Chocolate Cookie Bowl Part 2–Ghiradelli Whopper

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The State of North Carolina says these cookies are tops. We think they are pretty awesome, too. I won my first blue ribbon at the State Fair with these cookies and they are a long-time favorite. I made these cookies to thank the maternity nurses who helped me welcome Ellie into the world. They are cookies for special people. Made of dark chocolate, coffee and just enough flour to hold them together, these are definitely grown up cookies. They are also huge, so one cookie wrapped in a nice package makes a terrific “thank you” gift for a teacher, a friend or someone special (like your Valentine!). The original recipe comes from a terrific cookie book, Maida Heatter’s Cookies.

We had these cookies pitted against our Baltimore Berger cookies in our Super Bowl chocolate smack down. While Baltimore won the game, these cookies, made with San Francisco chocolate, won dessert. For the Super Bowl, we left them unadorned, but we have served them with peppermint ice cream (amazing) and with salted caramel ice cream (amazing through the roof). Hope you enjoy! And don’t forget that chocolate is an antioxidant 🙂

Here are some tips for these cookies.

  • Use your best chocolate here. For some cookies, it won’t matter, but it will here.
  • Same goes for your coffee. I use powdered Greek or Turkish coffee when I have it. Definitely use powdered coffee–NOT instant.
  • Toast your nuts. You heard me. Don’t skimp on this step. The flavor is worth it.
  • These cookies are huge. The recipe makes 10 cookies, but you can feed quite a few people with one batch.
  • These cookies are expensive, but they rock out a bake sale, especially if parents are buying. I package them individually and can usually get $2.00 per cookie. Once people buy one, they will be back for more.

Ghiradelli Whoppers (makes 10 very large cookies)

  • 3/4 stick unsalted butter
  • 2 ounces Ghiradelli unsweetened chocolate
  • 2 ounces Ghiradelli dark chocolate
  • 4 ounces Ghiradelli semisweet chocolate
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or all purpose)
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher or sea salt
  • 2 farm eggs
  • 3/4 cup organic, unbleached sugar
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla
  • 2 tsp. powdered Turkish coffee (Starbucks also makes a powdered coffee)
  • 2 cups chopped, toasted North Carolina pecans
  • 1 cup Ghiradelli chocolate chips
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a glass, microwave safe bowl, melt the butter, unsweet chocolate, dark chocolate and semisweet chocolate in 1 minute increments. Stir after each just until the chocolate is smooth. Do NOT overheat or your chocolate will seize. I typically only need 2 minutes and I stir the chocolate mixture until it is all melted. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  4. In the bowl of a standing mixer, blend the eggs, sugar, coffee and vanilla at high speed for 2 minutes.
  5. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the chocolate to the egg mixture.
  6. Gradually add the flour to the mixer bowl. Remove bowl from the mixer.
  7. Stir in the pecans and chocolate chips.
  8. Use a 1/3 cup measuring cup to measure out the cookies. Drop the large dollops of dough onto the baking sheets, fitting 5 cookies per sheet. Leave approximately 2-3 inches between cookies.
  9. Arrange baking racks in your oven so they divide the oven into thirds. Place both racks in the oven. Bake for 8 minutes, then switch the racks. Bake for 8 minutes more.
  10. Remove from oven and let the cookies cool 5 minutes on the sheets. Use a large spatula to move the cookies from the sheets to cooling racks. If cookies are not firm enough to move them, let them cool a bit longer.
  11. Let them cool completely on the cooling racks (like THAT is possible). Serve slightly warm.

These cookies will keep in an air tight container for 3-4 days, but they are best within 48 hours of baking.

Chocolate Cookie Bowl, Part 1–Baltimore Berger Cookies

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For our Super Bowl menu, we had Maryland vs. San Francisco food, and our desserts featured an east vs. west chocolate cookie showdown. Here is my whole wheat recipe for Baltimore Berger cookies. As far as I can tell, these were originally made by one bakery and gained wider popularity in the city. Today, they seem to be less popular and reviews online were mixed. Still, the combination of a shortbread cookie and chocolate frosting sounded pretty good, so we forged ahead with our own version.

These don’t look fancy, but they are very rich and super tasty. We used locally milled, whole wheat pastry flour and organic sugar for these little bad boys. The shortbread is rich and buttery (as shortbread should be) with a nice bit of nuttiness in the wheat flour. With only four ingredients, these are easy to make and would be a great family baking recipe!

Baltimore Berger Cookies (makes 24 cookies)

  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter, cut into 16 tablespoon sized pieces
  • 1/2 cup organic , unbleached sugar
  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (you can sub all-purpose flour)
  • 2 cups chocolate chips
  1. In the bowl of a standing mixer, combine butter and sugar. Beat on high speed for about 4 minutes, until well blended.
  2. With mixer on low, add flour 1/4 cup at a time until dough is well blended.
  3. Remove dough from bowl and shape into a log about 12″ long and 2″ wide. Wrap in plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator for about 3 hours.
  4. Preheat oven to 275 degrees.
  5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Remove dough roll from the refrigerator and cut into 24 equal slices. Place cookie slices on the lined baking sheet about 1″ apart.
  7. Bake for 45-50 minutes. Cookies should not brown, but they should be dry and firm.
  8. Let cool for 15 minutes on the baking sheet.
  9. Cool completely on a cooling rack.
  10. Melt chocolate in a microwave safe bowl in 1 minute increments, stirring between and stopping when chocolate is smooth.
  11. Spread about 1 tablespoon chocolate on each cookie and let set.

Tomorrow–Ghiradelli Whoppers!

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