Unlike most of the cookies on the Beurre & Sel list, these are scoop-and- bake free-forms. They are chubby and chockablock with chopped-up good things that poke out of the cookies at every which angle. Famously disorderly, they are phenomenally delicious. Among the Beurre & Sel customers, they had a serious following.
There are chopped salted cashews in the mix; winey, sweet-tart dried cherries; chopped milk chocolate; and both chopped and melted bitter- sweet chocolate. You need a lot of chocolate — more than a pound! — and every penny that you put into buying great chocolate for these will come back to you in oohs, aahs and culinary contentment. There’s no question that Chunkers are one of the world’s great cookies.
ON-DEMAND: Listen to Faith and Dorie talk about this cookie recipe as well as several other cookie recipes from Dorie’s book on The Faith Middleton Food Schmooze.
Excerpted from Dorie’s Cookies, published by Rux Martin/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Copyright © 2016 Dorie Greenspan. Photographs © 2016 Davide Luciano and Claudia Ficca.
A word on technique: To get the very best texture — and with these, that means that the cookie gets softer as you approach the center — give the eggs and sugar the full measure of time in the mixer, add the melted ingredients while they’re still warm and fold in the rest of the ingredients as efficiently as you can. Scoop the cookies while the dough is still warm, and don’t second-guess yourself — they’ll look seriously underbaked when you take them out of the oven, but they’ll firm to perfection on a rack.
- 1 cup (5 ounces; 141 grams) plump, moist dried cherries coarsely chopped
- 1/3 cup (45 grams) all-purpose flour
- 5 tablespoons (26 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 3 tablespoons (1½ ounces; 43 grams) unsalted butter cut into 6 pieces
- 13 ounces (368 grams) bittersweet chocolate coarsely chopped
- 8 ounces (226 grams) salted cashews coarsely chopped
- 6 ounces (170 grams) best-quality milk chocolate coarsely chopped
- 2 large eggs at room temperature
- 3/4 cup (150 grams) sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat it to 325 degrees F. (If your oven has hot spots, center the rack and bake one sheet at a time because it’s best not to have to open the oven and take the time to rotate the sheets during the short bake.) Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Cover the bottom of a flat-bottomed jar or glass with plastic wrap.
- Put the chopped cherries in a bowl, cover with very hot tap water and let soak while you put together the rest of the ingredients. When you’re ready for them, drain and pat dry between paper towels. Whisk the flour, cocoa, salt and baking powder together.
- Put the butter in a medium heatproof bowl. Scatter over 7 ounces (198 grams) of the bittersweet chocolate and place the bowl over a saucepan of water; the bottom of the bowl should not touch the water. Bring the water to a gentle simmer and slowly melt the butter and chocolate. Stir occasionally and be careful not to overheat the mixture — you don’t want the chocolate and butter to get so hot that they separate.
- Toss the remaining 6 ounces (170 grams) bittersweet chocolate, the cashews, milk chocolate and cherries together in another bowl.
- Working with a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the eggs and sugar together on medium-high speed for about 5 minutes (don’t skimp on the time), until the eggs are pale and the whisk leaves tracks. Beat in the vanilla. With the mixer on medium-low, scrape in the warm melted butter and chocolate and mix just until incorporated. Switch to a sturdy flexible spatula and, as gently as you can with this heavy batter, fold in the flour mixture, making certain that you get to anything that’s at the bottom of the bowl. When almost all of the dry ingredients are incorporated, add the chopped chocolate, nuts and cherries, folding and stirring until they’re mixed in. (Everything will be chocolate-covered except the cashews; their oil makes them somewhat resistant to coating.)
- Using a large cookie scoop, scoop out level portions of the warm dough or use a tablespoon to get heaping spoonfuls, placing the mounds of dough about 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. Use the bottom of the jar to lightly press down on each mound — you’re aiming to get a puck with a diameter of 2-½ inches.
- Bake the cookies for 10 to 11 minutes, or until the tops, which will crack, are mostly dry — the centers might look wet and unbaked. The cookies will still be very soft (don’t try to budge them). Go by time, and have faith. Transfer the baking sheets to a rack and let the cookies cool and set for about 30 minutes, until you can lift them from the parchment paper. If you haven’t done so, bake the second sheet.
The flattened pucks of dough can be frozen for up to 2 months. Do not defrost before baking; leave at room temperature while you preheat the oven. The cookies are at their most splendid the day they’re made. In fact, nothing beats a Chunker that’s just a couple of hours out of the oven. However, they’ll keep, covered, at room temperature for about 2 days. And they can be frozen, well wrapped, for up to 2 months.
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