I have a weakness for excellent cookbooks. I have a ton of cookbooks, more than I really need… but I just can’t seem to stop buying more. I probably get 3 or 4 new cookbooks a year, each time thinking to myself ‘this time will be the last time’, but it never is. My real weakness is baking books. One of my first books that I remember receiving and buying at a real bookstore (not the secondhand bookstore) was a cookbook. It was at Heathside, one of the only bookstores in my hometown. I remember seeing it and falling in love at the store, and lucky for me my parents always encouraged my curiosity, hobbies, and buying a good book. I loved it. I would pour over the recipes, and mark the ones I needed to try. It came with a set of plastic measuring spoons that I used over and over again for years. Even though the book came with recipes for all meals, the ones that I remember making the most were the cookies and brownies. Baking has always been a passion of mine.
One of my first memories in the kitchen was baking cookies with my dad. I don’t remember what he let me do, but I remember helping. I remember each time getting to do more, until I was trusted to do it on my own. We had a Kitchenaid Stand mixer, and it was so huge. Our kitchen was small, so I had bowls of this and that all over the place. I remember the time when I was in the 4th grade making cookies and forgetting to put in the dry ingredients because the bowl was behind the mixer. Those were some… interesting… cookies, to say the least.
Back to the point, I got a new cookbook yesterday. It’s not that I don’t have enough step-by-step baking cookbooks, but this one was beautiful. The pictures were gorgeous, and the recipes seemed both challenging and simple at the same time. I would, and hopefully will, bake 95% of the recipes in the book. I looked at each one carefully before buying it, and couldn’t walk out of the store without it.
I decided that for the first test run I would make the first real recipe in the book. A good chunk of the beginning of the book are recipes for things like crust, frosting, etc., but this was the first ‘real’ recipe. I have to say… I am impressed.
The directions were easy to follow, and the resulting cookie was amazing. I tweaked the recipe a little because of taste preferences (adding nuts, using both dark and semi-sweet chocolate), and the resulting cookie is fabulous. If you love chocolate… this is the recipe for you.
Recipe: White and Dark Chocolate Cookies (with nuts!), adapted from Mastering the Art of Baking Jumbo Chocolate Fudge Cookies
12 TBS butter
5.5 ounces of dark chocolate
1.5 c. flour
1.5 c. brown sugar
a pinch of salt
3 eggs, slightly beaten
3 ounces white chocolate, coarsely chopped
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 c. chopped walnuts (optional)
In a medium sauce pan, melt the butter and dark chocolate together. Set aside and let cool while you mix the other ingredients. In a large bowl stir together the flour, brown sugar, and salt. Stir in the butter and chocolate mixture, followed by the eggs. Fold in the white chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate, and walnuts. Place in the refrigerator if needed to firm up the dough. While the dough is chilling, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. On a lined baking sheet roll out the cookies in tablespoons, slightly flattening each one. Place 1.5-2 inches apart, to account for spreading. Bake for 12 minutes, and then set out to cool.
I had two baking sheets going at once, so that as one sheet cooked, the other could cool. Until the cookies cool they are not firm at all, but after about 8 minutes of sitting you are able to easily lift off the sheet. Enjoy!