Sunday, January 31, 2010

A Monster Cookie

As the editor of Dessert Professional magazine, I taste my good share of high-end, fru-fru, $14 restaurant desserts. And they are generally excellent. But sometimes I crave a simple down-home treat, like a good chocolaty brownie or, my personal favorite, a chocolate chunk cookie studded with macadamia nuts (cousin of the chocolate chip cookie). This recipe is a little different from the standard Toll House cookie recipe—it’s got a little less flour and an extra egg, which causes the cookies to bake up flat and slightly crispy around the edges. This way you can focus on the good stuff, like the big chunks of bittersweet chocolate and salted macadamia nuts. And while my cookies are over-sized, but you can certainly downsize yours by cutting amount of dough you use for each cookie in half.

Monster Chocolate Chunk Macadamia Nut Cookies

Makes 24 large cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened
¾ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup lightly packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs
14 ounces bittersweet chocolate, cut into ¼- to ½-inch chunks
1 cup salted macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt and baking soda; set aside.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the butter at medium-high speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Gradually add the granulated and brown sugar and beat until well combined and light, about 2 minutes. Add the vanilla and eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. At low speed, add the dry ingredients in three additions, mixing just until blended. Add the chocolate chunks and nuts and mix until combined.
4. Drop the dough by scant ¼-cup measures onto an ungreased baking sheet, placing 6 on the sheet. Bake for 11 to 13 minutes, until light brown around the edges. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.

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