Today Shane and I are celebrating four years of marriage - yay! We were reminiscing last night about the day, remembering all the little details that made it so much fun. Among my favorites? The cakes, of course! (I shared them last year if you're curious.) As our anniversary approached, I racked my brain trying to decide what kind of cake I should make to celebrate this year. Originally I thought I'd use my 6-inch cake pans to make us a mini layer cake, but in the end decided it would probably still be too much food for two of us. Instead, I turned to Plan B - cookies. Shane loves cookies, and I already had a few recipes in mind that I'd been wanting to make for him, so it was an easy decision.
As I've mentioned a few times, Shane's absolute favorite cookies are the chocolate crinkles. I've tried a ton of chocolate cookie recipes over the years trying to find one that can compete with the crinkles, and took this opportunity to test another. These triple threat chocolate cookies from The Pastry Queen cookbook looked like a worthy contender - they're packed with chocolate (8 oz of bittersweet, 3 oz of unsweetened & a whole bunch of chocolate chips) and contain only a small amount of flour. As a result, they're really dense and rich with tons of chocolate flavor. They almost reminded me of fudge, and while I found them too rich (I almost always do with chocolate cookies), Shane was a big fan. They didn't overtake the crinkles, but I'm beginning to think it may simply be impossible for any cookie to do so.
I also baked Shane the Oreo stuffed chocolate chip cookies that have been making the rounds in the blog world over the past few months. If you haven't seen them, the idea is simple - take homemade chocolate chip cookie dough and use it to completely enclose an Oreo cookie then bake. It takes quite a bit of cookie dough to cover the Oreo, so these cookies are huge! I found a package of unopened holiday Oreos in the pantry (no worries, the best by date is late April...) so that accounts for the red filling in my Oreos, if you were wondering. We enjoyed these mostly for the novelty factor. That's not to say they weren't tasty, we just didn't think they were decidedly better than the sum of their parts. Shane is going to take some of them to work, so I'll be curious to hear how they go over there. If you want to give them a try, you can find the recipe here.
We don't always exchange gifts for our anniversary but we decided to do them this year. A few weeks ago Shane mentioned to me that the traditional gift for the 4th anniversary is an appliance (to be clear, even though we always check what the "traditional" gift is, we rarely pay much attention). Shane saw an opening here though - since I love being in the kitchen so much, appliance is actually a pretty cool category. I was beyond thrilled to open my gift last night (yes, we cheated & opened a day early) and find this beauty, which I've been lusting over for many, many months :)
Triple Threat Chocolate Cookies
from The Pastry Queen by Rebecca Rather
1 cup chopped pecans (I omitted)
1 cup chopped walnuts (I omitted)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
8 oz bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
3 oz unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 F. Spread the nuts in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and toast for 7-9 minutes, or until golden and fragrant. Cool completely.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Add the butter, bittersweet chocolate and unsweetened chocolate to a small saucepan and set over low heat. Cook, stirring often, until completely melted and smooth. Remove the pan from the heat to cool.
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar together until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the vanilla and chocolate mixture; whisk vigorously until the dough is thick and glossy, about 2 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the flour, baking powder and salt, mixing only until just incorporated. The batter will be quite thick. Finally, stir in the cooled nuts and chocolate chips. Set the dough aside and let rest for 20 minutes.
Use a small cookie scoop to drop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches of space between the cookies. With barely wet fingertips. flatten the mounds slightly. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the tops of the cookies crack and look glossy. Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks, and let the cookies cool for 5-10 minutes before removing them to the racks to cool completely.
Makes about 4 dozen