I made the closest men in my life (my boyfriend, my brother, and my dad) very happy this past week. I didn’t buy them presents. Or give them money. No, I baked and gave them cookies. Double chocolate ones. 6 dozen of them on a total of 5 pans. And it’s unanimous: out of all the recipes I’ve tried so far, this is their favourite cookie of all-time. And I have to say, I freakin’ love these cookies myself. They are heavenly. But their love of chocolate borders on obsession (or addiction; it’s really almost the same thing in this context) baffles me. I enjoy chocolate as much as the next person, but their addiction to chocolate is just on a whole other level. I watch guys eat chocolate and it’s like they’re eating their last meal on earth. My brother will excitedly chant, “chocolate, chocolate, chocolate!” when I simply mention something about chocolate. And I once scolded my boyfriend for eating too many chocolate chip pancakes because he wouldn’t stop moaning and groaning about how full he was from his chocolate chip pancake breakfast. “Well why did you eat so many?! Why didn’t you just stop at two??” “They were so good…” Cue deadpan expression.
Anyway, I made brown sugar shortbread over the holidays and while I will admit that they were just so-so (it needed a little finesse and a part 2 experiment), I ate my share while the boys just sniffed at them. Sigh. “Fine,” I said. “I’ll make you guys double chocolate cookies next time. Sound good?” Eager bobblehead nods.
You don’t have to be a crazy chocolate addict to love these cookies though. These epitomize cookie perfection in so many ways: they’re crispy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside, the cracking on the outside is beautiful, the recipe doesn’t require a mixer, you can easily substitute the chocolate chips for other mix-ins such as chopped nuts, candies, or dried fruit, the recipe yields a very generous amount making them a perfect option for parties and cookie swaps, they freeze well, and they’re a cinch to make. And did I mention they’re double chocolate and fudgy as heck? WHAT’S NOT TO LOVE?! I thank another one of my beloved Joanne Fluke Hannah Swensen foodie murder mysteries for this amazing cookie recipe, courtesy of Blueberry Muffin Murder, the 3rd book from the series.
Recipe for Twin Chocolate Delights (yields approx. 6 dozen/72 medium-sized cookies)
- 1 cup butter (2 sticks)
- 2-1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 3 cups all-purpose flour (no need to sift)
- 1 cup chopped nuts (*Deb’s Note: I didn’t use nuts so I simply substituted with extra chocolate chips)
- 2 cups chocolate chips
- Line several baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. (The dough needs to chill in the fridge so there’s no preheating of the oven at this point).
- Melt butter in large microwave-safe bowl. Add the sugar and mix. (*Deb’s Note: I just used a spatula for this step as well as for the rest of the recipe).
- Add the cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, and vanilla and stir until smooth.
- Add the beaten eggs and stir thoroughly.
- Mix in the flour, nuts (if you’re using them), and chocolate chips (*Deb’s Note: using the spatula, I gently folded the flour in until it was incorporated. Then I used my hands (freshly washed hands!) to mix in the chocolate chips.)
- Cover bowl with a piece of plastic wrap; chill cookie dough in refrigerator for about 30 minutes (*Deb’s Note: I added this step because the dough was still a bit too gummy to handle)
- Place rounded teaspoons of dough on baking sheets, 12 to a standard sheet (*Deb’s Note: I used my hands to grab mounds of dough, gently shaping them into small rounds. As well, I fit 15 on the first 4 pans and 12 on the last one.)
- Heat oven to 350°F. Bake for 10 minutes. Cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely (*Deb’s Note: this allows you to use the same pans for multiple rounds of cookies. Two pans are enough. I know because that’s what I did – I don’t actually have 5 baking pans at home! While the first pan is in the oven, you work on shaping the dough balls for the 2nd pan. When the first pan comes out and the 2nd goes in, there’s enough time between taking the cookies off the pan and re-filling with another batch for the pan to cool down enough to not cause your raw dough to start melting/spreading.)
Recipe adapted from Joanne Fluke’s Blueberry Muffin Murder. New York: Kensington Publishing Corporation, 2002. Photographs taken by me. The recipe can be found on pages 136-137.