Sunday, September 11, 2011

Chocolate Miracles

On their last free day before school started this week, Julia and her friend Alice came home and wanted to bake. "Is there a Marie K. Hardy recipe we can make?" asked Alice. There was.

I had to send the girls out to the corner store for condensed milk, and then they were in the kitchen stirring and baking and arguing with "Marie K. Hardy"(Alice's nickname for Maida Heatter) about the correct directions--was a double boiler necessary(no--well, maybe not)? Could they use the microwave (no)?
I have to agree with the girls that a page and a half recipe for three ingredients was a bit extreme.

At the same time, had they paid a bit more attention to what they were doing (and to turning down the heat), they wouldn't have slightly burned the chocolate. That issue plus some pecans that weren't really quite fresh anymore made these cookies a little less than miraculous.

That being said, I still recommend these cookies if you like chewy, chocolaty, nutty goodness. Just be careful when you're melting the chocolate.

Here's the recipe.

Chocolate Miracles

2 oz. unsweetened chocolate
14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup (4 oz.) chopped toasted pecans

In a small heavy saucepan over low heat, melt the chocolate. Add the condensed milk, turn up the heat just a bit, and cook, stirring and scraping constantly with a rubber scraper, for about 5 minutes or until slightly thickened. Remove from the heat and whisk until very smooth. Let cool about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until quite thick. 
In the meantime, heat the oven to 350. Stir the nuts into the chocolate mixture and line a couple of cookie sheets with parchment. Apparently, foil will not do here. Place spoonfuls of dough onto the lined cookie sheets and bake for 15 minutes (10 minutes was plenty in our oven). Don't let these get dark brown.
Transfer to wire racks and let cool. Apparently, the texture of these is best within the first 12 hours. I thought they were still quite good a couple of days later.

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