The Teen had four friends for a sleepover recently and before they headed out to meet friends late afternoon, I asked them to pick a cookie recipe from my brand new copy of the paperback cookbook “Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-In-Your Mouth Cookies by Alice Medrich”. I figured some freshly baked cookies would be an attractive option for a midnight snack. They opted for a recipe entitled “Bittersweet Decadence Cookies” and added, “no nuts please”… What is it about kids and juvenile adults who can’t handle nuts in their cookies and baked goods???
I read through the recipe and confirmed that we had all of the necessary ingredients and started to bake. This was so INCREDIBLY EASY to make, a feature of many recipe books these days that appear to “dummify” everything, but if they turn out delicious cookies, why not? You don’t even need a mixer, but you DO NEED some excellent chocolate. I was a bit concerned that not using any nuts when the whole recipe seemed to hinge on being bound around nuts, so I doubled the dough recipe, made half without nuts, and the other half with nuts. The first two photos up top are with nuts, the bottom three photos are without nuts. Several of the photos were taken the morning after as the evening shots didn’t turn out too nicely. :)
The recipe is Ms Medrich’s. I only altered the chocolate used to make use of what we had on hand. Combine 1/4 cup of unbleached or bleached all-purpose flour with 1/4 tsp. baking powder and 1/8 tsp. salt and set aside. Melt 8oz. of dark chocolate (60%) with 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter in a medium sized heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water. I used some Callebaut chocolate mixed in with a bar of 70% Valrhona with orange rind. Stir occasionally until melted and smooth. Remove from the heat. Next, take another heatproof bowl and crack two large eggs into it. Add 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon of sugar and 1 tsp. of pure vanilla extract. Whisk this gently over the simmering water until the mixture is lukewarm. Stir the egg mixture into the warm chocolate mixture, then stir in the flour and if using, 2 cups of roughly chopped walnuts or pecans.
Onto cookie sheets lined with parchment of baking paper or silpat silicone mats, drop a heaping tablespoon worth of the batter, placing 12 cookies on each standard sized baking sheet. Bake these in a pre-heated 350F oven and turn the pans around or change racks to ensure even cooking. It will take roughly 12 minutes to cook the cookies, give or take a minute or two. They should look dry on the surface but still be a bit moist/chewy in the center. Remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool completely before removing them from the silpat mats or baking paper.
Thankfully, the nutless ones turned out BEAUTIFULLY. I can’t imagine how so few ingredients, so little flour (but so much chocolate!) would yield such scrumptious cookies. They were a bit like disks of incredibly rich and chocolatey flat brownies with that classic cookie crust. The ones with nuts (for Mrs. MM and myself) were even better in my opinion (the original recipe as it was meant to be cooked). The nuts helped cut the richness of the chocolate while providing a layer of texture and bite. While the recipe says they make roughly 30-36 per batch, we ended up with roughly 60 cookies that evening, but by the next morning, there were less than 20 left to photograph. And that was before the Teens woke up for breakfast! I strongly recommend this easy and delicious cookie recipe, and look forward to trying others from Ms. Medrich’s cookbook. Think of these as sophisticated grown up crinkles without the cloying dusting of powdered sugar. And yes, the quality of chocolate used DOES REALLY make a difference.