Chocolate chip cookies were definitely not part of the classic Hungarian pastry repertoire I grew up with. My first exposure to this wonderful American delight happened in 1994.
James, one of the Peace Corps Volunteers hosted a party in his flat in Petržalka, part of Bratislava, capitol of Slovakia. There he baked chocolate chip cookies with chunks of bitter chocolate pieces without using a recipe. But who knows? Maybe he memorized his family’s secret formula. Needless to say, he impressed me. After moving to America, I did eat my fair share of these cookies, some better than others, but finding the purest, the simplest, the best ones, the ones that would evoke those first impressions, still remained. Maybe until now – I baked these irresistible moist chubbies for my husband’s birthday the other day.
Adapted from Sarabeth’s Bakery: From My Hands to Yours.
all-purpose flour – ½ cup
baking powder – ½ teaspoon
salt – ¼ teaspoon
unsalted butter, cut into cubes – 8 tablespoons
semisweet chocolate, chopped – 9 ounces
eggs – 3
granulated sugar – 1¼ cups
pure vanilla extract – 2 teaspoons
pecans, coarsely chopped – 1½ cups
walnuts, coarsely chopped – 1¼ cups
chocolate chips – 1 cup
Preheat the oven to 350 °F (180 °C). Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Melt the butter in a large stainless steel bowl over hot simmering water. Add the chocolate and stir frequently until melted. Remove from heat.
While the chocolate is cooling, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. In a large bowl, whip the eggs until lightly thickened, and then mix in the sugar and vanilla extract. Add the slightly cooled melted chocolate and the flour. Mix well. Stir in the pecans, walnuts, and chocolate chips.
Leave the soft dough in the bowl and with an ice-cream scoop portion the batter on the cookie sheets leaving some space between them. Use a 1.5–inch diameter scoop. Bake for approximately 20 minutes, until the cookies are set around the edges. Don’t overbake. Cool on the baking sheets. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.