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When disappointment comes to dinner

With the possible exceptions of war, loss, loneliness, homelessness, natural disasters, incurable diseases, hunger, heartbreak, income taxes, yeast infections, and the horrifyingly botched haircut I got last October, there is nothing worse than a bad recipe. Nothing. That’s a strong statement, I know, but test it for yourself—or sit back and wait, because a bad one is bound to find you—and you’ll no doubt agree. There is nothing worse than a recipe that goes all wrong, or that never quite makes it to right. Disappointment, dear reader, is a total dud of a dinner companion.

For the most part, I try to forget about the flops, the bummers, and the busts. They’re pretty few and far between, anyway, and often easy to sniff out. And when a bad recipe does manage to sneak past the guards, in most cases no permanent damage is done—unless, of course, the culprit calls for caviar, truffles, or gold leaf. By dint of willful memory loss or welcome amnesia, I return to the kitchen largely unscarred, day after day.

But the few calamities that do linger, however, tend to involve baking, a strict science in which the simplest mistake or misdirection is magnified exponentially by the oven’s heat and a hungry sweet tooth. Take, for example, the towering lemon meringue tart that wept—nay, sobbed—onto my kitchen counter so aggressively that I had to position it atop a protective layer of newspaper as though potty-training a puppy. Or the Bundt cake that called for combining melted chocolate with cold milk, a recipe that I followed with no small degree of skepticism and which rewarded my efforts with an oddly freckled, strangely greasy crumb. Or, say, the chocolate red velvet cake with chocolate icing that I made for a recent dinner with friends, touting a confidence-inspiring cup of buttermilk, two sticks of butter, and plenty of bittersweet cocoa. Baked, frosted, and plated, it could be called red only if eaten while wearing rose-tinted lenses, and it was tragically short on icing, its bare sides gaping, parched, pathetic. It’s bad enough that my date lives on the opposite side of the country; taking disappointment to a dinner party doesn’t make things any better.

But every bad recipe brings to mind a good one, and if you’re anything like me, you maintain a small arsenal, carefully collected in an accordion folder, for just such occasions. This week, that failed chocolate cake calls for a foolproof chocolate cookie, a recipe that I stumbled upon a few years ago, repeated religiously for a month or two, and then tucked away for safekeeping, sufficiently convinced of its success.

Crisp, crackly, and feather-light, these cookies call to mind the shiny, shattery topcoat of a good brownie, conveniently baked in individual portions. Thin and delicate, they conceal a chewy center, rich with cocoa but surprisingly subtle in sweetness. Each bite brings a meaty walnut under the tooth, and amongst the nooks and crannies, cocoa nibs sound a quiet note of bitterness, a contribution that brings complexity without stealing center stage.

With the possible exceptions of love, lust, lotteries, fireplaces, forgiveness, warmth, health insurance, and refunds for horrifyingly botched haircuts, really, there is nothing better than a good chocolate cookie.

Chocolate Featherweight Cookies with Walnuts and Cocoa Nibs
Adapted from Payard Pâtisserie & Bistro and Gourmet, April 2002

These delicious and dead-easy cookies have no flour or butter, but they make up for it with plenty of sugar. The original version calls for only walnuts, but with an inspired nudge from my telephonic kitchen consultant (also known as Brandon), I threw in a handful of cocoa nibs for flavor and textural intrigue. It paid off handsomely: when I took a batch of these to work, one of my colleagues stopped me in the hallway to proclaim, “That was the best cookie I have ever tasted.” A word to the wise: do not be tempted to forgo the step of lining your baking sheets with parchment paper or try to replace the paper with silicone mats. The parchment provides a delicate sort of traction that keeps the cookies from spreading and helps the thin batter grow to pleasantly plump.

¾ cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder, such as Droste
2 ½ cups powdered sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1 Tbs pure vanilla extract
4 large egg whites, at room temperature
1 ¾ cups walnuts, coarsely chopped
¼ cup cocoa nibs, preferably Scharffen-Berger

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and set a rack to the middle position. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder, sugar, and salt, taking care that there are no lumps.

