I had some friends over the other night and after taking a bite of these cookies, I've concluded that my tendency is towards excess when I break my no sugar/no flour rule. The best way to describe these cookies is brownie pancakes. They were so fudgy and yummy that it was hard to get them off the parchment paper even after they were completely cooled. I originally planned to leave out the walnuts but when I tasted a bit of the batter, I knew they needed something to break up the chocolateness and add a little crunch. One friend suggested peanut butter chips instead of the chocolate chips which I think would be deadly but amazing.
The recipe came from Celebrating with Julienne, the new cookbook I've been loving. So, just for Lisa, here it is:
Chocolate Espresso Cookies (makes 2 dozen large cookies)
1 lb fine-quality semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 1/2 c. sugar
4 extra-large eggs
2 T instant espresso powder
1 T vanilla extract
3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. sat
2 c. fine-quality bittersweet chocolate chips (56% - 60% cacao)
2 c. chopped walnuts (about 8 oz)
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees and line 4 heavy baking sheets with parchment paper. Stir the semisweet chocolate and butter in a heavy medium saucepan over medium-low heat until melted and smooth. Using an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the sugar, eggs, espresso powder, and vanilla in a large bowl for 1 minute or until blended and slightly foamy. Mix in the melted chocolate mixture. Mix in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir in the chocolate chips and walnuts.
Using 2-3 tablespoons of dough for each cookie, spoon dough onto 2 of the baking sheets, forming about 6 cookies per sheet. (I don't usually bake with 2 cookie sheets at once but I did this time placing one on an oven rack in the top third of the oven and one on an oven rack in the middle of the oven.) Bake until the cookies are crackled on the top and moist in the center, about 14 minutes. Do not overbake. Put the baking sheets onto cooling racks and let the cookies cool completely still on the baking sheet. The cookies firm up a little bit as they cool but they'll still be soft. Repeat with the remaining 2 sheets of cookies.
* A note in the cookbook says that they're best the same day they're baked (they were still great the next day) and to bake the cookies immediately after the dough is made.