I've been wanting to make these "Chocolate Clouds" for some time now, and finally got around to it yesterday while plumbers and workmen were pulling 81-year-old lead pipes from my bathroom walls... baking is a stress-reducer for me! This recipe comes from Sarabeth Levine of Sarabeth's Bakery in NYC, and was published by Caroline Russock on Serious Eat's Cook the Book this past December. The name alone, "Chocolate Clouds", convinced me to pull out my cookie sheets and mix up these Chocolate Chip Almond Cookies. I also wholeheartedly agree with Caroline's critique of this cookie -- "I'd definitely bake them again, next time I'd add a touch more salt and go with a darker, more bitter chocolate to cut the sweetness a bit." This is an extremely sweet cookie that would benefit from a bitter chocolate... but whatever your chocolate preference, they are the perfect accompaniment to a tall glass of cold milk!
a.k.a. Chocolate Clouds | from Sarabeth Levine | Sarabeth's Bakery
recipe via Serious Eats' Cook the Book
• 1 1/3 cup superfine sugar
• 1 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
• 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature, cubed
• 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• 2 large eggs, at room temperature, beaten
• 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
• 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
• 2 cups toasted, sliced almonds
• 2 cups chocolate chips (consider using a bittersweet chocolate)
1. Position racks in the middle and top third of the oven and preheat to 350˚F. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper. Rub the superfine sugar and brown sugar together through a coarse-mesh wire sieve into a medium bowl; set aside. Beat the butter in the bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on high speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Gradually add the sugar mixture; then the vanilla. Beat, occasionally scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl, until the mixture is pale yellow and light-textured, about 5 minutes. Gradually beat in the eggs.
2. Sift the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl. With the mixer speed on low, add the dry ingredients in 3 additions, mixing just until each addition is incorporated. Add the almonds and chocolate chips and mix just until combined. Remove the bowl from the mixer. Empty the bowl onto the work counter, and use your hands to equally distribute the almonds and chocolate chips throughout the dough. 3. Using a 2-inch diameter ice cream scoop, portion the batter onto the prepared pans. Slightly flatten each ball of dough. Place 2 of the baking sheets in the oven, one on each rack, switching the position of the baking sheets from top to bottom, and front to back, about half-way through the baking, until the cookies are evenly golden brown; 15 to 18 minutes is suggested. My cookies were in for less time than that. Keep an eye on them once you reach 10 minutes. It is recommended that the baking sheets are rapped on the rack during the last 3 minutes of baking to deflate the cookies. Repeat these steps with the remaining cookie dough.
• Makes about 3 dozen cookies •
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