Chocolate Licorice Brownie Cookies

Hey, hey, hey wait a second.  Give this a chance before you run away screaming.

Sometimes I feel as if I’ve made every cookie out there.  Were I enterprising, the next step would be to work out my own original recipes.  Alas, that will have to wait until my brain is less stuffed with other, more important things (eg whether our bathtub is big enough to keep a pet otter happy and, when I get a pet otter, what I will name it).

So, when I came across a recipe for salty black licorice brownie cookies by Charli Nowak over on Food 52, I was over on Amazon ordering ingredients before I’d even finished reading the article.

Now, I know what you are thinking–adding chocolate to black licorice is like putting lipstick on a pig.  But, stick with me. Something cool happens when you mix the earthy, herbal flavors of anise and licorice root with the smoky sweet flavors of deep dark chocolate.

I’ll admit, my own pump for licorice and chocolate were primed before I saw the recipe.  I’ve been thinking about creating an All Sorts French macaroon for a few months.  If you are a fan of these licorice candies paired with a host of flavors and stacked into colorful little blocks, you already know that chocolate and licorice are good friends.

These cookies are indulgent and immensely satisfying.  They’re deeply chocolate with enough je ne sais quoi to make them sophisticated and dare I say, sexy. Think Valentine’s Day worthy.

Still not convinced?  I’ve got you covered.

In the name of research, I offered up a couple to TD without mentioning the unusual ingredients.  TD is squarely in the no black jelly bean camp.

The verdict?  He was a big fan.

When I asked if he could identify the secret ingredients he guessed chocolate.

Did you know TD is the Latin abbreviation for Captain Obvious?

I ordered my licorice root powder and ground anise from Amazon in larger quantities because, as I mentioned, I have bigger plans for these flavors.  However, you should be able to find them at a spice shop like Penzy’s.  Or, if you live close and want to make these, let me know and I’ll share my stash.

Salty Black Licorice Brownie Cookies

adapted just a bit from Charli Nowak for Food 52

Ingredients

  • 7 ounces 60% dark chocolate chips
  • 2 TBS water
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • stick (1/4 pound or 8 TBS) unsalted butter
  • large eggs, room temperature
  • 3/4 C granulated sugar
  • 1/2 C dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1 C all-purpose flour
  • 3 TBS black cocoa powder (or Dutch-processed cocoa powder)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 TBS licorice root powder (available in specialty spice stores)
  • 2 tsp ground anise
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt (plus more or flaky salt for sprinkling on top)
  • optional: 6 ounces mini chocolate chips or finely chopped dark chocolate bits optional

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375° F. Line 4 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  2. Place butter in a small pot over medium heat and begin melting. Cook for about 4 minutes, stirring frequently, until butter begins to brown and smell nutty. Immediately pour over chocolate mixture and stir until completely melted. Set aside.
  3. To the hot, melted butter, add chocolate, water, and vanilla extract.  Allow to sit for 5 minutes and then whisk until smooth.
  4. Place eggs and both sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whip on high speed for 7 minutes until eggs are pale and ribbony.
  5. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, licorice root power, anise, and salt. Set aside.
  6. Reduce mixer speed to low and slowly add melted chocolate mixture. Once combined, add dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated.
  7. Gently fold in chocolate chips
  8. Using your choice of scoop size (I used my favorite 1 1/2 TBS size, the original recipe called for a 3 TBS scoop), portion batter onto prepared trays leaving two inches between each. Sprinkle tops with flaky salt and bake until puffed and crackly, about 11 minutes. Remove from oven, give the tray a good smack against the counter, and let cool for at least 20 minutes.

How to catch a valentine

Have a valentine for whom you’d like to show your looooooove?

Need to catch a valentine so that someone will loooooooove you?

Well, have I got a recipe for you.  It has everything….

Oh, how I miss you Stefon.

But seriously.  I promise this quadruple chocolate threat cookie will get the job done.

And you know what they say.  If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with.

Quadruple Threat Chocolate Cookies

adapted from Sunset Magazine’s 50 all-time best Sunset Test Kitchen recipes

Ingredients

  • 10 ounce bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup plus 2 tbsp. sugar plus more for dipping (or cocoa could be used to dip)
  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder (I used the ground espresso right out of a Nespresso capsule)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 C bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 C chopped white chocolate
  • 1 cup finely chopped toasted pecans
  1. Melt butter in a heavy-bottomed sauce pan over low heat.  Once  butter is melted, remove from heat and add-in the chopped bittersweet and unsweetened chocolates. Swirl pan to cover chocolate (as best as it will) and let stand for five minutes.  Using a wire whisk, whisk until chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.  You may need to return to very low heat.
  2. Whisk eggs, sugar, espresso powder, and vanilla into chocolate mixture. In another bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir into chocolate mixture until evenly mixed, then stir in chocolate chips and pecans. Wrap dough airtight and chill until firm enough to hold its shape, at least an hour.
  3. Using a large scoop (I scooped between 1/8 and 1/4 of a cup), scoop dough, placing it on a parchment-lined cookie sheet with two inches in-between (I fit about 8 drops of dough on a half-sheet).
  4. Preheat oven to 350°. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  5. Dip the bottom of a pint glass or even round surface in sugar or cocoa powder.  Gently press down each drop/ball of dough until flattened slightly (the chunks in the cookie should help to keep the thickness at about 1/2 and inch).
  6. Bake until cookies no longer look wet and you can feel a slight crust on top, about 10 minutes (don’t overbake); switch position of baking sheets halfway through. Let cookies cool on sheets on racks.
  7. Cookies freeze nicely up to two weeks in air-tight containers or freezer bags.