Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and that spells CHOCOLATE to me. This cookie has it all..dark dutch cocoa, extra-dark chocolate chips, and home roasted almonds that have been sprinkled with sea salt to boost everything over the top. Put them all together and they spell love, and that’s what Valentine’s Day is all about. Love for our special someone, family, friends…and cookies. Speaking of the love of cookies, I’d like to introduce you to my friend Milton. Milton swims laps in the mornings when I’m doing the same, and we’ve developed a friendship across the water during breathing breaks. Milton swims laps at least an hour a day, will celebrate his 80th birthday this year, is a cookie fanatic, and in fact has just baked his 200th batch in less than two years – I know this because I’ve seen his spreadsheet…. Milton is a baker after my own heart, and goes full throttle with every cupboard and drawer in the kitchen wide open while his baking his creations. Check out more on Milton at the bottom of this posting – then you can see some of what he’s been up to. For now, let’s talk a little more about these Double Chocolate cookies…
I have searched high and low for a really good, really chocolatey cookie. This is not as easy as it seemed because my experiments either turned out too dry, too brittle, and just not enough flavor. When this happens I take them to my mom, Neeners’ house, and she devours them in the spirit of cookie experimentation. After much trial and error, I think this is one you can really get behind. It has a little crispness on the top, but is rich and creamy in the center. On top of all that, you’ll be roasting some whole almonds with sea salt on top and then chopping them coarsely for a nice crunchy moment.
Like many chocolate cookies, these guys are a little difficult to tell when they’re baked. I don’t kid around and make a big old cookie, using two tablespoons of dough, then mash it down before popping in the oven. This technique give you a little crunch on top but keeps the interior nice and creamy. Just wait for the top to look a little dry, and usually some cracks will start to form. If you overbake them, do not worry – just pop them in the microwave for a few seconds and all will be made right again.
Check it out… These guys are suitable for a big glass of milk or a nice glass of red wine. It is Valentine’s Day, after all.
Hope you enjoy these, and thanks for reading today!! Recipe can be found below, but now for more of Milton….hard at work on one of his creations. Check out a few below his photo..
- 2 sticks butter, room temperature
- 1 ¼ cups brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2-½ cups unbleached flour
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 packet Starbucks Via (0.11 oz.) Instant Dark Roast Coffee – I like Italian Roast or 1 tablespoon espresso powder
- 1-teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 package dark chocolate chips (11.5 oz.)
- 1-cup whole almonds (see instructions below) with about 1 tsp. canola oil and some salt
- FOR THE ALMONDS
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and spread 1 cup of whole almonds (or if you are an almond fiend like I am, add another cup and save those for later munching) on a cookie sheet. Drizzle very lightly with canola oil and sprinkle with kosher salt – just a light sprinkle, so maybe about ¼ teaspoon or less over the whole works. Roast for about 10 minutes or until you can smell roasted nuts and they look a little darkened and glossy. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Once they are cool, put one cup of the nuts on a cutting board and chop roughly with a sharp, heavy knife. Think about the size of bite of nuts you want and chop away accordingly. They don’t all have to be the same size so no obsessing over it is necessary.
- FOR THE COOKIES
- In a mixer, beat together the butter and brown sugar until light and as creamy as you can get it – go for about 3 minutes or so.
- Add in the eggs, one by one (allow one minute of mixing in the first egg before you add the second one)
- Stop the mixer and add the flour, cocoa powder, Via or espresso powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix slowly until everything is well combined.
- Add the chocolate chips and nuts, and mix slowly to combine.
- Drop on parchment lined baking sheets in 2 tablespoon sized balls. If you happen to have a small ice cream scoop, now would be the time to use it.
- Run some cold water on your hands and smash the cookies down gently on the baking sheet, then bake at 350 for about 10 -12 minutes. It’s hard to know when these guys are done, but the tops will start looking dry and maybe even crack just a little. If you touch them with your finger, the dough should not sink in.
- Remove from the oven and cool on a cooling rack until you can’t stand it anymore. Grab a glass of milk (or red wine, depending on what kind of a day it’s been) and make yourself happy.