Friday, April 30, 2010

Chocolate Chunk Pecan Cookies

What happens when its nearly May and you have a leftover chocolate Easter bunny hanging around? Why you hack him up and make cookies out of him, of course!

Chocolate Chunk Pecan Cookies:
  • 1 and 2/3 cups flour (I used white whole wheat)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 cup melted butter (slightly less than 1 1/2 sticks)
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 7 ounces of milk or dark chocolate, cut into large chunks
  • 3/4 cup pecans, roughly chopped
  • Fleur de Sel, for sprinkling, if desired
Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees F.

1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking soda and whisk well with a wire whisk to combine. Set aside.

2. Pour the melted butter into the bowl of your electric mixer and add the brown sugars, beat well until thoroughly combined. Add the egg and beat on high until combined. Add the vanilla extract and continue to beat until incorporated.

3. Add the reserved flour mixture, by thirds, beating until just combined. Add the chocolate chunks and the chopped pecans and mix until thoroughly incorporated.

4. Using a small soup spoon, form mixture into 1 1/2 inch round balls, packing in the chocolate chunks where necessary, and place on an cookie sheet, roughly an inch or two apart. If desired, sprinkle the top of each cookie with a bit of Fleur de Sel and bake in the middle of a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 12 - 14 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cook.

As written this recipe will yield approximately 32 to 34 cookies.

Because I'm a salt freak, and because I generally find commercial milk chocolate too sweet, I opted to include the sprinkle of salt. My sacrificial Easter bunny was make of milk chocolate and I like the way the little crunch of salt offsets the sweet chocolate.

If you don't happen to have an extra bunny lying around, any form of chocolate chunk will do. I used a mix of light and dark brown sugar in these cookies, but either will do just fine. And, as always, I opted for my beloved King Arthur White Whole Wheat flour. While the resulting cookies don't exactly qualify as a health-food, I see no reason not to use a whole wheat product in place of all-puprose flour where possible. Your mileage may vary, of course.

If you've never worked with a cookie dough made with melted butter, I think you're going to be pleasantly surprised. The dough is velvety smooth and the finished cookies have a nice, almost faintly butterscotch flavor. They're wonderful.

Bon appetite!

p.s. - I'm submitting this recipe to Dinner at Christina's fun Friday Firsts Feature. Be sure to stop by Christina's place and check out all of the delicious "firsts" this week!


Mo Diva said...

Im drooling.
You had me at salted milk chocolate. I couldnt agree more!
Never tried metled butter in my dough but im looking forward to experimenting!

Heavenly Housewife said...

The bunny died for your happiness. Good bunny. I want some of these cookies :D they look divine.
Have a wonderful weekend ahead.
*kisses* HH

The Duo Dishes said...

Bye bunny! He was a good sacrifice. Oh, and the melted butter tip is great. It definitely gives you that nice browned butter flavor in the batter. Love it!

Christina said...

Thanks for linking these up to Friday Firsts!

I love cookies with chocolate and nuts in them - it fulfills such a craving for me! hehe Poor easter bunny!

The Diva on a Diet said...

Mo Diva - I know, is there anything better than that salty/sweet thang? I think not!

HH - I think you'd really like them. You have a great weekend too, dahling! xoxoxo

Duo - yes, he was a good (and tasty!) sacrifice! Well worth it!

Christina - its funny how many people don't like nuts in cookies, but I love the crunch they add. Love your Friday Firsts, too!

Mary said...

This is a really nice recipe for the cookies. I wish I had some cookie minsters here to help me eat them. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

Anonymous said...

Yummy cookies! I like your addition of salt!

Donna-FFW said...

Ha, hack up the bunny, how funny. Cookies certainly have me wanting them!!

Julie said...

That's a fabulous way to use a hacked up bunny!

Lentil Breakdown said...

I hope no animals were hurt during the baking of these cookies! Where is the recipe from? I just read an article on Serious Eats yesterday proclaiming David Lebovitz's cc cookies better than Thomas Keller's. And of course all the commenters chimed in, many of them proclaiming Cooks Illustrated the best with browned butter.

Laura said...

oh sure I go healthy and you go effing choco chunk pecan cookies

nora@ffr said...

yummm!!! loving the addition of salt in to ye cookie!!! yeah perfect with a glass of milk :D

Tangled Noodle said...

Let us have a moment of silence to honor a dear chocolate bunny . . . [munch, munch] He's even more delicious with pecans! 8-)

And I do love the sprinkle of salt on top!

Astra Libris said...

Diva, I'm in awe of your ingenuous creativity as always! We too have a milk chocolate bunny sitting in the pantry, and I've been at a loss as to how to breathe new life into his future because I too find milk chocolate way too sweet... You've come up with the PERFECT solution!! I'm definitely, definitely making these tonight! Thank you!! :-)


Deary me Diva, why would I want to cut up an innocent lickle bunny rabbit?
.... Mmmm, chocolate!

Daily Spud said...

Alas poor bunny, though he was sacrificed to a most worthy cause :) The salt on top gets my vote too...

Debinhawaii said...

Salt is so perfect to offset the sweetness! These look delicious--the bunny did go for a good cause. ;-)

gfe--gluten free easily said...

Goodbye, Mr. Bunny ... hello, awesome cookies! That's a combination I've made before and loved. Without the sacrificial bunny, but milk chocolate and pecans. :-) That little sprinkle of Fleur de Sel would make these cookies irresistible! Like the sound of both light and brown sugar and that faint butterscotch flavor, too. BTW, King Arthur just recently came out with a line of gluten-free products. I'd definitely like to try their gf flour mix.


♥¸¸.•*¨Skip to Malou¨¨*•.¸¸♥¸ said...

what a sacrificial bunny for the greater taste of chocolate hahaha.
salty+sweet= treat. yum-o!

The Diva on a Diet said...

Thanks, everyone! I'm so glad you enjoyed reading about my creative use of the leftover bunny! :)

Lentil Breakdown - the recipe is one I've worked over a couple of times based on some notes I had from a class I took years ago. I'm not familiar with the Cooks Illustrated cookies ... and I don't think I'd go for them because I don't like browned butter. Weird, but true.

I didn't brown the butter here, just melted it. I did see the recipe for David Lebovitz's cookies in my Tasting Table email last week ... while it looks excellent, I'm not sure I could wait for the batter to chill in the fridge overnight! LOL

Astra Libris - you are so sweet! I hope you like the cookies and I'm laughing that you've got a leftover bunny too! :)

Shirley - great news about the gf King Arthur products! I might look into them myself, because I'm curious. Let me know what you think!

Pam said...

oh these cookies look delicious, I need one asap...great blog :)


pixelgal said...

Unfortunately my chocolate bunnies never quite make it to the leftover maybe the secret is to buy an extra just for this purpose! Sounds great my dear!

Megan said...

Got any left? It's bedtime... why am I thinking about cookies? Ha ha. These look fabulous. I am all about using up leftover chocolate in cookies.

Charmian @Christie's Corner said...

You know I love chocolate chip cookies. And pecans. And bunnies. But I'm willing to see a rabbit sacrificed for a worthy cause such as this.

Kiki said...

This is a MUST Have :)