Quintuple Chocolate Fudgy Brownie Cookies
These cookies are for the serious chocaholic. Five different types of chocolate is used.
Yes, five: cocoa powder, bittersweet baking chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate chips, chocolate truffles, and chopped chocolate-filled Oreo cookies.
A couple weeks ago I received some chocolate truffle cookies and I wasn’t able to get them out of my mind. Rather than buying them for two dollars each because I’d go broke in a day, I attempted to loosely recreate them.
I cross-referenced, halved, and adapted the recipe for Thick and Chewy Brownie Cookies from one of my favorite cookbooks, The New Best Recipe from Cooks Illustrated. I am a huge fan of Cooks Illustrated and America’s Test Kitchen because they test and trial every possible combination of ingredients and methods in a recipe, including whether to melt or cream the butter and how much to use, whether to use granulated or brown sugar and in what ratio, whether eggs should first be whisked before being added to the batter, how many including whole eggs plus yolk combinations, and on and on. They take the guesswork out of recipes for almost-guaranteed success.
II was going to put this much chocolate into a recipe, I wanted to know that not only would it work, but that they would be the best chocolate cookies I had ever tasted. I got my wish.
This recipe dirties plenty of little bowls, but the payoff is worth it. First sift together the flours, cocoa powder, baking soda and optional salt. Although the Cooks Illustrated recipe exclusively uses all-purpose flour, I used both bread and all-purpose flour because bread flour creates extra chewiness and I love brownies and cookies with chewy edges. Using exclusively all-purpose will be fine, but the cookies may not have as much structure, may not hold their shape quite as well and may flatten a bit while baking, and will be a bit less chewy overall.
The Cooks Illustrated recipe also calls for Dutch-process unsweetened cocoa powder, which tends to be more expensive than natural unsweetened cocoa powder. Dutch-processed cocoa has been treated with an acid to neutralize it’s acidity and will not react with baking soda and baking powder must be used. Brands like Droste, Vahlrohna, and Ghirardelli are Dutch-processed; Hershey’s and Trader Joe’s are not. I successfully relied on the trusty Trader for my cocoa powder. Chocolate use number one.
Next, melt eight ounces of bittersweet or semi-sweet or baking chocolate or a favorite dark chocolate bar. Because the richness and intensity of these cookies comes in large part from this choice of chocolate, use a chocolate bold and intense enough to pack a punch. I used a 72% Pound Plus bar and would caution against using melted chocolate chips based on both their structural properties and taste. Chocolate use number two.
In another bowl, combine the eggs, vanilla, and lightly beat them. I did as the recipe instructed and beat the eggs, but did not follow directions when it came to adding the vanilla and added a little more. I love vanilla.
With a mixer, beat five tablespoons of butter, which is just over half of a stick for the whole recipe, which I find impressive. Cream the butter with mostly brown sugar and just a bit of granulated. The much higher brown-to-white sugar ratio boosts flavor, and encourages the cookies to stay soft and moist for days because brown sugar absorbs moisture in the air, rather than drying out.
After creaming together the butter and sugar, then adding the egg-vanilla mixture, and then the sifted dry ingredients, the fun part begins by adding one cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips. Chocolate use number three.
I departed here from the Cooks Illsutrated recipe and wanted to channel the Cravory Cookies I had tried and added one-half cup diced chocolate truffles, about three average-sized truffles chopped into pieces about the size of a chocolate chip. Some of truffles I used had a caramel filling. Chopped candy bars such as Snickers, Twix, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Rolos, or similar candy bars may be substituted, and a couple fun-sized bars or half of a full-size bar should do the trick. Chocolate use number four.
The fifth and final chocolate use comes from adding six chopped Oreos cookies, about one-half cup, to the batter. I used chocolate-filled Oreos because I had them on hand, but if you have white-filled Oreos, those will be just fine. All the crumbs that inevitably make a mess on the counter when chopping the Oreos do wonders for absorbing dough moisture. The Oreos do for the cookies what Rice Krispies did for Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bars, providing a remarkable pop of texture for something so small.
The dough is fairly thick but also soft, and needs to be refrigerated for at least thirty minutes before baking, which is what the Cooks Illustrated recipe recommends. I recommend at least two hours, up to five days. I didn’t bake the cookies until three days after I made the dough and it was rock hard due to melted chocolate re-solidifying, but came up to room temperature in twenty minutes and I formed it into mounds.
I wanted these cookies to be large, but not huge, and used 2.25-ounce mounds of dough for each cookie, weighed on a digital scale. If you don’t have a scale, using a heaping dollop of dough from a two-tablespoon cookie scoop is a good approximation. The mounds of dough will look quite large, but remember that the Oreos and truffle pieces don’t weigh much but they bulk up the dough, adding visual heft without actual mass.
Bake the cookies until the tops are just set, about ten minutes, and do not overbake them. Lke all cookies, they will set up quite dramatically as they cool. If the cookies stayed domed and mounded while baking like mine did, tap the top of each mound lightly yet firmly with the back of a spoon or push down very gently with the bottom of a drinking glass or measuring cup to flatten them. If after flattening the cookies are very soft, return them to the oven for one or two more minutes. Mine were soft to the point of raw after flattening so I returned to the oven for ninety seconds, for a total baking time of 11 minutes. Allow the dark beauties to set up on the baking trays for five minutes before moving them to a rack. Or moving them into your mouth.
Each layer of chocolate is notable and has a purpose. The cocoa powder and melted bittersweet baking chocolate both impart chocolate intensity into the dough. The former dries the dough and acts more as flour and the later moistens it. Both have a role in creating a cookie dough base that’s deeply chocolate-flavored.
