I had this wonderful plan today to try these new Bon Appetit cookies that have been making the rounds over on the CLBB. Full of lots of dark chocolate and made with egg whites but no butter or flour they look super intriguing—and are getting great reviews.
Then I realized they called for loads of confectioner’s sugar—the one kind of sugar I am bad at keeping on hand.
By then I had already pulled out the Scharffen Berger semi sweet chocolate bars and was dreaming of something more chocolate than not—not buttery, not vanilla, not anything really other than deeply, darkly chocolate.
So I pulled this old standby out instead. It is from Alice Medrich’s Bittersweet, which is enough of a recommendation right there. It is the book I turn to when I want something more chocolate than not—Medrich believes in reducing traditional accompaniments such as butter in an effort to make things more chocolatey. There are times when I don’t agree with this—for example when I am craving a Lisa Yockelson Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake. But when I want that high cacoa percentage and not much else kind of baking, Medrich is whom I turn to. She keeps it simple—and the results are divine, decadent, and very, very chocolatey. High quality chocolate is a must in her recipes.
I once made this recipe for my in laws—I was excited about it, because my mother in law in particular likes indulgent chocolate desserts. And I forgot the flour. When you look at the recipe you will see why this was possible. It was pretty embarrassing—but actually the results were not half bad. She insisted they were fine—but of course she hadn’t had the cookies made correctly (plus I am sure she was trying to make me feel better).
Bittersweet Decadence Cookies
Adapted from Bittersweet, Alice Medrich
¼ cup AP flour
¼ t baking powder
1/8 t salt
7 oz. 60-63% cacoa chocolate, coarsely chopped (Scharffen Berger semi sweet, for exs)
2 T unsalted butter
2 large eggs
½ cup + 1 T sugar
1 t pure vanilla extract
2 cups walnuts or pecans, broken or chopped into large pieces (I left out—I am not a nut fan; this will reduce your recipe by a few cookies and make the cookies a bit flatter, but otherwise is fine)
6 oz. of same chocolate, chopped into chucks (heat gently in the microwave to make chopping easier; set aside in fridge or freezer if they get too soft)
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together thoroughly; set aside.
Place 7 oz of chocolate and the butter in a large heatproof bowl in a double boiler and stir frequently just until melted and smooth. Remove the chocolate from the pan and set aside. Leave the heat on under the saucepan.
In a large heatproof bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar and vanilla together thoroughly. Set the bowl in the double boiler and stir until the mixture is lukewarm to the touch. Stir the eggs into the warm (not hot) chocolate. Whisk in the flour mixture, then mix in the nuts (if using) and the chocolate chunks.
Scoop gently rounded tablespoons of the batter 1 1/2 inches apart on cookie sheets. Bake until the surface of the cookies looks shiny, cracked and set but the center is still gooey, 12-14 minutes. Swap the sheets top to bottom and front to back halfway through the baking.
Place cookie sheets on racks and let cool or carefully slide the cookies onto the racks to cool.