Combine the vanilla and egg whites in a measuring cup or mug, and slowly add them to the cocoa mixture, beating at low speed. When you have added all the liquid, continue to beat at medium speed for about 2 minutes, until the batter is glossy and smooth. It will be fairly thin but quite viscous. Stir in the walnuts and cocoa nibs.

Using a medium (roughly 2 Tbs) ice cream scoop, place 5 mounds of batter about 3 inches apart on the baking sheet. The batter will spread. Slide the pan into the oven, reduce the heat to 325 degrees, and bake the cookies until small, thin cracks appear on their surface, about 14-17 minutes. Remove them from the oven, and cool them completely on a rack. When they are cool, peel them gently from the parchment paper. Repeat the process with the remaining batter, increasing the oven temperature to 350 degrees before each round. It should take three rounds total to use all the batter.

Yield: 14-15 large cookies


Blogger Zarah Maria said...

Oh dear. How could you do this to me Molly?! It's only 9 a.m. and now I want cookies! Cookies! And there's no cocoa nibs to be had in this country... boo-hoo! They look amazing (and I had a recipe turn out only semi good yesterday, so really, I should be making something like these to make amends!:-))

12:39 AM, January 26, 2006  
Blogger Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

I can understand your disappointment. I also have such bad experiences once in a while and I've also had an attempt at baking a "Red Velvet" cake which was not as I wished it to be: red and exceptional!...
But your cookies look very yummyliscious!!!

3:47 AM, January 26, 2006  
Blogger Zoubida said...

I've never seen cocoa nibs around here but I wasn't really looking for them. I'll keep my eyes peeled now. :-))
You reminded me of a memorable dinner party I gave in honnor of my mother-in-law birthday. I prepared that duck which never wanted to cook, even after 3 hours in the oven and then 20 minutes (out of despair) in the micro-wave. I find it feels as bad as a botched hair cut when this happens.
I'm making your cookie recipe this morning, sans cocoa nibs (sigh).

6:35 AM, January 26, 2006  
Blogger Hageltoast said...

filed for future cheer. Thank you. I am fast becoming addicted to this site.

6:47 AM, January 26, 2006  
Anonymous bea at La Tartine Gourmande said...

Ah yes, kitchen disappointments. I am glad you wrote this! I totally relate. When this happens, I get so grumpy! I had to learn to let go! Thanks for the note, I felt less lonely! ;-)

6:55 AM, January 26, 2006  
Anonymous Luisa said...

oh HA yes, I know something about bad recipes. From where I'm sitting this morning, that cookie might be the most glorious looking thing in the world. They are a VISION. When will we be able to stretch our hands through the computer screen and pluck one from your plate? :)

7:18 AM, January 26, 2006  
Blogger Sam said...

I managed to make no fewer than 4 bad recipes for my Sugar High Friday tommorrow and now I have run out of time. WHat kind of host am I, huh?

All I can do now, is show everyone how NOT to do it.
Oh well, it was interesting experimenting.
(I cant say it was fun because the results were so deflating)

8:50 AM, January 26, 2006  
Anonymous Jason Morrison said...

Haha - Molly, the story of disappointment from failed recipes rings all too true - unfortunately, it happens more than I'd like, as an novice cook aspiring to introduce more creativity and instinct into my cooking.

The cookies look delicious! Sadly, I cannot find cocoa nibs near me... does anyone know of a good source online for mail ordering these? Thanks!

11:48 AM, January 26, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Disapointment came for me last Sunday in the form of a failed Cherry Clafouti - what turned out to be a greyish looking, lumpy disaster. If I had trusted my instincts, I would have known that the recipe called for way too much milk (probably a typo) and gone and found my tried and true never-fails clafouti recipe instead which still remains missing.
It was especially disappointing considering I hand-pitted all those darn cherries myself! But out of guilt I ate it anyway. :)

11:55 AM, January 26, 2006  
Blogger Sam said...

jason - dagoba and scharffen burger both sell cocoa nibs online.
scharffen burger were out of stock online last time i checked, theymay have some now, dagoba definitely had them

11:57 AM, January 26, 2006  
Blogger Tongue in Cheek Antiques said...

