Labor Day marks the symbolic end of summer but in California we often have at least another month of warm weather before autumn really hits. Labor Day is the last 3-day weekend of the summer, a time to celebrate the gorgeous weather and an extra day off work.
Labor Day is an American tradition started back in 1882 in New York City that celebrates the efforts and contributions of the nation’s workers. In 1887 Oregon was the first state to declare it a holiday and by 1894 when it became a federal holiday 30 states officially celebrated Labor Day.
In our little town we close off Main St. every year and have an old-fashioned parade. The local schools bands march in all their finery, children dress up their dogs and drag them down the street, there is the bright red fire engine and of course the mayor waving to the crowd. It is everything you think of when you think of small town America and we are proud of our tradition.
People throw parties – often one last big barbecue of the season – and our neighborhood is in full swing. As you walk down the street you can smell the smoke from grills full of delicious treats that make our mouths water as we pass by. There is something for everyone, hamburgers, hot dogs, sausages, chicken and steaks are all making an appearance.
In the spirit of giving our laborers a day off, I wanted to share a super easy chocolate dessert, something that won’t take you all day to prepare and that everyone will love. These cookies are almost brownie-like with extraordinary chocolate flavor. From the King of chocolate himself, Jacques Torres, you would expect nothing less. In fact, they are so chocolatey that you may want to serve them alongside a scoop of vanilla ice cream to temper the intensity.
You can make these cookies any size you like, but keep in mind that the larger they are, the cakier they will be and your yield will be lower. I also like to make them with chopped almonds and pecan in place of walnuts. When I am baking for a crowd I tend to avoid walnuts due to children’s allergies.
Enjoy your holiday, bake up some of these cookies and give your family a real treat. Happy Labor Day and Happy Chocolate Monday!!
Jane’s Tips and Hints:
Using a spring-loaded ice cream scoop makes really fast time of panning the cookies and makes sure that they are all the same size. I have several sizes and can’t imagine making cookies without them!
- 6 oz unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 16 oz bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 6 tbsp butter
- 2-1/4 cups plus 1 tbsp sugar
- 5 eggs
- 1/2 cup plus 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- Pinch salt
- 1-1/4 cups plus 1 tbsp walnuts, chopped
- 16 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- Preheat a regular oven to 375°F, a convection oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpats. Set aside.
- Place the coarsely chopped unsweetened and bittersweet chocolates in a heatproof bowl and set over a pan of simmering water. Heat, stirring regularly, until smooth. Set aside.
- Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and blend until combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating lightly in between additions. Add in flour, baking powder and salt and mix just until combined. Beat in the melted chocolate. Stir in the walnuts and chopped chocolate pieces.
- Using two spoons or a small ice cream scoop, drop small mounds of dough onto prepared baking sheets about 3 inches apart. Bake one sheet at a time. Bake until set, 12 to 16 minutes. Let cookies cool about 4 minutes on baking sheets before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Pan and bake second set of cookies while first set cools.
- Store in an airtight container.
- Yield: about 40 small cookies
I shouldn’t come here when it’s early in the morning and I haven’t had breakfast. Those look so good!
I love your chocolate Mondays! The cookies look de-lish!
Oh Jane, these look heavenly! They look like they are straight out of Dessert Circus! I sure wish I had a few with my morning coffee!!!
Thanks for sharing…