I’ve had these cookies in mind for a while. The problem was, that was the only place the cookies could be found: in my mind. There was no recipe I could dig up in a book, no bakery I could run to in order to hunt down the cookie. The existence of the cookie—perhaps originating in a dream, because I simply refuse to believe that I am the only person on earth who dreams of cookies—was nowhere to be found.
Maybe that was a blessing. Because I had only an imagined notion of what sort of cookie I wanted to eat—and yet I also somehow knew exactly what it was I wanted in the mythical cookie, that being lots of chocolate, a chewy middle, and big bites of walnuts—there was very little holding me back in the way of experimentation. It was a golden opportunity, really. I was going to create a cookie and there was nothing stopping me.
Except, of course, the unforeseen development of actually somehow nailing the cookie recipe on the first try. No joke. When I set out to make this cookie, I was envisioning days upon days of rejected cookie batches. I was imagining myself eating cookie after cookie, faced with the fact that one batch was too crisp, or maybe not chocolaty enough. What to do? Well, I guess I’ll just have to get back to the drawing board. Time to make and sample more cookies.
But no. Here they are, the first batch I auditioned, and they are perfect in every way. Practically bursting with chunks of bittersweet chocolate, the cookies are crisp at the edges and wonderfully soft in the middle. Chunks of toasted walnuts invade every bite, and, dare I say it, the sweetness level is spot on. I don’t know how it happened. I only had to make one batch of cookies, which meant I only had to taste one batch of cookies. Setting aside the fact that I somehow just satisfied a hazy cookie dream, I somehow feel as though I have made a mistake. I promise to do worse next time. You know. So there will be more samples.
Last year: Roasted Poblano Johnnycakes
Double Chocolate Walnut Cookies Recipe
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
½ cup Dutch process cocoa powder
1 teaspoon espresso powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
½ cup gently packed light brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into medium chunks (about ¼-inch chunks at the largest)
1 cup (about 4 ounces) walnut pieces, toasted until browned and aromatic
Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk together, then set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the melted butter, light brown sugar, granulated sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Whisk for 1 or 2 minutes to combine thoroughly.
Gently fold the flour mixture into the sugar mixture until the two are completely combined. Stir in the chocolate chunks and toasted walnuts. The batter will be extremely stiff and it should seem like there is a disturbingly high chunk-to-batter ratio. This is a good thing.
Scoop the batter in heaping tablespoons (if your tablespoons are very heaping, you should end up with about a 2 tablespoon-sized scoop, which is perfect) onto a prepared baking sheet. Space the scoops at least two inches apart. I was able to fit 8 cookies on 1 large baking sheet.
Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, in the center of the oven for 10-13 minutes, until the edges of the cookies are just starting to look dry but the centers still appear soft. Remove from oven and allow the cookies to rest on the baking sheet for about 2 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool.
Depending on the size of your scoops, you should end up with around 24 cookies, maybe more.