Mud Pie Cookies
Tips: Have you ever wondered exactly how much chocolate
its possible to pack into just one cookie? While Im
not claiming any records here, these cookies, of unprepossessing
appearance but deep chocolate flavor and fudgy texture, might help
you to find out. They honestly do look like the drop cookie equivalent
of mud pies. While you can use supermarket-bought chocolate chips
for the semisweet chocolate in the recipe, I would recommend against
that. Ive tried it, and it works, but Ive also made
these with better-quality chocolate, and the results were a great
improvement. You can vary the 12 ounces of semisweet chocolate called
for by substituting up to a few ounces of bittersweet, but do not
use bittersweet chocolate for the majority of the 12 ounces; if
you try this, the cookies will not be sweet enough. You might want
to experiment here to see what suits you best.
Ive seen similar recipes that call for melting the butter
with the chocolate. Dont do it!!! You can melt butter with
chocolate successfully, but only if the proportions are right. Butter
contains water, and theres not enough butter in this recipe
to allow the water to blend well with the chocolate; your chocolate
will seize up into sludge and become useless. Make sure that your
eggs are at room temperature when you beat them, as theyll
attain much greater volume that way. Once the cookies are baked,
store them airtight at room temperature for up to a day, or freeze
for longer storage. It is very important not to overbake these,
or theyll lose their fudgy texture. Youll need an electric
mixer to make theseuse either a stand mixer or a powerful
hand-held. As it can be difficult to judge when these are done,
it may be a good idea to bake two or three cookies first as your
testcookies, so you can get an idea of baking time.
In addition, nonstick cooling racks and a nonstick, broad-bladed
metal spatula are handy for these, but if you dont own any,
simply spray your utensils very lightly with nonstick cooking spray.
- 12 ounces semisweet chocolate (see recipe introduction), divided
- 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
- 3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. sifted all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- 3 eggs, graded large, at room temperature
- Optional (but good): 1 tsp. instant coffee granules
- 1 cup plus 1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled until just warm
You can use either aluminum foil or baking parchment to line your
cookie sheets for this recipe. Because the cookies spread, I place
only 12 on a 15-1/2 inch by 10-1/2 inch baking sheet. Tear off or
cut enough foil or parchment for the number of baking sheets youll
use, even if you dont have that many sheets (for example,
I need a total of three baking sheets to bake all the cookies, so
Ill cut three foil or parchment sheets to size, even though
I only have two baking sheets with which to work). The reason you
do this now is a peculiarity of this cookie dough, which must be
portioned out as soon as its completed. Once portioned out,
it can stand at room temperature until you have room in the oven
for it, but if it stands in the bowl for any length of time after
youve finished mixing it, it becomes too stiff to portion
out neatly, and the resulting cookies will not look attractive.
Chop 6 ounces of the semisweet or bittersweet chocolate into smallish
chunks (about the size of a chocolate chip or a little larger);
set aside in a small bowl. Finely chop the remaining 6 ounces of
semisweet or bittersweet chocolate and the 4 ounces of unsweetened
chocolate and place the two into a medium heatproof bowl. Set this
bowl over simmering water on low heat (water should not touch bottom
of bowl); stir often until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and
hot water. Set aside to cool until just warm, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
Adjust rack to center of oven; preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Use either a medium bowl (if youre using a hand-held mixer)
or a small bowl (if youre using a stand mixerif so,
use the whisk beater attachment). Place the eggs and optional coffee
granules into your bowl. Begin to beat on a low speed, then gradually
increase speed to high. Beat for about 1 minute, then gradually
begin to add the sugar, about 2 Tbsp. at a time. Continue beating
at high speed until about half the sugar has been added, then reduce
speed while you add the vanilla. Increase speed to high once more;
continue beating while you gradually add the rest of the sugar.
Beat until the egg mixture is very fluffy, very pale, and greatly
increased in volume, about 7 minutes with a powerful hand-held mixer
and 4 or 5 with a stand mixer. Pour in the butter (which must not
be hot), but do not mix in. Add the barely-warm melted chocolate
(which also must not be hot); immediately beat the mixture at medium
speed until the chocolate is partially incorporated. Stop the mixer
and remove your bowl from it if necessary; with a large rubber spatula,
quickly fold the mixture over on itself repeatedly until it is an
even color (you must work quickly here, as if your eggs retain any
chill they can harden the barely-warm melted chocolate). Add flour
mixture; with large spoon, stir in until almost combined. Add chocolate
chunks and stir to distribute evenly. Dough will be soft and glossy.
Portion out dough by well-rounded tablespoons (not measuring tablespoons)
onto prepared foil or baking parchment sheets. Slide a baking sheet
under one of the filled foil/parchment sheets and place it into
the preheated oven.
Bake 7 to 8 minutes, turning baking sheet back-to-front once about
halfway during baking. Cookies will puff and spread slightly, and
parts of them will take on the semi-glossy finish of a baked meringue.
Cookies are done when you see cracks in the meringue and the centers
are barely set. Do not overbake! Upon removal from oven, allow cookies
to stand on sheets for three full minutes (for a foil-lined sheet)
or two full minutes (for a parchment-lined sheet) before gently
removing to cooling rack with a broad-bladed spatula. Be careful!
These cookies are fragile when hot, and the chocolate chunks remain
melty for a couple of hours after baking.
Cool completely at room temperature before serving or storing
(the cookies will deflate slightly as they cool). Store airtight
at room temperature for up to a day, or freeze for longer storage.
Yields: About 30 cookies
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