If disappointment spells Cocoa Nibs, tehn I hope for plenty of disappointments! I honestly think I could smell them through the computer screen! How disappointing is that!
Have you ever thought about selling your cookies to me?

12:04 PM, January 26, 2006  
Blogger karin said...

Molly, how do you think these would do with some chocolate chips thrown in? Just looking at the cookies makes me want to bite and for that bite to have bits of oozy chocolate inside. Would this be possible?

12:30 PM, January 26, 2006  
Blogger Molly said...

Zarah, please forgive me. I meant no harm, I promise, and cookies, as you know, pay no attention to the clock! But do yourself a favor, my dear, and mail-order some nibs! It might be pricey for the shipping, but both Amazon and Chocosphere carry them, as well as Dagoba and Scharffen Berger (as Sam pointed out above), although I only find the nibs in a huge bulk offer at this last. Go get 'em!

Thank you, Rosa. I know, the red velvet cake is a tricky thing. I am skittish about food coloring, and this recipe (from a prominent cookbook author) used some juice from a can of pickled beets instead. Promising...but no. Sniffle, sniffle.

Zoubida, that duck episode sounds terrible! Talk about disappointment! Wow. I hope these cookies deliver for you, making up, maybe, for some of those past duds. By the way - and this may come too late - but if you leave out the nibs, you may want to increase the walnuts from 1 3/4 cups to 2 cups. Either way, though, I doubt you can go wrong.

Hageltoast, I'm delighted to hear it! Thank you.

Bea, you are not alone, ma cherie! Few things get me grumpier than a disappointment in the kitchen. The more you love to cook, it seems, the worse a failure feels. We're both cursed, I'm afraid, but something tells me we'll trudge on nonetheless...

Luisa, my dear Wednesday Chef, I know - in all your recipe testing and tasting, you've battled more than a few kitchen disappointments! You're a brave woman. And as for Compu-Taste (or maybe Taste-o-Vision?) technology, maybe we should ask my Seattle-area neighbors over at Microsoft? Hmmm.

Sam, you're a very diligent, hard-working host, that what you are! You know, disappointments aside, I think a "what not to do" post could be more interesting and instructive, anyway. Chin up! Oh, and many thanks for your nibs source suggestions for Jason...

Jason, between my suggestions (in my reply to Zarah Maria, above) and Sam's, you should have nibs in no time. And as for those failed recipes, don't let them slow you down. That you are striving to bring more creativity and instinct to your kitchen is inspiring. A few casualties along the way is to be expected, but in the end, very, very worth it.

KikiEats, your clafouti mishap sounds terrifying! Greyish? Lumpy? Oh MY. If you're looking for a good clafouti recipe while you search for your M.I.A. favorite, you might want to take a look at one I posted a few months back. It was a black plum clafouti, but you could substitute any number of fruits, including those precious hand-pitted cherries.

Tongue in Cheek, these cookies do smell pretty divine - very dark-chocolatey - so I wouldn't be surprised if they worked some miracle of physics and sent a few scent molecules through the screen! Someday, someday...

And Karin, I think you could certainly throw in a few chocolate chips - and with delicious results, I'll bet! I would be careful, though, not too add too much, weight-wise. As it stands now, 1 3/4 cups walnuts plus 1/4 cup nibs weighs about 7 ounces, give or take a bit. If you choose to add chips, I'd take away some walnuts or nibs such that your final weight is still in the neighborhood of 7 ounces. Sounds complicated, but it need not be. Let me know if you give it a whirl - or heck, it sounds so good that I may have to try it myself, asap!

1:06 PM, January 26, 2006  
Anonymous Melissa said...

Just when you let the fennel, cabbage, and endive convince me it was safe to wander over here, you have to post this! Not only am I drooling profusely, but I can't ignore the fact that I currently have both cocoa nibs and a box of Valrhona cocoa powder languishing in my cupboard. I'm afraid that in this case, resistance is futile!

1:59 PM, January 26, 2006  
Blogger Dawna said...

Holy Mother of Toast! Am I seeing things? Do these actually qualify as... low fat? Thank goodness they have way too much sugar to qualify as "healthy." Well, they have a healthy amount of chocolate in them, and that's good enough for me!

