The Big Winooski

Quick Facts:

Servings: 14

Ingredients:

1/2 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder (like Cacao Barry Extra Brute)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
10 ounces bittersweet chocolate (like Callebaut 60/40), finely chopped
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips

Recipe Description:

"The Big Winooski is named after the river that ran behind our bakery (past tense not because the river has disappeared but because our bakery is no longer in that location). The river isn't big and it's not made of chocolate, but it is a charming little estuary with a great name. The cookie is a chocolate bomb, dense and fudgy, and was a customer favorite. So much so that our gentle villagers were clamoring for it by 7:30 a.m., as soon as we opened our doors." - Gesine Bullock-Prado. Read more about her and her upcoming appearances here.

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Line two sheet pans with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder, flour, salt, and baking powder.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the eggs, brown sugar, honey, espresso powder, and vanilla. Whisk on high speed until the mixture ribbons thickly.

Put the butter and chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set it over a saucepan of simmering water (to make a double boiler). Stir until melted.

Using a sturdy wooden spoon, stir the flour mixture into the melted chocolate mixture until well combined. This becomes a very thick paste, but if you use your muscles, you'll get through it.

Stir one third of the egg mixture into the chocolate mixture to lighten it; again, this takes a little muscle. Add the lightened chocolate mixture to the egg mixture in the mixer bowl and whisk on medium speed until the batter is smooth and shiny. Using a wooden spoon, fold in the chocolate chips.

If the dough isn't already firm, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until scoopable, about 1 hour.

Dip a medium (11/2-ounce/45-ml) cookie scoop in hot water (don't dry off after dipping), then scoop leveled scoops of the dough and place them on the prepared sheet pans 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart. Dampen your hands with water and gently press down on thecookies with your palm to flatten them a bit. Bake until the cookies just begin to lose their shine on top (they'll still have a "sheen" but they will no longer be shiny), 12 to 15 minutes.

Vegan version:

Omit the ingredients in the master recipe entirely and use the following instead:

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder (like Cacao Barry Extra Brute)
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate (like Callebaut 60/40), finely finely chopped
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
2 tablespoons organic agave syrup
1/4 cup plain almond milk
1 large eggs worth of prepared Ener-G egg replacer (see recipe below)
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking powder, and salt.

Put the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl and place over a saucepan of simmering water (to make a double boiler). Stir until melted.

Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk together the sugar, oil, and agave syrup. Add the almond milk to the prepared egg replacer and stir to combine. Add the egg replacer mixture and vanilla to the sugar mixture and whisk to combine.

Add the flour mixture and, using a wooden spoon, stir until a thick paste forms. Add the melted chocolate and stir until thoroughly mixed. Fold in the chocolate chips. Form and bake as per the master recipe.

Ener-G-egg replacer

1 1/2 teaspoons egg replacer powder stirred or whisked thoroughly with 2 tablespoons warm water = 1 large egg
This mixture is often lumpy, so it's worth running the finished mixture through a fine sieve before using. You can use this mixture immediately. This egg replacer is wonderful when more than one egg is called for. It is relatively flavorless and contains a measure of leavening (it's gluten free as well). It acts as both a leavening agent and a binding agent.

There are other products that are labeled "egg replacer" but the ingredients are varied and cannot be substituted with Ener-G one for one.

Gluten-free version
Use the same ingredients and directions in the master recipe except replace the flour with 1/4 cup cornstarch.

Healthier version:

Replace the flour with 1/4 cup Nuts.com's Sprouted Super Flour
Replace 1 of the eggs with 1 large egg's worth of flaxseed meal mixed with water (see above) and stir into the melted chocolate mixture.
Replace the brown sugar with 1/2 cup organic granulated palm sugar.
Use 5 ounces of Green & Black's organic 85 percent bittersweet chocolate and 1/2 cup Green & Black's organic unsweetened cocoa powder.
Optional: You can substitute prune puree (I use organic baby food, such as Plum Organic's Just Prunes) for some of the butter (tablespoon per tablespoon).
Omit the extra chocolate chips.

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