When you find a cookbook that works for you every time, you naturally go back to it whenever a craving strikes. This weekend, my daughter wanted me to bake her some cookies for her after school snacks this week. So, I headed straight for Alice Medrich’s Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt in Your Mouth Cookies book. The title says it all, but better than that, Alice is a fabulous baker whose recipes are incredibly precise and they work out every time. Plus, she’s fun to read…boy, what I would do to spend a day in that woman’s kitchen. If you loved my (or rather, Alice’s) Mocha Espresso Biscotti, then you will love these.
This recipe caught my eye for a few reasons – when you go through it, you immediately think brownies, and in fact, the ingredients are very much the same, and the cookie batter looks much more like the one for a brownie recipe than say a classic chocolate chip cookie recipe. I was skeptical when dropping the cookie batter on the Silpat baking sheets, but I trusted Alice’s instructions because they always work. And they did.
True to her description, this cookie is truly decadent in its bittersweet richness. There is very little sugar and flour in this recipe, which allows the chocolate to shine through. I used a mix of Bakers bittersweet chocolate for the cookie base, and Ghirardelli bittersweet chips for the chocolate chunks. Bittersweet chocolate for baking is relatively new in my supermarket isle, which had been dominated by unsweetened and semi-sweet chocolate for years. But now, luckily, we have access to more kinds of chocolate, and more brands. Over the weekend while watching a bunch of tv cooking shows on PBS, a test kitchen outcome on Cook’s Country showed that Ghirardelli was number one in dark chocolate tests for best chocolate flavour, followed by Callebaut and then Bakers. So, it looks like I’m using some good stuff for baking. If you’re going to make this recipe, use the best chocolate you’ve got, because these babies are chocolate all the way, with little else to interrupt their flavour.
These are serious and intense in every bite. We girls loved these fresh out of the oven, but I’m happy to report that they tasted even better the next day. Who doesn’t love that?
This is Alice Medrich's recipe from her amazing book, Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt in Your Mouth Cookies. Alice claims these are richer than sin, and I wholeheartedly agree.
These are very chocolatey, so use the best chocolate you've got. I used Ghirardelli bittersweet chips, and Bakers bittersweet squares for melting. Also follow her instructions for adding a bit of extra sugar depending on what cocoa percentage your chocolate has - it will make a difference.
As Alice notes, the batter will start to stiffen almost as soon as you mix it, but don't worry, it will all work out. Just scoop them onto your prepared baking sheets right after mixing the batter, and everything will be fine. I used an ice cream scoop for dropping my cookies onto the baking sheet, but a couple of soup spoons would work too.
- 1/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 8 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate with up to 60% cacao or 7 oz chocolate with 61% to 64% cacao, chopped
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup sugar (plus 1 tbsp if using chocolate with 61% to 64% cacao)
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 6 oz semisweet or bittersweet chocolate with any percentage cacao you like, chopped into generous size chunks, or purchased chocolate chunks
- 2 cups walnut or pecan halves or large pieces (I used a combination of both)
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Position the racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven.
- Line cookie sheets with parchment paper (or Silpat baking sheets).
- Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl and mix together thoroughly with a whisk.
- Place the 8 oz of chocolate and the butter in a large heatproof bowl set directly in a wide skillet of barely simmering water. Stir frequently just until melted and smooth. Remove the chocolate from the skillet and set it aside. Leave the heat on under the skillet.
- In another large heatproof bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, and vanilla together thoroughly. Set the bowl in the skillet and stir until the mixture is lukewarm to the touch. Stir the egg mixture into the warm (not hot) chocolate. Stir in the flour mixture, then the chocolate chunks and nuts.
- Scoop slightly rounded tablespoons of batter and place 1 1/2 inches apart onto the lined cookie sheets.
- Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, until the surface of the cookie looks dry and set and the centres are still gooey. Rotate the sheets from top to bottom and from front to back halfway through the baking time to ensure even baking.
- Set the pans or just the liners on racks to cool. Let the cookies cool completely before storing or stacking.
- May be kept in an airtight container for up to 3 days.