In the true spirit of culinary evolution, these cookies are a variation of Shirley O. Corriher's Corrupted Black Gold cookies, which are in turn a variation on Marcel Desaulniers' Black Gold cookies, inspired partially by the memory of mudslide cookies that were baked a couple of years back by the two chefs in the employee kitchen at the ranch in Montana. Alex had a craving for super rich chocolate cookies with nuts, I had a vision of these cookies in my head, and went looking for a base recipe to begin construction of the target confection. (Some days I think I should just cave in and open an old fashioned bakery.)
His memory of the mudslide cookie led me to Jacques Torres' mudslide cookie recipe, which didn't seem quite right. There was too much chocolate and I was pretty sure that we had never ordered unsweetened chocolate for the employee kitchen. I decided that they must have been using a different recipe. All things being equal though, the mudslide cookie recipe could certainly be a precursor of the black gold recipe or vice versa depending upon which one came first. They do have many similar qualities. Anyway, after leafing through several (dozen) cookbooks I decided to riff off Shirley's recipe, as one that seemed a manageable size and one that followed the technique that I thought would come closest to replicating Alex's mental vision. He wanted a cookie that was shiny and crackling on the outside and soft and chewy-cakey on the inside with nuts and chocolate chips. These are extremely soft and moist under the crunchy exterior with intense chocolate flavor on the day they are made and still crackly and more cake-like the next morning. The flavor of the nuts blooms overnight and so it's almost like getting two different cookies from the same recipe, if you can actually keep them around that long. Both the slightly warm and the fully cool and rested versions are equally delicious, if different, experiences.
Triple Chocolate Pistachio Cookies
makes 2 dozen cookies
1.5 cups (6.5 ounces, 185 grams) shelled pistachios
2 tablespoons (28 grams) unsalted butter
4 ounces (113 grams) unsalted butter, sliced into tablespoons
4 ounces (113 grams) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1.5 teaspoons (7.5 ml) vanilla extract
1/2 cup (2.2 ounces, 62 grams) AP flour
6 tablespoons (36 grams) natural cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon (2.5 grams) baking powder
1/2 teaspoon (3 grams) salt
1/2 cup (3.5 ounces, 99 grams) sugar
2 (99 grams) large eggs
1.5 teaspoons (7.5 ml) vanilla extract
3/4 cup (4.25 ounces, 120 grams) milk chocolate chips or chopped milk chocolate
Place one oven rack at the center of the oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
Line two half sheet trays with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
Spread the pistachios on an unlined baking sheet and bake for ten minutes until golden brown, Remove from oven and immediately add two tablespoons of butter and stir well to coat. Set aside to cool.
Melt chocolate and butter together in a bain marie or in a microwave. Stir together until smooth and set aside to cool slightly as you beat the eggs. While the chocolate is melting combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt in a food processor and pulse to blend completely. Alternatively you can combine them in a large bowl and whisk to blend, making sure to completely break up the cocoa, removing any lumps.
Combine the eggs and sugar and beat until they become pale yellow and light in texture. Stir in the chocolate. When it is mostly incorporated, add the vanilla. Once the vanilla has been incorporated, add the flour mixture and stir gently to blend. When the flour is almost completely absorbed, add the pistachios and the milk chocolate and fold them into the batter. It will be dark and shiny with a texture similar to Fluff.
Spoon a heaping tablespoon of dough onto the sheet tray for each cookie, arranging them in a 3X4 pattern on the tray. Alternatively you can use a 1.5-inch ice cream scoop to shape the cookies. Bake the trays one at a time on the center rack in the oven for 10-12 minutes. The cookies will rise slightly, develop a shiny crust and appear to be just set. Let them cool for two minutes and then loosen the bottoms from the lined tray. Let them finish cooling on the sheet trays or move them to racks if you prefer a crisper bottom.