The ubiquitous chocolate chip cookie may seem less than poetic to write about, but after eating one of these, I'm ready to pen a stanza or two. The "chips" in these cookies are hand-chopped from dark chocolate bars. When added to the batter, all of those assorted shards, chips and chunks create swirling ribbons and pockets of chocolate throughout the baked cookie. This is one of the best chocolate chip cookies I've ever tasted.
The recipe comes from the Mast Brotherscookbook. For those unfamiliar, they are makers and purveyors of fine chocolate. I'm almost embarrassed to admit this, but I was sold on their chocolate before I sampled it. First of all, the chocolate bars are wrapped in gorgeous heavyweight Italian papers with print motifs worthy of covering the walls of 111 Archer Avenue. I've taken to using them as bookmarks for the cookbook. Secondly, the bristly faces and serious gazes of the brothers Mast remind me of my husband. How easily I am gentled by sentimentality.
Luckily my sentiments were not at the expense of good taste. Never have I enjoyed chocolate so profoundly dark and sharp. A chocolate fruity and floral; untamed and yet refined. If you have the opportunity to try this chocolate, take it. I think you'll find my description to be accurate.
Since this recipe requires a whopping 15 ounces of chopped dark chocolate, I used 10 ounces of block dark chocolate that I already had on hand. I mixed this chocolate into the cookie dough. The remaining 5 ounces came from two bars of Mast Brothers chocolate: Stumptown Coffee and Sea Salt. I chopped these bars and sprinkled them over the cookies mid-bake. The unsung hero of this confection is the cookie batter. It is the yin to the snappy dark chocolate's yang. It puffs slightly in the oven and then sinks down to create a slight pillow.
That's pretty much chocolate chip cookie perfection, if you ask me.
Mast Brothers Chocolate Chip Cookies
[click for printable version]
Yields about 35 cookies
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sea salt
15 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
Coarse grey sea salt, optional
Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit.
In a large mixing bowl, cream softened butter with both sugars until fluffy.
Blend in the eggs one at a time.
Add flour, baking soda, salt and 10 ounces of the chocolate; combine.
Spoon cookie dough 2 inches apart on to a parchment-lined baking sheet using heaping tablespoons.
Bake for 10 minutes. Top the partially baked cookies with a few pieces of the reserved chocolate. Bake for an additional 5 minutes, or until the cookies are brown around the edges and soft in the centers. Do not overbake.
Allow the cookies to cool slightly on the pan until they can be removed with out tearing.
Repeat process with remaining cookie dough. Sprinkle cookies with sea salt while still warm, if desired.