30 January 2015

chocolate rye cookies

This post was to be about chickpeas. It had a photo of an up egg plated over a helping of the same chickpeas I made three times in three days. I'd pan fried very well-blotted, (canned organic!) chickpeas, added paprika and salt, a spoonful of thick tomato sauce and a glug of white wine to deglaze. I was going to tell you how practical and satisfying and versatile they were. We had them at dinner alongside this frittata (highly recommended), and at lunch again beneath an up egg (well, mine was up; Ed inexplicably does not do up eggs!?) and then again as an egg side sans tomato sauce. Well, maybe you do want more specifics on the chickpeas, but it will have to be later, for now, it's going to be about chocolate. 

Tartine's chocolate rye cookies are very different from your typical chocolate cookie, and different from the two other chocolate cookies I have on this blog already. You get to have a bit of fun with your mixer far from mixing until just combined. A luscious batter of melted chocolate and well-whipped eggs and sugar, is graced with just a smidge of rye flour and leavener to hold it up. It's briefly chilled, then scooped and sprinkled with flakey salt. You may, given the high chocolate-low flour ratio, and when you see the frosting-like batter first before it chills, be tempted to call them brownie cookies, but don't. They aren't. They have a crackly outside and an overall lightness to them, not the chew and density of a brownie. And because of this "lightness" that definitely means you can have more than one : )

Tartine's chocolate rye cookies
Recipe by Tasting Table
Note: I made a quarter of the recipe, which yielded a dozen nice sized cookies! A single egg and 4 oz chocolate are enough for me to sacrifice at once as this recipe in full uses a ton of both. Feel free to cut the whole recipe below in half if you want less dough to handle, or in four like I did. I will make them again and my only change would to be to use a better chocolate, like a really good one, like Mast Brothers or Valhorona as recommended. It's not that a lesser quality is a huge problem, but a top notch, more complex chocolate would make them even better. 
1 lb/16 oz/450 grams chopped bittersweet chocolate (70%) 
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
¾ cup whole-grain dark rye flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon fine salt
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1½ cups muscovado sugar or light brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Good quality sea salt, such as Maldon or flaky fleur de sel, for topping

First melt the chocolate and butter together over a pan of barely simmering water, stirring occasionally. Once melted remove from the heat and let cool slightly.

In a small bowl, whisk together the rye flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside.

Place the eggs in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whip on medium-high, adding the sugar a little bit at a time, until all the sugar is incorporated. Turn the mixer to high and whip until the eggs have nearly tripled in volume, about 6 minutes. Note, that will be less if you make half the recipe.
Reduce speed to low, add the melted chocolate-butter mixture and vanilla. Mix to combine, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, then add in the flour mixture just until combined. At this point the dough will be very soft and loose, it will firm as it chills.
Refrigerate dough until it just firm to the touch, about 30 minutes. Note: after scooping, I froze half the balls. 
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove dough from the fridge and scoop with a rounded tablespoon onto the baking sheets, shaping the balls of dough into rounds and spacing them 2 inches apart. Top each mound of dough with a few flakes of sea salt, pressing gently so it adheres.
Bake for 9 to 11 minutes, or maybe a minute or two longer if your scoops were more mounded, until the cookies have completely puffed up and have a smooth bottom and rounded top. Remove the baking sheets from the oven and let cool slightly (the cookies may flatten a bit), then transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely. The cookies with keep up to 3 days in an airtight container.

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