Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Chocolate Chip Fudge Cookies

Chocolate Chip Fudge Cookies
Sometimes...to be honest many times...I am overcome by the need to bake.  I might have a dozen things on my plate, including grocery shopping, making dinner, actually feeding lunch to the kids (why are they always so hungry!), and instead I am consumed with the need to bake.



Chocolate Chip Fudge Cookies

Yes, I do enjoy making dinner, but I will admit I don't find the same joy in thinking up new ways to prepare all of those cucumbers in my garden as I do checking out what baking ingredients I have in my pantry.  More than likely I will have the right ingredients on hand and not need to trek to the grocery store for a bottle of soy sauce that I swore I picked up the last time I went to the store.  I can stand in the pantry door, grab that already opened bag of chocolate chips, munch on a few, and get my creative juices flowing.  Oh, what the heck, I'll take one more handful and shove it in.  Yes, now we're talking. Something with chocolate.  Something where I can lick the spoon and that bowl when it's close to being empty.  Maybe I can get the kids to do something outside of the kitchen and hoard it all for myself. Why are they never around when I'm taste-testing salad dressings?

Chocolate Chip Fudge Cookies
So, there I stood in my pantry door, eating chocolate chips, when I was faced with one of those serious dilemmas that I'm sure you've faced at least once in your lifetime.  Cookies or brownies? Ohhh...decisions.  Decisions are dreadful.  They are painful, I know. I feel your pain.  On this particular tortured day, I really wanted something very chocolatey. Very chocolatey.  I really don't care that the others might not.  They're always accusing me of never making what they want anyway so let's not shock them into thinking I actually listen.

Chocolate Chip Fudge Cookies
And, then I'm struck by the other side of my brain (or heart or stomach, wherever these urges come from). I really wanted a cookie.  We'd been eating birthday cake earlier in the week, and I didn't want anything cakey or that I'd actually have to get a plate and stick a fork into it. I wanted a cookie.  I wanted a brownie.

I WILL MAKE COOKIES THAT TASTE LIKE BROWNIES! Gosh, I'm brilliant!


On a mission now with a real purpose, I put my research hat on. Maybe it wasn't the same one I wore to my graduate school ceremony, but at least I was pretending to be studying something very important.  I scoured my cookie recipes.  I scoured my brownie recipes.  I checked out the ingredients for both, looking especially at my two favorite recipes for each.  And, in the end, I settled on a combination of the two.  I merged the two recipes together and came up with a glorious hybrid, mutant, whatever you want to call it. I think I've been watching too many Marvel cartoons this summer.

Chocolate Chip Fudge Cookies

The final result was a delicious cookie that pleased not only the kids on that fine afternoon but also some lovely ladies at a PTA meeting that night.  Like a brownie, these cookies have a cocoa taste that is magnified by the kosher salt added in.  I combined sugar with brown sugar to give a soft and slightly chewy texture to the cookie side of its personality.  The chocolate chips and finely chopped walnuts are right at home no matter which camp you are in.  I made the cookies both by rolling them into balls and placing on a cookie sheet and also by rolling out the dough and cutting into shapes.

My preference in the end was the ball form.  It yielded a softer cookie.  This dough can be frozen and stored for later use.


For a print-friendly version of the recipe, click: https://sites.google.com/site/chocolatechipfudgecookies/

Ingredients
2 1/4 cups of unbleached All-purpose flour
3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa (good-quality goes a long way)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup walnut pieces

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a medium bowl, add the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and kosher salt.  Stir to combine all of the ingredients.


In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and two sugars at medium speed.  Beat until light and fluffy, about five minutes.  Scrape down the sides.  Add your eggs one at a time until the yolk disappears.  Again, scrape down the sides.  Add in the vanilla.

With the mixer set at a low speed, add in the dry ingredients in three steps, making sure all of the flour is mixed in before adding in more.  Before the third add-in, pour in the chocolate chips and walnut pieces.  Mix them in at low speed.  It will crumble the chips and walnuts a little, which is what you want. Finally, add in the last of the dry ingredients.

Scoop a tablespoon of dough into your hands and roll into a ball.  Place the ball onto your cookie sheet and then press the middle down with your thumb.  This will keep your cookie from puffing and will flatten it just a bit without spreading.  Cookies can be placed about 1 1/2 inches apart.


Bake in the oven at 375 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes.  Yields around 36 cookies.