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Molten chocolate cookies

(Gretchen Ertl for The Boston Globe)
December 16, 2009

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Makes about 25

Like chocolate crinkles with a secret, these tender, cakey cookies hide a chunk of chocolate that oozes if the cookies are served warm. Ed Quinones uses 4-ounce Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate bars, which are thin, easy to chop into small pieces for placing inside the cookies, and melt nicely. To make these in advance, shape the dough into balls without coating them, and refrigerate for several hours; coat and bake just before serving.

DOUGH

2 bars (4 ounces each) Ghirardelli 60 percent chocolate, or another good quality bittersweet chocolate
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1/3 cup whole milk
1. Coarsely chop the 2 bars of chocolate. In a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, melt the chocolate, stirring often. Remove the bowl from the water. Wipe the bottom.

2. In another bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt to blend them.

3. In an electric mixer, beat the butter until creamy. Beat in the brown sugar until fully blended. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then the chocolate, vanilla, and espresso powder.

4. With the mixer set on low speed, beat in the flour mixture alternately with the milk in two additions. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and cover. Refrigerate the dough for at least 4 hours or overnight.

SHAPING

1 bar (4 ounces) Ghirardelli 60 percent chocolate, or another good quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped into 1/2- to 3/4-inch pieces
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1. Set the oven at 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the chopped chocolate on a small plate. Place the granulated sugar in a small bowl and the confectioners’ sugar in another bowl. Have a bowl of cold water on hand.

2. Scoop 2 1/2 tablespoons of dough to form balls about 1 3/4 inches in diameter. Place 2 pieces of chocolate in a stack in the center of each ball. Press the dough around the chocolate to fully enclose it. (Form about 4 balls at a time, then wet your hands, which will keep the dough from sticking.) Roll the balls in granulated sugar, then coat them completely with confectioners’ sugar. Arrange 3 inches apart on the sheet.

3. Bake the cookies for 12 to 13 minutes or until puffed and crackly, but still soft and a little wet looking on top. Let the cookies sit on the sheet for a few minutes, then use a wide metal spatula to transfer them to a rack. Serve warm. Adapted from Ed Quinones