CHUNKERS by Dorie Greenspan
from "Dorie's Cookies"
1 cup (5 ounces; 140 grams) plump, moist dried cherries, coarsely chopped
⅓ cup (45 grams) flour
5 tbs (25 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
½ teaspoons fine sea salt
¼ tsp baking powder
3 tbsp (1 ½ ounces; 45 grams) unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
13 ounces (370 grams) Guanaja 70%
8 ounces (225 grams) salted cashews, coarsely chopped
6 ounces (170 grams) Jivara 40% Milk chocolate
2 large eggs, at room temperature
¾ cup (150 grams) sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat it to 325°F. (If your oven has hot spots, center the rack and bake on sheet at a time because it is best not to have to open the oven and take the time to rotate the sheets during the shot bake.)
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
- Cover the bottom of a flat-bottomed jar or glass with plastic wrap.
- Put the chopped cherries in a bowl, cover with very hot tap water and let soak while you put together the rest of the ingredients.
- When you are ready for them, drain and pat dry between paper towels.
- Whisk the flour, cocoa, salt and baking powder together.
- Put the butter in a medium heatproof bowl. Scatter over 7 ounces (198 grams) of the bittersweet chocolate and place the bowl over a saucepan of water; the bottom of the bowl should not touch the water.
- Bring the water to a gentle simmer and slowly melt the butter and chocolate. Stir occasionally and be careful not to overheat the mixture – you do not want the chocolate and butter to get so hot that they separate.
- Toss the remaining 6 ounces (170 grams) bittersweet chocolate, the cashews, milk chocolate and cherries together in another bowl.
- Working with a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the eggs and sugar together on medium-low, scrape in the warm melted butter and chocolate and mix just until incorporated.
- Switch to a sturdy flexible spatula and, as gently as you can with this heavy batter, fold in the flour mixture, making certain that you get to anything that is at the bottom of the bowl.
- When almost all of the dry ingredients are incorporated, add the chopped chocolate, nuts and cherries, folding and stirring until they are mixed in. (Everything will be chocolate-covered except the cashews; their oil makes them somewhat resistant to coating.)
- Using a large cookie scoop, scoop out level portions of the warm dough or use a tablespoon to get heaping spoonfuls, placing the mounds of dough about 2 inches apart on the baking sheets.
- Use the bottom of the jar to lightly press down on each mound – you are aiming to get a puck with a diameter of 2 ½ inches.
- Bake the cookies for 10 to 11 minutes, or until the tops, which will crack, are mostly dry – the centers might look wet and unbaked.
- The cookies will still be very soft (do not try to budge them). Go by time, and have faith.
- Transfer the baking sheets to a rack, let the cookies cool and set for about 30 minutes, until you can lift them from the parchment paper. If you have not done so, bake the second sheet.
*Dorie’s tip: to get the very best texture – and with these, that means that the cookie gets softer as you approach the center – give the eggs and sugar the full measure of the time in the mixer, add the melted ingredients while they are still warm and fold in the rest of the ingredients as efficiently as you can. Scoop the cookies while the dough is still warm, and don’t second-guess yourself – they will look seriously under baked when you take them out of the oven, but they will firm the perfection on a rack.
The flattened pucks of dough can be frozen for up to 2 months. Do not defrost before baking; leave at room temperature while you preheat the oven. The cookies are at their most splendid the day they are made. In fact, nothing beats a Chunker that is just a couple of hours out of the oven. However, they will keep, covered, at room temperature for about 2 days. And they can be frozen well wrapped, for up to 2 months.
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