Sunday, February 10, 2013

Chocolate Brownie Cookies

Gramercy Tavern is an iconic New York City restaurant.  I know quite a few people who have eaten there, and everyone puts it well up there in their ranks of best restaurant meals ever.  The desserts alone are worth a visit.  Zack and I ate an caramel apple crisp ala mode there that has never been rivaled by any other.  The caramelized crumble was exactly what we wanted it to be and more.

Last fall I was looking for a recipe for brownie cookies.  I had in my minds eye exactly what you see above.  In my research I came across many recipes, but when I found one from Gramercy Tavern, I knew it was going to be good.  I think its perfect and my brownie cookie cravings have been fully satisfied ever since.

These cookies are kind of like biting into a chocolate bar macaron (the French kind).  Immense chocolate flavor, but a wonderful light crust and slightly chewy interior.  My only significant adaptations to the recipe involve salt.  This much chocolate desperately needs it.  For the past four months, I've been baking these at least every couple weeks.  People just love them.  It recently dawned on me that they are the perfect cookie for sandwiching.  In fact, I'm making them next weekend and sandwiching them with Nutella, for a dear friends birthday.  These cookies definitely have the best texture the day you make them and the batter doesn't keep well.  You'll want to mix them up and bake immediately.  Then, get munching within 2-4 hours for optimum textural enjoyment.  I mean, they still taste amazing days later, but they will be gone by then.  I promise.

Adapted The Last Course, The Desserts of Gramercy Tavern

1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt (4 times the original amount in the recipe, but definitely important!)
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon espresso powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
7 ounces 60-70% dark chocolate, chopped or use Ghiradelli's 60% chocolate chips
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips (or combination of chips and similarly sized pieces of nut of your choice)
Maldon sea salt (optional, but I always do this)

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, briefly whip the eggs to break them up. Add the sugar, espresso, and vanilla and beat on high speed for 15 full minutes.

While the eggs are whipping, melt the chocolate and butter in the microwave.  Start with the chocolate ONLY and heat for 1 minute.  Stir with a metal spoon or whisk.  Add the butter and heat for another 45 seconds.  Stir/whisk again.  If not quite melted, give it another 20 seconds or so.  

Gently fold the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture until partially combined (there should still be some streaks). Add the flour mixture to the batter and carefully fold it in. Fold in the chocolate chips. If the batter is very runny, let it rest until it thickens slightly, about 5 minutes.

Using a small or medium (depending on the size you want) levered ice cream scoop, drop the batter onto the prepared baking sheets.  Sprinkle with a little Maldon salt (if you choose) and bake until puffed and cracked, 6-8 minutes (again, depending on size). Cool on a wire rack before removing from the baking sheets.

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