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Salted-chocolate cookies

(Catherine Smart for The Boston Globe)
June 20, 2012
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Makes 14 large cookies

These large, intense chocolate cookies, dusted lightly with coarse salt, are great for a last-minute dessert, filled with any flavor of store-bought ice cream (or make the Sichuan-peppercorn ice cream served at A-Frame). Fill the cookies, then set them on a baking sheet and chill for 1 hour. Pastry chef Beth Kellerhals devised these salty-sweet sandwiches for those moments when her “chocolate craving has an identity crisis,” she says, and she can’t decide whether she wants a brownie or a cookie. “The dense, dark chocolate fudgy goodness reminds me of a brownie; the chewy middle and crisp, crackled edge yells cookie. A little sprinkle of Maldon sea salt and it’s the perfect vehicle for getting the Sichuan black pepper ice cream into my mouth,” says the pastry chef.

ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
1tablespoon butter
cups flour
¼cup unsweetened cocoa powder
teaspoons baking powder
½teaspoon salt
1ounce milk chocolate, chopped
cups sugar
¼cup vegetable oil
1teaspoon vanilla extract
3eggs
Sea salt (for sprinkling)

1. Set the oven at 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. In a saucepan, melt the unsweetened chocolate and butter, stirring often. When it is almost melted, turn off the heat and let the remaining chocolate melt in the heat of the pan.

3. In a bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, and chopped milk chocolate to blend them.

4. In another bowl with a wooden spoon, stir together the sugar and oil. The mixture will be dry. Stir in the melted chocolate mixture and vanilla. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

5. Stir in the cocoa mixture in 3 additions until well combined. The mixture will thicken as you work, so this will take some muscle.

6. Spoon the batter in 3-tablespoon mounds (slightly bigger than golf balls) onto the baking sheets. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt.

7. Bake the cookies for 15 minutes or until the tops crack and are just firm to the touch when pressed with a fingertip (they will harden as they cool). Immediately, slide the parchment paper with the cookies onto wire racks to cool. Catherine Smart. Adapted from A-Frame

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