These chewy chocolate cookies have a luscious secret inside – a creamy truffle filling that melts when it hits your tongue. Yes, they require more labor than most cookies, but the results are worth the extra fuss. The recipe is from Rose Levy Beranbaum’s latest book, The Cookie Bible (Harvest, 2022), and here’s what Rose says about it:
“Several years ago, I created a chocolate lava cake for my book Rose’s Heavenly Cakes with a ganache truffle for the center to ensure that it would have a flow even if overbaked. But it was my kindred spirit, chocolatier Zach Townsend, who recently crafted these stellar chocolate cookies using the same concept. The cookies have a chewy, brownie-like texture, with a pleasing crunch from the undissolved sugar and the tiny bits of chocolate—but oh, the centers! They are chocolate at its finest moment: lusciously, enticingly creamy.”
Makes fourteen 3-inch round cookies
Oven Temperature: 350°F / 175°C
Baking Time: 14 to 15 minutes for each of two batches
Special Equipment: Six or twelve 3 to 3¼ by ¾ inch high or higher pastry rings* (measured from the inside); Two 17 by 14 inch cookie sheets, lined with silicone baking mats or parchment
*Note: disposable pastry rings can be made easily from heavy duty aluminum foil or reusable rings can be cut from aluminum flashing (which is available at most hardware and home improvement stores). For each aluminum foil ring, cut a 12 by 3 inch strip of foil mark the foil along its length at 5/8 of an inch. Fold the foil along the markings. Continue folding the foil two more times to form a 12 by 1/4 inch strip with four layers of foil. For each aluminum flashing ring, mark and then use metal shears or sharp utility scissors to cut a 12 by 3/4 of an inch strip. For either type of rings, wrap each around a 3-inch diameter can. Use two small paper clips to secure the overlapping ends to form a 3 ¼-inch wide ring. Remove the ring from the can and adjust it if necessary so that it is as round as possible.
Chocolate Ganache Truffle Centers
(can be made several weeks ahead and frozen)
- 1 tablespoon (14 grams) unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup (78 grams) heavy cream
- 3 ounces (88 grams) dark chocolate, 61% to 66% cacao
- 9 tablespoons (126 grams) unsalted butter
- 1 large egg
- ¾ cup plus 1 teaspoon (155 grams) turbinado sugar, preferably Sugar in the Raw
- ¼ teaspoon instant espresso powder
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 2/3 cups (202 grams) bleached all- purpose flour
- ¼ cup (sifted before measuring) (19 grams) unsweetened alkalized cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon (2.7 grams) baking soda
- 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 5.3 ounces (150 grams) dark mini chocolate chips or finely chopped chocolate, 52% to
- 62% cacao
Make the Ganache
- Mise en place: Thirty minutes or longer ahead, set the butter on the counter to soften. Into a 1 cup / 237 ml microwavable measure with a spout, or a small saucepan, weigh or measure the cream.
- Chop the chocolate into coarse pieces. In a food processor, pulse the chocolate until finely chopped. (Alternatively, use a chef’s knife to chop it.) Empty it into a medium bowl.
- In the microwave (or in the saucepan over medium heat, stirring often), scald the cream (heat it to the boiling point; small bubbles will form around the periphery). Pour the hot cream on top of the chocolate. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 1 minute.
- With a silicone spatula, start stirring vigorously in the center of the bowl until the mixture turns dark and smooth. Then continue stirring in larger concentric circles until the cream is incorporated and the mixture is completely smooth. Add the butter and stir until fully melted and incorporated. The mixture should be glossy and smooth. Let the ganache stand for a few minutes, or until cooled, then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, 30 minutes or longer.
Shape the Ganache
- At least 1 hour before making the cookies, remove the ganache from the refrigerator. Have ready a small plate or tray lined with plastic wrap.
- Using a spoon, scrape up 12 to 14 medium balls (12 grams each) from the ganache for the truffle centers. It works well to set each ball of chocolate onto a piece of plastic wrap as you scoop it and then use the plastic wrap to help shape the ball. The centers do not need to be perfectly round. Place the ganache balls on the plate, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the freezer until the balls are completely frozen, 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Make the dough
- Mise en place: Thirty minutes or longer ahead, cut the butter into tablespoon-size pieces. Set on the counter to soften. Into a 1 cup / 237 ml glass measure with a spout, weigh or measure the egg. Beat it lightly, then cover tightly with plastic wrap and set on the counter. Into the bowl of a stand mixer, weigh or measure the sugar.
- In a 2 cup / 473 ml or larger microwavable measure with a spout (or in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring often) melt the butter. Allow the butter to cool slightly so that it is not hot when added to the sugar, or it could dissolve some of it.
- In a custard cup, dissolve the coffee granules in the vanilla. Add to the melted butter and stir to combine. Scrape the melted butter mixture into the sugar in the stand mixer bowl. Whisk by hand until smooth (the sugar will not dissolve). Whisk in the egg until thoroughly combined.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Then sift into another bowl.
- Set the mixer bowl on the stand and attach the flat beater. Add the flour mixture to the mixture in the bowl in three parts, mixing on low speed and incorporating each addition before adding the next. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed and mix just until a smooth dough is formed. Add the chocolate chips and beat just until evenly incorporated.
Shape the dough log and cut the cookies
- Scrape the dough onto a large piece of plastic wrap and shape it into a 14-inch-long log, 1¾ inches in diameter, with flat or slightly rounded ends. Wrap the log in the plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, a minimum of 1 hour, up to 24 hours.
- Using a sharp knife, cut off 1 inch from each end of the dough log to form a 12-inch-long log. (Wrap and refrigerate the cut-off pieces to make 2 more cookies.) Slice the dough into twelve 1-inch-thick cookies.
Shape the cookies
- If necessary, let the cookies sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes to soften slightly. Lightly dust a dough mat or the counter with flour. Using a rolling pin (preferably a small one), roll the cookies into discs measuring about 3¼ inches in diameter. They do not have to be perfectly round.
- Remove the frozen ganache balls from the freezer (for one batch at a time). Place a frozen ganache ball in the center of each cookie and wrap the dough around the ganache ball to encase it completely. Pinch the dough together at the top and press all around the cookie in places where it may have cracked to ensure that the ganache ball is well sealed inside. Using the palm of your hand, press down gently on the cookie to flatten it to about 2¼ inches in diameter. Place the cookies on a tray, cover with plastic wrap, and set in the freezer or refrigerator while the oven preheats. (Note: You can also wrap the unbaked cookies individually with plastic wrap and freeze for up to 1 month).
Preheat the oven
- Thirty minutes or longer before baking, set an oven rack at just below the middle level. Set the oven at 350°F / 175°C.
Bake the cookies
- Working with one batch at a time, place six of the pastry rings evenly spaced on a prepared cookie sheet. Set a chilled or frozen cookie in the center of each ring.
- Bake for 14 to 15 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies are firm when pressed gently with your fingertip but the centers still feel soft. (The centers will dip slightly on removal from the oven.) Set the cookie sheet on a wire rack and let the cookies cool for 10 minutes. Slowly lift off the rings from the cookies; if necessary, gently press down on one edge of each cookie to release it. With a thin pancake turner, carefully transfer the fragile cookies to another wire rack. Allow the cookies to cool for at least 5 minutes before eating. A warm cookie will be more liquid in the center, but for the best flavor, allow them to cool completely. They keep moist and chewy if stored airtight. Repeat with the second batch (and the extra 2 cookies). Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days, or refrigerated for up to a week or frozen for 2 months.
Reprinted from The Cookie Bible by arrangement with Harvest, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. Copyright © 2022, Rose Levy Beranbaum.