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Chocolate Chunk Mountains

chocolate_chunk_mountains_closeup

From Big Fat Cookies by Eleanor Klivans. You should buy the book.

3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped

2 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons cream of tartar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup vegetable shortening, such as Crisco

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon instant coffee granules, dissolved in 2 teaspoons water (I didn’t have instant coffee and didn’t want to buy it because it tastes awful, so I just made up a cup of really strong coffee and added 3 teaspoons to the dough and it turned out fine; perhaps 2 teaspoons would have been better, but you can’t taste the coffee flavor in these at all)

1 cup (about 4 ounces) walnuts, coarsely chopped

3 cups (about 17 ounces) semisweet chocolate chunks or chopped semisweet chocolate

  • Preheat the oven to 350*. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Put the unsweetened chocolate in a heatproof container or the top of a double boiler and place it over, but not touching, a saucepan of barely simmering water (or the bottom of the double boiler). Stir the chocolate until it is melted and smooth. Remove from the water and set aside to cool slightly.
  • Sift the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on low speed, beat the butter, vegetable shortening, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until well blended and smooth, about 1 minute. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl as needed during mixing. Mix in the melted chocolate. Mix in the eggs, vanilla, and dissolved coffee until smoothly blended, about 1 minute. Add the flour mixture, mixing just until it is incorporated. Mix in the nuts and chocolate chunks.
  • Using an ice cream scoop or measuring cup with a 1/4-cup capacity, scoop out portions of dough, roll each one between the palms of your hands into a smooth ball, and place on the prepared baking sheets, spacing the cookies 2 inches apart (if you’re short on space, I found that these didn’t spread very much, so you might be able to place them closer together).
  • Bake the cookies one sheet at a time for 10 minutes. The outsides of the cookies will change from shiny to dull and the tops should feel firm but the interior will still be quite soft; the cookies will firm up as they cool.
  • Cool the cookies for 15 minutes on the baking sheets, then use a wide metal spatula to transfer them to a wire rack to cool thoroughly. It will take at least 4 hours for the chocolate to firm up. If leaving them to cool overnight, put the cookies on a plate and cover them. They are especially good served the day after baking.
  • The cookies can be stored in a tightly covered container at room temperature for up to 4 days.

chocolate_chunk_mountains

Makes: 23 cookies

Cookie making: 20 minutes

Cookie baking: 250*, 2 baking sheets for about 10 minutes each

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