Danny Concannon: You keep glancing over like you’re afraid I’m going to steal something.
Mrs. Landingham: No. I’m just not used to having members of the print media in here.
Danny: I’ll try not to get ink on the furniture.
Mrs. Landingham: Aw, Danny. And I was just about to offer you a cookie.
Danny: And now?
Mrs. Landingham: No.
—The West Wing, “The White House Pro-Am” (3/22/00)
I mentioned a couple of posts back that I baked up some cookies for the Patti Rothberg concert, and they turned out to be quite the hit. No kidding; I was hearing good stuff about them from people who didn’t realize that A) I was nearby, and B) I was the guy who baked them. And, when I told them what the mystery ingredient was, they said to me “Oh…you have my attention.” It was almost a shame that Wife was there; I could have gotten me some of Patti’s castoff groupies that night based solely on my cookies. (note to self…)
So, being a generous soul, I’m going to share this recipe with you. I’ll note that I did get the original from the Washington Post several days ago, but I see in looking back that they, in turn, got it from somewhere else. I’ll cite that specific detail at the end. I’ll also add in a few of my own notes as I go along. Enjoy! And, if you make these, let me know how they came out.
Chocolate Chunk Cookies With Nutella
· MAKE AHEAD: The dough can be frozen for up to 1 month. The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for 3 to 4 days.
· Makes 38 to 42 cookies
- • 2 1/3 cups flour (level off in a measuring cup)
- • 1 teaspoon baking soda
- • 1 teaspoon salt
- • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- • 1 cup granulated sugar
- • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- • 1/4 cup unsweetened or regular Nutella (may substitute hazelnut paste)—I used the regular Nutella and it makes for a sweeter cookie but basically works great.
- • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- • Scrapings from 1 split vanilla bean (may substitute 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)—I used the extract. Again, no problems.
- • 3 cups (12 ounces) bittersweet chocolate (preferably 60 to 66 percent cacao content), coarsely chopped into 1/4-inch pieces or larger—with this, I bought a bag of chocolate chunks from the supermarket. Nestlé makes them, but some places now have a store brand version, too.
- • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, pecans or hazelnuts (optional)—I used walnuts. This recipe is expensive enough.
- Position the oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven; preheat to 375 degrees. Line 2 or 3 rimmed baking sheets with silicone liners or parchment paper.
- Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt onto a piece of parchment or waxed paper.
- Combine the butter and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer; beat on medium speed until creamy. Reduce the speed to medium-low, then add the Nutella and beat until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, beating to incorporate after each addition, then add the vanilla bean scrapings, stopping to scrape down the bowl as needed.
- Reduce the speed to low. Gradually add the flour mixture, beating just until the dough comes together.
- Stir in the chocolate pieces and, if desired, the nuts.
- Drop heaping tablespoons of the dough 2 inches apart onto the baking sheets, flattening them slightly by hand as needed. (At this point the mounds of dough can be frozen, well wrapped, for up to a month.)
- Bake for 4 to 5 minutes, then rotate the baking sheets top to bottom and front to back. Bake for 4 to 5 minutes until lightly browned (or a few minutes longer for crisp cookies). (When I did 5 minutes, I got cookies that were TOO soft; they were limp rather than chewy. I went an extra minute or two in each period. Of course, this could just be my oven, so your mileage may vary.)
- Transfer the sheets to a wire rack to cool for at least 10 minutes, then transfer the cookies to the wire rack to cool completely before serving or storing. Repeat to use all of the dough.
From The Perfect Finish: Special Desserts for Every Occasion, by Bill Yosses and Melissa Clark (W.W. Norton, 2010).
130 calories, 6g fat, 4g saturated fat, 15mg cholesterol, 90mg sodium, 18g carbohydrates, 1g dietary fiber, 11g sugar, 2g protein.