Published January 1, 2009.
"Death-by-chocolate" cookies usually claim texture as their first victim—but not ours.
Cookie recipes that trumpet their extreme chocolate flavor always leave us a bit suspicious. While they provide plenty of intensity, these over-the-top confections also tend to be delicate and crumbly, more like cakey brownies than cookies.
An exceptionally rich chocolate cookie that we could sink our teeth into—without having it fall apart.
Our first batch baked up too cakey and tender. Melted chocolate was the culprit—its fat was softening the dough. We scaled back the chocolate until we eliminated it entirely, which made the cookies less cakey and tender, and thus, more cookielike. To restore chocolate flavor without adding too much fat, we increased the cocoa and reduced the flour. And eliminating egg yolks gave us the stalwart structure we wanted. Next, we worked on making the cookies chewy. Replacing some of the white sugar with dark brown sugar boosted chewiness slightly, but it wasn’t enough. Determined, we remembered molasses cookies as the ultimate in chewiness. Could molasses be the key? For texture, it was perfect—the cookies were almost as chewy as molasses cookies, with a moist, cohesive crumb. However, the flavor was less than perfect. Assertive molasses was the wrong companion for chocolate. A simple switch from molasses to dark corn syrup was the answer and lent a hint of caramel flavor that enhanced the chocolate taste. Tasters still wanted more chocolate flavor. What if we added some chocolate at the end of mixing, like chocolate chip cookies? The dough’s structure would be unaffected. We folded in chopped bittersweet chocolate. The chunks stayed intact and added intense flavor, not to mention gooey chocolate bites. After rolling dough into balls, a dip in granulated sugar before baking gave the cookies a sweet crunch and an attractive crackled appearance once they were out of the oven.list of recipes