Houston, we have a winner!
Because even Sesame Street has to hit a homerun every now and then. Sammy and I have continued our baking adventures during the day while Alex is at school. The cookie we made after the Whole Wheat Brownies with a Minty Mocha Twist were (ironically, given we used one of my cookbooks) not worth blogging about. So next it was Sammy’s turn to choose, and she returned, of course, to the Sesame Street Yummy Cookies: Baking with Kids book. I made some changes, and this is an awesome chocolate cookie. Further, it freezes really well, so do as I did and double the recipe, only baking some of them.
The more Sammy and I bake, the more I have been trying to relax and let her do things that aggravate the control freak inside of me. She has started scraping down the sides of the bowl–a task which is not so scary, just time consuming (no I am not naturally patient either). I usually re-scrape after her, to make sure she did not miss anything.
I have also (gasp!) started letting her dump the flour into the mixing bowl. This is much scarier, and it is all I can do to not surreptitiously help. I am proud to say I did let her do it (ok the second half of it, when the bowl was not as full) and even prouder to say she did not spill any. PHEW!
Sammy and I decided to get really chocolate crazy with our mix-ins for this cookie. We used baking M&Ms, Guittard bittersweet chips, Guittard white chocolate discs, and Scharffenberger cacao nibs. I am in love with that combination (most of which was insisted on by Sammy–the girl has good instincts!) but I am sure you could sub in whatever you liked–nuts, dried fruit, other chocolate chips or chopped chocolate. And I subbed in some cocoa powder for some of the white flour. The recipe below reflects how I made the cookies, including the doubling–just cut it in half if you want less, but I encourage you again to make it as is, scoop out balls of dough and freeze them for later, spontaneous baking. You won’t be sorry. (I should add, whether you choose to freeze some or not, this is a dough that benefits from resting, so plan ahead.)
- 8 oz unsweetened chocolate I used Scharffenberger
- 270 g (2 cups) whisked, spooned, leveled AP flour
- 1/4 cup natural cocoa powder sifted (I used Ghiradelli)
- 1 cup whisked, spooned, leveled white whole wheat flour
- 1 cup whisked, spooned, leveled spelt flour
- 1 T baking powder
- 1/2 t fine sea salt
- 1/2 t coarse sea salt
- 3 cups packed light brown sugar
- 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 T vanilla
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup cacao nibs
- 1 cup baking M&Ms
- 1 1/2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips
- 1 1/2 cups white chocolate baking discs or chips--but be sure to use true white chocolate
Melt the unsweetened chocolate in 30 second intervals on 50% powder in the microwave. When it is completely melted, stir it smooth and set it aside.
Whisk together the flours, cocoa, baking powder, and salts. Set aside.
Beat the butter in a large bowl until smooth (an electric mixer works best for this). Add the sugar in 2 installments, beating until the mixture is lightened and fluffy. Scrape the sides down as needed. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until well blended after each egg. Scrape down the sides and bottom and add the vanilla. Beat in until completely blended. Beat in the melted chocolate.
Add the flour mixture in 3 installments, mixing on low speed after each installment (do not worry about completely mixing in the flour in). Add the cacao nibs, M&Ms, chocolate chips and white chocolate disks in 2 installments--be certain after the last installment to scrape down the sides and bottom and make sure that any stray flour is completely mixed in to the mass. Cover with wax paper, pressing tightly to the dough, and chill for at least 6 hours and up to 3 days.
Minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 350 F (or 325 F convection). Scoop out approximately 1/4-cup sized rounds of dough and place 6 to a cookie sheet. Bake for 12 minutes, or until the dough is set and just barely beginning to crack (it may take a minute or 2 longer if you are starting with frozen dough). Cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheets and then transfer to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
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