CookiesIf you know me at all, you’re probably well-aware that I have been using the same Purity Cookbook chocolate chip cookie recipe for, well, forever. Whenever I show up with cookies, there is a very good chance that these are the ones I’m packing. It’s the recipe my mom used and it makes the most delicious cookies ever. Every time.

WHATS-FOR-DINNER-cover-1Even so, I am tempted from time to time by incredible cookie photos to try something new. This time, I was browsing through Curtis Stone’s What’s for Dinner (2013).

What was it that tempted me away from my one true love? The picture, of course. This cookie uses chunks instead of chips and offered a molten interior of divine chocolate. Yum.

So, I went about gathering my ingredients, the most expensive and luscious being a half pound of butter and 12oz of bittersweet chocolate chunked up.

I don’t know if you can imagine what 12oz of chocolate looks like — I certainly couldn’t or I would have just used chips at this point — but it’s about 3 cups or so when the chocolate is coarsely chopped. It is a true mountain of chocolate. I nervously glanced at my dough — was there enough for a pleasing cookie to chocolate ratio? I would know soon enough.

But, before I give away the end of the story, I’d like to talk about bittersweet chocolate. I don’t like anything using “bitter” as a descriptor — be it coffee, cherries, or people. As I stood in front of the Baker’s Chocolate options at the store (as you can imagine, bittersweet chocolate is not in my regular collection), I seriously considered just getting semi-sweet. It’s an old friend, you see, as it is what is normally used in cookies and I was feeling the need to be in control of some aspect of this new recipe. Alas, I purchased the bittersweet, reasoning that the recipe was written for bittersweet and I would be messing up the intended balance of sugar-to-bitter if I went out on my own.

Curtis Stone's version

Curtis Stone’s version

One more thing — the recipe, and the title of the recipe, calls for pecans. I don’t like crunchy nuts in my soft-centered, crispy-edged cookies, so I always just ignore that instruction line. If you’re new to cookie-making, nuts can generally be easily omitted without fussing with the recipe. If you enjoy the extra texture, then omitting would be just denying yourself pleasure. And why do that?

As I finalized my chocolate-laden dough and scooped the requested 1/3c blobs onto my parchment-lined cookie sheets, it struck me that these were going to be mammoth cookies. The blobs looked like those puffed wheat balls your mom used to make — they were a little excessive, but I was trying to match the recipe, so I went with it.

I wasn’t wrong. What I got were huge, flat, conjoined cookies that looked like they were filled with shards of chocolate. Breaking one open, it did indeed have the molten bits that I found so appealing initially. I tasted one — divine is the word I would use to describe it. The chocolate wasn’t even a little bitter and the dough had become soft centered with crisp edges.

My only complaint? My cookies looked nothing like the photo that so attracted my attention. Curtis’s cookies are plump with cookie dough encasing molten chocolate. Mine were well-mixed, flat, and had significantly less dough than I was expecting and prefer.

The new cookies are delicious, but not in the eat-three-in-a-sitting way that I know and love. These are very rich and more than one would be too much. These are freeze-and-eat-as-a-treat cookies. Which I have done. I look forward to my next treat.

One thought on “Recipe Review: Curtis Stone’s Chocolate Chunk Cookies with Pecans

  1. Suzanne

    I am a huge fan of Curtis Stone and I looooove his new cookbook, What’s For Dinner? Every dinner I’ve made from the cookbook has been amazing. However, the chocolate chip cookies were my first disappointment. They came out too flat and thin for my taste and they didn’t look at all like the picture. I must admit they didn’t last long though. The kids ate them right up. Next time, I think I’ll use my go-to recipe but try those big chunks of chocolate.

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