23 June 2007


Last night, I made one of my favorite cookie recipes, and it's so good I have to share. It's quick and easy, and the cookies stay nice and soft the next day - perhaps even longer, but we wouldn't know. If your cookies last more than two days, you have a ridiculous amount of willpower and should allow yourself to relax more. :)

Anyhoo, all credit goes to the excellent dessert cookbook, "Chocolate on the Brain", by Kevin and Nancy Mills. If you're a chocoholic like me, I highly recommend this book. It has everything from varied cookies and brownies to impressive-sounding tortes and mousses and so forth. Whatever your mood, you're bound to find a chocolate dessert to fit your needs. And happily, these "Lava Cookies" will suit just about any mood.

Supposedly, this makes 36 cookies. I've never gotten more than 24 out of them, whether from batter-testing or making them a little larger than the book indicates. If using self-rising flour, omit the baking powder and salt.

Lava Cookies

3 squares (3 oz) unsweetened baking chocolate
6 T butter plus enough to grease two cookie sheets
1 c sugar (not a typo)
2 large eggs
1 t vanilla extract
1 c flour
1 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1/2 c powdered sugar

Melt the chocolate and butter together in a heavy saucepan over very low heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and set aside when the chocolate has almost fully melted; the heat of the pan will melt the remaining chocolate.

Mix the sugar, eggs and vanilla together in a large bowl until pale yellow and frothy. Add the chocolate mixture and mix on low just until blended, about 15 seconds. Add the flour, baking powder and salt and mix on low about 10 seconds more, or just until blended. Cover and put in the freezer for at least 15 minutes. (Note: you can freeze the batter overnight if you're preparing ahead. Why you would do this, I don't know, but that's what the book says.)

Place an oven rack in the middle slot and preheat the oven to 350 degrees (375 high altitude). Grease two cookie sheets with butter. Remove the batter from the freezer and use a teaspoon to shape the dough into one-inch balls. Roll the balls in the powdered sugar and place on the cookie sheet, four to a row, in three rows. Bake the cookies one sheet at a time, 10-12 minutes. They will spread out and have mottled brown-and-white surfaces vaguely resembling a lava field (hence the name). Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for three minutes bef0re transferring them to a cooling rack. Try to not eat them all the first night...

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