.

These cookies are time consuming, but very straight forward to make.   The original recipe comes from The Model Bakery cookbook, which I have been baking my way through for the last month.  I’m working my way up to making the homemade English Muffins on the cover (tho I’m sure mine won’t look anywhere near as perfect as the ones pictured).

The original recipe for these cookies calls them Chocolate Rads which are made with walnuts (my version uses pecans and dried sour cherries).   The photo of the cookie in the book looks very under baked to me and having made them three times now and watched them very carefully in the 15-20 minute period I find that 18-20 minutes are when I like them, they a moist and chewy with a slight crunch around the edges, if you prefer a more doughy cookie try different baking times.   I’d say no less than 15 minutes tho.

The most perplexing thing about the recipe is that it says it makes 12 cookies.  Really?  I’m not sure how that is possible given that, to begin with, there is nearly 2 pounds of chocolate in the batter, more on this later…

Bottom line: any quibbles I may have had with the recipe are minor especially compared to the outstanding results.   Try them, you will love them.

Double Chocolate Cookies with Pecans and Dried Sour Cherries

In a small bowl add: 2/3 cup all purpose flour, 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt (kosher salt works too) and 2 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder. Whisk briefly to incorporate. Set aside.

Put a pot of water on the stove and bring to a very gentle simmer.IMG_2664In a large stainless steel or other heat proof bowl add:  1 lb of semi sweet finely chopped chocolate or chocolate chips (from 55-63 % works best). Place over the water and melt, stirring occasionally take off the heat the minute the chocolate has melted.

Stir into the melted chocolate: 4 Tablespoons of room temperature unsalted Butter stirring until the butter has melted and is completely incorporated.IMG_2665In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment add :  1 2/3 cups of sugar and 4 large room temperature eggs.  Beat on high speed for 5 minutes or more, the mixture should be thick, fluffy and a very pale yellow.IMG_2662Add: 1 Tablespoon of room temperature Espresso and 2 1/2 teaspoons of Bourbon (or vanilla) and beat to incorporate.

Reduce the speed to low and slowly add the chocolate mixture.  Don’t over mix.  Stop the machine and add the flour mixture.  Turn the machine back on slow and mix.  You will need to stop at least once during the process to scrap down the sides with a spatula.

Once everything is mixed it remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in: 2 cups of semisweet chocolate chips, 1 cup of chopped Pecans and 1 cups of Chopped dry Tart Cherries (optional). IMG_2666Let this wet mixture sit for 30 minutes before rolling it in parchment paper.

So this is the part where this massive batter is supposed to roll up into a 3″ round by 12″ long log.   Mmmmmmmmmm  never worked for me.  Best I could do were two logs one nearly a foot the other 14″  neither of them measured 3″.

Here’s what I suggest: make 2 logs aim for 12″, and anything past 2″ diameter is good.

Scoop the batter out as best you can then form it with slightly damp hands. Remembering once rolled you can further shape it. IMG_2668When you get the shape you like roll it in the parchment paper and twist the ends. Place on a cookie sheet and put in the fridge for 2 hours or up to over night.IMG_2669

IMG_2671Preheat the oven to 350 F

Unroll your refrigerated cookie “logs” and if you are like me you can measure them to see how close you got to the original instructions of 12 x 3!  IMG_2673

IMG_2672Cut the logs into 1″ thick discs.  It seems awful thick, but trust me on this one.  If the log has flattened from sitting on the cookie sheet not to worry the edge can be rounded when you place the discs on the parchment covered cookie sheet. The dough is fairly pliable.

I find a sharp serrated knife cuts the dough best – especially if you used the nuts (which you really should) any sharp knife will do in a pinch.IMG_2677See how thick they are?  6 cookies to a tray max.

Cook in the middle/top third of your oven.  I turn the sheets at the 10 minute mark. After 15 minutes you can start checking to see how under done you want them 😉  I find 20 minutes to be perfect.

I served these at a dinner party with homemade Vanilla Ice Cream and they were by far the hit of the dinner.  If you make these please let me know how yours turn out.IMG_2686

About urbanfoodguy

I'm a self taught cook with a dedication to buying and eating food that is as humanely and sustainably raised as possible. Which is why in addition to recipes you will see a lot of environmental/political reporting here. I started cooking when I was about 6, it's something I always loved to do. Watching Graham Kerr - aka "The Galloping Gourmet" - was what got me started and I have never really looked back. Over the years I've been a private chef, a caterer, and a food stylist for magazines such as Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, Real Simple, Oprah, Martha Stewart's Everyday Food and many more. I've also worked in the prep kitchen for the Food Network on the Bobby Flay and Paula Deen shows. Now I work at home in my kitchen sharing with you here recipes that I create or that other people have created that inspire me and I think you will like. I love my neighborhood (the Lower East Side of Manhattan) and I love to travel. Because NYC is such a big place I tend to focus mostly on my 'hood and the ones that are close by: The East Village, Bowery, Chinatown and Williamsburg. My love of travel has no limits really, I'm always ready to get on a plane. I was lucky enough to have a business for many years that allowed me to spend a lot of time in South East Asia. These days I've been spending time in Mexico, Germany, Canada and the West Coast of the U.S., but check back you never know where I might end up. I do consulting, cooking classes, and freelance lifestyle writing so if you are interested please send me a note:
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1 Response to Double Chocolate Cookies with Optional Fruit and Nuts

  1. reelcharlie says:

    I can attest to the crazy goodness of both varieties of this cookie. I ate 4 of them in a 24 hour period this weekend.

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