Tuesday, February 14, 2017


Hier geht's zur deutschen Version dieses Posts (folgt noch)

After sadly slacking off last year, I hope to be a more productive blogger in 2017.

My cookie baking activities are usually restricted to the time before Christmas (except for NYTimes Chocolate Chip Cookies), but I DO like brownies.

Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen promised a cookie with "everything that we expect from a great brownie, a slight crackly exterior, and a plush, fudgy interior".

That sounded very enticing, and I was eager to tackle "The Browniest Cookies" - our Avid Bakers' February project.

But I didn't look at the recipe carefully enough, and, instead of mixing the sugar with the melted chocolate-butter, I added it to the dry ingredients.

Overmixing the batter was a no-no, and I feared that the undissolved sugar might give the cookies an unpleasant grittiness (it didn't!). 

I reduced the salt to 1/4 teaspoon and added some espresso powder to enhance the chocolate flavor.
Browniest Cookies - crackly exterior and fudgy inside
With Chad Robertson's fabulous Salted Chocolate Rye Cookies in mind, I exchanged a bit of the white flour for rye.

The batter seemed to have the right consistency, so, instead of chilling it first, I  refrigerated the shaped cookies on the baking sheet.

In spite of these missteps, my cookies baked up perfectly, no unsightly flattening, crackly from the outside and fudgy from inside.

And, to my delight, VERY chocolate-y!

My husband ripped one hot from the baking sheet - of course, it fell apart - claiming they should be eaten warm.

A bit later, we had them, more civilized, slightly warm, for dessert. The dollop of vanilla ice cream that hubby added certainly didn't hurt.

THE BROWNIEST COOKIES  (adapted from Smitten Kitchen)
(ca. 28 pieces)

115 g all-purpose flour
15 g whole rye flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
45 g unsweetened cocoa powder, any kind
115 g butter
115 g g unsweetened chocolate, chopped (I used Ghirardelli's)
190 g dark or light brown sugar
25 g sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp instant espresso powder
115 g semisweet chocolate, chips or chunks

In a small bowl, whisk together flours, cocoa (sifted if necessary), baking soda and salt.

Melt butter and unsweetened chocolate in a double-boiler over simmering water.

Mixing dry ingredients into chocolate mixture

Off the heat, whisk sugars into chocolate mixture, followed by eggs, one at a time, then vanilla and espresso powder. Add flour mixture, stirring until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips (or chunks).
Folding chocolate chips into the batter

Refrigerate batter for ca. 30 minutes. (If longer, it needs to warm up slightly to make it easier to scoop).

Heat oven to 350°F/175°C. Line 2 baking sheets with silpat or parchment paper.

A small scoop makes portioning the batter easy

Using a 1 1/2 - 2 tablespoon scoop, place mounds of batter on prepared baking sheets (they spread a little.)

Bake cookies for 11-12 minutes (they will look glossy and underbaked in the cracks, and feel still soft to the touch.)

Let cookies set on their baking sheets for 10 minutes, before transferring them to a wire rack to cool (an offset spatula works best.)

Warm Brownie Cookies - what can be better on a cold winter day

They taste best when they are slightly warm. Nuke them for a few seconds to re-warm (beware: if they get too hot, they will fall apart!)

Store the cookies, covered, in a tin or platter at room temperature.

View from our window - and the next blizzard is coming!