Over The Top Chocolate Cookies

These large cookies are a mouthful of chewy bittersweet chocolate, accentuated by chunks of walnuts and pecans. Pure decadence! I've been meaning to try these for a long time and I'm so glad I did! And yes, they look as good as they taste!!

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There is a full pound of chocolate in these guys, plus two cups of chocolate chips! I can hear you yelling, "what about the calories?!! And I understand, believe me, but these are worth it! Run an extra mile or two, or do more of whatever torture, (read exercise) you do so that you can indulge in one of these with a little less guilt. I say one, because you'll probably only be able to manage one at time, since they're fairly large, thick and pretty rich, so actually there's some portion control at work here, thank god!

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Since chocolate is so dominant here, use the best of whatever you have on hand. The more I bake and cook, the more I realize that it really is the quality of the ingredients you use, that determines the deliciousness factor of the outcome. I'm learning that rather than settle, when I don't have the best around, that I should put off that next baking project, instead of making do. So, better to bake less, but with better quality ingredients, which is sort of the way we should live our lives. Wouldn't you rather have a little of the best, rather than a whole lot of mediocre?

Ok, enough of my philosophizing, back to what's really important in life--these cookies!! These are not difficult to make and have the added option of being formed into logs that you chill and then slice and bake whenever you want to eat some cookies. You don't even have to chill the cookies, but I think they bake up more uniformly after having been chilled. This is especially good because these cookies are really best when fresh and within a day or so they start to lose the chewiness factor.

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 And this makes two logs so you could bake one right away after chilling and then leave one in the fridge to use whenever you want--it lasts at least a week or a month in the freezer. Truly what's better than having a warm cookie as a late-night snack?

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These are another one of David Lebovitz's specials from Ready for Dessert and since by now, I know you are so ready for them, here's the recipe without any more chitter chatter.


Over The Top Chocolate Cookies

Makes about 40 cookies
Prep Time:  15 minutes; Chill Time: At least 30 minutes; Bake Time: 9 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 lb bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into pieces
  • 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup walnuts or pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped

The Recipe

1.  Place chopped chocolate and butter in a large heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Stir occasionally until melted and smooth. Remove from the heat.

2.  In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.

3.  For a stand mixer, use the whisk attachment and whisk together the eggs, sugar and vanilla on high speed for about 5 minutes until the mixture forms a well-defined ribbon when the beater is lifted. For a hand held mixer, this will take longer. On low speed, pour in the melted chocolate mixture until thoroughly incorporated. Remove from the mixer and use a rubber spatula to stir in the flour mixture, followed by the chocolate chips and the nuts.

4.  Cover and refrigerate dough until it is firm enough to handle, at least 30 minutes.

5.  If you want to bake these right away, preheat oven to 350ºF and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Adjust oven racks to upper and lower thirds of oven.

6.  On a lightly floured board, divide the dough in half. Shape each half into a log 10 inches long and 1 1/2 inches in diameter. (If the dough is too cold to handle, let it stand for a while until it is soft enough to shape).

7.  At this point you can either wrap the logs with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for a week or cut and bake the cookies. If baking now, slice the logs into 1/2 inch thick disks and place on the cookie sheets about 1 inch apart (these don't spread much at al). lf they crumble a bit, just push the dough back together.

8. Bake the cookies, rotating halfway through the baking, back to front and top to bottom, about 9 minutes till cookies are firm at edges. You don't want to overbake these. They should seem slightly underdone.

9.  Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets until cool enough to handle and then transfer with a spatula to the rack to finish cooling. These are delicious when still warm and are best eaten within a day of making them, so plan accordingly.

Note:  These cookies are the Chocolate Chocolate-Chip cookies from David Lebovitz's book, Ready for Dessert. David also says you can make them without chilling them at all by just dropping the cookies by generous tablespoonfuls onto the sheets.  I can't speak to this since I've never tried them this way, but I'm sure they would be wonderful this way too if you don't want to take the time to chill and slice.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

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