So far on The Vivid Kitchen I've shared two cookie recipes that are very near and dear to my heart: 1) the always popular and uniquely-flavored salted toffee and brown sugar cookies and 2) the classic winning combo of white chocolate and macadamia nut. Today, I am giving you a cookie that is a re-creation of one that I had while on vacation.
Like I've said before, a couple of summers ago Alex and I traveled to Prague for the first time ever. Our hotel was smack-dab in the heart of the city center and although it was VERY touristy, we were beyond excited to be so close to everything. One day when we were walking back to our hotel, I noticed the most charming looking café, largely due to the desserts (including perfect chocolate chip cookies) that were on display in the window. Alex and I went in without hesitation and ordered half a dozen of the cookies to take back with us to the hotel. When we got back, we realized that we were actually given all different kinds of cookies: some with cranberries, some with walnuts... but our favorite pairing by far was one with chunks of chocolate and crunchy bits of beautiful, green pistachios.
Up until that glorious moment in Prague, I had never had pistachios in my cookies and so it completely blew my mind. After that day, we went back to the same bakery a couple of times just in order to get more of those cookies before our vacation was sadly over. When we got back home a week or so later, I immediately set out to recreate the "Prague cookies" that Alex and I fell in love with. I needed to keep the consistency similar because that aspect was very important as to why we loved it, and therefore the cookies needed to be very thick and very chewy. In order to get that amazing chewy and dense texture, this recipe calls for melted butter instead of room temperature, as well as an extra egg yolk. As for the thickness of the cookie, this comes from chilling the dough; chilling the dough for at least an hour ensures that the cookies won't spread as much as not chilling the dough at all. Cookie science!
The one difference between my cookies and the Prague café cookies is the amount of chocolate and pistachios added to the dough. Unlike the Prague cookies, where it was more dough-centric with sporadic bites of chocolate chips or pistachios, my cookies are filled to the brim with both. If I'm giving you a chocolate chunk and pistachio cookie, then by all means, that is exactly what you'll be getting in every single bite!
When making chocolate chip cookies at home, I actually don't use chocolate chips but instead get the HUGE dark chocolate bars from Trader Joe's. This chocolate bar, weighing in roughly over a pound, is a staple in my refrigerator, and when I'm not breaking off pieces of it for dessert, I am saving it for cookies and other baked goods. I like using chocolate bars for the chocolate component in cookies because I get to chop it up into all different shapes and sizes, which leads to some interesting (re: delicious) pools of chocolate in the cookies. If you're forever a true fan of chocolate chips, then of course feel free to substitute for them here. But please make sure they are dark chocolate chips, or bittersweet!
Thick and Chewy Dark Chocolate Chunk and Pistachio Cookies
Makes about 25-30 cookies
Recipe adapted from Cook's Illustrated
2 cups plus 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup (12 tbsp., 6oz.) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 cup light or dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup unsalted pistachios, toasted and roughly chopped
1 cup (about 8oz.) dark chocolate chunks
Flaky sea salt, to finish (optional)
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a bowl large enough for a hand mixer, mix the melted butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar for about 2 minutes.
Add in the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla extract. Mix until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
All at once, add in the flour mixture and carefully mix on low speed for about 10 seconds before turning the speed up to medium until everything is combined. Do not over mix. Using a spatula, fold in the chocolate chunks and pistachios. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper, and using a spoon or a cookie scoop, scoop out 1-2 tablespoons of dough for each cookie. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Finish cookies with a sprinkle of flaky sea salt if desired. Allow the cookies to sit on the tray for a couple of minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Enjoy!