These wildly popular cookies, made without a mixer, are what you
want when your chocolate level is a quart low. They are best within
a day of baking; for longer keeping, freeze them. For the chips,
you can use semisweet, milk chocolate, or white chocolate, or you
can do as I do and use a mixture of all three. Great for a picnic
(bring napkins!), a cookout, or any party.
- 1-1/2 c. flour
- 1/2 c. unsweetened
Dutch process cocoa powder (do not use regular unsweetened cocoa)
- 1 tsp. baking
- Pinch salt
- 1/2 c. (1 stick)
unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
- 1 c. granulated
- 1/2 c. firmly
packed light brown sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 egg, graded
- 1 Tbsp. + 2 tsp.
- 1-2/3 c. chocolate
- Optional: 3/4
c. nuts, coarsely chopped (unblanched almonds, walnuts, pecans,
Sift together flour,
cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
In large nonreactive
bowl, stir together by hand melted butter, sugars, and vanilla,
pressing out any lumps of brown sugar with back of spoon (mixture
will resemble wet sand). Add egg; beat in thoroughly until mixture
is creamy. Stir in half of sifted dry ingredients, then add water
and remaining dry ingredients (dough will be fairly stiff). Mix
in chocolate chips and optional nuts. Cover tightly with plastic
wrap; let stand at room temperature 15 minutes (if room is very
warm, chill dough for 15 minutes).
rack to center of oven; preheat oven to 325'F. Line cookie sheets
with foil, shiny side up (do not grease or spray foil).
Using a well-rounded
tablespoon of dough for each cookie, roll dough gently between hands
into a moist, shiny ball about 1-1/2" in diameter. Dough may stick
to hands slightly, but handle it gently and you'll be OK. Place
ball of dough on cookie sheet; do not flatten. These spread, so
you must allow room between them (I bake 12 cookies on a 15-1/2"
by 10-1/2" cookie sheet).
Bake one sheet at
a time in the center of the preheated oven for 12-13 minutes. Turn
cookie sheet back-to-front about halfway through baking time. Cookies
will spread and lose some of their "raw" look, but they'll still
be very soft when done. Do not overbake, or they'll lose the fudgy
quality that makes them so good.
Remove cookie sheet
from oven. Allow baked cookies to stand on sheet at least 5 minutes
(this is important, as the cookies are too soft and fragile to move
initially). After 5 minutes, try to remove one cookie to cooling
rack; if necessary, allow to stand on sheet several minutes more.
Note: nonstick cooling racks are a big plus here, but if you don't
have any, spray your racks with a bit of nonstick cooking spray.
Cool cookies completely on rack before storing or freezing airtight,
with wax paper between layers.
About 2-1/2 dozen
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