Monday, March 29, 2010

i have a problem: chocolate chunkers

When you are so utterly exhausted that you're falling asleep at your desk at work and yet feel the absolute need to bake a batch of cookies when you get home (and take a 10 minute nap beforehand in order to regain the strength you need to mix, drop and bake) you know there's a problem. A baking problem.

I went straight to the place that many go to take charge of their addiction, and with a few keystrokes created a method for Bakers Anonymous that boils down to the following:
  • Admitting that one cannot control one's addiction or compulsion to baking
  • Recognizing a greater power that can give you the strength not to eat all of the dough before you bake it
  • Examining past errors with the help of co-worker cookie testers
  • Making amends for these errors by adapting the recipes until they're perfect
  • Learning to live a new life with a new code of behavior
  • Helping other bakers that suffer from the same addictions or compulsions
Unfortunately for me and my general Monday weariness, I didn't realize this method until a batch of Dorie Greenspan's Chocolate Chunkers were baking away in my oven. I got to help bake a batch of these during my Friday with Dorie (read: chopping a few pounds of salted cashews, dried cherries, milk chocolate chips and bittersweet chocolate), and I looooved how my apartment smelled tonight -- just like the industrial kitchen in Queens last month.

These are serious cookies, chocolatey enough to satisfy the biggest chocoholic, and I love that you can make these your own with whichever mix-ins you crave. I went with the combination from the CookieBar and used Guittard Extra Dark Chocolate Chips for the first time (where have they been all my life?).

You guys gotta make these. Save the intervention for another day :)

Chocolate Chunkers
Adapted by Dorie Greenspan from Baking: From My Home To Yours

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 3 pieces

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped

2 large eggs, at room temperature

2/3 cup sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped into chunks, or 1 cup store-bought chocolate chips or chunks

6 ounces premium-quality milk or white chocolate, chopped into chunks, or 1 cup store-bought chocolate chips

1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped nuts, preferably salted peanuts or toasted pecans

1 cup moist, plump raisins or finely chopped moist, plump dried apricots

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.

Sift together the flour, cocoa, salt and baking powder.

Set a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Add the butter, bittersweet and unsweetened chocolate and heat, stirring occasionally, just until melted -- the chocolate and butter should be smooth and shiny but not so hot that the butter separates. Remove the bowl from the heat and set it on the counter to cool.

Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar together on medium-high speed for about 2 minutes, until they are pale and foamy. Beat in the vanilla extract, then scrape down the bowl.

Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the melted butter and chocolate, mixing only until incorporated. With a rubber spatula, scrape down the bowl, then, on low speed, add the dry ingredients. Mix just until the dry ingredients disappear into the dough, which will be thick, smooth and shiny. Scrape down the bowl and, using the rubber spatula, mix in the semisweet and milk (or white) chocolate chunks, nuts and raisins -- you'll have more crunchies than dough at this point.

Drop the dough by generously heaping tablespoonfuls onto the baking sheets, leaving about an inch of space between the mounds of dough.

Bake the cookies one sheet at a time for 10 to 12 minutes. The tops of the cookies will look a little dry but the interiors should still be soft. Remove the baking sheet and carefully, using a broad metal spatula, lift the cookies onto a cooling rack to cool to room temperature.

Repeat with the remaining dough, baking only one sheet of cookies at a time and making sure to cool the baking sheets between batches.


Brisbane Baker said...

Haha! Funny post! I too have an addiction.

Mmmmm what wonderful cookies! I find that it is hard to find cookies with enough chocolate in them.. but these should be called chocolate overdose cookies.. YUM!

chelsea rebecca said...

those are serious cookies! oh all the chocolate!!! i need to make these asap!!! i'm dying over all the deliciousness!

dorie said...

They look PERFECT! and super-perfect for a dreary Monday like yesterday.

wishful nals said...

yummmmmy. those look like chocolate heaven!

Chou said...

Compulsive bakers, unite! We should do a baking day together, I think it might be helpful. Or not. :)

Beth said...

Brisbane - They really are almost too much! But not quite ;)

Chelsea- You gotta make them! Try them with different mix-in's, the possibilities are endless!

Dorie- Thanks for being the mastermind behind them! Can't wait to help out at the next cookie bar!

Wishful Nals- Thanks for reading!

Chou- We should do a baking day together! Let me know when :)

Creative Commons License
Baking Therapy is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.