Friday, January 2, 2009

On Following Martha...

I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with Martha Stewart. I think I'm probably not alone in this statement - I feel I can safely assume that there are many out there who feel the same. I'd love to just magically be dropped into a world where I have hours to entertain and hand make each and every element at the table, from hand embroidered linens to perfectly lettered table cards. On the flip side, Martha Stewart Weddings is probably the most accessible wedding magazine out there that I've bought (and trust me, I've checked 'em all out!). Every issue is full of great ideas that - shocker - someone like me can actually accomplish!

So, when it comes to Martha, I take her ideas with a grain of salt and keep my expectations low. But when it comes with cookies, I feel like it's pretty easy to judge on the spot what may or may not work out. When it came to Martha's Outrageous Chocolate Cookies, I figured I wouldn't come up against too many obstacles...I mean, they're drop cookies!

Oh Martha, why would you not have me refrigerate the dough? Please tell me, how did you tackle spooning the big gooey mess that was this dough onto your lined cookie sheets?! I don't know about you, but I was simply covered in dough (and ok, I'll admit, not the worst thing in the world, it was delicious!). Unfortunately, the struggle to get the first batch onto the cookie sheet was definitely not worth the trouble. They never puffed up and definitely did not get all crackly in the center (the "high sign" that they were ready to come out of the oven). Hence, I ended up with 6 flat, burnt chocolate cookies.

Seeing the struggle with the first batch I stuck the remaining dough in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes, letting it firm up. The gooey batter was so much easier to manage and the cookies actually baked up correctly - crazy, huh?! They got crackly, shiny, firm around the edges. Absolutely perfect. All-in-all, the cookies ended up great and they were definitely outrageous - outrageously awful if you followed Martha's instructions, and outrageously chocolatey if you follow your instincts! (sorry, Martha)

Martha Stewart's Outrageous Chocolate Cookies
Recipe by Martha Stewart

8 ounces semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 package (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chunks

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat chopped chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe bowl in 20-second increments, stirring in between, until almost melted; do not overheat.
In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. In a mixing bowl, beat eggs, brown sugar, and vanilla on high speed until light and fluffy.
Reduce speed to low; beat in melted chocolate. Mix in flour mixture until just combined. Stir in chocolate chunks.
Drop heaping tablespoons of dough 2 to 3 inches apart onto baking sheets (or, refrigerate for 15 minutes beforehand, as I did).
Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until cookies are shiny and crackly yet soft in centers, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on sheets 10 minutes; with a thin metal spatula, transfer to racks to cool completely.


Tracy said...

I've had similar experience with Martha's recipes. Her Chocolate Crackles had me tearing my hair out this year (haven't blogged about them yet).

diva said...

for a second there i had a double take. thought these cookies were actually FILLED! and then i realized tht's just how chocolatey and filled up with chunked that was. mmmm. looks fantastic! i need cookies.

kelly said...

i just made these! they are quite tasty. great recipe. i found your blog through Steve's flickr account.

i think i'm going to try the pb brownies on this blog next!