baking beast

a suspicious creature has been lurking around the streets, leaving behind delights that dreams are made of. what's to become of this baking beast?

Monday, January 10, 2005

chocolate whoppers

i made these "chocolate whoppers" from maida heatter's cookies book tonight. actually it is also listed in her book of great desserts as "mulattoes" but has 1 tsp of baking powder and uses all walnuts (which i decided to do anyway) instead of half pecans and walnuts in the new recipe..but i chose to use the new version with 1/4 tsp baking powder and i am glad i did. my friend's birthday was today and i didn't think about making her anything over the weekend.. and i realized it today!! i felt really bad and asked her to make a request for anything she wanted.. she replied with chocolate and walnuts. well, i think i embodied her request in a truly decadent cookie!! not much more than chocolate and walnuts, these cookies are crackled in appearance on the outside, and fudgy and dense on the inside. wonderfully chocolatey, chock full of nuts, and easy to make! also, the walnuts aren't overwhelmingly walnutty.. my brother, who usually hates walnuts, said these cookies were good and enjoyed them!!(which, for his criticalness, equates to a very good, according to my scale... ;) ) it amazed me that he would actually eat something with walnuts and deem it good! maida heatter never fails.. :) hopefully my friend will forgive me for being a day late!

cookies packed up ready to be received and devoured

Chocolate Whoppers
From Maida Heatter's Cookies

Makes 15 tremendous cookies

We were at the Soho Charcuterie, one of my favorite restaurants in New York City. They brought us a dish of huge, gorgeous, dark chocolate cookies that we had not ordered. They smiled secretively and knowingly, and watched me. I tasted one; it was wonderful. I was just about to ask for the recipe when they said, "These are yours." I soon learned that they meant it both ways: The cookies were mine to eat or take with me, and also, the recipe was from my first book. They had increased the size of the cookies and made a few other little changes and they called them Chocolate Gobs. They told me that they couldn't make them fast enough. This recipe is based on their adaptation.

At Sonrisa bakery, in beautiful Rancho Santa Fe in southern California, these are called Charlie's Cookies, in memory of a friend of ours who was a great World War II naval pilot. His name was Charles Stimpson, and he shot down 17 Japanese planes. These were Charlie's favorites.

2 ounces (2 squares) unsweetened chocolate
6 ounces semisweet chocolate
3 ounces (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 cup sifted all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons powdered (not granular) instant coffee or espresso
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 ounces (1 cup) semisweet chocolate morsels (see Note)
4 ounces (generous 1 cup) walnuts, broken into large pieces
4 ounces (generous 1 cup) toasted pecans (see To Toast Pecans, page 4), broken into large pieces

Adjust two racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat oven to 350°F. If you are baking only one sheet, adjust a rack to the middle of the oven. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or foil.

Place the unsweetened chocolate, semisweet chocolate, and butter in the top of a small double boiler over hot water on moderate heat. Cook, covered, for a few minutes. Then stir occasionally until melted and smooth. Remove the top of the double boiler and set aside, uncovered, to cool slightly.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt, and set aside.

In the small bowl of an electric mixer, beat the eggs, sugar, coffee or espresso, and vanilla at high speed for a minute or two.

Beat in the melted chocolates and butter (which may still be quite warm) on low speed just to mix. Add the sifted dry ingredients and again beat on low speed just to mix, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary with a rubber spatula to incorporate the ingredients. Remove from the mixer and transfer to a larger bowl.

Stir in the chocolate morsels, the walnuts, and the pecans.

Use a 1/3-cup metal measuring cup to measure the amount of batter for each cookie. Put five cookies on each cookie sheet, one in the middle and one toward each corner. Use a rubber spatula to push the mixture into the measuring cup and then to scoop it out onto the lined sheet (the dough is gooey). Do not flatten the tops.

Bake two sheets at a time, reversing the sheets top to bottom and front to back once during baking to ensure even baking. Bake for 16 to 17 minutes-no longer. The surface of the cookies will be dry but the insides will still be soft. There is really no way to test these; just use a portable oven thermometer before baking to be sure your oven is right, and then watch the clock.

If the sheets have four rims the cookies and papers or foil will have to wait on the sheets until cool. If you have used cookie sheets with only one or two raised rims, you can slide the papers off the sheets and let stand until the cookies are cool. (It is not necessary to let the sheet cool before sliding it under another paper with unbaked cookies on it.)

When the cookies have cooled, use a wide metal spatula to release them and turn them over to air the bottoms a bit.

I wrap these individually in clear cellophane, and I know of a few bakeries that do the same and charge up to $4.00 or $5.00 for each cookie.

Note: If you wish, in place of semisweet morsels, use 6 ounces of Tobler Tradition, Excellence, or any similar chocolate, cut into 1/2-inch chunks.


Blogger Cathy said...

They're gorgeous Emily and sound delicious too! There are so many cookie recipes to try - the problem is finding homes for all of them!


10:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Emily, I couldn't agree with your post (chocolate whoppers) more. light cooking magazine

1:50 PM  

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