Friday, January 31, 2014

Friday Night Bored Baking

My mother has an incredible collection of Gourmet magazines.  I am not exaggerating when I tell you she has every issue since 1941 (she was born in 1949, for reference).

you thought I was still exaggerating, but that's them, all along the bottom

Way back when, she used to cut the recipes out of these magazines and file them into boxes to be tried later.

Sometimes I like the idea of diving in there for a recipe because, compared to the many recipes that will come up when you Google them, these have a very legitimate source standing behind them.  Gourmet is a magazine that really knew their shit, especially compared with Joe-Schmoe-Started-a-Food-Blog.  On top of that, I feel less apprehensive that there aren't tons of reviews because I think being in Gourmet is all the review you need.  Sometimes I find myself obsessing over reviews and trying to figure out whose tweaks to use and whose to ignore and it's all just very stressful - this, now this is easy.

These chocolate cookies come from a reader request recipe and my mother helpfully wrote "GOOD", then crossed it out, and wrote "EXCELLENT" on the top.  I like the little stories behind the recipes because they tell you the name of the restaurant and where they're from.  These cookies were made by Karen Mitchell of The Model Bakery [sidenote: that book looks amazing!] in St. Helena and apparently, according to the writer Rosemarie Firth, the cookies were on almost every menu in Napa Valley.  The writer refers to these as oversized - I think that's an understatement.  Maybe I made mine too big but I honestly gasped when I opened the oven and saw the size of them after the timer went off.

this is a regular sized plate

crackle-y and crisp on the outside, soft and gooey on the inside

These cookies were great, truly.  They were able to be crisp and dry on the outside while maintaining some serious moistness and melted chocolate ooze in the middle.  Fresh out of the oven, the melted chips really added to the variety of textures of this superrich and super chocolaty cookie.  I am curious how they will be once they've fully cooled but I would guess they maintain the texture difference that makes them so unique and so friggin delicious.

Chocolate Rads
taken from Gourmet Magazine, December 1992.  Makes about 16.

  • 1 pound bittersweet or semisweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso or instant coffee powder [GE: I omitted]
  • 1/2 Cup cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 14 ounces (2 1/3 cups) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 4 ounces (1 cup) chopped walnuts [GE: I omitted]
  1. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler over simmering water, stirring until smooth.  Remove from heat.
  2. Using an electric mixer, beat the sugar and eggs [GE: I stuck with medium-high for this] until pale yellow and thick, about 5 minutes.
  3. Beat in the chocolate, melted butter, vanilla, and espresso powder.
  4. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  5. Stir in the dry ingredients to the chocolate mixture.
  6. Stir in the chocolate chips and nuts.
  7. Refrigerate until firm, 30 minutes.
  8. Preheat oven to 350.  Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  9. Drop batter by 1/2 cupfuls onto prepared sheets, spacing evenly.
  10. Use moist fingertips [GE: moist is not optional, it's necessary here!] to form 3.5-4-inch rounds.
  11. Bake cookies until tops are dry and crack, about 16 minutes.  
  12. Allow to cool on parchment.  Cover and store at room temperature.


  1. Hi dear, you have adorable blog and nice layout, I hope we can follow each other, if you decided to follow me on BLOGLOVIN, please let me know so I can follow you back, thank you xoxo

  2. omg i need these :o