When I’ve been depressed or stressed or overly busy for a while, one of the most sure-fire ways for me to return to my normal self is to spend some time in the kitchen. I truly don’t feel like myself when I’m not consistently making nourishing food for me and my partner, and doing the requisite ongoing dish cleaning and garbage taking-out that accompanies it.
Sometimes I don’t realize how far I’ve drifted from my ideal self-care until I put a skillet on the stove, crack open an egg, and wake up to how alive I suddenly feel.
I’m especially taken with baking. I find it meditative and comforting and nurturing, and a good, solid afternoon spent with flour and butter and spices is one of my favorite ways to hang out with myself.
These cookies are quickly becoming a favorite thing to bake. I’ve probably made them about five times in the last couple years, which means that this is a recipe I can really get behind. I’ve sent them as birthday gifts, and I’ve toted them to parties. They’re always a hit. Plus, my chocolate-loving self is always so very delighted to bite into one, hot and melty from the oven.
This recipe is adapted from The Good Cookie, my cookie bible. Most cookies I make are from this book. I recommend it highly.
Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes about 36 cookies
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kelp powder (This is my own addition and is entirely optional. Kelp is extremely nutritious, and I find deep, chocolatey baked goods a nice way to get more of it in my diet. It doesn’t change the flavor or texture of the cookies at all. If you want to include it, I buy mine at Mountain Rose Herbs.)
14 ounces bittersweet chocolate, divided
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts (I left these out this time, because I was baking for a group that includes non-nut lovers.)
1. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and kelp powder (optional); set aside.
2. Chop 6 ounces of the chocolate into pieces between 1/4 and 1/2 inch square, set aside. (I, personally, just use chocolate chips and don’t chop.)
3. Coarsely chop (if not using chocolate chips) the remaining 8 ounces chocolate and place in the top of a double boiler with the butter. Melt the chocolate and butter over barely simmering water, stirring occasionally. Remove the pan from the heat; separate the top of the pan from the bottom and let the chocolate mixture cool for 10 minutes.
4. In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the whisk attachment, beat the eggs, brown sugar, and vanilla extract at high speed until doubled in volume, about 3 minutes. At low speed, blend in the melted chocolate mixture. Add the dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the reserved chocolate and the walnuts (optional); the dough will be thin. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (or up to 24 hours).
5. Position two oven racks near the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpats, or grease them with butter.
6. Drop the chilled dough by rounded tablespoons, 2 inches apart, onto the baking sheets. Moisten your palm (get it good and wet; don’t be afraid) to prevent sticking, and flatten each mound of dough slightly. Bake the cookies, two sheets at a time, for 9 to 11 minutes, just until the cookies appear set and slightly shiny on top; switch the position of the baking sheets halfway through baking. Do not overbake, or the cookies will be dry; the centers should not be completely set. Cool the cookies on the baking sheets for 10 minutes, then transfer them to wire racks to cool completely.