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.
Yes, I do
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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
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.