Thursday, November 8, 2012

Ghirardelli Chocolate Truffle Cookies with Sea Salt

I love to bake with Ghirardelli chocolate products.  I have been using Ghirardelli chocolate chips for about as long as I can remember.  Their semi-sweet chocolate chips are especially nice to bake with because they hold their shape, but still melt beautifully. 

Recently, someone posted a photo of a beautiful cake on Facebook that was from the Ghirardelli website and in my search through their recipes to find it, I stumbled across this fantastic cookie recipe.  I made them immediately, then made another batch the very next day!  Yes, they are that good! 

Of course, in my typical fashion, I simplified the steps and made them using just one bowl.  What can I say, I'm lazy, I like to bake, but I don't much care for doing dishes afterwards. 

These cookies are wonderfully chocolately, true to their name, they have a gooey, truffley texture and the light sprinkling of salt is just the thing to balance out the sweetness.  Luckily - or perhaps un-luckily depending on your point of view, the batch only makes about 2 dozen (I got 20 cookies from the first batch, 23 from the second batch - same scoop size, go figure!)  so they don't last long.  They'd be great for holiday hostess gifts or teacher gifts or?????  I would use my smallest cookie scoop for that and place them in those cute little mini-muffin papers and box them up like candy... I can tell I'm going to have to make another batch very soon - they are calling to me...

So these cookies start out with melting 60% cacao chips with butter.  I did this all in the microwave. It's not really necessary, but cubed up the butter. Then covered the bowl with plastic wrap and nuked it for 1 minute on high heat...

Remove it from the microwave and give it a stir to see how well it's melted.  Chocolate chips tend to hold their shape as they melt so it's important that you stir it to see how it's coming along... 

You can see these are only just starting to melt after a minute.  I put them back in the microwave and nuked them for 30 seconds at a time, stirring after each interval...

While the chocolate chips and butter were melting in the microwave, I was also toasting walnuts in a dry, cast-iron skillet on low heat.  Once they were toasted, I gave them a rough chop...

Once the chocolate and butter are fully melted you can mix in the sugar.  Let it sit a bit and cool before adding the eggs, then add vanilla, salt and baking powder.

Once that is incorporated, I like to add the flour and top the flour with the baking chips and nuts, this way, they get coated in the flour somewhat as they are mixed in and are less likely to sink to the bottom of your cookie dough so you get a nice, even distribution of nuts and chips throughout your batter. 

It should look like this when it's all mixed together...

Now you cover it back up with the plastic wrap and chill it in the fridge for 10-15 minutes while you're oven is preheating to 350 degrees.

Scoop them...

Then sprinkle them lightly with sea salt...

And bake.  They should look like this when they're done:

You'll want to serve these with plenty of ice-cold milk!

Good luck not eating the whole batch in one sitting!

Ghirardelli Chocolate Truffle Cookies with Sea Salt

Makes 2 dozen. 

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups 60% Cacao Baking Chips, these will be melted into the cookie dough
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt (use table salt or kosher salt)
1/4 cup flour
1/3 cup (remainder of package) 60% Cacao Baking Chips, these will be stirred into the batter
2-3 tablespoons coarse sea salt to top the cookies before baking
3/4 cup toasted walnuts or pecans, chopped (optional)

In a large microwaveable bowl, place butter and 1 1/2 cups of the baking chips.  Microwave for 1 minute on high, then stir.  If you cannot stir the mixture smooth, microwave in 30 second intervals stirring after each interval until you can stir the chips and butter into a smooth consistency.  Add sugar.  Allow mixture to cool.  Add eggs.  Stir in vanilla, baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon table salt.  Add flour, remaining baking chips and nuts and mix in thoroughly.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill for 10-15 minutes. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Scoop rounded tablespoons of dough onto cookie sheets, 12 to a sheet.  Sprinkle lightly with sea salt.  Bake at 350 for 7-8 minutes, until outside looks slightly cracked.  Be careful not to overbake because they will continue to bake as they cool.  Allow cookies to cool on sheets for 2 minutes, then remove to wire racks to finish cooling.  Cookies will be soft and gooey in the center.