Feb 21, 2013

Chocolate chunk cookies with almonds (Giada's incredible cookies. Version 1)

I didn't give up. The recipe calls for hazelnuts. I had a couple of bags open, leftover from Christmas. Well, I burned them all...and I only needed toasted nuts, not burned. So, let's say I used my hazelnuts up. Anyway, I rarely feel like hazelnuts. They have too much flavor, almost nauseating.  Except when I make these cookies. The original recipe calls for hazelnuts and that's all I've used in the past. And the cookies were always fantastic. Today I made them with almonds. And they are not bad at all. In fact, I'm going to forget about hazelnuts all together.

I also chopped the nuts more finely this time, because Hania, my 10 year old, has lost some teeth lately. And I mixed dark chocolate with milk chocolate instead of just using dark. I rarely use chocolate chips, I get better quality with a bar.

The cookies are fool proof. The only place where you can mess up is keeping cookies 1 or 2 minutes too long in the oven. When baked, the cookies don't look ready, they are soft. But they will get right after about 15 minutes of cooling. They will be chewy and delicious. If you leave them longer in the oven, they get crunchy. And these big, American cookies are not suppose to be brittle.

My persistence paid off. The cookies are chewy, full of chocolate pieces that have melted beautifully, with a slight almond and vanilla flavor. Very rich, very sweet. Very much what I wanted today. And they get better the next day.

Recipe adapted from Giada De Laurentiis

time: 30 min preparation + 15 min baking + 15 min cooling = 1h


1/2 cup (75 g) oats (not instant)
2 1/4 cups (340 g) flour
1 teaspoon (4 g) baking powder
1 teaspoon (8 g) baking soda
1/2 teaspoon (4 g) salt
2 sticks (240 g) butter room temperature
1 cup (220 g) light brown sugar
1 cup (200 g) sugar 
2 large eggs
2 Tablespoons (30 g) vanilla sugar
1 cup (140 g) whole almonds, toasted 
7 oz (200 g) dark chocolate
5 oz (140 g) milk chocolate


Prepare the almonds. Click here for instructions.

Lower the temperature of the oven (after toasting nuts) to 325 F /170 C. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. I had to use a third, small baking dish for 3 cookies that didn't fit.

Finely chop the oats in a food processor. Transfer it  to a medium bowl together with flour, baking powder, soda and salt. Mix it and put it aside.

In the same food processor, chop the chocolates. The pieces won't be even, some small, some big, some powder, all OK. The more powder, the darker the cookies will get. Chunks of chocolate are a pleasure to all your senses.

And chop the almonds.

In a bowl of a standing mixer, beat butter with sugars till fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs. Add the flour mix. Combine it together without overmixing. Add chocolate pieces and almonds. Blend it all in.

Using an ice cream scoop or two tablespoons, take about 80 g (3 oz) of the cookie dough and place it on the prepared baking sheets, spacing it about 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart. Do not flatten the dough. I put 12 scoops on one sheet, and some cookies (about 6) still came out squared, meaning that they spread and touched a neighboring cookie. I like all my cookies to come out round but I wasn't willing to use the oven twice.

Place  2 baking sheets in the hot oven (one in the top 1/3 of the oven, the other in the bottom 1/3) and bake for 15 minutes, switching and rotating the sheets half way through to ensure even baking. Some cookies might not look ready, but they are. There shouldn't not be any browning around the edges. That would mean, they've baked too long.

Take the sheets out of the oven, let cookies cool on the sheets for 5 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack for further cooling. When warm, cookies are very delicate and falling apart in your hands. However, when cooled, they'll be perfect. Store airtight at room temperature. 

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