As a form of protest against this upcoming exam, I went out and bought myself a giant tub of cookie dough ice cream. I finally caved, and just did it. My diet collapsed at my feet today (or yesterday, I guess...let's just say Monday), and I've had too many cases of the sleepies in the last couple of days to really work out. I accepted what happened, bought my giant tub of ice cream, served myself a decent portion, and suddenly, I felt slightly better. Cookie dough ice cream really does solve all problems...sort of. To add a slight twist of irony to the ice cream story, out of the 1.6 million people that inhabit this tiny little island of Manhattan, which I have very affectionately grown to love and call home, who do I happen to cross paths with on my way to the supermarket, at 10 PM? No one other than the professor whose exam I have been feverishly studying for during the past four days. Sigh. It's all his fault I was driven to get this ice cream!
Before actually settling on getting ice cream though, I had been contemplating getting some store-bought cookie dough and just making a batch of cookies instead. Yes, I know that's called cheating, but this is finals week, so I am allowed a little slack I think. I had this strong desire for cookies, no cookies in particular, but I really wanted some. Actually I lie. I did want a particular cookie, but I knew I couldn't get it at the supermarket in a convenient pre-made, pre-packaged form. I wanted the hot chocolate cookies you see pictured above and below. I made these cookies during Thanksgiving break, and they were an undeniable hit with my friends. There's no reason why they wouldn't have been, if you think about it though. Fudgy chocolate cookies with a slight hint of hot cocoa flavor, and a giant, soft marshmallow very delicately placed right on top. It's perfection in cookie form, if I do say so myself.
Hot chocolate cookies couldn't be any simpler to prepare, either. They start out very much like a rich, fudgy brownie would, by melting some butter and chocolate together over the stove, and then adding that to the rest of the ingredients for the cookie dough. The dough comes out very liquidy, but it's nothing an hour in the fridge can't fix. Once the cookie dough has solidified, it gets portioned out into individual cookies, baked for a bit, and then here's the best part. The cookies are taken out of the oven, topped with a couple of chocolate chips, which begin to immediately melt on the still-hot-from-the-oven cookies, half a marshmallow gets placed on top, and the cookies go back in the oven, so the marshmallow gets nice and soft.
These are cookies that are delicious at room temperature, but are certainly best when they're still warm from the oven. The marshmallow is soft and gooey, the cookie is rich and chocolatey, and there's a tiny little hidden pool of melted chocolate beneath the marshmallow, which makes for a lovely surprise as you reach the center of the cookie. I think I know which kind of cookie I'm going to be making as soon as I get home from school on Wednesday afternoon. But for now, back to some last minute cramming!
For everyone who is still taking exams, good luck!!!
Hot Chocolate Cookies
recipe from A Pastry Affair
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup brown sugar, packed
3 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 packets hot chocolate mix (I used regular Swiss Miss)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
chocolate chips (for topping the cookies)
18 large marshmallows, cut in half
chocolate shavings (optional)
In a double boiler, melt together the butter and chocolate chips. Stir the butter and chips together until they have melted together and are smooth. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, hot chocolate mix, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. In the bowl of a standard electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the brown sugar and the eggs. Add the vanilla extract, and slowly begin to incorporate the dry ingredients. Once incorporated, mix in the melted chocolate until everything is just combined. Refrigerate the cookie dough for at least one hour so that it solidifies (you have to do this!).
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F, and position an oven rack in the middle of the oven. Line baking sheets with parchment paper, or with silicone liners.
With a cookie scoop (or 2 tablespoons), scoop out the cookie dough, spacing the cookies about an inch apart, to allow room for spreading. Bake the cookies in the oven for 12 minutes, or until the tops of the cookies begin to crack.
Remove the cookies from the oven, and quickly top each cookie with 3-4 chocolate chips on the center of each cookie, and then top off the chocolate with a marshmallow half, cut side down. Return the cookies to the oven, and bake for an additional 5-6 minutes, or until the marshmallows have softened. Remove the cookies from the oven, and sprinkle with chocolate shavings, if desired. Allow the cookies to cool slightly on the baking sheets before eating (these are delicious while they're still warm!), and enjoy!
Makes about 2 1/2 dozen cookies