2:23 PM, January 26, 2006  
Blogger MM said...

Boy, tell me about disappointing recipes! I recently had an encounter with one and it pissed me off so much I could not sleep that night. The up side on that is that I spent it contemplating flavour combinations and then came up with some winners. Which you cookies really really looks like ... a true winner! Now I wish I had an oven ...

Or at least figure out how to use the strange contraption passing as one in my house.

9:53 PM, January 26, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was licking my computer screen when i saw that fabulous chocolate cookie! Congratulations on your big win. I really enjoy your blog.
keep up the great work,

12:01 AM, January 27, 2006  
Blogger peeps said...

Just last weekend I thought myself wildly lucky to have found a 5 pound bag of baking cocoa in the back of a shelf at the back of a store located in the back of a town geographically situated at the end of beyond (lest there be doubt, I say this with sheer enthusiasm for my current stomping grounds!) - and today I have the added excitement of a good recipe calling for my new found treasure! Ahhh, the ways that Fate likes to encourage one to do their own baking! I feel pretty confident, however, that no amount of diligence will lead to finding cocoa nibs out here. So I will have to wait for the mail order, which I dare say will only add to the excitement of an anticipated appreciation of flavour.

Thanks for yet another motivational post - and congratulations, again, on the blogging award!

3:07 PM, January 27, 2006  
Anonymous Ivonne said...

Molly, Thank you for your post (the cookies looked pretty darn good to me ... although anything with chocolate is good to me!).

Ah the joys of cooking and baking ... it's a true roller coaster ride!

5:22 PM, January 27, 2006  
Anonymous Janice said...

How exciting to find your site and the first thing I see is a cookie with cocoa nibs. Fantastic. I bought cocoa nibs in Napa Valley while attending a Joanne Weir cooking class and they've been in the cabinet ever since as I've tried to find something to do with them. Thank you! Can't wait to try the cookie recipe. Look forward to coming back.

5:44 PM, January 27, 2006  
Anonymous Julie said...

These are indeed the best, best cookies. Whenever I'm in the neighborhood of Payard, I stop in to see if I can score a few. One time they were out -- but the lovely man behind the counter took out the ones he had saved to take home, and with but a small sigh of resignation, let me have them.

Molly -- have you been to Payard? We should have a full afternoon tea there on your next trip to NYC!

7:31 PM, January 28, 2006  
Blogger Shauna said...

Oh dear, I've been so sick that I haven't been able to check your site in days. And then I see these yummy cookies! I just posted about some gluten-free chocolate chip ones, but now I can see that I'm going to have to work up an alternative version of these.

Good god, Molly.

9:07 AM, January 29, 2006  
Anonymous Tijen said...

hi molly!
first of all congradulations!
I just had a big kitchen fight with my mom and I'm quite disappointed. After having six published cookbooks, she still cannot trust me! So hope you'll trust yourself and bake more and more cookies..
(one of your readers from Turkey)

10:27 AM, January 29, 2006  
Blogger Molly said...

Melissa, judging by your pantry stash, these cookies were destined for you. And my dear, there's no stopping destiny. Eat up!

Dawna, while I don't know the exact nutritional breakdown of these puppies, yes, I do believe that they are low-fat! [Shudder.] But with all that sugar, I would certainly not want to know the calorie count! Ooof. Thank goodness all that chocolate is bursting with antioxidants, and just think of the good omega-3s in those walnuts! It's enough to make you want to eat a few, no?

MM, a bad recipe is bad enough, but to then be kept awake by thoughts of it is even worse! You have my sympathies. But cheers for turning your insomnia into a few winning inventions in the kitchen...

Thank you, hag!

And thank you, peeps! What a fortuitous find you have in all that cocoa. With five pounds of the stuff, it sounds as though you have many, many cookies - or many chocolatey somethings, at least - in your future! Fate indeed.

Ivonne, thank you. And speaking of rollercoaster rides, I am currently in the midst of another baking experiment right this very moment. I wait by the oven with baited breath! Tune in next time...

Janice, I'm delighted that you found Orangette - and with such a timely ingredient, to boot! Please do let me know how you like the cookies...

