Insane statistic of the day: last I heard Ike was being blamed for 34 deaths, 19 of which were very inland and 6 of which were in Indiana and 4 in Ohio. What a crazy few days! Who would have guessed Hurricane Ike would still be that big of a storm by the time it got to Ohio? Sure we have had rain–bad rain–from hurricanes before, but that strong of wind? Never in my memory. Luckily for us the wind blew east to west–which meant that while we have a fair amount of tree damage, none of it landed on our house. I am sure our damage looks like nothing compared to what the folks down south are experiencing, but this was so unexpected here in Ohio.
We did experience–while we were outside and John was right under it–the wind ripping the gutter off of the garage. That was a little nerve wracking.
We were out of power for 22 hours–which put us by far among the most fortunate in Ohio. My parents still do not have power (the storm was Sunday). I had an entire post in my head, complete with crazy pictures, of making soup and flatbread on the grill, but it luckily did not come to that.
It was extra lucky because it meant I got to make these cookies Monday also. And oh my are these good. I have seen Savannahs in many cookbooks–and am always regretful because they invariably are chock full of dried fruit and nuts–I do not care for the latter and the former positively give me the wiggins! Yuck (with my sincere apologies to those of you who like fruit and chocolate–but I am not one of them).
Happily for me I suspect Lisa Yockelson is not either. I found this recipe for Chocolate Savannahs, Remodeled in her cookbook, ChocolateChocolate. Because they are pretty much unadulterated chocolate and nothing but, I was instantly intrigued. And let me give a word of warning on that score–these are Seriously Chocolatey. If you are the kind of person who can sit down to a baked mousse or chocolate souffle, the really high percentage cacao kinds, and declare them “too much” for you, then this cookie is not for you. John had this problem with it. But if the phrase “too chocolate” pretty much just brings a look of bafflement to your face, well you are my kinda person and this is your kinda cookie. This category includes me and the kids. Alex actually got mad at me for taking a container of the cookies to John’s work–until I pointed out that the recipe was so big that we still has plenty left here at home.
The texture of these cookies is a fabulous, unexpected treat. I think it is because the eggs are whipped, but as a result the cookies are kind of light and creamy, rather than dense and chewy, despite all that chocolate. Airy and fudgy at the same time–or maybe just perfectly in the middle of that spectrum.
1/3 cup cake flour, fluffed, spooned in, and leveled
1/3 cup AP flour, fluffed, spooned in, and leveled
3 T cocoa powder*
1/2 t baking powder
1/8 t salt
1 1/3 cups plus 2 T superfine sugar
4 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
10 T (1 stick plus 2 T) unsalted butter, melted and cooled to tepid
12 oz bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled to tepid (I used 70% Scharffen Berger)
4 oz unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled to tepid (I used Scharffen Berger)
2 T vanilla extract
3 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 325 F. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper (It will take about 4 sheets or rounds in the oven).
In a large mixing bowl, beat the sugar, eggs and egg yolk on medium speed with an electric hand held beater for 1 minute (longer if you are whisking by hand–you definitely want the eggs to be frothy and increased in volume). Add the vanilla, melted butter and chocolates and continue beating for another 1-2 minutes, until thoroughly combined.
Combine the flours, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder and sift them into the melted chocolate/egg mixture. Blend in completely. Fold in the chocolate chips. Set the dough side for at least 5 minutes (I set it aside for more like 10-15 minutes while my bread was baking for dinner, and the the dough even sat for another hour or so until the last sheet was baked).
Using a medium-large (2 tablespoons) cookie dough scoop, scoop rounds of cookie dough onto the prepared cookie sheet, 2 inches apart (12 cookies per sheet). I thought for sure they would spread into one another, but they will not.
Bake for 10-12 minutes–the baked cookies will no longer look wet on top but will still be somewhat soft. Let them cool on the sheet for 3-4 minutes and then slide the parchment paper onto a cooling rack and let them completely cool.
*Yockelson calls for alkalized (i.e., Dutch processed) cocoa, but I missed that and had one spoonful of natural already spooned in. I had read somewhere that really high quality natural cocoa powders can be used interchangeably with alkalized, but some dispute that if there is baking powder in the dough. Because there was so little baking powder, I decided to just go for it, and it worked fine. I used Scharffen Berger.