You guys, I am in the midst of writing a cookbook and it is eating my brain and consuming my life. Anytime I want to use my computer I have to go all Indiana Jones and excavate my desk from the mounds of chocolate-smudged files covering it. I haven’t seen my friends in weeks but I have seen my stove and kitchen sink approximately 16 hours a day for the past month. I literally went to bed wearing my apron a few nights ago. This way madness lies.
The cookbook is devoted to candy, so as you might imagine we are not lacking for sugary treats around the house. However—and this may be complete self-delusion on my part—I don’t really chow down on too many of the candies I’ve been making. I think they’re too closely associated with the laborious writing process and are a little tainted in my mind. Mmmm…tastes like work.
Don’t worry, though, I’m still my old sugar-loving self. I’ve just had to get my fix elsewhere. Exhibit A: Gooey Chocolate Cookies.
These cookies are magic. They’re baked until they’re just barely set, so although they look like regular chocolate cookies on the outside, they have the most ridiculous fudgy, gooey, get-your-hands-and-chin-sloppy-with-melted-chocolate texture on the inside. They’re like a giant chocolatey hug for stressed brains. (Does that sentence make sense? I don’t even know what words mean anymore.)
I like to add toasted hazelnuts or pecans to my cookies, but you can tweak them to suit your tastes. Espresso powder? Sure! Chopped-up toffee bars? Why not? Peanut butter cups? You little minx, you! And hey, Christmas is coming. Give these puppies a little mint twist and they’re perfect for the holiday gift plate.
I’m sure you know a few stressed brains who could use a giant chocolatey hug. Go forth and gift.
Gooey Chocolate Cookies
Adapted from The Bon Appetit Cookbook by Barbara Fairchild
yield: about 18 cookies
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 lb semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
2 oz unsalted butter
1-3/4 cup brown sugar**
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 cup semi-sweet chips (or white chocolate chips, or peanut butter chips…)
1 cup chopped toasted nuts
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt, and set aside.
Combine the chopped chocolate and the butter in a microwave-safe bowl, and microwave in 30-second increments until completely melted and smooth. Stir after every 30 seconds to prevent overheating. Let the mixture cool to lukewarm.
Place the sugar and eggs in the bowl of a large stand mixer, and beat with a whisk attachment until thick and foamy, about 5 minutes. Add the chocolate mixture and the vanilla, and mix them in until they’re incorporated. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl, as the chocolate has a tendency to sink to the bottom.
Stir in the flour mixture, and when that’s incorporated, add the chocolate chips and the chopped nuts. Press a layer of cling wrap on top of the batter and refrigerate it until it’s firm enough to scoop, at least 1 hour. (The batter can be refrigerated for several days, but it will need to sit at room temperature to become workable if it has been chilled for an extended period.)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line baking sheets with parchment paper. Use a large 1/4-cup cookie scoop to scoop large portions onto the baking sheets.
Bake the cookies until they look dry and crackly on the top, but the center is still very jiggly and soft when pressed, about 12-15 minutes. Cool the cookies on the baking sheet—if you try to move them too soon, they’ll fall apart. Once cool, store Gooey Chocolate Cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
**I actually add a bit of invert sugar, which is a great secret weapon in the kitchen. In candies it controls crystallization and gives a marvelous texture to things like truffles and fudges, and in baking it makes cookies moist and fudgy and keeps them fresher for longer periods of time. It can be found online and in some specialty baking stores, or it’s easy to make your own invert sugar! If you want to use it, substitute a little for some of the brown sugar—I use 12 ounces of brown sugar and 2 ounces of invert sugar in this recipe.