chocolate chunk cookiesPosted: May 18, 2012 | |
These cookies are a step (or several) up from the standard chocolate chip cookie. Chocolate chips are made in a way that prevents them from melting too much in the oven – they get soft, but they don’t lose their shape. Good quality chocolate bars, on the other hand, don’t have any anti-melting agents in them. When chopped and mixed into cookie dough, regular chocolate gets nice and gooey in the oven, and thus makes the most delectable cookies.
We awoke this morning to loud banging outside our front door, and discovered that the landlords decided to hire people to tear up and repave the sidewalk. They conveniently neglected to tell us about this, so I guess it’s a good thing I didn’t have anywhere important to be today, as we haven’t been able to leave the apartment all day. I’d like to say that I made the best of things by baking these cookies, but I really baked them two days ago for a get-together yesterday.
I could also have made the best of being trapped indoors by clearing up the exam clutter still littering the apartment. Somehow half of my books made their way off my bookcases over the last few months, plus there are piles and piles of all kinds of papers that need to be put away somewhere/recycled/burned, etc.
I haven’t done this either (yet), but I did clean up some virtual clutter on this blog. I’ve created a “Recipes” page, which you’ll find towards the top right side of the page. It’s a sort of table of contents to the blog, which should make it easier to browse the different recipes I’ve posted thus far. I’ve also put “more” tags in all of the posts so that it’s less time-consuming to scroll down the home page. Hopefully these changes will make the blog a bit more user-friendly. One of these days I am going to learn some HTML so I can deal with some other pesky little things that annoy me about the page format. But for now, I’ve rewarded myself with the last leftover cookie, and will move on to tackling the real mess in my apartment once I’ve shared this recipe with you.
Chocolate Chunk Cookies
I haven’t made any real changes to the recipe, other than slightly decreasing the amount of chocolate – mostly, I didn’t have quite enough chocolate on hand when I made these, and couldn’t be bothered to go out and get more. I found that the cookies were still very chocolate-y indeed. Next time, I might also sprinkle just a few grains of sea salt on each cookie right when they come out of the oven. The recipe makes a huge batch of cookies, so unless you are feeding a brigade of small children, you might like to halve it (I did). The recipe recommends underbaking for soft cookies. I baked for the full time, as they looked too underdone even for my tastes up to that point – this may have to do with my oven. In any case, they stayed very soft after cooling. The recipe recommends cooling the cookie dough for 24 hours in the refrigerator. I didn’t have that much time, so I cooled mine for about 5 hours. If you’re short on time, just cool the dough until it has hardened (an hour?) – the dough will be soft and tricky to work with once you’ve finished making it.
Makes 48 cookies
2 1/2 cups (350 g) all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup (8 oz/225 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup (215 g) packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups (~225 g) nuts, such as walnuts, pecans (what I used), almonds, or macadamia nuts
12 ounces (400 g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate (I used 70%), coarsely chopped
Preheat oven to 350 F (175 C). To toast the nuts, distribute evenly on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, stirring them around halfway through. Allow them to cool, then chop coarsely.
In a small bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together.
In a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment (or you can use a hand mixer and a large bowl), beat the butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and vanilla on medium speed until smooth. Beat in one egg at a time until thoroughly incorporated. Stir in the flour mixture, then the nuts, then the chocolate chunks (be sure to scrape in all the tiny bits of nuts and chocolate shavings – this will help to give the cookies a nice nutty flavor and chewy texture).
Lightly flour a work surface. Dump the dough onto the work surface, and divide into quarters. Shape each quarter into a log about 9 inches long. Wrap each log in plastic wrap and refrigerate until hardened (see note above on timing – anywhere from 1 hour to 24 hours will do, but the longer the better, as it will give the flavors time to blend).
When you’re ready to bake your cookies, preheat the oven to 350 F (175 C) again. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Slice the logs into cookies 3/4 inch thick and place on baking sheet about 3 inches apart. If the chocolate or nuts fall out when slicing, just press them back in. Refrigerate extra dough while cookie batches are baking.
Bake for 10 minutes, until the cookies are just lightly browned in the centers. Cool the cookies on the baking sheet for a few minutes till they are firm enough to move without crumbling, then remove to a wire rack to continue cooling.
Repeat until all cookies are baked. Alternatively, you can store dough logs for up to 1 week in the refrigerator and up to 1 month in the freezer. If you freeze the dough, there’s no need to defrost before baking – just slice and bake as usual, but give the cookies an extra minute or so in the oven. Once baked, the cookies will keep well in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Enjoy!
Adapted from David Lebovitz’s Ready for Dessert