The chocolate chips and chopped truffles add texture, richness, and luxuriousness. Biting down into a melted and oozing chocolate truffle that’s surrounded by firm yet moist cookie dough is magical. Finally, the chopped Oreos add bits of sandiness and crunch.
With their chewy edges and soft centers, accentuated by the rivers of melted chocolate chips melted truffles running through them, the cookies are reminiscent of a decadent fudgy brownie. They’re rich and bold, and not overly sweet. They’re dense, decadent, and soul-satisfying.
They are the cookie you want when you’ve had a horrible day, are PMSing, your rent is due and you don’t know how you’re going to pay it, or when you need a hug. They’re also the kind of cookie that would be elegant enough to serve after a fancy dinner party or to put out on a holiday party platter. They would make fabulous and memorable gifts that the recipient won’t soon forget.
One is all you need. Unless you’re like me and could live on cookies, especially ones with five types of chocolate in them.
These cookies are for the ultimate chocolate lover. Chocolate is used five times: Cocoa powder, melted bittersweet baking chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate chips, diced chocolate and caramel-filled truffles (or use your fave diced candy bar) and chocolate-filled Oreo cookies.
The cookies are a play on cookies I sampled from a popular online site, The Cravory. I succeeded in packing even more dense, fudgy, rich, soul-satisfying chocolate in these cookies than in their cookies or in any cookie I've ever made previously. Soft, chewy, and they're not overly sweet; they're a mature chocolate lover's cookie, bold and full of diverse textures and unadulterated chocolate intensity and they just melt-in-your mouth.
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup bread flour (using 1 cup total of all-purpose may be substituted, see note below)
1/4 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt, optional and to taste
8 ounces bittersweet or semi-sweet baking chocolate or dark chocolate bar (I used Trader Joe's 72% Pound Plus Bar)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
about 1/2 cup chocolate truffles, chopped (2 or 3 average-sized truffles, mine were caramel-filled; truffles may be substituted with 2 or 3 chopped mini-candy bars or half of a full-size candy bar such as Twix, Snickers, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, Rolos)
about 1/2 cup chocolate-filled Oreo cookies, chopped (6 or 7 Oreos) - optional but recommended, see note below
In a medium-sized bowl, sift together the flours (the Cooks Illustrated recipe exclusively calls for all-purpose but I prefer a blend of all-purpose and bread flour for chewier cookies; if you don't have bread flour, exclusively using all-purpose is okay but cookies won't have quite as much structure or be as quite as chewy) cocoa powder, baking powder, and optional salt; set aside.
In a medium microwave-safe bowl, melt the baking chocolate on high power for about 1 minute, stir, and continue to melt in 30 second increments until fully melted and can be stirred smooth; set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk the eggs and vanilla; set aside.
To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat the butter until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Add the sugars and beat to incorporate and mixture is unform, 1 to 2 minutes, noting the mixture will be granular. Add the egg-vanilla mixture and beat until incorporated, about 1 minute. Add the melted baking chocolate and beat until combined, about 1 minute. Add the sifted dry ingredients and beat to just incorporate them, about 1 minute. Do not overmix batter at any point in the process.
Add the semi-sweet chocolate chips, chopped truffles (or chopped candy bar pieces; chopped to the size of a chocolate chip or just slightly larger) and the chopped Oreo cookies and beat for 10 seconds to just incorporate or fold in by hand (I used chocolate-filled Oreos because I wanted all-chocolate, no white in the dough, but traditional white-filled Oreos may be used; chocolate graham crackers may also be substituted. The Oreos and their resulting crumbs help soak up some of the moisture from the batter and if not using them you may consider increasing the flour by 1 to 2 tablespoons as well as adding slightly more semi-sweet chocolate chips or truffles/candy based on how your batter looks). Chill dough for at least 30 minutes and up to 5 days before baking. Note that unbaked cookie dough can be formed into balls and stored in an airtight container or ziplock in the freezer for up to 3 months and baked straight from freezer to oven, extending baking time by a minute or two if necessary; this is nice so you don't have to bake all of them at once as they are rich.
Preheat oven to 350 F and line two baking trays with Silpat Non-Stick Baking Mats or spray with cooking spray, set aside. If necessary, allow dough to come to room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes and scoop out 2.25 ounces of dough, weighed on a scale (approximately a scant 1/4-cup measure or a heaping 2-inch cookie scoop) and place mounds on a baking tray, spaced about 2 inches apart. I bake 8 to a tray, maximum.
Bake for about 10 minutes, or until the tops have just set, even though the centers will seem soft or slightly underbaked, as the cookies will set up quite dramatically as they cool. If the cookies stayed domed and mounded while baking (mine did), tap the top of each mound lightly yet firmly with the back of a spoon or push down very gently with the bottom of a glass to flatten them. If after flattening they seem very soft, return to the oven for 1 to 2 more minutes (mine were soft to the point of raw after flattening so I returned to the oven for 90 seconds; total baking time was 11 minutes). Allow cookies to cool on baking sheets for at least 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Cookies will keep in an airtight container for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Adapted from the The New Best Recipe cookbook
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Do you have a favorite chocolate recipe for cookies, cake, brownies, or bars? Are you a chocolate lover?
Feel free to link up your favorite and intensely chocolate recipes.
There are certain times where I can go for a week, or longer, without having any chocolate. And then, when the craving hits me, I have to have it and nothing else will do. And that’s when I make things like this. I figure as long as there’s health benefits in chocolate, I may as well capitalize on all of those benefits.
Thanks for the Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Sampler Giveaway entries