I don’t usually improvise when I’m baking. I’m just not that kind of girl. I’m all about flying by the seat of my pants when I’m cooking, but my baking knowledge is not quite at the point where I feel comfortable making it up as I go.
That said… I set out to make Totally Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies from Nigella Express yesterday (a recipe which I had tried before and loved), and ended up making something a bit different. Sometimes a girl needs some chocolate, and she just has to make do with the ingredients she has on hand!
First, I only had frozen butter, and I didn’t want to wait for it to soften,* so I melted it with the chocolate instead of creaming it with the sugars. I detest getting two bowls dirty, so I basically just threw everything in the stand mixer, rather than mixing the wet and dry ingredients separately (the horror!), and then I ran out of chocolate chips.
*Yes, that happens to me a lot. I’m impatient.
Yep, the original recipe is quite chocolate-heavy, and even in a pantry as well-stocked with chocolate as mine, there are limits. So, rather than adding the 2 cups of chocolate chips the recipe called for, I added a cup of chocolate chips and a cup of walnut pieces. Better for variety, right?
As I was scooping the dough onto the cookie sheet, I had a sample (c’mon, who doesn’t?) and thought, well, even if these are a total fail, at least the dough tastes amazing!
It all worked out beautifully, though. Perhaps this will give me a little more confidence to improvise in my baking from time to time. Regardless, now I have some chocolatey, chocolatey goodness to savor, and that’s what really matters.
Double Chocolate Cookies with Walnuts
Loosely based on a recipe from Nigella Express: 130 Recipes for Good Food Fast by Nigella Lawson
4 oz semisweet chocolate
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup walnut pieces
Preheat the oven to 325°. In a saucepan over low heat, melt the butter and 4 oz chocolate, stirring. Remove from heat.
Meanwhile, mix the flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt, and both sugars in a stand mixer. Stir in the chocolate mixture, along with the vanilla extract and the egg. Add the chocolate chips and walnuts and mix to incorporate.
Using an ice cream scoop, drop the dough onto parchment-lined cookie sheets. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes.