I have been on a roll with this oversized cookie thing. First there was a giant cookie, now we have a cookie slab. A double chocolate cookie-brownie slab. Come to think of it, a gluten-free double chocolate cookie-brownie slab.
Half of the slab became brownie-like slices, and the other half – I had a dog bone-shaped cookie cutter, so there were double chocolate dog bones.
In the evening, Mr Gander and I had this exchange:
Mr Gander: what’s this?
Me: A giant cookie slab. Or cookie slab. As a cookie, it’s giant; but as a slab, it’s merely normal sized.
Mr Gander: and these?
Me: Dog bone cookie cut-out things.
Mr Gander: … …
(ps, he ate them anyway)
These were made from the recipe for double chocolate cookies, as part of this week’s Tuesdays With Dorie (TWD) assignment. I made this recipe using a mix of gluten free flours, following the ratio of 60% starch (I used potato starch and white rice flour), 40% whole grain (I used quinoa, brown rice and corn flour) from Gluten Free Girl. I also used more 85% chocolate, because I like my chocolate dark and cookies giant.
The resulting cookie slab was a super-intense chocolate hit, dense, almost toothsome, not unlike drinking a doppio (double shot espresso) from the original Campos cafe. Best enjoyed in small bites with equally strong tea or coffee, or a scoop of vanilla ice cream. If made with more milk chocolate, it would become a perfect companion to a glass of cold milk too. The recipe only uses a small amount of flour, with a huge quantity of chocolate, so I don’t think the GF flours affected the texture much, unless it made the cookies slab a little bit more crumbly.
Is it my favourite cookie? I don’t want to play favourites. There are so many cookies recipes, classic ones like Poilane’s punitions (so, dog bone shaped punitions??) and new ones like pork floss shortbread (give it a go!) or Smitten Kitchen’ buttered popcorn cookies. These double chocolate cookies were pretty tasty, and the recipe provides a good base for playing around – I’m thinking cinnamon, chilli powder, peanut butter, nutella, chopped hazelnuts. Maybe even popcorn. Or peanut butter chips or butterscotch chips if you are in the US (I haven’t seen them in Australia, if anyone knows where I can find them, please let me know?)
Baking notes: There are a few steps in the recipe, and you really need the kitchen mixer to whip the eggs (for that brownie-like crackly top), and the dough needs to rest in the fridge for a few hours for easy shaping (I rested mine for an hour, since I wasn’t shaping individual cookies). So these are not quick mid-week cookies, but they seem to keep for at least 2-3 days in an airtight container. Also, I halved the recipe, and it made a decent cookie slab.
And…it’s past midnight here. Time to publish before I blatantly miss the TWD deadline. Please visit the TWD blog to see what other bakers have done with this recipe, and buy the book, Baking with Julia, by Dorie Greenspan.
Please come back later in the week to read about our Moroccan-ish feast for 12, and travel photos from around Mount Kosciusko, Australia’s highest mountain range.
Double chocolate cookies
(from page 329 of Baking with Julia, recipe also available from various places on the internet)
12 ounces or 340 grams bittersweet chocolate (I used about 70 grams of 70% and 240 grams of 85%), cut into chunks
4 ounces or 114 grams unsweetened chocolate (I used 85%), coarsely chopped
1/2 cup or 65 grams all-purpose / plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups or 195 grams granulated / castor sugar
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder or 1 tablespoon instant coffee granules
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 stick / 4 ounces / about 114 grams unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1. Making the cookie dough: Divide the bittersweet chocolate in half. Place half (6 oz or 170 grams) of the bittersweet chocolate, and the unsweetened chocolate in the top of a double boiler over, but not touching, simmering water. Heat the mixture, stirring occasionally, until the chocolates are melted and smooth. Remove from the heat.
2. Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and set aside until needed.
3. Put the eggs, sugar, coffee and vanilla in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat at high speed for about 10 minutes, until the mixture is very thick and forms a slowly dissolving ribbon when the whisk is lifted and the mixture is allowed to drizzle back into the bowl. (While I like to mix by hand, I needed the mixer to get the eggs to the right consistency)
4. Very gradually add the warm chocolate. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and work rubber spatula around the bottom of the bowl, then continue to mix just until the chocolate is incorporated. Add the melted butter. Add the dry ingredients and mix gently but thoroughly, then stir in the remaining chocolate chunks. The mixture will look like a thick, marshmallowy cake batter.
5. Cover the bowl with plastic and chill for several hours, or overnight (I rested my dough for an hour only). The dough can be kept refrigerated for up to 4 days.
6. Baking the cookies: When you are ready to bake, position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 350˚F / 175˚C.
7. Line two large baking sheets / baking trays with baking paper / parchment paper. Using a heaping tablespoon of dough for each cookie, drop the dough onto the lined sheets, leaving at least 2 inches of space between each mound of dough.
8. Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, rotating the pans front to back and top to bottom halfway through the baking period. The cookies will puff, then sink and crinkle and wrinkle around the edges. Repeat with the remaining dough. Use a wide metal spatula to transfer the cookies to cooling racks to cool to room temperature.
Note, the recipe says these cookies are better underdone than overbaked, so if you have any doubts, pull them out of the oven earlier rather than later. These shouldn’t appear dry and they won’t be crisp. On baking times, since I had a cookie slab, I baked it for about 18 minutes.