I should have guessed that you would know of these cookies, Ms. Chocolate (a.k.a. Julie)! I have indeed been to Payard, although my visit there took place before I knew of these cookies. I was in Manhattan with my sister a few summers ago, and we swung by Payard for only a minute, just long enough for me to get a little aluminum cup of chocolate mousse. Next time, I am definitely taking you up on that tea.

Shauna, I saw your cookies earlier today, and they look ooey-gooey ungodly delicious! You are a gluten-free genius, my dear. And as far as these cookies go, you'll be happy to note that they are already - of their own accord! - gluten-free. No alternative version necessary. When you feel better, I'll bring you a batch. Or I could whip one up now, if you think they might speed the healing...

Tijen, thank you, and congratulations to you for your multiple-cookbook success!

5:26 PM, January 29, 2006  
Anonymous Stephanie Crocker said...

I was at the essential baking cafe today in Madison (my husband was instantly in heaven over their perfect perfect thin crust pizza...he always orders well). Anyhow, they had some choco cookies in their case that look like the ones you made...very chocolatey, but light since it's like a meringue. Instead, we opted for a chocolate mousse pyramid, which was pretty good, but I think we were sort of craving the simplicity of a cookie. I'll have to try your recipe...it looks fabulous

12:01 AM, January 30, 2006  
Blogger Zoubida said...

Hi Molly,
A quick note to let you know I made the cookies the morning I left a comment about them. They were divine and disapeared by the end of the afternoon (even my 8 years old son who doesn't like dark chocolate had 2 of them). I'm making a note in the recipe to increase the nuts. Thanks for the hint, it'll be helpfull next time which is probably soon since these cookies 1) were so popular and 2) are so easy and quick to make.

11:14 AM, January 30, 2006  
Blogger Cyndi said...

Okay, okay--so I can't have a a lot of sugar. I'll have to make these and eat one a day. right. Like that'll happen. Oh, and red velvet cake--did you use a whole bottle of red food coloring. My Texan mom says that's the only way to do it. Of course, then your tongue turns red when you eat it!

9:14 PM, January 30, 2006  
Blogger Ruth said...

As everyone else has already said, the cookie looks awesome and I'm drooling as I write.

As for the disappointments...at least they give fodder for great stories.

Thanks for sharing

6:39 AM, January 31, 2006  
Blogger hayden said...

OMG, these are good. I made them last night, although I substituted the cocoa nibs for more chocolate and they didn't really spread like your instructions said they would, but OMG, so good. These are definitely going in the rotation.
Thanks for posting.

9:34 AM, January 31, 2006  
Blogger michelle said...

Awesome...I've been looking for a recipe to use up the rest of those cocoa nibs I have stored in my freezer!

1:15 PM, January 31, 2006  
Blogger Molly said...

Stephanie, I know those cookies! I haven't been to the Essential Baking Company Cafe in a long time, but on the half-dozen or so occasions that I've picked up lunch or goodies there, those dark, meringue-ish cookies have always been among my purchases. They're delicious, no doubt about it. But I dare say that I like these better. I'm biased, clearly, but I think you might agree. And by the way, I don't know if you remember, but long, long ago - maybe last summer?! - we talked about my coming out to visit your shop and kitchen space. I have thought about it often, but sadly, my work hours have kept me from making the trek out to West Seattle on a weekday morning...so far. Someday, someday...

And Zoubida, great news! Many thanks for coming back to report on your cookie success. It sounds as though your son has very good taste.

Cyndi, I know, these cookies are not exactly easy on the sugar! You could, though, do as I do with a lot of these recipes and take the better part of the batch to work or to your neighbors. My colleagues are becoming so accustomed to my coming in with cakes and cookies that they have started asking after them, actually, from the moment I come into the office. Not sure if that is a good thing or not. But nonetheless, it's an idea. And as for the red velvet cake, this particular recipe called for pickled beet juice instead of red food coloring. I've always been a bit skittish of food coloring, so I decided to give it a go. But I should have known better, I guess, and gone for that red tongue!

