Every night before dinner we pause for a moment and take turns giving “gratitudes” for things we are grateful for each day, it is our non-denominational spin on a meal-time prayer. A few weeks ago my gratitude went something like this….
“I am grateful that Sarabeth Levine decided to name our dessert treat tonight Chocolate Chubbies, because their name will give me pause each time I am fighting my crack addict urge to eat six of these at a sitting. Were it not for their name, I’ve no doubt that I’d eat enough of these in short order to soon be looking like the Hindenburg.”
Thank you Sarabeth.
In our never ending quest to bring you the best chocolate desserts on the planet, we have yet another top-tier contender. This delight is brought to us by Sarabeth Levine, co-owner and namesake of Sarabeth’s Kitchen in NYC, and author of the fabulous new cookbook,Sarabeth’s Bakery: From My Hands to Yours. Is it a cookie? Is it a brownie? Actually, it’s a brownie masquarading as a cookie, a brilliant hybrid of a treat that achieves the best of both worlds. These bad boys offer the convenience and portability of a cookie, with the dense-cakey, nutty, and chocolaty goodness of a top-notch brownie.
Pre-baked, the batter is loose like that of a brownie, but is scooped onto a sheet tray to form a rather large (thank you again, Sarabeth), pregnant looking cookie. They are loaded with melted bitterweet chocolate, unsweetened chocolate, AND semi-sweet chips, making them deep, dark and dangerous. They also call for a generous mix of walnuts and pecans which help them keep their rotund shape, and make for a perfect crunchy texture. I happen to be a “nuts in my brownie” kind of guy, so I am in heaven eating these, if you prefer your brownies sans nuts, them I’m sorry, but the chubbies aren’t for you…..you can leave now.
I first made these with Peyton, who requested that we make half of the batch with peanuts as opposed to the pecan-walnut mix. It was a flash genius that resulted in a few chubbies that appealed more to the Reese’s loving kid in all of us. How long did our 24 brownie-cookie batch last? Don’t even ask.
Oh, the humanity……
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 9 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (no more than 62 percent cacao), finely chopped
- 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups superfine sugar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 1/2 cups (5 1/2 ounces) coarsely chopped pecans
- 1 1/4 cups (4 1/2 ounces) coarsely chopped walnuts
- Position racks in the center and top third of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Line two half-sheet pans with parchment paper.
- Bring 1 inch of water to a simmer in a medium saucepan over low heat. Put the butter in a wide, heatproof bowl, and melt the butter over the hot water in the saucepan. Add the semisweet and unsweetened chocolate, stirring often, until melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove the bowl from the heat and let stand, stirring occasionally, until cooled slightly but still warm, about 5 minutes.
- Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together into a medium bowl. Whip the eggs in the bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment on medium-high speed until the eggs are foamy and lightly thickened, about 30 seconds. Increase the speed to high and gradually add the sugar, then the vanilla. Whip until the eggs are very thick and pale yellow, about 3 minutes. Reduce the mixer speed to medium and beat in the tepid chocolate, making sure it is completely incorporated. Change to the paddle attachment and reduce the mixer speed to low. Gradually add the flour mixture. Remove the bowl from the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the chocolate chips, pecans, and walnuts, making sure the chunky ingredients are evenly distributed at the bottom of the bowl. The dough will be somewhat soft.
- Using a 2-inch ice-cream scoop, portion the batter onto the prepared pans, placing the cookies about 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake the cookies immediately—if you wait, they won’t be shiny after baking. Bake, switching the position of the pans from top to bottom and front to back about halfway through baking, until the cookies are set around the edges (if you lift a cookie from the pan, the edges should release easily, even if the center of the cookie seems underdone), 17 to 20 minutes. Do not overbake. Cool completely on the baking pans.