From America’s Test Kitchen… Chocolate Cookies

January 17, 2011

I apologize for the radio silence, and am offering up this recipe in hopes of forgiveness. My roommate just came up with the complete America’s Test Kitchen TV Show cookbook, and everything in my life melted away, except the urgent desire to make cookies. And eat chocolate. Though it’s safe to assume I always have the burning desire to eat chocolate. Even though it’s 9 o’clock in the morning.

The cookie dough reminded me of brownie batter, explaining why I couldn't stop sampling it.

In the blurb above this recipe, from the cookbook, the authors write that they are automatically skeptical when cookies tote themselves as intensely chocolate-y. They did what they do best, and created a recipe to allay suspicions and prove that intense chocolate cookies are possible in this sad world of impostors. Not only are they possible, but they are insanely easy to throw together.

Thank you, ATK, for compelling me to make cookies for breakfast. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Chocolate cookies

(Recipe minimally adapted from The Complete America’s Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook (2001-2010). “Minimally adapted” because at this point in the game I don’t mess with ATK.)

Yields 20 to 25 cookies using two tablespoons of dough, about 16 if those two tablespoons are very generous

Ingredients:

1/3 cup granulated sugar, plus extra for rolling

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon salt (or a generous pinch of salt, if you don’t feel like measuring)

½ cup corn syrup (preferably dark, but I used light)

1 large egg white

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1/3 cup packed brown sugar (add a tablespoon of molasses if you are using light brown)

4 oz (about ¾ cup) chopped dark, semisweet, or bittersweet chocolate

Method:

1. Whisk or sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

2. Whisk the corn syrup, egg white, and vanilla together in a separate, smaller bowl. Set aside.

3. If you are using a stand mixer, beat the butter and both sugars on medium high speed until the mixture is light and fluffy. ATK suggests two minutes of beating. If there’s no mixer, cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy.

4. Decrease the speed on the mixer to medium low, and gradually add the corn syrup mixture, beating for a few seconds until fully incorporated, scraping down the bowl as needed. You can do this step by hand, as well.

5. On low mixer speed, add the flour mixture and chopped chocolate, mixing until just incorporated. I just took the bowl off the stand mixer and did this step by hand with a sturdy wooden spoon, making sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl.

6. Chill the dough for no more than 30 minutes, to make it easier to shape. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and prepare your baking sheets with parchment paper.

7. When the dough has chilled and the oven preheated, roll the dough into balls, using a generous two tablespoons worth of dough. Roll the tops in the granulated sugar before placing them on your baking sheets two inches apart. I fit 6 to 7 cookies on each sheet.

8. Bake each sheet in the preheated oven for 10 to 11 minutes. The cookies will not look completely done when you pull them out, but don’t be alarmed! If baking two sheets of cookies at a time, switch the sheets at five minutes to ensure even baking.

9. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for five minutes before moving them to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Store them in an airtight container for up to a week! Though I doubt they will last that long. My roommates and I had them for breakfast. Talk about will power in the morning.

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