Because I have an unnatural aversion to wheat germ (why would I want to cook with germs?), I avoided this week's Tuesdays with Dorie recipe: Honey-Wheat Cookies.
But I still had hungry gamer mouths to feed, so I decided to do some makeup baking from the recipes I've missed. And since it's easier to play board games with something that you can hold in one hand, I decided to choose one of the cookie recipes.
And boy, did I hit a dandy. I'd say that Dorie's Chocolate Chunker cookie recipe is my favorite of any recipe of hers I've made. It may be one of my favorite cookie recipes, period. The cookies are more mix-ins than dough: a full 6 oz. each of hand-cut bittersweet and white chocolates, a cup and a half of toasted walnuts, and a cup of dried fruit (more on that in a minute). The dough itself, which really just holds all the goodies together, has melted bittersweet chocolate AND cocoa.
In other words, folks, this is one seriously chocolatey cookie.
Now, the only thing I changed on this recipe is that Dorie calls for salted peanut and raisins. I don't know why she has this thing about chocolate and raisins, but she adds raisins to, like, everything. I, personally, can't get into the raisin thing, so I substituted dried cherries, chopped up a bit. I also substituted toasted walnuts for the peanuts.
The only thing I'd do differently is cut the cherries into smaller pieces; the larger pieces sometimes jumped out at you when you took a bite. But honestly, that didn't even matter that much. These things leapt off the platter into people's mouths. They were, by far, everyone's favorite of anything I've brought to Game Days.
And that's saying something.
Chocolate Chunker Cookies
by Dorie Greenspan
pg. 70 of Baking: From My Home to Yours
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 3 pieces
6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 oz. unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped into chunks (or 1 cup chocolate chips)
6 oz. white chocolate, chopped into chunks (or 1 cup white chocolate chips)
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped nuts (I toasted mine for flavor)
1 cup dried fruit, such as raisins or dried cherries, cut into smaller pieces if necessary
Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with silicone mats or parchment.
Sift together the flour, cocoa, salt, and baking powder.
Set a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Add the butter, and the bittersweet and unsweetened chocolates (Disclosure: I didn't have unsweetened, so used 7 oz. of bittersweet) to the bowl and stir occasionally until just melted. The chocolate and butter should be smooth and shiny, but not so hot the butter separates. Remove the bowl from the heat and set it on the counter to cool.
Working with a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer and a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar together on medium-high speed for about 2 minutes, until pale and foamy. Beat in the vanilla extract, then scrape down the bowl. Reduce speed to low, add the butter-chocolate mixture and mix only until incorporated. With a rubber spatula, scrape down the bowl, and - with the mixer on low - add the dry ingredients. Mix just until the dry ingredients disappear into the dough (which will be thick, smooth, and shiny). Scrape down the bowl and, using the rubber spatula, mix in the semi-sweet and white chocolate chunks, nuts and fruit - you'll have more "crunchies" than dough at this point. (The dough can be wrapped in plastic and kept refrigerated for up to 3 days.)
Drop the dough by generously heaping tablespoonfuls (I made them bigger) onto the baking sheets, leaving about an inch of space between the mounds of dough.
Bake the cookies one sheet at a time for 10 to 12 minutes. The tops of the cookies will look a little dry but the interiors should still be soft. Remove the baking sheet and carefully lift the cookies with a metal spatula onto a cooling rack. Cool to room temperature.
Repeat with remaining dough, cooling the baking sheet (if necessary) between batches.