Sunday, November 18, 2012

Holiday Baking: Texas Style Chocolate Chocolate Pecan Cookies

I love chocolate chip cookies. I also like to refresh old standard recipes.  This is one of my favorite recipes - results in dark, spicy, sweet, chewy, brownie-like cookies.  The combination of sweet, chocolate, nuts and a little "spice" courtesy of the chipotle powder is unbeatable.  Not enough to be "hot", just enough to be "interesting".  Key to the success of this recipe this is the refrigeration, baking times and exact measurements.  Don't vary and these will turn out great. 

Here are the ingredients you need to make it happen:
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder (enhances the chocolate flavor and you will never know it's here)
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle powder (don't use more or it gets "hot" instead of interesting)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (again, just a "flavor layer" and not a major player)
  • 5 tablespoons good cocoa powder (please do not use cheap cocoa - it makes a difference)
  • 2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chunks
  • 1 cup chopped, tasted pecans (toasting the pecans lets the essential oils release and improves the flavor radically IMHO)


Sift the flour, salt, cinnamon, chipotle, espresso, cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda together into a large bowl.

Sifting is key to insure even distribution of dry ingredients.

 Toast the pecans.  I used the toaster oven. You can also do it on the stovetop or in the oven. Be careful they don't burn or get too dark - they get bitter.  If they do, discard and go again.  I also substitute walnuts or any other favorite nut here. Once cooled, chop them and reserve for later. The nuts, whatever variety you choose, are the only thing that I use more of than the receipe calls for because I love them.  I used 1 1/2 cups chopped.

Toast these for much better flavor!

 Next, I beat the butter and sugars with the paddle attachment on my Kitchenaid stand mixer  on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 4 minute.

Be sure to let this soften or you won't get perfect incorporation.
I use light brown sugar because I think it has a better flavor for cookies.

Add ONE EGG at a time and incorporate completely before adding the next.

Beat in the eggs one at a time, then beat in the vanilla. Reduce the mixer speed to low. Add the flour mixture and beat until combined.

Stir in the chocolate chips and pecans - I do this on the lowest setting on the Kitchenaid ( you can also do it my hand if you are REALLY strong).

Press plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the dough and refrigerate at least 1 hour or preferably overnight.


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. I prepare my half sheet pans using Silpat liners.  I think they are indispensable, but you can also just use parchment paper.

The original recipe this was adapted from called for "Drop heaping tablespoonfuls of dough onto the prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart".  I use a 50+ year old ice cream scoop and leave them in the little domed shape. They bake out nicely and I have pretty uniform cookies; it makes me happy!

Bake until the cookies are firm and dry around the edges; they will still be soft in the middle, about 12 minutes. Resist the urge to bake "for a couple of more minutes" - if you do, the bottom gets too stiff and dark and the texture just isn't as good.  Trust me. Been there, done that. These are a little like brownies in cookie form.

Remove the cookies from the oven and let cool 10 minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer to racks to cool completely.

1 comment:

  1. Oh my! I wonder where if I can find chipotle powder here. I also wonder how well these ship... ;-)


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