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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Gooey Chocolate Cookies

These are among my favorite cookies. They are fantastic when warm from the oven (have cold milk handy), but also really good once they've cooled. They also freeze well. You can always nuke 'em for a few seconds if you want them warm, which is the only time they're actually gooey.

The recipe is from Food Network Kitchens; it was a featured Christmas cookie a few years back.  I use the double boiler method to melt the chocolate and butter. I usually leave out the dried cherries for a pure chocolate experience. Enjoy!

Super Gooey Chocolate Drops

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
4 oz. unsweetened chocolate*, chopped
4 oz.semisweet chocolate*, chopped
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp.pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tbsp. buttermilk
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup natural cocoa powder, such as Hershey's or Scharffen Berger
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
11 oz. (1 bag) semisweet chocolate chunks or large chips
1 cup dried cherries (optional)

Position racks in the lower and upper third of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper. (If you don't have 3 pans, simply cool the pan between batches.)
Put the butter and the unsweetened and semisweet chocolates in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Heat at 75 percent power in the microwave until soft, about 2 minutes. Stir and heat again until melted, up to 2 minutes more. (Alternatively, put the chocolates and butter in a heatproof bowl or the top of a double boiler. Bring a saucepan filled with an inch or so of water to a very slow simmer; set the bowl over, but not touching, the water. Stir occasionally until melted and smooth.)
Stir the light brown and granulated sugars and vanilla into the chocolate mixture with a wooden spoon. This should cool the mixture enough to be able to add the eggs in the next step.

Add the eggs and buttermilk and beat vigorously until thick and glossy.
In another bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa, cinnamon and salt together. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir until just mixed. Stir in chocolate chunks and dried cherries, if using.
Drop the batter in heaping tablespoons onto baking sheets; a small ice cream or cookie dough scoop is ideal. Space the cookies about 2 inches apart. Bake until the cookies are set but soft and fudgy on the inside, 12 to 15 minutes. I always check early, at 8 or 9 minutes, because I hate overbaked cookies.

Cool cookies on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.
Store cookies in a tightly sealed container at room temperature for up to a week. They freeze well.

*Note: You can also use all or part bittersweet chocolate with great results.

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