Ruth, you make a good point. While I wouldn't exactly embrace disappointments, you and I both know that the best part of the kitchen is the stories it tells...

Hayden, thank you for giving these cookies a try! I'm so glad to hear that they met with your approval - and are going into the regular rotation, no less!

And Michelle, you're a wise woman to keep nibs on hand. You never know when inspiration - or recipes - will strike. Look no further, my dear.

10:53 PM, January 31, 2006  
Anonymous vanessa said...

I can relate to baking disappointments. they borderline disasters in my kitchen. but that is one hell of a cookie...as if the exterior wasn't enough, the nibs got me, hook, line, and sinker. great post.

11:06 AM, February 01, 2006  
Blogger Nina said...

I LOVE Payard Patisserie in NY. I once went on doomed diet of having no breakfast and one of their tarts for lunch... they tasted so much better than "real" food. :) I can't wait to try this recipe. I just discovered this blog, and I think it's terrific! Thank you

3:58 PM, February 01, 2006  
Anonymous Tania said...

No butter? No flour?? Egg whites, but no yolks?? How intriguing, and how -- dare I write it? -- healthy!

4:06 PM, February 01, 2006  
Blogger Molly said...

Thank you, vanessa! And here's to downgrading your "borderline disasters" to plain old disappointments. Got to start somewhere, right?

Nina, thank you for making your way over to Orangette! Welcome! And about that Payard "diet" of yours, I have to tell you that I once did the same thing in Italy with gelato. Thank goodness for my return ticket to the U.S. - who knows how things could have turned out?

And Tania, don't be deceived! Did you see the quantity of sugar in these puppies? Healthy? Pshaw.

10:34 PM, February 01, 2006  
Anonymous the cheesefairy said...

Hi, I just wanted to let you know that I made your cookies last weekend for a desserts party I was having, thanks for the recipe! The guests really enjoyed the cookies! I had an inordinate number of egg whites leftover from making pastry cream, failed creme anglaise, and other baked goods for the party so I made two double batches of these cookies to use up some egg whites. I tried the suggestion of using chocolate chips instead of walnuts (I apologize for not following your recipe exactly, but I dislike walnuts). For a double batch of cookies, I added 1 cup of regular size chocolate chips in addition to the cocoa nibs (so that would be 1/2 cup of chocolate chips for the regular recipe). Very decadent and chocolatey. The perplexing part was that some of the cookies came out beautifully, with the shiny topcoat, but some of the cookies' topcoats fell completely during cooling so that the cookie didn't have any of the lovely tan topcoat. I have no idea what caused that -- I tried cooking the subsequent batches longer and shorter to see if that helped, but that didn't seem to make a difference. I couldn't tell if it maybe had to do with the chocolate chips. Those cookies were still delicious anyway. Also, I was in a rush getting ready for the party so although I let the cookies cool before taking them off the parchment, the chocolate chips were still a little gooey so sometimes the chip would be stuck behind in the parchment, leaving a hole(s) in the cookie which caused it to collapse and break apart when I tried to take it off the parchment. So just a caution for people (I ate more than my share of the broken cookies as I was taking them off the parchment :). Maybe miniature chocolate chips might be better for that reason? Anyway, thanks again! :) I'll definitely make these cookies again, next time I might try them with pecans instead of the walnuts.

6:39 AM, March 18, 2006  
Anonymous Leah said...

Molly, I'm planning on making these cookies this weekend (I'm under a ton of stress at the moment, and I figure these are just the ticket to happiness, via baking-induced relaxation and taste-bud delight). I was thinking, though - one of my absolute favorite brownie recipes is one from Maida Heater, and it includes some instant espresso. I love what it does to those brownies, and I'm wondering how including a pinch of it here might (or might not) work with these cookies. As always, I plan on trying them as is first (I'm a girl who likes to try and learn the rules before she breaks 'em!), but I'd love to hear your thoughts.

And as soon as I get my Cheese Board cookbook back from Nicolette, I'll get you and Brandon a recipe or two...

10:55 PM, May 25, 2006  
Blogger Molly said...

Leah, I say: go for it! Try adding a pinch or so to the dry ingredients. Play with it. If anything, it should give even more oomph to an already luscious chocolate flavor.

