Saturday, May 30, 2009

Chocolate Cookies

Per the request of numerous friends who devoured my last batch, here is the recipe for the greatest chocolate cookie ever. Ok, so that's a tall order, but Cook's Illustrated has made quite an amazing recipe (see, science can be fun!).

I will keep my normal preamble short. The chocolate that is used in this recipe is bittersweet, which translates to 62% cocoa. Since its chopped up pretty small I get the chips (since those are easy to find) and chop them up myself. You can go higher or lower on the % if you wish, but I would avoid straying too far. Two other sources of chocolate flavor are espresso powder and the cocoa powder. Espresso powder can be ordered online (more info here) and so can Dutch process cocoa (Valrhona is a good brand). Do not use regular cocoa! Your kitchen will explode (ok, maybe not, but they will not taste the same). I have a box of Dutch process at all times now because I actually use it much more than regular powder.

As far as the baking time goes for these cookies, I fell into the trap of "they look way too moist, I will leave them in" and the first batch got crunchy. Not bad, but these things should be super moist, so when you see them start to crack on the top (the cracks will be gooey), get them out.

Chewy Chocolate Cookies

1/3 cup granulated sugar plus 1/2 cup for coating
1 1/2 C all purpose flour (7 1/2 counces)
3/4 C Dutch process cocoa powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 plus 1/8 t table salt
1/2 C dark corn syrup
1 large egg white
1 t vanilla extract
12 T unsalted butter, softened
1/3 C dark brown sugar (2 1/2 ounces), packed
4 ounces good quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Put 1/2 cup granulated sugar onto a plate and set aside. Whisk flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda together in a small bowl and set aside. In another small bowl whisk together the corn syrup, egg white and vanilla and set aside.

Beat the butter, brown sugar and remaining 1/3 cup of white sugar together until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Add the corn syrup mixture and beat until combined (20 seconds). Add the flour mixture and chopped chocolate and mix on low until just combined (30 seconds), making sure there isn't any unmixed flour pockets. Chill dough for 30 minutes (they say no longer than this).

Roll dough into small balls (recipe says 16 but I have been able to make 24) and then roll the balls in the sugar to coat. Put on baking sheets, 2 inches apart and bake 6-8 minutes, spinning sheets halfway during baking (watch them, they cook fast). Cookies are ready when they have cracked and still look raw in between the cracks. Allow the cookies to cool 5 minutes on the cookie sheets and then cool fully on a wire rack.


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