Tuesday, November 19, 2013

TWD - Baking with Julia: Double Chocolate Cookies

This week's Tuesday's with Dorie recipe is Double Chocolate Cookies.  It is sort of a test of the question, "can you ever have too much of a good thing?"  Can you?  We'll see what you think at the end here...

Just as a preview, the double chocolate comes from both unsweetened chocolate and bittersweet chocolate.  Really.  No milk chocolate or white chocolate here to screw change things up.  We are talking about dark, chocolatey chocolate, and then more of that. 

Before we get carried away, lets start with the more basic part:

Indeed, there is flour, baking powder and salt in this recipe.  They are whisked together and put aside for later.  Do you see the tiny amount in the bowl?  That is all the flour in this recipe.  Not much.  The chocolate totally takes center stage here!

Onto the chocolate!  Now, I cheated, or rather changed things a bit here.  While I said above that this recipe was all about bittersweet chocolate and unsweetened chocolate, that was actually true as to what the recipe said.  However when I began making these cookies I realized I was low on unsweetened chocolate.  Instead of having 4 ounces, I had only two.  No, I was not going to jump into my car and go to the grocery store for 2 ounces of unsweetened chocolate.  Not when there is an easy substitute to be found!  For every ounce of unsweetened chocolate, mix 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder with 1 tablespoon of some sort of fat (butter/shortening/oil).  I used butter.  Since it just so happens that the Costco by me recently started carrying the most awesome cocoa powder ever (in my humble opinion) in GINORMOUS containers for the same price as the tiny container at the grocery store, and I bought two of those ginormous containers in a "what if they don't carry this forever" frenzy, I have plenty of cocoa powder to spare in such a substitute!  Yes!  So maybe my cookies should technically be called TRIPLE chocolate cookies??  What do you think?  Oh, and in case you are wondering, my most favorite cocoa powder is Rodelles.  Yum. 

Anyway, melt half of the bittersweet chocolate with some butter, the unsweetened chocolate, and the cocoa powder substitute (in my case) on a double boiler.

While the chocolatey chocolate is melting away, get to some serious whipping of eggs, sugar, instant coffee powder (decaf in my case) and vanilla.  Serious whipping, as in it goes for at least 10 minutes, until it is nice and frothy and thick.

Mix the melty chocolatey goodness in, and then add that tiny amount of dry ingredients and some MORE bittersweet chocolate.  This time the chocolate is in chunks (or chips in my case).  Refrigerate overnight.  That is the hardest part about this recipe.  Patience...

The next day, plop the batter down on parchment covered cookie sheets by the tablespoonful.  Bake for 10-12 minutes.  Now, the recipe says to err on the side of pulling the cookies out early if you are not sure.  The cookies should puff, sink, crinkle and wrinkle.  Hmmm.  Personally, I think the cookies were better when I erred on the side of baking them a little longer.  They weren't as gushy on the insides and were easier to get off of the cookie sheets (even after letting them sit a bit).  They were still nice and chewy and melty, but this way they also had a bit of a crunch around the edges, a bit more structure.  Just my opinion!

Now, on to the big question... can you have too much of a good thing?  Well, I have to admit that I found these to be a bit TOO much.  Did I actually say/type that??  Here is what I think:  While I do think that coffee enhances chocolate flavor (see my favorite chocolate cake recipe!) I think there was too much in this recipe, as the coffee flavor lingered.  I also think this recipe could have been helped by a hit of cinnamon or even cayenne pepper.  A little kick to cut the sweetness a bit.  Or maybe just reduce the amount of sugar??  Or both!  Now, do these petty critiques stop me from eating these cookies?  NO WAY.  Nope, they sure don't.

I mean, really, don't you want to just take a bite right now?  Trust me, a nearby glass of milk is necessary!

This recipe can be found on pages 329-330 in Baking with Julia.  I could not find a good source for the recipe online, so here you go! 

Double Chocolate Cookies
adapted from Baking with Julia
makes 24 big cookies (I made closer to 36, still pretty big!)

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, cut into larger-than-chip-size chunks
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 TB  instant coffee powder
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl and set aside. 

Place the butter, half of the bittersweet chocolate and the unsweetened chocolate on the top of a double boiler over (not touching) simmering water.  Heat the mixture, stirring occasionally, until everything is melted and smooth.  Remove from heat.

Using the whisk attachment for an electric mixer, whip the eggs, sugar, coffee powder and vanilla until very thick, about 10 minutes.  The mixture should form a ribbon when the whisk is lifted, and the ribbon should slowly drizzle back into the bowl. 

On low speed, gradually add the warm chocolate/butter mixture.  Scrape down the sides of the mixer bowl and continue to mix just until the chocolate is incorporated.  Add the dry ingredients and the rest of the bittersweet chocolate pieces and mix thoroughly.  The mixture will look like a thick cake batter.

Cover the bowl with plastic and chill for several hours or overnight.  This dough can be made and chilled for up to 4 days before baking. 

Preheat the oven to 350F and position the oven racks so the oven is divided into thirds.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Drop the dough by heaping tablespoonfuls onto the parchment paper, spacing the cookies approximately 2 inches apart.  Bake for 10-12 minutes, rotating the pans front to back and top to bottom mid-way through the baking period.  The cookies will puff and then sink, crinkle and wrinkle on the edges.  The cookies should not appear to be dry and they will not be crispy.  Use a wide metal spatula to transfer the cookies to a cooling rack, where they should cool to room temperature. 

The cookies can be wrapped in plastic and kept at room temperature for 2 days or frozen for a month.  Thaw (wrapped) at room temperature.
Printable Recipe


  1. That's a great substitute for unsweetened chocolate! to tell you the truth I didn't exactly know where to find unsweetened vs. bittersweet chocolate in Spain so I just used the same kind of chocolate for the whole recipehaha

  2. Yes, milk was definitely needed for these :-)
    They look good.


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