At first, I made these cookies with half all-purpose flour, and I was perfectly happy. If it weren’t for a day when I ran out of all-purpose with these cookies already underway, I might never have discovered that they’re even better when made with 100% whole rye flour. These are the cookies of my dreams; such deep, dark, rich chocolate with a tangy crème fraîche filling. It’s like a pleasure-seeking hippie mama had a love child with an Oreo. For a good sources of whole grain rye flour (if you can’t find something local), try Camas Country Mill.
Sift together the rye flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
Melt the chocolate by putting it in a heatproof bowl and setting the bowl directly in a sauté pan with about an inch of barely simmering water. Allow the bowl of chocolate to hang out until it’s completely melted. A word of caution: You always need to be careful not to splash water into your bowl of chocolate, as it will cause it to seize. Not fun. When fully melted, remove from the water bath and let it cool a bit.
In the meantime, beat the butter and sugar together using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, or even a wooden spoon and a lot of elbow grease. When the butter and sugar come together in a grainy, but happy and fragrant mass, start cracking the eggs and adding them one at a time. Make sure that all the yolk of one egg is swallowed up by the mixture before adding the next egg. Oh, don’t forget the vanilla; add that, too. When all this is mixed up and looking batter-like, and more importantly, smelling confection-like, add the slightly cooled chocolate in a thin, steady stream and beat until it all becomes one. Finally, find that bowl of dry goods you stored away a few minutes ago. Stir that into your batter until no streaks of dry flour remain. Even if you use a stand mixer, I suggest pulling the bowl off at this point and making sure that the bowl isn’t hiding pockets of clumped-together ingredients. After you finally get all these delectable goods mixed in and starting to feel comfortable with each other, leave them alone for about a half hour to get comfy and connected with each other before you bake them.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. The batter should be thick and fudgy at this point. Using a one-ounce (#30) scoop, you should get exactly two dozen cookies, but if you don’t have one, just grab a tablespoon measure and make balls that are about 2 tablespoons each. With the scoop, don’t even bother rolling the dough. Simply scoop it up and dollop them onto the prepared cookie sheets. The more rustic, the better the texture. Bake for 10 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the cooking time.
They might still look a little chewy when you take them out of the oven, but that’s good. The texture of these will set over time.
Let them cool to room temperature on a rack.
These are amazing the day you make them, especially when sandwiching a little sweetened crème fraîche (recipe to follow). These cookies also age well. You’ll love them just as much midweek with a cup of coffee when they’re not all dressed up to go out. In fact, you might even love them more. Savor with delight and gratitude.
Sweetened Crème Fraîche
- 125 milliliters cold heavy whipping cream (½ cup)
- 115 grams crème fraîche (½ cup)
- 32 grams confectioners sugar (¼ cup)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Whisk the cold heavy cream and crème fraîche together until the mixture is starting to become thick. Add the sugar and vanilla extract and whisk until it has the desired consistency. Use immediately or refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. Frankly, this is good on just about anything. Sometimes my daughter mixes it with fresh berries and eats it in thick bites until all that is left needs to be licked from her fingers. I like to keep some around for dollops alongside just about any kind of cake.