Tuesday, March 8, 2011
I'm not sure what it is, but I've noticed lately that the desserts I gravitate toward are those where I don't have to choose between my favorite flavors - chocolate and vanilla. I don't want to choose. I want both.
These cookies definitely fall under that category. The pictures are deceiving because they look like they might be really big cookies, but they're not. They're actually only about 2 1/2 inches across, which compared to the enormous sizes of most of the cookies I make, these are delightfully diminutive.
Their small stature not withstanding, they are chock-full of chocolately goodness of both the bittersweet variety and white chocolate. For both chocolates I used Callebaut because the quality of the chocolate will make a difference here. You could probably still have a good cookie if you use some chocolate chips and white chocolate chips, but you wouldn't end up with the huge pockets and chunks of chocolate, which is really one of the main attractions of this cookie.
The other thing I love about this recipe is actually that it is a make ahead kind of dough. You will end up with two 'logs' of cookie dough, stashed in your refrigerator or freezer, that you can slice as needed and bake up a whole batch, or just a few cookies at a time and prolong the enjoyment. Nothing makes me happier on a hard day than knowing that I can bake up some cookies in a few minutes with no effort on my part. (Especially useful after days spent shuttling sick kids to doctors, hospitals and pharmacies - OY! I am SO over Winter!)
White and Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Adapted from Wolfgang Puck Makes It Easy
Makes about 5 dozen cookies
6 oz bittersweet chocolate, cut into 1/4-inch chunks
4 oz white chocolate, cut into 1/4-inch chunks
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick unsalted butter, cold, cut into tablespoons)
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Note: This dough needs to chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours and up to one week, so plan ahead.
In a medium sized bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In the bowl of a standing mixer with paddle attachment, cream the butter pieces, still a bit cold, until fluffy and pale yellow, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and paddle and add the sugars while continuing to beat until smooth, another 2 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla on low till combined. Still on low, gradually add the flour mixture and beat until just incorporated. Add the chocolate chunks and mix them into the dough.
Place a piece of parchment paper or wax paper on a clean work surface. Use a spatula or scoop to scoop out one half of the dough. Form it into a log about 2-inches in diameter. Roll the log in the paper, then roll that in plastic wrap or foil. Repeat with the second half of the dough on another piece of parchment or wax paper. Wrap the logs tightly and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to one week. You can also stash the dough in your freezer for up to a month (just allow to thaw slightly before trying to slice and bake).
To bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F with a rack in the lower portion of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Cut the logs, using a serrated knife, into 1/4 to 1/3-inch thick slices. Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheet about 1 inch apart. If the slices come apart a bit when you are slicing them, just press the dough bake into a ‘slice’ shape (not into a ball). Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes. They are done when they are golden around the edges and bottom. Remove the cookies from the oven and cool on racks. Store airtight.
Note: To bake more than one sheet at a time, just rotate the sheets, front to back, top to bottom halfway through the baking time. I prefer to only slice a few cookies as needed and bake them fresh when we want a treat.