To those on the outside, I look like I've got the healthy eating thing down pat. I snack on carefully measured portions of cottage cheese and edamame, I spend Sunday nights prepping a week's worth of overnight oats, and I eat a full serving of vegetables with every lunch and dinner. Most of the recipes on this blog skew towards the healthier end of the spectrum: there's lots of vegetables, whole grains, and tofu, and not a lot of cheese or red meat.
But here's the thing: I love dessert. And not the light, better-for-you desserts promoted by the clean eating establishment, like baked apples or a bowl of fresh raspberries with whipped coconut cream or fat-free organic sorbet. I am all about chocolate, and cheesecake, and premium ice cream, the larger the portion the better. There are cities I would return to solely to eat dessert: New York City for a massive slab of Junior's cheesecake (or for that matter, a slice of chocolate babka from Russ & Daughters), Dresden for a piece of Eierschecke, Winnipeg for the chocolate torte at Stella's. I'm the sort of person who will happily pass on deep-fried foods, beer, and melted cheese, but an ice cream cone? Never.
This recipe is my manifesto, summing up all the things I treasure about dessert in a batch of exceedingly rich cookies. The original recipe was a 2015 finalist in the Minneapolis Star Tribune Holiday Cookie Contest, but I think they're best made outside of the holiday season. December has enough decadence going on already. With two types of chocolate--melted bittersweet and chocolate chips--and a mere 1/4 cup of flour, these are basically chocolate tortes in cookie form. The dough is more like a cake batter, thin and gooey, so it's helpful to use a cookie dough scoop to drop the cookies onto the baking sheets. The cookies don't spread much during baking, so don't be alarmed if they still look like stodgy clumps after their time in the oven. The best way to gauge doneness is to check if the surface of the cookie looks dry and matte instead of wet and glossy.
You could certainly melt the bittersweet chocolate with a double boiler, but I recommend using a glass bowl nested over a saucepan of boiling water--that way you can mix up the batter in that same bowl, and save yourself some dish washing.
Adapted from Elaine Prebonich's recipe in the Star Tribune
Yield: about 2 dozen cookies
- 1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Toast walnuts in a large skillet over medium heat until fragrant, shaking pan frequently, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat.
Fill a large bowl with about two inches of warm tap water. In a small bowl, beat together the eggs, sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Warm the egg mixture by placing the small bowl inside the large bowl filled with tap water.
Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl.
Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Nest a medium glass or metal bowl over the simmering water. Place the bittersweet chocolate and butter in the medium bowl and stir until melted. Remove the medium bowl from the saucepan.
Stir the warmed egg mixture into the chocolate mixture until completely combined. Stir in the flour mixture until completely combined, and then fold in the toasted walnuts and chocolate chips.
Drop tablespoon-sized mounds of dough onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake until the surface of the cookies looks dry, about 10 minutes. Allow to cool on the baking sheets for 2 minutes, and then place on a wire rack to cool completely.
Store cookies tightly covered at room temperature.