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Double Chocolate Cookies

December 22, 2011

I first had these cookies at my husband’s family Thanksgiving. They’re a welcoming bunch, who don’t seem to notice the interloper eating their food and hunting for new recipes among the offerings. I’m not sure if I’ll get in trouble for posting a family secret here, but my mother-in-law said she found a similar recipe on the Ghirardelli website, so I’m assuming it’s public enough.

It also falls into one of my favorite categories of good old American cookery: recipes on the side of packaging. I love the Toll House’s chocolate chip cookies and Libby’s Pumpkin Pie. My split pea soup started from a bag of dried peas, and I’ve been known to get excited over Dole’s Pineapple Upside Down Cake.

The most famous example of the product-driven recipe is probably my family’s beloved 4-can green bean casserole. (Originally a 3-can affair invented by Campbell’s in the ’50s.) These recipes aren’t usually the most creative, but they are pretty darn reliable. They are comfort foods for the cook as well as the eater.

On the other hand, this Double-Chocolate Cookie is a little unusual for a “corporate” recipe. The dough itself is very wet; so wet that you might doubt you are making cookie at all. It also has a subtle but powerful combination of bittersweet and semi-sweet chocolate and is decadent without being overly rich. Ghirardelli is from the San Francisco after all; it wouldn’t deign to have a prosaic cookie on its packaging.

As usual, this recipe begins with a picture of butter. This butter just happens to be mixed with chocolate.

I set out to make cookies. This looks like… something else. (How’s that for classy commentary?)

Ghirardelli Ultimate Double Chocolate Cookies

Makes 2 dozen cookies

1 bag (11.5 oz) Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Chips
6 Tbsp. (¾ stick) unsalted butter
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
⅓ cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp. baking powder
1 bag (12 oz.) Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 cup (4 oz) chopped walnuts

1. In double boiler over hot water, melt the bittersweet chocolate chips and butter.
2. In large bowl with electric mixer, beat eggs and sugar until thick; stir in chocolate mixture.
3. In small bowl, stir together flour and baking powder; stir into chocolate mixture.
4. Gently mix in semi-sweet chocolate chips and walnuts.
5. Using a sheet of plastic wrap, form dough into two logs, each 2 inches in diameter and about 8 inches long. As dough will be very soft, use plastic wrap to hold dough in log shape. Wrap tightly.
6. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or until firm. (I left it overnight.)
7. Preheat oven to 375°F.
8. Unwrap dough; with sharp knife, cut into ¾-inch slices.
9. Place slices 1½ inches apart on greased or parchment-lined cookie sheet.
10. Bake 12 to 14 minutes or until shiny crust forms on top but interior is still soft. Cool on baking sheet before transferring to a rack.

True to the spirit of side-of-the-box-cooking, I’ll re-print the final instruction:
“Enjoy the moment of timeless pleasure.”

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