Monday, February 23, 2009

Outrageous Chocolate Cookies

After the Black-Bottom Coconut Bars fiasco, I wanted to give Martha a chance to redeem herself. There’s been a special on the site featuring chocolate recipes. Outrageous Chocolate Cookies sounded great and like all great Martha Stewart recipes, were easy to make.

I took some time to read the comments posted about the recipe. And it paid off. According to the commenters who had tried it, the recipe posted on the site called for too little flour (¼ cup). For some reason, however, if you did a search on the recipe, another page came up with the same recipe except that it called for ⅔ cup of flour which is the correct amount.

I have a few objections with this recipe. Microwaving butter and chocolate, if you know your microwave oven well, is a breeze. I see no reason to do it in 20-second increments, stirring in between, as recommended. I do it in one shot until the butter is melted and chocolate softened and then stir the result until the chocolate has completely melted.

Beating eggs, brown sugar and vanilla on high speed does not result in anything “light and fluffy”. What you get is well-mixed eggs, brown sugar and vanilla. And once you add the chocolate, flour mixture and chocolate chunks (chocolate chunks, yum!), it is very nearly impossible to drop (rounded) heaping tablespoons of dough. The cookies assume all sorts of unappetizing shapes.

One step that was not mentioned, but that I noticed, is that initially the batter is a little runny but if you allow it to sit for ten minutes or so, it thickens and becomes easier to handle and to drop in rounded heaping tablespoons of dough resulting in rounder and more attractive cookies. Like the ones pictured on the site (see below).

The recipe cautions: “Do not bake the cookies to a crisp; they are meant to be soft and chewy.” My results were more cake-like than chewy. I would have preferred chewy. And the taste? Good. And very chocolate-y. But not “outrageous”.

Verdict: Not bad, but I don’t think I’ll be making these again.

Outrageous Chocolate Cookies

8 ounces semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
⅔ cup all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
¾ cup packed light-brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 package (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chunks

Preheat oven to 350°. Heat chopped chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe bowl in 20-second increments, stiffing in between, until almost melted; do not overheat. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.

In a mixing bowl, beat eggs, brown sugar, and vanilla on high speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low; beat in melted chocolate. Mix in flour mixture until just combined. Stir in chocolate chunks.

Drop heaping tablespoons of dough 2 to 3 inches apart into baking sheets. Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until cookies are shiny and crackly yet soft in centers, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on sheets 10 minutes; with a thin metal spatula, transfer to racks to cool completely.

Makes 2 dozen.

Recycle: vanilla extract bottle

Compost: eggshells

1 comment:

A said...

About the baking - I have a favorite chocolate espresso cookie recipe that gives cookies that look a lot like these. They have that same kind of crackly surface. I learned (the hard way) that you have to be really careful not to overbake them, and it takes some practice to know what that looks like. If overbaked they're dry and crunchy, but if not overbaked, they're nice and chewy. So I suspect these might be more chewy if you took them out of the oven a little earlier. And thanks for the tip to let the batter sit first - that might help my recipe too.