I’ve noticed lately that the things that separate us are becoming more obvious. It used to be you didn’t discuss politics or religion. Now my facebook feed is filled with commentary (I’m no different, honestly). The economy, gun control, budgets and deficits all seem to elicit the “you’re with us or against” rhetoric. You’re liberal or a conservative. A dog lover or a cat lover. A deep dish or a thin-crust. You cannot be both. At least, we’d like to think it’s that simple. The great middle claims most of us and we’re all probably more alike than we can admit. Except for one crucial distinction; and I believe it’s one of the few things that truly defines who you are: Are you Cheese? Or Chocolate? Do you swoon for an oozy, runny brie or do you melt for cocoa-dusted truffles? Like any other rational person, I get cravings for chocolate. The voice in my head will starting chanting: chocolate… Chocolate… CHOCOLATE… CHOCOLATE NOW! I’m not sure where that voice comes from, because I’m really a cheese person. If I had to choose a camp, it would be Camp Cheese. Oh, the hijinks we would play on Camp Chocolate. We’d swap Baker’s Chocolate for the Hershey’s in their s’mores. Standard cocoa powder for Dutch-process in their brownies. White chocolate for their… well, nothing, because I wouldn’t subject anyone to faux-chocolate. (No one said this would be a very exciting camp, unless you like cheese. Or chocolate. I guess.)
Now, if we were playing nice with Camp Chocolate, the Cheesers would bake up a few batches of these cookies and drop them at their cabin door and run back to our fondue pots. These cookies are Serious. Chocolate. Business. A full pound of chocolate. You can use all bittersweet, a mix of bitter and milk, or even, and I can’t understand why, white “chocolate”. I went full-bore bittersweet and used almost four bars of Lindt for these. It’s a lot of chopping, but you end up with a mix of larger chunks and whispery shreds that add up to chocolate flavor in every bite. If there’s any trick to these cookies it’s figuring out how much coffee powder to use. I haven’t seen a jar of Folger’s since I was in junior high when it was my mother’s “fix” in the mornings before she went to work. The only instant coffee you’ll find in my pantry is the espresso kind. I thought I was living on the edge with three rounded tablespoons of the stuff and even then the coffee flavor is only in the background. So, adjust accordingly if you really want a coffee flavor (and, conversely, for any children who may consume these).
These cookies spread quite a bit while cooking, even when well-chilled, so be sure to give them some space. Unless you’re into the whole communal-cookie, free-love, let’s hug it out and let our cookies melt into each other. I won’t judge. You could add some chopped, dried apricots. Out of pure laziness, I omitted them. Chopping dried fruit falls fairly high on my list of tasks to avoid, but I’m sure the cookies would be delicious with them. Also, fair warning, if you’re looking for a traditional soft and chewy chocolate chip cookie, these aren’t quite that kind of cookie. They’ve got some chew to them fresh out of the oven, and, if you use a finer chocolate like I did, they’ll leave a good bit of melty chocolate on your fingers, but I found I liked them better after a day or so when they were ever so slightly stale. And if you happen to have them with a bit more espresso for an afternoon pick-me-up, they’ll do quite nicely. Even if they aren’t cheese.
You can find the recipe on Peggy’s blog, Galettista, or on pages 330-331 in Baking with Julia.