a preview to his upcoming cookbook, Cronut inventor
Dominique Ansel releases the recipe for a remarkable
(and remarkably easy to prepare) chocolate cookie. And
chef Dominique Ansel, inventor of the
croissant-meets-doughnut confection he christened the Cronut,
is coming out with a cookbook in a few months.
whet the mediaís appetite, publisher Simon & Schuster
is circulating a preview piece. The sneak peek contains two
recipes, and, no, neither is for his most-talked-about
not exactly crushed, particularly since the flier features a
formula for a flourless chocolate cookie with pecans. Cronut,
schmonut; one glance at photographer Thomas Schauerís
hard-core food-porn images of said cookie and I knew that Iíd
be first in line to buy the book upon its October release.
comment at the top of the recipe proved to be the real
clincher. It reads, "I love making this recipe ...
because of its forgiving nature and utterly addictive
Chocolate. Easy. Fabulous. Three of the greatest motivators
for composing a shopping list.
recall the last time that a rookie whirl through a recipe
went so well, with so little effort. No electric mixer
required, just a whisk. Sure, youíll need a double-boiler,
but my rudimentary version ó a saucepan and a mixing bowl
ó more than sufficed. As for the technique, itís the
drop cookie at its most fundamental.
wow, what results. I was bowled over by the cookieís
intensely chocolate-y essence. Its gooey texture comes as
close to voluptuous as a cookie can get. Holding all of that
melted chocolate together is the barest, faintest trace of a
crispy exterior, and the way it collapses in your mouth is
chef/owner of Dominique Ansel Bakery in New York City and
winner of the 2014 Outstanding Pastry Chef award from the
James Beard Foundation, wisely suggests serving the cookies
warm. "A glass of milk helps," he writes. It
eating them in their fully cooled state isnít exactly
disappointing. Just donít wait too long. Itís a fairly
perishable cookie, lasting about two days when stored at
room temperature. Trust me, theyíll go fast.
dough can be refrigerated for up to three days, or frozen
for up to a week. For the latter, defrost the dough in the
refrigerator for a few hours before baking.
the dough resembles a thickish pancake batter, so much so
that youíll wonder, this is going to turn into cookies?
Fear not. An overnight firming-up period in the refrigerator
resolves the matter.
doesnít suggest toasting the pecans, but I do. The recipeís
directions create oversized, fairly ungainly cookies. For
more manageable cookies ó and more of them ó cut the
recommended 3 1/2 tablespoon drop down to 2
batch requires roughly a pound of dark chocolate. I
purchased two (10-ounce) bags of Ghirardelli 60 percent
cacao bittersweet chocolate baking chips at my neighborhood
Lunds, at $3.99 per bag, and the results were fine.
days later, I test-drove bittersweet Cordillera, a 65
percent, single-source chocolate sold in the bulk aisle at
Seward Co-op in Minneapolis. The cost ran roughly $3 more
than the Ghirardelli, but the results were totally worth the
final note: This is a gluten-free recipe, a fact that Ansel
doesnít mention anywhere in the recipe. Itís maybe the
best gluten-free cookie Iíve ever baked, although, letís
face it, the competition isnít exactly Olympian.
be sure that youíre using the proper baking powder. Some
baking powders contain flour, so note that the package is
clearly labeled "gluten-free" before using.
CHOCOLATE PECAN COOKIES
about 16 to 20 cookies.
This recipe must be prepared in advance. Tester suggests
that smaller cookies are more manageable (drop 2 tablespoons
instead of 3 1/2 on the pan) and toast the pecans. (Place
pecans in a dry skillet over medium heat and cook, shaking
the pan often, until the nuts begin to release their
fragrance, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.)
From pastry chef Dominique Ansel, a preview from his
upcoming cookbook, "Dominique Ansel: The Secret
Recipes" (Simon & Schuster).
dark chocolate chips (60 percent cocoa content, or greater),
tablespoons unsalted butter
teaspoon baking powder
teaspoon kosher salt
tablespoons pecans, roughly chopped
saucepan with about 2 inches of water over medium heat and
let it come to a simmer. Place a stainless steel bowl on top
of the simmering water (making sure that the bottom of the
bowl does not come in contact with the water) and add 1 1/2
cups chocolate chips. Stir slowly with a spatula to ensure
that chocolate chips are completely melted before turning
separate microwave-proof bowl, melt butter in microwave
oven. Stir melted butter into melted chocolate. Keep mixture
warm over double boiler with heat turned off.
large mixing bowl, whisk together sugar, cornstarch, baking
powder and salt.
eggs and whisk until fully incorporated and batter resembles
the consistency of pancake batter, making sure you
incorporate any dry ingredients that may have settled on the
bottom or side of bowl, using a spatula or scraper if
whisk in melted chocolate-butter mixture (if
chocolate-butter mixture cools and begins to solidify,
gently reheat it over the double boiler before
a spatula, gently fold remaining 1/2 cup chocolate chips, as
well as pecans, into the batter.
batter tightly with plastic wrap, pressing wrap to cover
surface of batter. Refrigerate overnight.
ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking
sheets with parchment paper.
your hands or a scoop, break dough into pieces roughly the
size of your palm (about 3 1/2 tablespoons, or smaller if
you prefer). Roll dough into balls. Place balls at least 2
inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Using the palm of
your hand, gently press the tops of the dough, forming it
into a thick disk.
in the ovenís middle rack until 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), about
8 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking. Remove from
oven and allow cookies to cool on baking sheets until
cookies further set, about 5 to 7 minutes. Serve warm, or
carefully slide parchment paper onto a wire rack and cool