These chocolate chunk cookies are packed with a huge dose of chocolate and have a rich brown-sugar flavor, crispy edges, gooey centers and chewy mid-sections. To further accentuate the chocolate factor, cacao nibs are added and provide flavor and crunch. All chocolate begins with the cacao nib, which is ground up to create the actual cacao mass that makes chocolate, well, chocolate! So when we say these are very, very chocolatey, we mean it. Note that the size of the cookie is also important, as their larger diameter allows for the different texture “zones.” To most easily achieve this ¼-cup size, you can use a ¼-cup measuring cup, a properly sized ice cream scoop or weigh out each cookie to 2 ounces on a scale.
Image: Dédé Wilson
- 12 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, cut into chunks, such as Valrhona Caraibe (66%), Valrhona Extra Bitter (61%) or Scharffen Berger semisweet (62%)
- ¼ cup cacao nibs
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces
- ¾ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- Set aside about ½ cup of chocolate chunks and 1 tablespoon of the nibs for using later in recipe.
- Whisk flour, baking soda and salt together in a small bowl to aerate and combine; set aside.
- Place butter in bowl of mixer and beat with flat paddle on medium-high speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add both sugars gradually and continue beating until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl once or twice. Beat in vanilla, then beat in the egg. Add flour mixture, mixing just until some floury streaks still remain. Add larger amount of chocolate chunks and nibs and beat just until combined. Chill dough for at least 2 hours and preferably overnight.
- Position racks in upper and lower third of oven. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
- Drop by ¼-cup sized mounds spaced at least 3 inches apart on prepared pans. Using reserved chocolate chunks, press pieces of chocolate on top of each cookie. Sprinkle each cookie with a few cacao nibs.
- Bake for about 13 to 17 minutes or until light golden brown. Cookies will be a little soft in the center and firmer around the edges. Cool on racks for 5 minutes, then slide parchment onto racks to cool cookies completely. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days in airtight container in single layers separated by parchment paper.
- Cacao nibs used to be a highly specialized product, but they can now be found easily through mail-order companies such as through Chocosphere, or look for them in retail stores that carry high-quality chocolates.
- As with all cookies, every 30 seconds in the oven makes a big difference. If you want to achieve that balance of chewy and crispy, do not over bake. Remove cookies from the oven while the centers are still a bit soft.