Monday, April 12, 2010

Extra Chocolate Monsters

OK, the real name of this recipe is "Extra-Bittersweet Chocolate Chunk Monster Cookies." But to me, they're extra-chocolate monsters. They have too much chocolate (!) and are rather monstrous.
I have actually made this recipe before--I don't remember it, but I have cryptic notes written in: "wasn't thrilled, but others were--bake sale!" So I didn't like them and so I foisted them off to other people. Guess that's what will happen again. Fortunately, the students are back at the Abbey. The perfect victims for the perfect crime. Bwahahahaha!
Update: The students loved these: not a crumb left. So my notes from many years ago continue to be accurate...
OK, they're not THAT bad. They just don't provide that perfect balance of sweet, buttery chew against the chocolate. And Maida's favorite, almond extract, really seems out of place here.

Here's the dough. Note that there's barely enough to contain the large chunks of chocolate (Maida specifies for them to be no smaller than 1/2-inch squares).

The recipe said to make 8 cookies, but I'm a rebel and squeezed out 12. And I forgot to flatten them. Oops.

Here's the big issue I had with the cookies, besides the fact that they don't taste that great: the chocolate is not contained. That's a lot of wasted chocolate right there.
Verdict: I would stick to a classic chocolate chip cookie. These cookies are getting a lot of press right now (check out David's version for a laugh). These also look like a good giant cookie, although they go in a different direction.
But if you must, here's the recipe. Buy your chocolate on sale!

4 oz. (1 stick) butter
3/4 t. vanilla
1/4 t. almond extract (consider omitting this)
1/2 t. salt
1/3 c. (2.3 oz.) sugar
1 c. (4 oz.) sifted flour
9 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, in large chunks
4 oz. walnuts, in large pieces

Heat the oven to 350. Line three cookie sheets with parchment or get three sheets of parchment ready. Cream the butter until soft, then add the vanilla, almond, and salt. Then gradually add the sugar and beat that a minute or two. Finally, beat in the flour at low speed. Take the bowl from the mixer and stir in the chocolate and nuts. It will take some stirring to get this more or less incorporated. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces, and roll each piece into a ball. Having wet hands helps with this step. Put the balls on the parchment paper, 4 to a sheet, and use your wet hands to flatten them out a bit. Bake the cookies for 15-17 minutes, until they're still light on top but brown around the edges. Carefully transfer to racks to cool. Find some willing victims to eat your cookies once you've had yours.

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