Baking means that you get a lot in return. Baking up some smiles is what we call it at our house because everyone gets to share in the decorating of Christmas cookies as well as to taste test the end results. Some of our favorite holiday cookies are the most simple but taste incredible and look wonderful.
Get great rewards when you bake Christmas cookies. . Here’s a tip for you. Bake an extra batch for the freezer. These freeze very well and you want to have some on hand for when you have drop in holiday guests.
Well the reality is that if you don’t bake a few extra cookies, these go so fast that you’re probably not going to get any.
Maida Heaters Chocolate Whopper Cookies. They were an all time favorite of my mom, who passed away recently. She was an ardent Maida Heater fan so she made huge batches of these and sent them home with all six children every Christmas season.
Maida Heaters Chocolate Whopper Cookies.
2 ounces (2 squares) unsweetened chocolate
6 ounces semisweet chocolate
3 ounces (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 cup sifted all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons powdered (not granular) instant coffee or espresso
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 ounces (1 cup) semisweet chocolate morsels
4 ounces (generous 1 cup) walnuts, broken into large pieces
4 ounces (generous 1 cup) toasted pecans broken into large pieces *
Adjust two racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat oven to 350°F. If you are baking only one sheet, adjust a rack to the middle of the oven. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or foil.
Place the unsweetened chocolate, semisweet chocolate, and butter in the top of a small double boiler over hot water on moderate heat. Cook, covered, for a few minutes. Then stir occasionally until melted and smooth. Remove the top of the double boiler and set aside, uncovered, to cool slightly.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt, and set aside. (I did not sift)
In the small bowl of an electric mixer, beat the eggs, sugar, coffee or espresso, and vanilla at high speed for a minute or two.
Beat in the melted chocolates and butter (which may still be quite warm) on low speed just to mix. Add the sifted dry ingredients and again beat on low speed just to mix, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary with a rubber spatula to incorporate the ingredients. Remove from the mixer and transfer to a larger bowl.
Stir in the chocolate morsels, the walnuts, and the pecans.
Use a 1/3-cup metal measuring cup to measure the amount of batter for each cookie. Put five cookies on each cookie sheet, one in the middle and one toward each corner. Use a rubber spatula to push the mixture into the measuring cup and then to scoop it out onto the lined sheet (the dough is gooey). Do not flatten the tops.
Bake two sheets at a time, reversing the sheets top to bottom and front to back once during baking to ensure even baking. Bake for 16 to 17 minutes-no longer. The surface of the cookies will be dry but the insides will still be soft. There is really no way to test these; just use a portable oven thermometer before baking to be sure your oven is right, and then watch the clock.
If the sheets have four rims the cookies and papers or foil will have to wait on the sheets until cool. If you have used cookie sheets with only one or two raised rims, you can slide the papers off the sheets and let stand until the cookies are cool. (It is not necessary to let the sheet cool before sliding it under another paper with unbaked cookies on it.)
When the cookies have cooled, use a wide metal spatula to release them and turn them over to air the bottoms a bit.
Makes about 14 cookies–these are very large cookies