Go forth and relax, my dear. Have a good weekend.

5:06 PM, May 26, 2006  
Anonymous leah said...




(PS - Added a teaspoon of powdered espresso - hoooo, bessie, do we have some oomph in the house!)

4:57 PM, May 28, 2006  
Blogger Molly said...

"Hoooo, Bessie" sounds about right! Mmm, must go make a batch of cookies and taste that espresso for myself...

2:44 PM, May 29, 2006  
Anonymous lilly said...

wow!!!! I have to bring in a batch of cookies for a meeting on monday and thought these looked great... I decided to do a trial run tonight and they are AWSOME!!!! These will definately go in the permanent collection, thankyou!!
your recipes are amazing, keep up the good work :-)

7:58 PM, June 14, 2007  
Blogger Molly said...

Thanks, Lilly! I'm so glad they were a hit!

10:13 AM, June 18, 2007  
Anonymous Gale said...

$9 for cocoa nibs at Whole Foods had me skeptical... But I'm a convert! Two tweaks I did made: used Special Dark cocoa powder and hazelnuts instead of walnuts. The depth of flavor was tremendous. And they stayed chewey all week! These are now added to my permanent rotation!

1:33 PM, July 31, 2009  
Anonymous grollier said...

Tremendous cookies -- I don't understand how so much sugar can result in something so subtle and not overly sweet, but I'm not questioning success. They were a huge hit the night I made them and even huger the next day, straight out of the freezer. Love the cocoa nibs!

2:12 PM, September 07, 2009  
Anonymous violq said...

I made these and they turned out not too great, sorry to say (speaking of recipe disappointments...). Really far too sweet, and the cookies stuck to the parchment. I wonder what I did wrong, the only change I made to the recipe was to substitute hazelnuts for walnuts.

10:31 AM, September 12, 2009  
Blogger JD & Chrissy said...

So I made these last night - I was so excited. And they were pretty good... but I noticed that I wasn't able to obtain the shiny top (mine were a greyish brown) and no crackles to be found, even after 19-20 minutes of baking. I'm wondering if this *might* be due to the fact that I was out of cocoa nibs and I used carob chips instead... and to compensate for the extra sugar I cut back to only 2 cups. Could that have done me in?

6:13 AM, October 23, 2009  
Blogger naomi said...

i made these last night and they came out perfect! as someone who has terrible luck with baking but will never give up, i was so proud and pleased. the only thing that went wrong, and it seems lots of people had this problem, was that they stuck to the parchment, each and every time. maybe next time i will put some butter on it? not sure if that will work but it's worth a shot on at least one round. thanks for posting!

9:58 AM, February 13, 2011  
Anonymous Susan @ One Less Thing said...

Just finished baking these, the aroma is awesome and they look great, can't wait to eat them. But...the batter was not thin and they did not spread at all. Not a problem, I ended up with about 20 cookies.

8:24 PM, March 20, 2011  
Anonymous Anoushka said...

The best cookie recipe ever! Simple, ultra-delicious and a tiny bit healthier than your average cookie. What's not to like? I didn't have nibs so I used extra walnuts. I am going to try not to eat all of them before I get a chance to share them with friends. I think they're going to crown me Cookie Queen :-)

7:28 AM, May 09, 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

made these for new year's eve! :)

two questions: any word on the parchment paper sticking? and, i know it's blasphemous to even say this, but could i freeze the batter and make the rest of the batch later?

5:21 PM, December 31, 2011  
Blogger HadleyEG said...

I just made these, and im trying not to be too sad that I seemed to have messed them up. They still taste delicious. But the tops of mine started to crackle early--after about 12 min. Thinking it would be better to err on the side of less cooked, I took them out. They stuck to the parchment paper, and even though they were cool, they were falling apart. I have been thinking about these cookies for so long, and wanted then to be crisp and chewy and perfect! :( please encourage me to try again folks.

10:08 PM, October 08, 2013  
Blogger HadleyEG said...

I made them again and they were awesome!! I think I have an oven that runs high...and I adjusted for that this time. Hurray!!

8:20 PM, November 10, 2013  

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