The desire for these was fuelled after visiting the excellent Wooster’s Bakery in Bury St Edmunds. There is, to my mind, only one bakery which tops Wooster’s for excellence and that’s Pump Street Bakery in Orford (there used to also be an outpost at Snape Maltings which has gone much to my chagrin). If you ever go to Wooster’s be sure to buy the morning buns. If you ever go to Pump Street the gibassiers are what I aim for.
We went to Wooster’s the other day and I saw giant chocolate rye cookies. But as I was busy ordering a morning bun I didn’t feel I could also have a giant chocolate rye cookie.
But I thought of the rye cookies all week and finally gave in and made my own after looking up a ton of recipes on line. It also helped use some some of the staggering amount of chocolate I’d accumulated in the house.
This is an alteration to a Donna Hay recipe, I adapted it have it contain rye flour: you can up the quantities of rye to normal flour if you want to but I do half and half. Try not to look at the terrifying amount of chocolate there-in and the butter. When I melted the chocolate and butter together one of my daughters said: “there’s a heart attack in a bowl”…this made about twenty cookies. I like to think it spreads the risk. You can of course make them even smaller. I’m afraid I ate nearly three on the day I made them for testing purposes. This I don’t recommend.
I also used a mish-mash of chocolate I had in the house, even including some with pretzel pieces in it. I think as long as you don’t veer too far from half of the chocolate being around the 70% mark you can’t go too wrong. You could also bung in some nuts if you wanted to. (I think macadamias would work really well or pecans or…) But these are perfect, and very popular, just as they are. Don’t be temped to overcook them. They come out of the oven looking very soft in the middle but they harden up.
250g unsalted butter cut into a few pieces
400g of chocolate varying from 40-70% (but you know, if you have a bit of 30% don’t sweat it but you don’t want to go too milky for too much of it). Don’t go too high either and definitely no 100%, this isn’t a masochistic biscuit.
220g granulated (note granulated) sugar
175g soft brown sugar
(this is a lot of sugar, I know. In time I may experiment with lowering it slightly but these are biscuits and if you muck about with the sugar quota too much the biscuits won’t have the proper structure)
Two teaspoons of vanilla extract
150g of plain flour (you could also put a bit of wholemeal in there if you fancy a ‘meatier’ biscuit)
150g dark rye flour
Oven to 180C – I used fan so I could bake two trays at once.
Melt the butter and all the chocolate in a large bowl in a bain marie or in a bowl atop a saucepan of simmering water. Take off when nearly all melted and continue to stir until smooth.
Whisk together the eggs, all of them, the sugars, both of them, and the vanilla. I confess I did this in a freestanding mixer whilst the chocolate was melting because I’m lazy and like leaving a trail of melted chocolate everywhere. I whisked it for quite a long time, very absent mindedly, on low. When the chocolate has melted set aside for five minutes whilst you get the flours together.
Then, add the chocolate to the eggs/sugar mixture – mixing all the while, gently. Now add the flours a tablespoon at a time.
Now put this in the fridge for ten minutes and line your baking sheets with parchment and find an ice cream scoop or a two -ablespoon-measure or similar.
After ten minutes in the fridge, take out the mixture and, using your scoop or spoon, dollop your cookies one at a time on the baking tray which has been lined with parchment. I did six on one tray, five on another. Don’t over cram them. Sprinkle with sea salt before they go into the oven, don’t panic if you forget – you can do it when they are just out or omit it all together.
Put the mixture back in the fridge whilst you bake the cookies for 8-9 minutes (know your oven but do not overbake). They come out and seem quite molten in the middle. Don’t panic.
I use reusable baking liners so I need them asap after the first batched has baked so I very, very carefully fish-sliced the biscuits off the tray onto the cooling rack, placed the baking liner back on the tray and loaded up again from the cookie mixture just out of the fridge. If you are not so confident, then either give the cookies ten minutes on the tray to firm up before transferring to a cooling rack. Or if you are using re-usable baking parchment slide the whole thing onto a cooling rack with great adeptness, tear off some more parchment and start loading on more cookies to bake.
My eldest, who accompanied me to Amsterdam last year, said these were on a parr with the Van Stepele cookies.
Don’t have a heart attack.