Free Range Nurse

Cooking therapy from a former travel nurse

Versatile Chocolate Cookie Dough May 29, 2010

Filed under: chocolate,cookies,dessert — freerangenurse @ 7:19 am

How much do you love chocolate?  If you are like most, chocolate ranks high on the dessert wish list.  Of course there’s the common chocolate chip cookie to nibble on, but really think about it.  How much of the chocolate flavor comes through?  The sweetness of most chocolate chip cookies easily over-powers the flavor of even the most intense chocolate chip.  Don’t get me wrong, I love a good chocolate chunk cookie, but if you want to really taste chocolate, then this is the cookie for you….or rather, these are the cookies for you.

I found this/these recipes in Fine Cooking Magazine.  Yes, the same magazine that gave me this, and this.  This particular edition was dedicated to chocolate, every recipe – oh yes, and there are many recipes in the magazine.  It was a little difficult to know where to start, but I decided to start here and honestly, I haven’t moved on yet.  I have made this recipe four or five times already, wowing my coworkers with these intensely chocolate-y cookies.  What is more impressive is how different they are from one another, even though the base recipe is identical.

The chocolate wafers are thin and crisp and are an excellent coffee companion, have great dunkability in milk and would love a delicious coating of chocolate ganache or perhaps even a smear of Bailey’s infused cream.  They are a snap to make, store beautifully in the fridge until ready to cut and bake (just like those less than desirable store bought slice and bake cookie doughs).

The second version (my favorite) are thick and chewy, have a totally different texture, and while possessing the same intense chocolate taste, have a little added complexity with the addition of cherries, chocolate chunks and nuts.  Like their simpler counterparts, they also hold up well to a dip in the milk pool.  They could easily be made with different fruit/nut combos, or even have the fruit omitted.  They are your cookies, it is your dough, change the supporting cast and still end up with a winner.

Let me know what you changed and how you made this your own cookie.

Basic Cocoa Cookie Dough

recipe from Fine Cooking,

  • 2 1/4 cups (10 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup, plus 2 tablespoons (3 3/8 oz) unsweetened natural cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
  • 1 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/8 tsp baking soda
  • 3/8 tsp salt
  • 1 cup plus 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, slightly softened
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Using a food processor, combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt.  Pulse several times to thoroughly combine.  Add softened butter and pulse to combine.  Combine the milk and vanilla in a bowl.  With the food processor running, add milk mixture and continue to process until the dough clumps around the blade.  Note, this can also be made in a mixer.  Once mixed, transfer the dough to a clean work surface and knead to make sure all ingredients are combined.

From here you can take this dough in any direction you want to go.  You can form the dough into a log, wrap it in wax paper and chill it in the refrigerator for about an hour, then slice into 1/4 inch slices and bake it at 350 for 12-15 minutes.  This will make the intensely chocolate, crisp wafer cookies….or, you can take it further.

For Cherry Chocolate Cookies:

  • 1 batch of cocoa cookie dough
  • 2 cups toasted chopped nuts (pecans, walnuts or hazelnuts)
  • 1 1/2 cup chocolate chunks (about 9 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped)
  • 9 ounces (about 1 1/2 cup dried cherries, coarsely chopped

Mix all ingredients using a stand mixer until well combined.  Drop tablespoons of dough about 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees F for 12-14 minutes until the cookies are dry to the touch and slightly soft when pushed with your finger.  Cool cookies on a rack.  Store at room temperature in an airtight container….if you have any left.

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Urban Legend Cookies April 12, 2010

Filed under: chocolate,cookies,dessert — freerangenurse @ 10:43 am

Did you ever hear the story of the Nieman Marcus cookie?  Supposedly a woman dined at the Nieman Marcus Cafe and had their chocolate chip cookies for dessert.  She enjoyed the cookies so much, she asked the waiter for a recipe and was told they could sell it to her for two-fifty.  She agreed and then upon receiving her credit  card statement, was horrified to find out that she was billed $250.00 for the recipe.  She called the store to dispute the charge, but was told, essentially, too bad, no refunds.  Disgruntled and bent on revenge, she distributed the recipe to everyone she knew to prevent anyone else from being duped into purchasing the recipe. (more…)

 

Absolutely In Love With Lebovitz! April 10, 2010

Filed under: chocolate,dessert — freerangenurse @ 10:00 am

Many of my friends know that there are a few food bloggers that I love.  There are many that I read, but only two or three that I could say that no matter what recipe of theirs I try, it always yields delectable results.  David Lebovitz is one of those three.  I have all of his cookbooks, I read his blog with great enthusiasm, I follow him on Twitter and I am FaceBook “friends” with him.  I’m a little obsessed. (more…)

 

What A Girl Wants… March 3, 2010

I have said before, I don’t have much of a sweet tooth and there was a time I thought I didn’t like chocolate.  I know, shocker!  What woman in her right mind doesn’t like chocolate?  First off, I never claimed to be in my right mind and secondly, it turns out I do like chocolate, just not milk chocolate.  I discovered this at work.  I was taking care of a patient whose mother was from Paris.  She was raving about the chocolates her parents had brought with them from France in celebration of the new arrival and I mentioned that I didn’t like chocolate.  I swear, she let out an audible gasp.  She told me she was sure I did like chocolate, just not the overly sweet “American” chocolate.  She insisted that I try one of her chocolates.  I did and whoa boy!  It was everything women are supposed to feel when they eat chocolate, better than mediocre sex, for sure!  She told me to try dark chocolate and don’t be afraid to buy the good stuff.  I have loved chocolate ever since.  I just don’t feel like it needs all the sugar and milk to make it divine.  The divinity is in the slightly bitter, lightly sweet richness. (more…)