They're gooey and insane.
These are the best cookies I've ever had. Mind blowing, life changing, insane, don't talk to me because you'll ruin the moment, over the top, what's my name, delicious. I don't even think they're cookies. They may be angels. Or devils. I can't decide and it doesn't matter. Just one more bite. Oh my goodness. What was I talking about? Melted chocolate, buttery toffee, roasted hazelnuts, gooey intoxicating madness. I'm rambling; so many feelings. Here's what I know...one taste of these cookies and the universe will have meaning.
This recipe is from a charmingly rustic Italian cookbook, Cristina's Tuscan Table, by Cristina Ceccatelli. She's one of my personal heroes. I love her colorful history, I love her style, I love her food. I've made many recipes from this book and I've never been disappointed. The Ziti and Vodka Sauce is incredible. And the Pumpkin Tiramisu redefined my Thanksgiving dessert. And fueled my pregnancies.
Raised on her families estate in Tuscany, Cristina now lives in Sun Valley, ID, where she opened a cozy European-style bistro called Cristina's Restaurant. It's been said that she, like this cookie recipe, is a work of magic. I made a Sunday brunch reservation for my birthday next month and I can't wait. Completely worth the five hour drive from Jackson.
Now, to make these bundles of buttery chocolate heaven, following directions is very important. Crucial, really. These cookies take some extra effort but are well worth it. I was concerned with ingredient adjustments, being 6500 ft. above sea level, however this recipe holds strong.
I roast the hazelnuts beforehand to enrich the flavor, then give them a rough chop, making sure to leave big chunks intact. It's important to slowly melt the chocolate and butter over a double broiler, not the microwave. Stir often and be very careful not to burn. The recipe calls for semisweet but I may try dark chocolate next time. Don't skimp on the toffee bars. Reading the recipe it sounds like a lot of toffee, but trust me, you want every bit.
Whisk, whisk, whisk! No stopping, even to add ingredients, keep the motor running. You'll have the mixer whisking for 15 minutes straight. The batter is whipped to perfection! Let the cookies rest on the baking sheet for 15 minutes before putting them in the oven. They bake a very short time, just enough to crisp the outside, and will seem underdone; hence the name Goo cookies. And gooey they are! It's almost as if they're filled with frosting.
Allow them to cool completely before moving them. If you don't they'll fall apart. Exercise restraint and try not devour them all immediately. I've found these cookies taste best the next day. Although, I admit I ate two right out of the oven. When it comes to chocolate, hazelnuts, toffee..and goo, I have no restraint. At the very least wait 10 minutes so you don't burn your tongue. You want your taste buds intact for these cookies.
These precise steps are what create the crackled, flaky exterior and the irresistibly gooey chocolate interior. Take the time to make them right. You'll understand the fuss when they're finished. They're truly something out of this world.
Makes 24-30 cookies
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons of cake flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder (if at high altitude decrease by 1/4 teaspoon)
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 3/4 cups of brown sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 8 1.4 ounce heath bars, chopped
- 2 cups hazelnuts, skin on or off (roasting is optional)
* Baker's Note: For high altitude, these cookies did very well. I wouldn't change much, but I did heat my oven to 375°F and slightly decreased my baking powder.
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (375°F if at high altitude).
- Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- If roasting the hazelnuts, lay them on a baking sheet and roast for 10-12 minutes. Allow to cool and give them a rough chop. Set aside.
- Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- Melt the chocolate and butter over a double broiler until smooth. Be careful not to burn. Set aside and allow to cool.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, use the whisk attachment, and whisk the eggs and brown sugar on high speed for 5 minutes.
- Don't stop the motor and add the vanilla. Continue whisking for 5 more minutes.
- Don't stop the motor and add the chocolate mixture. Continue whisking for 5 minutes.
- Yes, this means you will have been whisking for 15 consecutive minutes.
- Stop the motor and add the dry ingredients. Whisk slowly until just incorporated.
- With a rubber spatula, fold in the toffee and hazelnuts.
- Using an ice cream scoop, scoop and level the dough onto lined cookie sheet about 4 inches apart. Let the cookies rest for 15 minutes before baking.
- Bake the cookies for 8 minutes. They'll look raw in the middle and crisp on the outside.
- Allow them to cool completely. They're very gooey when hot.
- Store in flat layers with parchment paper in between.