11/28/12

double chocolate-walnut cookies

Thin and crispy cookie or soft and chewy?
How can you choose?
Can we add a third option: thick.
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This third option, no, let's just call it what it really is: obsession.
This third obsession of mine started when I first discovered Levain Bakery cookies.
Those giant, quarter pound monsters had me at the first bite.
So far I've made:
original chocolate chip cookie
double chocolate with ganache
double chocolate with mint
oatmeal-raisin
sugar cookie (almost a quarter pound!)
What's on the list next is peanut butter with something, carrot cake like cookie--OK this is a healthy version of the quarter pound cookie to see if it can be done.
What else?
Monster?
Coconut?
Cowboy?
And for those of you that are thin and crispy lovers?
Try these cookies I made from past Top Chef contestant Eric Wolitzky.
You may remember that episode where he made those flat, thin cookies from Season 1, Episode 7.
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Choose whatever size you want to make these, just adjust the baking times according to size.
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double chocolate-walnut cookies

3 sticks unsalted butter (24 TB), room temp
¾ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
3 TB half & half (or cream), might need more
1 ½ ts pure vanilla extract
3 cups all purpose flour
¾ cup dark double dutch cocoa powder (regular dutch ok too, but flavor isn’t as intense)
½ ts cinnamon (I used Vietnamese cinnamon for a deep intense flavor)
Oversized ¾ ts sea salt
1 ½ ts baking powder
½ ts baking soda
1 ½ cups of 60 % (or higher cocoa) dark chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
1 cup of toasted walnuts, rough chop

In a mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, or by hand beat butter and both sugars just until creamy. Don’t overbeat. Add in the eggs, vanilla, and half & half and beat just until incorporated.
In another bowl mix the flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt. When thoroughly mixed, add to batter and stir just until blended. Lumps are good.
Stir in chocolate chips and walnuts.
Keep in mind this dough is very hard and thick.  It’s also very sticky, and might be a little dry.
OK to add a dash or two more of half & half to mixture to make it come together only if it’s really dry and too crumbly.
Cover and chill this at least 3 hours before baking; this will help it come together.

When ready to bake:
Always keep the dough cold as you can—this lends a nice tender/flaky cookie that won’t spread much.
Warm dough will yield a flatter cookie. Bake first batch, keep remaining batch in fridge till ready to use. Or shape all cookie dough balls, place on a plate or tray, and keep in fridge as they are ready to bake.
Preheat oven to 385 degrees.
You can either make them into huge cookies (as I did) or smaller ones.
Whichever you choose, keep the dough in balls, do not flatten.
Divide dough into 12-14 big lumps. Mold into HUGE golfballs; do not press flat! 
Keep them as balls on the cookie sheets.  Bake on ungreased cookies sheets (one sheet at a time).
For larger cookies bake 13-16 minutes, smaller cookies 10-15 minutes.
Rotate pan halfway through.
It will be hard to tell when the cookies are done.  Look for crackles on side, cooked/semi-firm tops; they should be a bit soft in the middle.  They will set up as they are cooling (trust me).
Don’t overbake or they will turn into scones.  Once baked don’t try and move the cookies off the pan, they will break apart, let them chill a bit before touching.
Makes 12-14 giant cookies or 22-24 smaller cookies.

19 comments:

  1. Omg they look awesome! I have a thick and chocolate-overload cookie recipe coming next week! And just got done posting my new fave choc cookie recipe this week! And it uses cornstarch, which is something the Levain knockoff recipes Ive seen used. Off to check your oldies next...but these look so good!

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  2. Ohhh yeah..I like my cookies thick and soft/chewy!
    These sound perfect Dawn.

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  3. Whoa. Those cookies are huge.
    Hugely delicious! :)

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  4. A monster coconut cowboy cookie sounds good to me! (These look amazing too!) :D

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  5. Love! Yum! And I love when you call them Quarter Pounder cookies! I LOVE Levain cookies and your abundance of so many versions.

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  6. I'm SO with you! I"m all about the thick/chunky cookie. Josh prefers thin/crispy...In his defense, he dips them in milk. These are gorgeous

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  7. I live giant thick cookies like this. When I make cookies, I automatically assume I'll get about half the yeild the recipe calls for. I love that I don't have to do that with your cookie recipes. I can't wait to try one.

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  8. Thick and chewy always sounds good to me when it comes to cookies! These look hellagood

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  9. these look awesome! i feel like i lie in the middle... definitely want some meat to my cookie, but maybe not too much ;)

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  10. Thick cookies rule! I have to get to Levain one of these days.

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  11. Yup. You've been up to some amazing things since I've been moving. Don't know which to try first, but am leaning towards those mint filled oreos!

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  12. i do appreciate when cookies have actual substance, and these definitely do!

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  13. Wow, cookies don't get much thicker than these! They look fabulous!

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  14. Mmmm! These look so good!

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  15. Wow! Dawn, you always make the best looking cookies!

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  16. I can't pick... I love thin, thick, soft, and crispy. I just love all types of cookies and these ones look fantastic!

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  17. I don't think I could turn down a cookie that huge! Or a tiny one for that matter!

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  18. Anything with this much chocolate works for me. The cookies look great!

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  19. I tend to go for thin and crispy, but I'm fairly certain I wouldn't turn these away if they were in front of me.

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