Moist chocolate cookies that are only slightly overdone

Back when I was in high school, there was a cafe in SoHo that I loved for its over-the-top sweets.

Puffy cakes dominated the counter, the cream cheese frosting between the layers was thicker than the cakes themselves. They had golden coconut macaroons as big as my palm and soup bowls full of rice pudding, topped with thick whipped cream speckled with cinnamon.

But for my teenage years, the best treats were saucer-sized dark chocolate cookies loaded with white chocolate chunks and pecans. Melting in the center, with a crunchy, crunchy crust, they were much like the corner squares of a pan of brownies – both chewy and crispy.

Better yet, any chunks of white chocolate that have seeped through the cookie dough and hit the baking dish are caramelized, becoming high in caramel. Who cares if the cookies were sweet enough to hurt my gums? I loved them fully and completely.

This recipe is a more adult interpretation.

All the ingredients are there – the chewy chocolate cookie filled with nuts and caramelized white chocolate. But I tempered the sweetness by mixing white chocolate chips with bittersweet chocolate chips and melting sweet and sour chocolate into the batter instead of the usual semi-sweet.

This means that you will need to look for chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa solids, ideally between 60 and 72%. The higher the percentage of cocoa solids in a chocolate bar, the less sugar it contains. It won’t make a huge difference with a small amount of chocolate, but when a recipe calls for a massive half pound, the level of sweetness is important.

If you can’t find sweet and sour chocolate, you can reduce the amount of granulated sugar in the recipe. But keep in mind that sugar not only adds sweetness, it also helps chew factor. You’ll still get a great cookie, but a less shiny cookie, similar to a brownie.

Speaking of chewy, another change I made to the original cookies was adding dried cherries. The tangy pouches remind me of the raisins on a Chunky candy bar, although I guess it doesn’t sound very understated or grown-up. But it is very very good. Those who hate dried fruit can just skip the cherries or substitute more nuts or chocolate chips.

And cookie eaters of all ages and predilections, be warned: dipping them in your drink of choice will always be the right one and totally overkill.

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