Thursday, October 30, 2014

Dominique Ansel's Flourless Chocolate Pecan Cookie

Dominique Ansel at BEA 2014
If you've ever eaten a cronut (I still haven't), then you've eaten the brainchild of chef Dominique Ansel. On Tuesday, his new cookbook came out, Dominique Ansel: The Secret Recipes, and I got an exclusive recipe from the cookbook (signed by Dominique himself!) at Book Expo America.

So, of course, I decided to make it!

What I like about this recipe is that it's flourless, which means that my husband can eat these cookies. The dough is made from butter, sugar, cornstarch, baking powder, salt, eggs, and melted dark chocolate chips. Fold in some whole chocolate chips and chopped pecans, and you're done! (Just make sure your chocolate chips and pecans are gluten-free. Some are processed on shared equipment and will usually say so on the package.)

The only downside to this recipe is that it does take two days to make. You have to prepare the dough and then let it sit in the fridge overnight. The actual baking is done on day two. But even with the two-day prep and baking time, there really isn't a lot of hands-on time to make these cookies.

So, here's the recipe if you want to try these out for yourselves:

Yield: 20 Cookies (I only got 12, though. Maybe I made them too big?)

Ingredients:
2 cups dark chocolate chips (over 60% cocoa content)
3 tbsp. unsalted butte
1 cup sugar
3 tbsp. cornstarch
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3 large eggs
1/4 cup chopped pecans

Directions:
One Day Before:
1. Melt 1 1/2 cups of the chocolate chips in a double boiler. (Here's how I do it: Fill a pot with two inches of water and bring it to a simmer. Place the chocolate chips in a glass bowl and place the bowl over the water.) Stir slowly with a spatula to ensure the chocolate chips are completed melted and smooth before turning off the heat.

melting chocolate in double boiler
2. Melt the butter in the microwave. Mix it into the melted chocolate. Keep the mixture warm over the hot water.

3. In a mixing bowl, combine the sugar, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt. Add the eggs and whisk until fully incorporated and the mixture resembles pancake batter.

4. Whisk in the melted chocolate-butter mixture. (If it has cooled and begun to solidify, gently reheat it before incorporating.)

5. Fold in the remaining 1/2 cup of chocolate chips and the pecans with a spatula.

6. Transfer the dough to a baking dish. Cover it tightly with plastic wrap that touches the surface of the dough. Set in the fridge to rest overnight.
the dough in plastic wrap
The Day Of:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 and set a rack in the middle of the oven. Line a baking sheet with wax paper. (I used parchment.)

2. Using your hands, break the dough into pieces the size of your palm, approx. 3 1/2 tbsp. (The dough was VERY sticky, so I'd recommend spraying your hands with cooking spray or something to make it easier.) Roll the dough into balls and place them on the baking sheet at least two inches apart from one another. Press gently on the top of each ball with the palm of your hand to make a thick disk. This dough doesn't spread much, so the disk should be relatively close to the size of the cookie you'd like.

3. Bake for about 8 minutes on the middle rack, rotating the baking sheet 180 degrees halfway through. When the cookies are just beginning to crack on top but the dough is set on the edge and has a soft spot in the center (about the size of a quarter), remove the oven. (I left my cookies in the oven for an additional 4 minutes after the original 8 minutes of baking time.)

the finished cookies
4. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 to 7 minutes to further set. (Do this even longer if you want. The cookies are VERY soft and will break easily if you move them too soon.)

5. Remove the cookies from the baking sheet, still on the wax paper, and set aside. Reline the sheet with clean wax paper and continue with the remaining dough (if you have any left).

These cookies are super soft, and the chocolate chips inside get all melty and gooey when you break apart the cookies. Very yummy! Hopefully my little italicized tips in the directions will help you out if you make these cookies. Let me know how yours turn out!

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