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Superhero cookie saves the day

by Lynda Balslev - TasteFood

Sometimes, all we need is a cookie. Nothing comforts or pleases more than a fresh-baked homemade cookie. It could be for a simple snack, an afternoon pick-me-up or an impulsive sugary indulgence. Or perhaps there’s a need for a soothing sweet diversion from, say, a bout of back-to-school jitters or the end-of-summer doldrums. Heck, maybe you simply read the newspaper and need to take a timeout.

Regardless, we can all use a cookie now and then, and not just any cookie, mind you, but a real superhero cookie, a mighty delectable concoction to step in and save the day (or at least the afternoon). Something to distract from the tasks at hand, to sink our teeth into, and to meditate on with every luscious bite – most preferably, with a significant degree of chocolate involved.

This chocolate cookie will come to the rescue. It’s essentially chocolate on chocolate (nearly 1 pound in all, thank you very much), melted and molded into a hand-held indulgent snack. It’s cookie hero material, for sure: deeply dark, intensely rich, yet airy and light with a crackly exterior and a gooey center, thanks to four billowy eggs and just a wee bit of flour. It’s very being will command your full attention and shut out any mettlesome distractions or to-do lists, while it melts in your mouth and floods your brain with happy chocolate endorphins.

Chocolate crinkle cookies with toasted almonds and sea salt

Active Time: 25 minutesTotal Time: 1 hour plus chilling timeYield: Makes approximately 24 (2-inch) cookies

14 ounces dark chocolate (70 percent to 72 percent cacao), chopped

1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

4 large eggs, room temperature

11/2 cups granulated sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup chopped toasted almonds (optional)

Sea salt flakes for garnish

Melt the chocolate and butter in the top of a double boiler over barely simmering water, stirring until smooth. Remove from the heat.

Beat the eggs and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer until thick and very pale in color, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the chocolate and vanilla and mix to combine.

Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. Add to the chocolate and mix on low speed to combine without overmixing. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Drop heaping tablespoons of the cookie batter onto the parchment, leaving 2 inches between the cookies. Sprinkle each cookie with a few almonds and a pinch of sea salt.

Transfer to the oven and bake until the tops crack and the cookies are set, 13 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and slide the parchment onto wire racks to cool. Allow the cookies to cool completely before removing from the parchment (they will stick if they are still warm). The cookies will continue to set while they cool. Store in an airtight container for up to three days.