One bite is all it takes. A slightly crunchy sweet crust breaks open and the intense flavor of chocolate bursts in your mouth as you eat one after another of these amazing cookies. Don’t underestimate their potency. They are good enough to use as currency!
Chocolate was originally considered so precious that only royalty was allowed to have it. When the Spanish brought it back from Mexico, they kept it a secret for over 100 years. It wasn’t until Queen Anne of Austria (formerly Princess Anne of Spain) married Louis XIII of France that the secret got out and Europe embraced the heavenly concoction. The Dutch figured out how to take some of the bitterness out and the Swiss blended it with milk for a creamy confection. The United States and Switzerland designed the first mass-produced chocolates and M&M’s were developed so that American soldiers could carry chocolate with them into war. Once you’ve had it, you must have more!
The Artist is a true chocoholic – in every sense of the word. He lives and breathes to eat chocolate. And he isn’t the worst one in his family. His brother will not eat any dessert unless it contains chocolate, and the more the better. If they ever create a Chocoholics Anonymous, the two Bonacci brothers would be charter members!
These cookies should be eaten the day of baking for the best texture. While good the next day, the texture changes and the cookies get denser. But they’re still just as delicious! If you want, bake off only what you want for a single day and save the rest of the dough for later. Make sure to stir the batter well after it has been sitting to incorporate any accumulated liquid. It keeps in the refrigerator for two to three days or in the freezer for up to one month.
Unless I am baking for a large crowd, I usually portion out the dough and roll it into logs. Then wrap the logs first in parchment and then in plastic wrap. If I am giving these as gifts, I write on the parchment the temperature of the oven and how long to bake them. That way they are my own homemade slice and bakes!
If the dough is frozen, you do not have to let it thaw. Use a very sharp knife and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices. You can dip both sides of the slices in powdered sugar, or leave it off. The cookies will not crack on top as much if the dough is sliced versus being rolled into balls but they will be just as delicious.
Have you ever opened your stash of chocolate and found it had turned gray? Don’t throw it away, it is still perfectly fine to use. Chocolate has butterfat in it and over time it will rise to the surface. Just use it the same way as any other chocolate and you will have no trouble.
When I was making this batch I had a fun experience. The recipe calls for 4 eggs and as I broke open the final one, out popped two yolks! If this happens to you, don’t worry. It still counts as one egg.
I have made these cookies for years and they have never failed to be the hit of every party. When I enter them in competitions, they always win a blue ribbon. If someone is having a down day, these are guaranteed to lift their spirits. You will probably find that they become one of your most requested baked items.
I want this quote engraved on my tombstone … “There are four basic food groups: milk chocolate, dark chocolate, white chocolate and chocolate truffles.” – Author Unknown
Have a wonderful week and Happy Chocolate Monday!!
Jane’s Tips and Hints:
While you can use regular powdered sugar, there is a kind that doesn’t melt called Snow White Topping sugar from King Arthur. You will have no frustration from cookies that don’t look like they have been powdered. Even days later the cookies look they were just baked without the need to re-roll them. It is perfect for these cookies, lemon bars, gingerbread, or any other moist baked items that usually absorb the sugar. Sifting the powdered sugar before using breaks up any clumps, making it easier to roll and giving a smoother coating.
Kitchen Skill: Chopping Ingredients in a Food Processor
It may seem like a simple thing to throw ingredients into the bowl of a food processor and turn it on to chop them. However, if you just let the motor run, you will wind up with very inconsistent sizes. The best way to chop is to use the steel blade and hit the pulse button several times. This allows the ingredients to fall back to the bottom, distributing them more evenly. Sometimes I will use my knife to finish chopping the last few larger pieces.
- 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), cubed
- 8 oz unsweetened high quality chocolate, such as Scharffen Berger, chopped coarsely
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup pecans (or other nut if you have allergies)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Powdered sugar, for coating
- Melt the butter and chocolate together in the top of a double boiler (or in a heat-proof bowl) over barely simmering water. Set aside to cool.
- In a mixer bowl, beat the sugar, eggs, and vanilla until smooth. Slowly blend in the butter and chocolate and mix well.
- In a food processor, chop nuts fairly finely. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Process until nuts are very finely chopped and thoroughly incorporated into the flour. Add this mixture to the eggs and chocolate. Beat until just combined. The dough should be very soft at this point.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until stiff. You need to be able to form it into balls and have them hold together when you roll them in the powdered sugar. If you leave the dough in the metal mixing bowl, it chills faster.
- To Bake the Cookies: While dough is chilling, set racks in center of oven and preheat to 325°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners.
- Sift the powdered sugar into a shallow plate. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and divide into thirds. Work with only 1/3 of dough at a time, keeping the remaining dough covered in the refrigerator.
- Using a spring-loaded scoop, form small balls, about 1 to 2 tbsp of dough. Roll each ball in the powdered sugar making sure they are heavily coated. Place the balls on the prepared cookie sheets at least 2-inches apart.
- Bake for about 12 minutes, spinning them and alternating sheets top with bottom halfway through. When done, the cookies will have a slight crust on the top but feel soft to the touch. It is always challenging to know when chocolate cookies are done. Be careful not to burn them.
- Let them sit on the sheets for 1 to 2 minutes to firm slightly and then transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Yield: About 4 dozen cookies