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The Most Decadent Chocolate Cookies

July 20, 2009

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coookies
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During a particularly dreary afternoon on our recent Cape Cod vacation, I made a decision: I was not only going to bake something, but was going to bake the most decadent chocolate cookies possible. Having just checked out a number of cookbooks from the local library, each with more-than-adequate dessert sections, I was armed and ready for the challenge. After much perusing, I decided on the “Chocolate Wonders” from Sally Schneider’s book, The Improvisational Cook. Containing three cups of nuts and chocolate bound together by a dough that resembles brownie batter more than any anything else, these treats definitely fit the decadence bill. Our ‘chunky add-ins’ included dry roasted salted almonds, semi-sweetened chocolate chips, and the real kicker, chopped Perugina Baci bars–an Italian candy bar comprised of hazelnut paste, chopped hazelnuts, and semi-sweet chocolate.

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chunks
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The cookies came out very well, though I must say that a well-insulated cookie sheet is a must…With that many sugary, chocolaty, chunks these guys have a tendency to burn.

As always, enjoy. I think it would be hard not to.

Chocolate Wonders
From “The Improvisational Cook” by Sally Schneider

8 oz semisweet chocolate or 6 oz semisweet and 2 oz unsweetened; coarsely chopped
6 tbsp butter
1/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp kosher salt
2 eggs, at room temperature
2 tsp instant espresso powder (optional)
2 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup sugar

1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
* or any combination of chunky additions totaling 3 cups. see below for more ideas:

Chunky Variations:
roasted hazelnuts
milk or white chocolate chips
pecans
roasted pistachios
peanut butter chips
almonds, cashews, macadamia nuts or peanuts (best roasted); coarsley chopped
candy bars ( peanut butter cups, M&M’s, peppermint patties, nut brittle; coarsley chopped)

1. Preheat oven to 325F.
2. Melt chocolate with butter over a double boiler; remove from heat and cool to room temp.
3. Sift flour, baking powder and salt together.
4. Beat eggs, espresso powder and vanilla; add sugar and beat until thick. Add chocolate mix and mix until just combined; then add dry ingredients.
5. Fold in chunky ingredients
6. Drop dough onto parchment or foil-lined baking sheets by the heaping tablespoon, leaving 1 1/2″ between each cookie. Bake 16-17 minutes (rotating pans halfway through to ensure even baking) or until tops look set and slightly cracked. When done, cookies should barely hold together.

Makes 20 large cookies.

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chocolate!
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