Tuesday, 12 May 2009
I promised in my last post that I would share my attempt over the holidays to soothe my cravings for Ben's cookies by making these triple chocolate and pecan cookies. They're a bit different from Ben's - I used both dark and white chocolate, and they have walnuts rather than pecans. Thinking about it, I'm fairly sure that Ben's don't have nuts in the actual dough, either. But most of all it's the volume - these are fairly flat, even sunken - whereas Ben's have big domes. They're also a bit too crispy in places - I want some chewiness, and a more brownie-like consistency. I'm going on work on that over the summer. I think one starting point will be Erin Cooks' recipe for Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies. By the time I graduate I want to be able to recreate them perfectly!
I'm much more of a fan of pecans than of walnuts - I find walnuts often have a funny aftertaste. In a similar way I always thought macadamia nuts had a really metallic taste. Pecans almost always hit the spot, though, especially when toasted. The white chocolate chips I used were left over from decorating Mum's Birthday Cake, and I think some 'real' white chocolate would have improved them. They weren't half bad chips - but a lump of Green and Blacks or similarly cocoa-butter rich type. For some reason the supermarkets in town at home only have pretty shoddy white chocolate. Perhaps if we went down into the valley it would be better.
Despite the fact they're not Ben's, they're not quite tall enough, etc etc, they really are quite lovely. The nutty muscovado and the pecans go beautifully and the chocolate melds into the dough, yet you still get pockets of melted chocolate. The pile disappeared really very quickly.
Triple Chocolate and Pecan Cookies
(Inspired by a recipe from Australian Women's Weekly)
200g soft brown sugar
185g plain flour
50g cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
pinch of salt
150g dark chocolate
100g white chocolate
Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Toast the pecans in a dry saucepan or in the oven for 4-5 minutes or until they smell nutty and look slightly darker, then leave them to cool. Beat the butter and sugar together until well combined. Add the egg, then sift in the flour, cocoa, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt and beat just until combined. Chop and stir in the pecans and both types of chocolate. Scoop out balls of dough and place on lined baking sheets, with at least 4cm or so between them. Squish slightly. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until they look set in the centres. Remove from oven and let cool on the tray for five minutes before removing to a wire rack.
The dough keeps for at least a day in the fridge. I often freeze the balls of dough and then bake from frozen, which takes an additional 1-2 minutes. They keep in the freezer for up to two months.
(Makes 15-20, depending on size)