It's rare the chocolate chip cookie puts on a new outfit which doesn't suit him. He is as basic a flavor profile, and wonderful a taste memory, as Hershey's chocolate Kiss, an apple plucked from the tree in Autumn's crisp air, or icy fresh-squeezed lemonade in July.
But every once and a while it's time to add something silky and bright to the chocolate chip cookie's closet. Maybe not a fabric you'd want to don every day, but a new swooshy thang for the odd Friday night, whilst you're, let's say, painting the town hot pink.
Because I've worked at a fair number of restaurants fancy and non-American, I copy a standard chocolate chip cookie recipe into my pocket notebooks for the odd day I want to add a sweet sompin' to staff meal. The only change in the basic base cookie dough is I increase the brown sugar ratio for a chewier, softer cookie. A trick I learned at Citizen Cake where Elizabeth Falkner is known to replace white sugar with its molasses-tinged cousin, mostly because she loves it so much.
As EF is known for her leanings towards brown sugar, I've been known to leave my mark with cardamon laced desserts. Cardamon's smoky sharpness can get right in the ring with most dark chocolate. The spice is powerful, especially when you have the seeds in your midst, are grinding them yourself, or have the time to pull them out of the pods. Pop one in your mouth-- it's strong properties make it the best breath freshener!
I began making these cookies when I was at Aziza years ago, for the odd fun thing to send to favorite people who came in and were "forced" to eat special tidbits not appearing on the menu. The first night I served them under the radar, they were sent out freshly baked alongside small cups of hot chocolate.
Holly, a friend of my girlfriend at the time, attributes these cookies to her first impression of liking chocolate. She was so obsessed, she would beg me to make them every time she came into Aziza thereafter. Soon enough I knew to keep the batter on hand.
When I went back to Aziza recently I knew what my debut chocolate dessert would be. Hot cocoa with tiny homemade marshmallows, three miniature cardamon chocolate chunk cookies warmed to order and cocoa nib ice cream. And I named it, "Holly's Special Dessert."
I'm not going to spell out the method and all that, because these are chocolate chip cookies with red high heel's is all. Mix batter the way the Nestle's package tells you to.
But here are some tips:
*Chop the dark chocolate with a serrated knife. You want a few big pieces, but if you're using Scharffen Berger or Valrhona the flavour will be very strong and you may lose the overall effect with a bite that's only chocolate. Cookies with "too big" chunks of chocolate will also have a harder time rising.
*Turn the pan around midway through the baking time. All ovens have hot spots-- your end result will be more evenly baked if you set two short timers instead of one long one.
*I like salt's bold character to come through, if you don't, decrease the salt, or use a different kind.
*Grinding cardamon right before you use it will impart a bigger bang. For store bought ground you may want to increase the amount for equal effect.
*Cocoa Nibs are all the rage now. But if you can't find them, it's no big deal. I like to have a chocolate component that's not chocolate itself. I like the texture of cocoa nibs. The flavor is definitely chocolate, but neither sweet nor melty.
*These cookies are best baked on parchment rather than a buttered baking pan. Because there's nothing in the chocolate to keep it from burning, as there is in a "chocolate chip," (soy lecithin mainly) the chocolate in the cookie which comes into contact with the searing heat of it's surroundings will melt and then want to burn. (Remember, chocolate melts at your mouth's temperature...)
*If you want to know why the writing out of this dessert looks this, click on this previous post of mine explaining its wily ways.
Without further ado I draw the velvet curtain and give you ~
CARDAMON CHOCOLATE CHUNK COOKIES
UNSALTED BUTTER 9 oz --room temperature
SUGAR 7 oz
DARK BROWN SUGAR 11 0z
EGGS 3 each Large --room temperature
VANILLA EXTRACT 1-2 T
BAKING SODA 1 1/2 teaspoons, sifted
KOSHER SALT 2 teaspoons
67-74 % DARK CHOCOLATE 8 oz
GROUND CARDAMON 1 1/2 teaspoons
CARDAMON SEEDS 1/2 teaspoon
COCOA NIBS 3 Tablespoons
E n j o y ! !