I was lucky enough to receive Claudia Fleming's The Last Course for Christmas. It is an incredibly beautiful book that is only available now through the North Fork Table & Inn website. It is pricey, but worth it. I've spent hours perusing the inventive recipes and sumptuous photographs. Everything looks amazing, each recipe meticulous, unexpected, familiar, inviting. I want to make it all.
To christen my book, I started with these cookies. It is well-documented that I love chocolate chip cookies. These are one of the most interesting chocolate chip cookie recipes I've come across, and I just had to give them a try.
They're called crisps, and Claudia describes them as being brittle, but mine weren't... I made my cookies larger than she specifies - heaping tablespoon of dough instead of a heaping teaspoon - which probably accounts for the difference. The texture was fairly standard as far as chocolate chip cookies go, though thinner than I usually prefer. That being said, I loved these cookies. To me they are a cross between a Florentine and a chocolate chip cookie - this is how they are forgiven for being on the thin side; since they aren't a traditional ccc, they don't undergo the typical ccc scrutiny. Though they don't fall short on any other fronts.
These cookies are chewy, crispy on the outside, contain milk and bittersweet chocolate, they're studded with toasted cashews and are finished with orange zest. They are magnificent.
Cashew Chocolate Chip Crisps
adapted from The Last Course by Claudia Fleming
2 1/2 cups toasted cashews
2 1/2 cups white wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups palm sugar
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
zest from 1 orange, finely grated
2 large eggs
1 3/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon water
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate chunks
8 ounces milk chocolate chunks
Preheat oven to 325. Line a baking sheet with parchment. In a food processor, grind 1/2 cup of toasted cashews and 1 tablespoon flour to a fine meal. In a medium sized bowl, combine remaining flour, salt and the ground cashew/flour mixture. Coarsely chop the rest of the nuts. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugars until creamy. Add vanilla and zest, beat until well combined. Add eggs one at a time, beating for a minute after each addition. In a small bowl, dissolve baking soda in water and add it to bowl of the stand mixer. Beat until combined. Add flour mixture in two batches, mixing until just combined. Stir in chopped chocolate and cashews. Drop heaping tablespoons of dough onto baking sheet. Bake for about 18 minutes, until golden brown all over. Cool on baking sheet.