This recipe makes twelve 3 ½ inch cookies with a dark chocolate color speckled with pecan pieces. The cookies are more flat than puffy, and have a moist interior, and an exterior with just a slight crunch. After many attempts and tweaks, this does it for me. I mention some brand names in the ingredients list because some brands can make a big difference in the outcome (depending on your taste buds). Note, I have no interest or affiliation with any brand.
- 4 tablespoons melted salted butter
- 1⁄4 cup soybean oil
- 3⁄4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon dark molasses (unsulfured)
- 1⁄2 cup splenda granulated artificial sweetener
- 1 egg yolk
- 1⁄4 cup whole milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1⁄4 cups king arthur unbleached bread flour
- 1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1⁄4 cup nestle unsweetened cocoa (regular untreated unprocessed, not Dutch)
- 3⁄4 cup coarsely chopped raw pecans (1/4-inch)
- Notes: 1. Can substitute dark brown sugar in place of white sugar and molasses (I find my way cheaper and less messy). 2. Can substitute canola oil for soybean (I read it’s healthier, but I’m in what seems to be a minority of people who can taste canola oil and really don’t like it). 3. Can substitute dark brown sugar in place of Splenda (I use some Splenda just to cut down on a few calories). 4. I use Nestle cocoa instead of Hershey’s because it’s cheaper, and I can’t taste any difference. 5. Dutch cocoa will not react with baking soda. Plus, I don’t like the idea of treating cocoa with some alkali, which causes some losses of the chemical compounds that are retained in unprocessed cocoa, including some of the natural antioxidants in the chocolate. 6. Can substitute unsalted butter for salted butter, but then need to increase Kosher salt to ½ teaspoon. 7. You can freeze the egg white in an ice cube tray then bag it for future use. 8. Of course, you can substitute, add or subtract anything else you want, but then it would be a different cookie recipe.
- General method: This recipe uses only a blender, one bowl, and one fork. I’ve tried other methods, but this gives the best result along with the added benefit of being very simple and quick. Of course, if you don’t have a blender, just use whatever substitute will give you the equivalent result of a blender.
- Put all the wet ingredients (items 1 - 8) in the blender in any order. Start the blender at a low speed until the ingredients are flowing smoothly (takes maybe 30 to 60 seconds in my blender). Then quickly move the blender speed up to its highest setting and blend on highest for about 30 seconds. The mixture’s consistency should be medium light and airy. Not too thick, and not like meringue.
- Put all the dry ingredients (items 9 - 12) in a large bowl (I like using a 2-½-quart glass measuring cup because of its size and shape for the ingredients in this recipe). Mix them thoroughly (I use a plain fork to do this). Create a well in the center for the wet mixture.
- Pour and spatula all the wet mixture from the blender.into the dry mixture well in the bowl. Add the chopped pecans to the bowl. Mix together with a fork, spoon or hands, just until thoroughly combined (I prefer a plain fork). Do not overmix. The cookie dough consistency should be firm, slightly oily, and should not stick to the sides of the bowl. The color should be dark black, and may glisten some.
- Set oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. You should use the center rack.
- Let the cookie dough sit in the bowl at room temperature for about ten minutes to let the bread flour and cocoa thoroughly integrate with the wet mixture. The bowl can be covered to keep out unwanted stuff, but it is not necessary otherwise.
- After sitting for about ten minutes, .mix a little more. You are now ready to pan and bake.
- I recommend you now try a single test cookie. (If you want to just bake the whole batch now, then skip this instruction and continue to the next one.) The batch of dough makes twelve 3 ½ inch cookies. So, using your fork or other scooper, get an amount equal to about 1/12 the total batch (this should be about the size of a golf ball or slightly bigger). It is not necessary to grease the baking sheet. Put the dollop of cookie dough in the center of the sheet, and mash it till it is fairly flat on top, and about 3 inches across. If the cookie dough sticks a lot to the baking sheet, and leaves residue that is not easily scraped off, you may need a little more oil. Bake the single cookie for 8 –10 minutes (I would try 9). It should rise somewhat while baking, but will fall flat after taking it out of the oven. Let it cool a bit on the sheet, then try it. If it’s too dry and sticks a lot to the baking sheet, you can add 1 TBL of soybean oil to the cookie dough and mix it in by hand as best you can. If it’s too dry, but does NOT stick a lot to the baking sheet, then try baking less time (try 2 minutes less). When you are happy with the cookie, bake the whole batch following the next instruction.
- The batch of dough makes twelve 3 ½ inch cookies. The baking sheet should be on the center rack of the oven, so you may have to bake two batches of six cookies (like I do), or you can use two baking sheets on two racks, and swap the sheets half way through baking. It is not necessary to grease the baking sheet. The size of each cookie on the baking sheet should equal about 1/12 the total batch (this should be about the size of a golf ball or slightly bigger). Using your fork or other scooper, put the dollops of cookie dough on the sheet, and mash them till they are fairly flat on top, and about 3 inches across. Bake the cookies for 10 –12 minutes (12 works for me). They should rise somewhat while baking, but will fall flat after taking them out of the oven. Let them cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before taking them off (I use a wooden spatula).
- Baking is very unforgiving, and these cookies are no exception. There are two main reasons I’ve found that will give you a bad batch. The cookie dough is either too dry or too oily. Or, the baking time was either too short or too long. In insrtuction 9 above, I discuss too dry. If they are too oily, use less oil in the next batch, or add more milk and/or bread flour. If the dough seems oily enough, but bakes too dry, then reduce the baking time (try 2 minutes less).