I have a complicated relationship with chocolate. I spent the first 20 or so years of my life not liking it at all. Marbled birthday cake? I’ll just eat the white parts, thank you very much. Oreo cookies? Yup, I was the type to lick out the centers and try to pass off the slobbery wafers on unsuspecting siblings. Chocolate ice cream? Honestly, I’m still not into it.
But at some point, a little chocolate seed in my food brain started to sprout and now I find myself craving it from time to time. You don’t see a lot of chocolaty recipes around here, because my cravings tend to require immediate action–no time for recipes or pictures. When I need chocolate, there’s usually not time to wait around for butter to soften or ovens to preheat, it’s more of a how-can-I-get-half-a-bag-of-chocolate-chips-into-my-mouth-as-quickly-as-possible sort of situation.
Well, I found myself in a days-long chocolate mood last week. My pantry was in rough shape–not a chocolate chip or baking bar in sight. I cleaned out my freezer, hoping to find a forgotten brownie or slice of cake. No luck. I tried concocting a frothy/sludgy iced mocha with cocoa powder; didn’t work. I needed intense chocolate, something I could hold onto, chewy, fudgy, and decadent. I needed to do it right. I needed a big batch of cookies.
These cookies are everything I could’ve asked for and most definitely worth a trip to the grocery store/waiting for the oven to preheat. They are intensely chocolaty, fudgy in the center, chewy around the edges. I snuck in a handful of rum-soaked cherries but I imagine chopped walnuts or candied ginger being equally delicious.
These cookies are adapted from an America’s Test Kitchen cookbook, and I’ve got to say, it’s going to be my go-to recipe for future dire chocolate needs. Start by melting a ton of chocolate chips and soaking dried cherries in dark rum. Measure out flour, baking powder, cocoa, and a little instant espresso to give the chocolate even more intensity.
Cream butter with brown and white sugar. Beat in a few eggs, a splash of vanilla, and all that beautifully smooth melted chocolate. Stir in the dry ingredients and the rum-soaked cherries.
The dough will be more like batter initially. Let it rest for half of an hour and it will firm up to a scoop-able consistency. It’s probably best to place yourself far, far away from the bowl during this time if you do indeed want to end up with a batch of (cooked) cookies.
After resting, scoop the dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. I was not going to mess around so I went for the full-sized ice cream scoop. Bake until the edges are set, the centers crackled and still a little wobbly.
Warm from the oven, these cookies are brownie-like and demand an ice-cold glass of milk. Cooled on day 2, they’re lovely with a cup of coffee. On day 3, they’re at perfect stage of chewiness and the chocolate flavor has fully bloomed. Day 4…
…I had to put them in the freezer before things got completely out of control.
- 16 oz. Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
- 1 heaping c. Dried Cherries
- 2 Tbsp. Dark Rum
- 2 c. All-Purpose Flour
- ½ c. Cocoa Powder
- 1 tsp. Instant Espresso Powder
- 2 tsp. Baking Powder
- ¾ tsp. Salt
- 10 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter, softened
- 1½ c. Light Brown Sugar
- ½ c. Sugar
- 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
- 4 Eggs
- Place the chocolate chips in a heatproof bowl and set over a pan of simmering water. Melt, stirring occasionally, then remove the bowl and allow to cool.
- Meanwhile, combine the dried cherries and rum in a small bowl. Allow the cherries to plump, tossing occasionally for half an hour or so.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking powder, and salt.
- Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes on medium speed. Beat in the vanilla and the eggs, one at a time, until well incorporated, about 30 seconds. Beat in the cooled melted chocolate.
- Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture. Mix until just combined. Stir in the rum-soaked cherries. The dough will be quite wet at this point. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the cookie dough to stand at room temperature until it has thickened to a scoop-able, fudge-like consistency, about 30 minutes.
- While the dough is setting up, preheat the oven to 350° and line baking sheets with parchment paper. Use an ice-cream scoop to form large balls of dough (about 3 Tbsp.). Leave plenty of space between the cookies--they'll spread quite a bit.
- Bake until the edges are set and the tops are cracked but still slightly underdone, about 12 minutes. Allow to on the baking sheet for 10 minutes until they've set up. Eat them warm with a cold glass of milk or transfer to a wire cooling rack and allow to cool completely.
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